Olivia Mitchell

Olivia S. Mitchell, PhD


International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor, Business Economics and Public Policy, Wharton School
Professor, Insurance and Risk Management, Wharton School
Executive Director, Pension Research Council, Wharton School

Olivia S. Mitchell, PhD is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor, as well as Professor of Insurance/Risk Management and Business Economics/Policy; Executive Director of the Pension Research Council; and Director of the Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research at the Wharton School, which she joined in 1993. Concurrently Dr. Mitchell serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Independent Director on the Wells Fargo Fund Boards; Co-Investigator for the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan; Member of the Executive Board for the Michigan Retirement Research Center; and Senior Research Scholar at the Singapore Management University. She also advises the Centre for Pensions and Superannuation UNSW and is Faculty Affiliate of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. She received the MA and PhD degrees in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and BA in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Mitchell has also been awarded the Doctor Rerum Publicarum Honoris Causa, Goethe University of Frankfurt; Doctor Oeconomiae Honoris Causa, University of St. Gallen; and an honorary Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Mitchell’s professional interests focus on public and private pensions, insurance and risk management, financial literacy, and public finance. Her research explores how systematic longevity risk and financial crises can shape household portfolios and work patterns over the life cycle, the economics and finance of defined contribution pensions, financial literacy and wealth accumulation, and claiming behavior for Social Security benefits. Her research has appeared in leading academic journal, including the American Economic ReviewJournal of Political EconomyJournal of Public Economics, and Review of Finance, and in media outlets such as The EconomistNew York Times, and Wall Street Journal. She also blogs on Forbes. She has published over 250 books and articles, and serves as a Senior Editor of the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance.