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>  News Releases >   2007 >   November

Dartmouth professor wins Fidelity's Pyramid Prize

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/15/07 • Susan Knapp • (603) 646-3661

Annamaria Lusardi
Annamaria Lusardi (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Dartmouth Professor of Economics Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia Mitchell of The Wharton School have won the 2007 Fidelity Research Institute's Pyramid Prize. The award recognizes their ongoing efforts to help improve lifelong financial well-being for Americans.

The prize is awarded to authors of published research that addresses personal financial health and security. The website for the prize states, "Through the creation of this award, we aim to highlight thought-leading analyses in support of our mission: To advance proven investment theory and understanding of critical financial issues and inspire action through practical solutions to the financial challenges facing individuals, institutions and governments."

Lusardi and Mitchell are being noticed for their paper "Baby Boomer Retirement Security: The Roles of Planning, Financial Literacy, and Housing Wealth," which was published in the Journal of Monetary Economics in January 2007. The paper examines the retirement preparedness of Baby Boomers. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, a long term study of people over 50 sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, the authors found that many Early Boomers (those born between 1948-1953) are not only financially illiterate, they also have given no thought to retirement.

"These findings are related," says Lusardi. "People who are financially literate are more likely to plan for the future. This means we need to put increased efforts into government and employer initiatives to promote employee financial security. We can also show that even a small amount of planning goes a long way toward boosting wealth."

Lusardi and Mitchell will share the $50,000 unrestricted prize, and they will travel to Boston to talk about their research with senior Fidelity executives. 

"As for how we plan to spend the money, we do as we preach: we will save it for retirement," says Lusardi.

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