Calls for Papers

Personal Retirement Challenges and Financial Solutions

Zvi Bodie, Andrew W. Lo, and Robert C. Merton, Organizers

Fiscal pressures on government pensions for the elderly, the decline in long-term real interest rates, and volatility in financial markets over the last decade have raised new challenges for the provision of retirement income. Both private and public institutions that support the elderly are currently the subject of active discussion and debate. To explore some of these issues, the National Bureau of Economic Research will host a one-day research conference in Cambridge, MA, on November 1, 2013, on the role of financial markets and financial institutions in provision of retirement income security. The conference is supported by a grant from the TIAA-CREF Institute. In keeping with the NBER's policy of not offering policy recommendations, papers may provide insights on the effects of public policy, but they may not advocate for particular policies or proposals.

Researchers are invited to submit papers that bear on the provision of retirement income for potential inclusion on the program. Topics of particular interest include:

    * Costs and risks of potential measures for filling in the funding gap in legacy defined-benefit pension plans
    * Alternative valuation schemes for retirement income streams
    * Alternative pension designs
    * Regulatory policy and pension default risk
    * The effects of transparency, participant commuication, and education in retirement income programs
    * "Behavioral economics" insights regarding the provision of retirement income
    * Employment practices and workplace design issues affecting older workers
    * Preserving human capital at older ages

The conference will include up to six research paper presentations and it will permit substantial opportunity for discussion and debate among participants. The NBER will cover the travel and lodging expenses for up to two authors per paper, and will provide a modest honorarium for each paper presented.

Completed research papers as well as detailed proposals for papers can be submitted at by March 15, 2013.
Authors will be notified of their selection by April 15, 2013.

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