Shlomo Benartzi, PhD
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
he is currently a Professor and co-chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at the
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.
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 craft 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.