Olivia S. Mitchell

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Olivia S. Mitchell
Citizenship United States
Fields Economics
Institutions Cornell University
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Notable awards Carolyn Bell Shaw Award, 2007 [1]

Olivia S. Mitchell (born 1953) is an American economist and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[2] Her interests focus on pensions and social security, and she is the Executive Director of the Pension Research Council, the oldest U.S. center devoted to scholarship and policy-relevant research on retirement security.[3] She also heads Wharton's Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research.[2]


Mitchell joined The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, having served from 1978 to 1993 as a professor at Cornell University; she also visited Harvard, Goethe University, Singapore Management University, and the University of New South Wales.[2] She serves as an Independent Director for the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds Board of Trustees,[2][4] and is a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research.[5] She has served on the Advisory Board to the Singaporean Central Provident Fund,[2] the Executive Board of the American Economic Association[2] and chaired the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession.[2] In 2001 she served on the bipartisan President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security.[6] She has worked as a co-Principal Investigator for the Health and Retirement Study for two decades,[7] and she sits on the Executive Committee of the University of Michigan's Retirement Research Center.[8] In 2002 and again in 2010, she was the Metzler Bank Visiting Professor at Goethe University.[2][9]


Mitchell earned her BA in Economics with honors from Harvard University and her MS and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She also received honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of St. Gallen.[10]


Mitchell has published multiple articles and books on pensions, social security reform, and retirement security, and she has also worked on financial literacy. Her work is highly regarded: in 2011 she was named one of the “25 Most Influential People”[11] and “50 Top Women in Wealth”[12] by Investment Advisor Magazine; in 2010 she received the Retirement Income Industry Association Award for Achievement in Applied Retirement Research.[13] In 2008 she was awarded the Roger F. Murray Prize from the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance;[2] that year she also received the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession.[14] In 2007 she received the Fidelity Pyramid Research Institute Prize for her co-authored study on financial literacy.[15] In 2003 she received the Premio Internazionale dell'Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni awarded at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy, ex aqueo Elsa Fornero,[2] and in 1999 her co-authored work received the Paul A. Samuelson Award for Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security from TIAA-CREF.[2]

Selected publications[edit]


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