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.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 915
  • 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.
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    Lost in Translation - Language Barriers in the SNAP Program
    (2023-01-01) Jury, Andrea M
    As U.S. communities become increasingly diverse, it is necessary for policymakers and officials to cater more purposely for the heterogeneous needs of their constituents. This thesis focuses on the SNAP participation of Hispanic households, the country’s largest racial or ethnic minority that also has an above-average food insecurity rate. The primary analysis leverages variation in the availability of online English and Spanish applications across 25 states between 2005 and 2016 to see if and how the introduction of both simultaneously affects Hispanic participation differently from the introduction of just online in English. Contrary to expectations, the availability of just online in English directionally decreased the number of Hispanic and non-Hispanic households that received SNAP benefits in a given state and year. In contrast, the availability of both online English and Spanish increased the number of Hispanic and non-Hispanic households that received SNAP benefits, with larger and more significant estimates for the latter. I propose that these unanticipated findings are a product of higher digital illiteracy prevalence in the Hispanic community and greater capacity to process an additional influx of applications from a new format in the states that roll out both online English and Spanish. The final sections identify paths for further research as well as key limitations of and possible improvements to the data and empirical methods used.
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  • Publication
    Sorting and Local Wage and Skill Distributions in France
    (2012-11-01) Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Duranton, Gilles; Gobillon, Laurent; Roux, Sébastien
    This paper provides descriptive evidence about the distribution of wages and skills in denser and less dense employment areas in France. We confirm that on average, workers in denser areas are more skilled. There is also strong over-representation of workers with particularly high and low skills in denser areas. These features are consistent with patterns of migration including negative selection of migrants to less dense areas and positive selection towards denser areas. Nonetheless migration, even in the long-run, accounts for little of the skill differences between denser and less dense areas. Finally, we find marked differences across age groups and some suggestions that much of the skill differences across areas can be explained by differences between occupational groups rather than within.
  • Publication
    The Evolution of Retirement Risk Management
    (2010-01-01) Mitchell, Olivia S; Clark, Robert L
  • Publication
    Reforms to Canadian Social Security, 1996-7
    (2008-01-01) Brown, Robert L.
  • Publication
    Banking for the Poor: Evidence From India
    (2005-04-01) Burgess, Robin; Pande, Rohini; Wong, Grace
    State-led credit and savings programs have been implemented in numerous low income countries, but their success in reaching the poor remains widely debated. We report on research that exploits the policy features of the Indian social banking program to provide evidence on this issue. State-led branch expansion into rural unbanked locations reduced poverty across Indian states. In addition, the enforcement of directed bank lending requirements was associated with increased bank borrowing among the poor, in particular low caste and tribal groups. (JEL: O38, G28)
  • 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
  • Publication
    Public-Private Partnerships Extend Community-based Organization’s Longevity
    (2020-07-22) Dionne, William J.; Guishard, Dozene
    Public/private partnerships are essential to the survival of mission-driven non-profits, especially those in aging services. Aging service nonprofits receive less than two percent of all institutional philanthropic dollars, with a largest segment of their funding provided by government entities. Carter Burden Network (CBN) is an aging services nonprofit organization serving community-dwelling seniors in Manhattan, with a concentration of services in East Harlem, Roosevelt Island, and the Upper East Side. The NYC Department for the Aging and other government sources provide 50 percent of CBN’s budget. The adage that ‘government cannot do it alone’ is exemplified through CBN’s history of developing new programs through private partnerships, and use of skills-based volunteerism to enhance services. Public/private partnerships have helped CBN strengthen its capacity to expand its service provision and areas. Equally important is CBN’s commitment to increase return on investment for public/private partnerships by reducing food insecurity and malnutrition, hospitalization, and social isolation - all with a financial benefit to the broader society.