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Teresa Ghilarducci: To Fix Retirement, Expand Social Security

The labor economist and author discusses the country's retirement crisis, guaranteed retirement accounts, and what behavioral finance gets wrong.

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Over the next two weeks, we'll be taking a closer look at the state of retirement security in the United States, and we'll be featuring two very different perspectives on the topic. We're kicking things off with labor economist and retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci, who will offer a progressive perspective. Ghilarducci joined The New School for Social Research as a professor of economics in 2008 after teaching at Notre Dame for 25 years. At The New School, she also directs the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, which focuses on economic policy research and outreach. Ghilarducci has frequently testified before U.S. Congress on matters of retirement planning. She has also published numerous research pieces in economics journals and has authored several books. Her most recent book, Rescuing Retirement, is co-authored by Tony James, executive vice chairman of the Blackstone Group. She received her bachelor's and doctorate degrees in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.



The New School for Social Research

Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis


The Retirement Crisis

"The Retirement Crisis," by Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School.

"Whose Retirement Crisis? Household Savings or Public Financing?" by Teresa Ghilarducci, Forbes, Feb. 20, 2018.

"America's Unusual High Rates of Old-Age Poverty and Old-Age Work," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Forbes, March 2, 2018.

"Working Longer Cannot Solve the Retirement Crisis," by Teresa Ghildarducci, Michael Papadopoulos, Bridget Fisher, and Anthony Webb, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, Feb. 3, 2021.

The Defined-Contribution System

"How Defined Contribution Plans and 401(k)s Affect Employer Pension Costs," by Teresa Ghilarducci, ResearchGate, July 2006.

"Americans Haven't Saved Enough for Retirement. What Are We Going to Do About It?" by Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James, Harvard Business Review, March 28, 2018.

"America's Retirement Savings Crisis Is Now. Here's How to Fix It," by Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James, CNN Business, Sept. 15, 2020.

"Fixing the U.S. Retirement System," Written Testimony by Teresa Ghilarducci; Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, U.S. Senate, May 21, 2014.

"Laying the Groundwork for More Efficient Retirement Savings Incentives," by Teresa Ghilarducci and Christian Weller, Center for American Progress, Nov. 18, 2015.

"Retirement Savings Inequality: Different Effects of Earnings Shocks, Portfolio Selections, and Employer Contributions by Worker Earnings Level," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Joelle Saad-Lessler, and Gayle Reznik, Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, 2018.

"The Inequitable Effects of Raising the Retirement Age on Blacks and Low-Wage Workers," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Kyle Moore, and Anthony Webb, The Review of Black Political Economy, April 26, 2019.

"Everyone Should Have the Retirement Plan Federal Employees Enjoy," by Teresa Ghilarducci and Kevin Hassett, The Washington Post, March 29, 2021.

"What if Low-Income American Workers Had Access to Wealth-Building Vehicles Like the Federal Employees' Thrift Savings Plan?" by Teresa Ghilarducci and Kevin Hassett, Economic Innovation Group, March 25, 2021.

Social Security

"A Nobel Laureate's Plan to Use Social Security to Fix the Retirement Crisis--and Why it Won't Work," by Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School's Retirement Equity Lab, April 19, 2019.

"Teresa Ghilarducci on Social Security Fixes to Protect the Poorest," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 27, 2020.

Income Inequality and Women in Economics

"The Unique Disadvantage Older Women Face in the Workforce," by Teresa Ghilarducci, PBS News Hour, March 25, 2016.

"Women's History Month: Gender Pay Gap Contributes to Elderly Poverty Gap," by Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School's Retirement Equity Lab, May 1, 2017.

"Labor Market Discrimination: A Bleak Outlook for Older Women," by Teresa Ghilarducci and Kyle Moore, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, 2017.

"How Big Firms Keep Wages Low," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Forbes, Jan. 21, 2019.

"Barring Women From Economics," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Forbes, March 31, 2019.

"Economists Weigh In on Covid-19 and Inequality," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Forbes, March 4, 2021.

Behavioral Finance

"Financial Literacy: Just Another Word for Financial Shaming," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Psychology Today, May 7, 2018.

"Go Ahead and Spend Your Children's Inheritance," by Teresa Ghilarducci, Advisor Perspectives, Dec. 17, 2020.