Risk in Retirement

Suzanne Shu (centered) with Ph.D. Students Bin Li, Zahra Tohidinia, Lu Huang, and Qizhou Wang. (Nancy White/UConn School of Business)
Suzanne Shu (centered) with Ph.D. Students Bin Li, Zahra Tohidinia, Lu Huang, and Qizhou Wang. (Nancy White/UConn School of Business)

Ph.D. Student Speaker Series Continues with Marketing

UCLA Marketing Professor Suzanne Shu discussed retirement savings, and how individuals make their decisions about how much to save and how much to spend, during a presentation to faculty and doctoral students on Jan. 29.

“Risk, Ownership and Loss in Decumulation During Retirement,” was the topic of her speech, presented as part of the School of Business Ph.D. Student Speaker Series, which was attended by faculty and doctoral students. 

“The research stream that she presented, on how retirees and pre-retirees think about allocating the expenditure of their retirement savings to make it last, is most timely and important both theoretically and practically,” said Professor William Ross, the faculty coordinator for the Marketing Ph.D. program.

The research helps to understand the processes behind Social Security claiming decisions, such as higher life expectancies, intertemporal impatience, loss aversion and ownership of SSA contributions.

“I suspect that everyone, doctoral students and faculty alike, who attended her presentation came away with something to think about,” Ross said.

Shu’s research investigates how individuals form judgments and make decisions in uncertain environments, especially over a long timeframe. Shu received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2004, where she studied behavioral economics, decision sciences and marketing.

The purpose of the Speaker Series is to enhance the research culture of the School of Business by attracting guest lecturers whose research is particularly of interest to students. The doctoral students invite speakers who may ultimately help with their research and placement. The series also serves as a networking opportunity for visitors, students and faculty.

The next Ph.D. Student Speaker Series will be on April 1. The OPIM doctoral students have invited Professor Feng Zhu from Harvard University. Zhu is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at HBS. Zhu’s research includes competitive strategy and innovation in high-technology industries, emphasizing platform-based markets.