The Wharton School

In 1881, American entrepreneur and industrialist Joseph Wharton established the world’s first collegiate school of business at the University of Pennsylvania — a radical idea that revolutionized both business practice and higher education.

Since then, the Wharton School has continued innovating to meet mounting global demand for new ideas, deeper insights, and  transformative leadership. We blaze trails, from the nation’s first collegiate center for entrepreneurship in 1973 to our latest research centers in alternative investments and neuroscience.

Wharton's faculty members generate the intellectual innovations that fuel business growth around the world. Actively engaged with the leading global companies, governments, and non-profit organizations, they represent the world's most comprehensive source of business knowledge.

For more information, see the Research, Directory & Publications site.

Search results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 1023
  • Publication
    Changing Risks Confronting Pension Participants
    (2005-01-01) Borzi, Phyllis C
    The past decade has seen a shift from traditional employer-sponsored defined benefit pensions toward individual account defined contribution plans. This has profound implications for participants’ retirement security, as it involves a reallocation of risks and rewards from the plan sponsor to the employee. While much has been written about the transfer of investment risk and the potential consequences of bad investment choices, less attention has been focused on other potential hazards to retirement security. These include the effect of job changes and other employment factors on contribution patterns, the chance of outliving one’s accumulated assets, and the tension between encouraging participants to save for retirement while allowing access to those assets for a variety of other pressing financial needs. This chapter examines these challenges to participant retirement income security and identifies several legal and policy changes that might enable participants to cope better with such changes.
  • Publication
    Evidence-Based Forecasting for Climate Change
    (2013-02-01) Green, Kesten C; Soon, Willie; Armstrong, J. Scott
    Following Green, Armstrong and Soon’s (IJF 2009) (GAS) naïve extrapolation, Fildes and Kourentzes (IJF 2011) (F&K) found that each of six more-sophisticated, but inexpensive, extrapolation models provided forecasts of global mean temperature for the 20 years to 2007 that were more accurate than the “business as usual” projections provided by the complex and expensive “General Circulation Models” used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Their average trend forecast was .007°C per year, and diminishing; less than a quarter of the IPCC’s .030°C projection. F&K extended previous research by combining forecasts from evidence-based short-term forecasting methods. To further extend this work, we suggest researchers: (1) reconsider causal forces; (2) validate with more and longer-term forecasts; (3) adjust validation data for known biases and use alternative data; and (4) damp forecasted trends to compensate for the complexity and uncertainty of the situation. We have made a start in following these suggestions and found that: (1) uncertainty about causal forces is such that they should be avoided in climate forecasting models; (2) long term forecasts should be validated using all available data and much longer series that include representative variations in trend; (3) when tested against temperature data collected by satellite, naïve forecasts are more accurate than F&K’s longer-term (11-20 year) forecasts; and (4) progressive damping improves the accuracy of F&K’s forecasts. In sum, while forecasting a trend may improve the accuracy of forecasts for a few years into the future, improvements rapidly disappear as the forecast horizon lengthens beyond ten years. We conclude that predictions of dangerous manmade global warming and of benefits from climate policies fail to meet the standards of evidence-based forecasting and are not a proper basis for policy decisions.
  • Publication
    Delivering Health
    (2010-12-01) Friedman, Ari B
  • Publication
  • Publication
    Wealth Planning For Retirees With Special-Needs Children: A Comparison of Singapore and the United States
    (2020-01-01) Rao, James
    This paper seeks to explore how families with special-needs children conduct long-term wealth and retirement planning in two different cultures: the United States and Singapore. While previous papers discuss early childhood education for those with special-needs or housing wealth separately in Singapore, there is a gap in addressing the intersectionality of these issues within such families. The main method of research was secondary, understanding various legislative efforts via online resources; when opportunities were possible, primary research was conducted in the form of interviews (some off-the-record) with various stakeholders. Overall, this paper finds that the government in the United States plays a larger role in providing financial flexibility to these families than in Singapore, where long-term solutions are funded privately until no longer feasible.
  • Publication
    Reforms to Canadian Social Security, 1996-7
    (2008-01-01) Brown, Robert L.
  • Publication
    Natural Learning in Higher Education
    (2011-01-01) Armstrong, J. Scott
  • Publication
    How Will Persistent Low Expected Returns Shape Household Economic Behavior?
    (2018-10-02) Horneff, Vanya; Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S
    Many believe that global capital markets will generate lower returns in the future versus the past. We examine how persistently lower real returns will reshape work, retirement, saving, and investment behavior of older persons using a calibrated dynamic life cycle model. In a low return regime, workers build up less wealth in their tax-qualified 401(k) accounts versus the past, claim social security benefits later, and work more. Moreover, the better-educated are more sensitive to real interest rate changes, and the least-educated alter their behavior less. Interestingly, wealth inequality is lower in periods of persistent low expected returns.
  • Publication
    Learning and Confirmation Bias: Measuring the Impact of First Impressions and Ambiguous Signals
    (2018-08-01) Agnew, Julie; Bateman, Hazel; Eckert, Christine; Iskhakov, Fedor; Louviere, Jordan; Thorp, Susan
    We quantify the widespread and significant economic impact of first impressions and confirmation bias in the financial advice market. We use a theoretical learning model and new experimental data to measure how these biases can evolve over time and change clients’ willingness to pay advisers. Our model demonstrates that clients’ confirmation bias will reinforce the effect of first impressions. Our results also lend support, in a new financial context, to theoretical models of learning under limited memory where people use unclear signals to confirm and reinforce their current beliefs. We find that almost two thirds of the participants in our experiment make choices that are consistent with a limited memory updating process: they interpret unclear advice to be good advice when it comes from the adviser they prefer. Our results show that models that account for behavioral factorssuch as confirmation bias may be needed to explain some financial decisions.
  • Publication
    Overview: Lessons from Pension Reform in the Americas
    (2006-01-01) Kay, Stephen J.; Sinha, Tapen