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Thompson says America must "unchoose" policies that have led to mass incarceration

Axinn says new data on campus rape will "allow students to see for themselves the full extent of this problem"

Frey says white population is growing in Detroit and other large cities


Susan Murphy to speak at U-M kickoff for data science initiative, Oct 6, Rackham

Andrew Goodman-Bacon, former trainee, wins 2015 Nevins Prize for best dissertation in economic history

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 5 at noon, 6050 ISR
Colter Mitchell: Biological consequences of poverty

Robert Willis photo

Retirement Savings, Subjective Expectations and Survey Measurement

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigator:   Robert Willis

This project aims at uncovering the effect of people's expectations on their retirement savings. In particular, we focus on whether and how expectations about stock market returns affect the share of stocks and mutual funds in household savings, including retirement accounts. The Health and Retirement Study collects data on savings and stock market expectations, the latter elicited in forms of subjective probability questions. Previous research has shown that answers to these questions contain useful information but they are also very noisy. In this research, we plan to build on the novel approach to analyzing probability questions developed by Hill, Perry and Willis (2005). We focus on people's expectations about the performance of the stock market and contrast those to their investment decisions. We plan to generalize the approach of Hill, Perry and Willis to more complex situations, and to the extent it's possible, separate heterogeneity that is relevant for important decisions from heterogeneity unique to errors in answering survey questions. We also extend their work by making a more explicit connection between survey response, economic model and observed behavior. Our results may explain why people hold so few stocks by relating expectations (e.g. optimism and uncertainty) to the composition of savings.

Funding Period: 02/01/2007 to 01/31/2010

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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