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Wednesday, August 4 • 1:00pm - 2:30pm
7B3 What to Offer If Consumers Do Not Want What They Need? A Simultaneous Evaluation Approach with an Application to Retirement Savings Products

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Mark Schultze, Ulm University; Jochen Rub, if a - Institute für Finanz- und Aktuarwissenschaften / Ulm University; Stefan Schelling, Ulm University

Traditionally, in economics one considers utility maximizing economic agents. The results provide insight on how consumers should behave. In practice, however, human decisions are influenced by numerous behavioral patterns that result in a deviation between subjective attractiveness and objective utility and hence lead to systematic deviations from rationally optimal behavior. This also applies to decisions in the context of retirement saving, we often find a large difference between theoretically optimal products and observed demand. In the worst case, this can result in substantial pension gaps, and hence in a reduction of the standard of living in in the retirement phase. The aim of this work is to (simultaneously) assess and evaluate the objectively rational utility and the subjectively perceived attractiveness of retirement savings products. Such a combined approach can help to identify or design retirement savings products that create a high (albeit not the maximum possible) objective utility while at the same time being subjectively of high (albeit not maximum possible) attractiveness. We argue that a focus on such products might help consumers make better decisions than currently observed decisions that seem to be driven primarily by subjective attractiveness.

Discussant
CJ

Christoph Jaenicke

University of St. Gallen

Presenters
MS

Mark Schultze

Ulm University



Wednesday August 4, 2021 1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT