Decision-making approaches and the propensity to default: Evidence and implications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines heterogeneity in the responsiveness to default options in a large state retirement plan, focusing on individuals’ decision-making approaches as well as their economic and demographic characteristics. Analyses of a survey of plan participants show that procrastination and the need for cognitive closure are important determinants of the likelihood of default. This paper also explores an important implication of defaulting—individuals who default are significantly more likely to subsequently express a desire to enroll in a different plan. The desire to change plans is also correlated with numerous economic and decision-making characteristics, including procrastination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-495
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Behavioral economics
  • Decision making
  • Default options
  • Pensions
  • Retirement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Decision-making approaches and the propensity to default: Evidence and implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this