Shlomo Benartzi

Professor and Co-Chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group

Phone: (310) 206-9939


Professor Shlomo Benartzi is a leading authority on behavioral finance with a special interest in household finance and participant behavior in retirement savings plans.  He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, and is currently a Professor and co-chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Professor Benartzi’s most significant research contribution is the development, with Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, of Save More Tomorrow (SMarT), a behavioral prescription designed to help employees increase their savings rates gradually over time.  At one organization, SMarT increased employee savings rates from 3.5% to 13.6%.  The SMarT program is now offered by more than half of the large retirement plans in the U.S. and a growing number of plans in Australia and the U.K.  The program has also been incorporated in the Pension Protection Act of 2006, helping millions of Americans boost their retirement savings.  A book on Save More Tomorrow and other practical behavioral finance solutions for improving retirement plans is scheduled for publication in April, 2012.

Professor Benartzi has supplemented his academic research with both policy work and practical experience.  He has advised government agencies in the U.S. and abroad and has helped crafting numerous legislative efforts and pension reforms.  He has also worked with many financial institutions and served on about half a dozen advisory boards, and currently serves as an academic advisor and chief behavioral economist for the Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance.  Professor Benartzi is also a co-founder of the Behavioral Finance Forum, an organization dedicated to helping consumers make better financial decisions by fostering collaborative efforts between academics, industry leaders and government officials.

Selected Publications

Benartzi, Shlomo and Richard H. Thaler, “Behavioral Economics and the Retirement Savings Crisis,” Science, March 8, 2013, Vol. 339, pp. 1152–1153.

Benartzi, Shlomo, Alessandro Previtero, and Richard H. Thaler, “Annuity Puzzles,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fall 2011, Vol. 25.4, pp. 143–64. [ Link ]

Shlomo Benartzi, and Richard H. Thaler. (Summer 2007). Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior. Journal of Economic Perspectives. [ Link ]

Shlomo Benartzi, and Richard H. Thaler. (February 2004). Save More Tomorrow: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Savings. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 112.1, Part 2, pp. S164-S187. [ Link ]

Shlomo Benartzi, and Richard H. Thaler. (March 2001). Naive Diversification Strategies in Retirement Saving Plans. American Economic Review, Vol. 91.1, pp. 79-98. [ Link ]

Shlomo Benartzi, and Richard H. Thaler. (February 1995). Myopic Loss-Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 110.1, pp. 73-92. [ Link ]

Shlomo Benartzi's Vita and Publications

Course Materials for Psychology and Personal Finance