Olivia S. Mitchell

Olivia S. Mitchell photo

Olivia S. Mitchell

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor

Professor of Insurance and Risk Management and Business Economics and Public Policy

Executive Director, Pension Research Council

University of Pennsylvania

Olivia S. Mitchell is the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor; professor of insurance/risk management and business economics/public policy; Executive Director of the Pension Research Council; and Director of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research; all at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The author or coauthor of over 230 books and articles, Mitchell serves as independent trustee on the Wells Fargo Fund Boards; co-investigator for the Health and Retirement Study at the University of Michigan; and executive board member of the Michigan Retirement Research Center. She earned her B.A. in economics from Harvard University and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Professional Achievements

  • Received the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Prospects for Social Security Reform (with John Geanakoplos and Stephen P. Zeldes, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
  • Research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Awarded the Roger F. Murray First Prize, Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance.


July 2022
Prior research suggests Covid-19 mortality has, in the U.S., disproportionately harmed those with low income, African Americans, and Hispanics. Have these groups’ subjective survival perceptions changed in a manner consistent with observed outcomes?
March 2021
Many people have only a vague notion of the concept of longevity risk, which in turn implies they are likely to save too little for retirement and have a low demand for longevity insurance products.
October 2015
While a number of published studies have measured how the number and mix of fund options influence investment patterns in retirement accounts few, if any, have examined how plan participants react to a large reduction in investment choices.