I’m a behavioral economist interested in combining the insights of psychology and economics to solve big societal problems, such as insufficient savings and unhealthy eating. My goal is to help people make better decisions on a massive scale. I received a Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and am currently a professor and co-founder of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at UCLA Anderson School of Management.
My work has demonstrated the potential for far-reaching improvement. Along with Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, I pioneered the Save More Tomorrow™ (SMarT) program, a behavioral prescription designed to help employees increase their savings rates gradually over time. In our original research, we found that SMarT increased employee savings rates from 3.5 percent to 13.6 percent. 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 into the Pension Protection Act of 2006, helping approximately 15 million Americans boost their retirement savings.
I’m now focused on creating digital nudges that combine the scale of technology with proven behavioral insights. To help bridge the gap between academic research and the real world, I’ve worked with many financial institutions, served on multiple advisory boards and am currently senior academic advisor for the VOYA Behavioral Finance Institute for Innovation.