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Behavioral Impediments to Valuing Annuities: Evidence on the Effects of Complexity and Choice Bracketing

Jeffrey R. Brown, Arie Kapteyn, Erzo F.P. Luttmer, Olivia S. Mitchell, Anya Samek

NBER Working Paper No. 24101
Issued in December 2017, Revised in March 2019

---- Acknowledgments ----

This paper was funded as a pilot project as part of a Roybal grant awarded to the University of Southern California, entitled “Roybal Center for Health Decision Making and Financial Independence in Old Age” (5P30AG024962-12). We are also grateful for support provided by the Pension Research Council/Boettner Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The project described in this paper relies on data from survey(s) administered by the Understanding America Study (UAS) which is maintained by the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) at the University of Southern California. The authors thank Peter Choi for excellent research assistance. We are grateful for helpful comments from Alan Gustman and seminar audiences at the Federal Reserve Board, Tsinghua University, Uppsala University, the University of Virginia, and the George Washington University. Brown is a Trustee of TIAA and has served as a speaker, author, or consultant for a number of financial services organizations, some of which sell annuities and other retirement income products. Mitchell is a Trustee of the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds and has received research support from the TIAA Institute. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not represent the opinions or policy of any institution with which the authors are affiliated nor of USC, CESR, the UAS, or the National Bureau of Economic Research.

---- Disclosure of Financial Relationships for Olivia S. Mitchell ----

Mitchell serves as an Independent Trustee for the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds and has received more than $10,000 from the TIAA Institute for research on retirement security.

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