Working Papers

RSS Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

  • Paying for Performance in Public Pension Plans
    We examine the relation between public pension plan Chief Investment Officer (CIO) compensation and plans’ investment performance. Higher paid CIOs outperform their counterparts by 47 – 60 bps per year, largely through increased and superior investment in private equity and real estate. This outperformance generates an additional $74.91 – $95.63 million in economic value. Plans […]
  • Changes in Retirement Savings During the COVID Pandemic
    This paper documents changes in retirement saving patterns at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We construct a large panel of US tax data, including tens of millions of person-year observations, and measure retirement savings contributions and withdrawals. We use these data to document several important changes in retirement savings patterns during the pandemic relative […]
  • Is Attention Produced Optimally? Theory and evidence from Experiments with Bandwidth Enhancements
    This paper investigates whether people optimally value tools that reduce attention costs. We call these tools bandwidth enhancements (BEs) and characterize how demand for BEs varies with the pecuniary incentives to be attentive, under the null hypothesis of correct perceptions and optimal choice. We examine if the optimality conditions are satisfied in three experiments. The […]
  • Movements In and Out of Poverty at Older Ages: Evidence from the HRS
    The objective of this paper is to determine Americans’ mobility patterns into and out of poverty in their later years. We track how older adults enter into and exit from poverty using the most extensive longitudinal survey on older Americans currently available, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Using over 20 years of data from […]
  • Factors Influencing the Choice of Pension Distribution at Retirement
    One of the most important financial decisions that pension participants make concerns how they access their pension assets when they terminate employment with their plan sponsor. Their choices depend both on own preferences and the options offered by their retirement plan. This paper examines both past and future pension withdrawal choices for those with defined […]

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