Annamaria Lusardi is a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), and the Director of the Financial Freedom Initiative, a collaboration between SIEPR, the Graduate School of Business (GSB), and the Economics Department at Stanford University. She is also Professor of Finance (by courtesy) at the GSB. Previously, she was University Professor at The George Washington University and, before that, she was the Joel Z. and Susan Hyatt Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, where she started her academic career. She has also taught at Princeton University, the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and Booth School of Business, and Columbia Business School. She was also a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University and an honorary doctorate from the University of Vaasa in Finland.

One of the most cited authors in financial literacy, Lusardi is the founder and Academic Director of the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), which has done pioneering work on personal finance education. She has published close to 100 articles and books, including publications in the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy. She is the founder and inaugural editor of the Journal of Financial Literacy and Wellbeing, published by Cambridge University Press. She has received numerous research and policy awards around the world, including grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Social Security Administration. In 2017, 2021, and 2022, she was included in the Clarivate list, which recognizes exceptional research influence. She also won teaching awards at both Princeton and the University of Chicago.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, Financial Freedom Initiative, Graduate School of Business (2023 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Inaugural 30th Anniversary Financial Education Impact Award, National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) (2022)
  • Kulp-Wright Book Award, American Risk and Insurance Association (2022)
  • University Professor, The George Washington University (2020)
  • Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science (Economics and Business Administration), University of Vaasa, Finland (2018)
  • Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Prize for Scholarship, The George Washington University (2018)
  • William A. Forbes Public Awareness Award, Council for Economic Education (CEE) (2014)
  • William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award, Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy (2013)
  • Inaugural Steen Award, National Numeracy Network (2012)

2023-24 Courses

All Publications

  • The Importance of Financial Literacy: Opening a New Field JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES Lusardi, A., Mitchell, O. S. 2023; 37 (4): 137-154
  • Evaluating Deliberative Competence: A Simple Method with an Application to Financial Choice AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Ambuehl, S., Bernheim, B., Lusardi, A. 2022; 112 (11): 3584-3626
  • Financial education affects financial knowledge and downstream behaviors JOURNAL OF FINANCIAL ECONOMICS Kaiser, T., Lusardi, A., Menkhoff, L., Urban, C. 2022; 145 (2): 255-272
  • Financial literacy and financial resilience: Evidence from around the world FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Klapper, L., Lusardi, A. 2020; 49 (3): 589-614

    View details for DOI 10.1111/fima.12283

    View details for Web of Science ID 000482782700001

  • Financial Fraud among Older Americans:Evidence and Implications. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences DeLiema, M., Deevy, M., Lusardi, A., Mitchell, O. S. 2018


    Objectives: The consequences of poor financial capability at older ages are serious and include making mistakes with credit, spending retirement assets too quickly, and being defrauded by financial predators. Because older persons are at or past the peak of their wealth accumulation, they are often the targets of fraud.Methods: Our project analyzes a module we developed and fielded on persons age 50+ in the 2016 Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Using this dataset, we evaluated the incidence and prospective risk factors (measured in 2010) for investment fraud and prize/lottery fraud using logistic regression (N=1,220).Results: Relatively few HRS respondents mentioned any single form of fraud over the prior five years, but 5.0% reported at least one form of investment fraud and 4.4% recounted prize/lottery fraud. Greater wealth (non-housing) was associated with investment fraud, whereas lower housing wealth and symptoms of depression were associated with prize/lottery fraud. Hispanics were significantly less likely to report either type of fraud. Other suspected risk factors-low social integration and financial literacy-were not significant.Discussion: Fraud is a complex phenomenon and no single factor uniquely predicts victimization across different types, even within the category of investment fraud. Prevention programs should educate consumers about various types of fraud and increase awareness among financial services professionals.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gby151

    View details for PubMedID 30561718

  • Optimal Financial Knowledge and Wealth Inequality JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Lusardi, A., Michaud, P., Mitchell, O. S. 2017; 125 (2): 431-477


    We show that financial knowledge is a key determinant of wealth inequality in a stochastic lifecycle model with endogenous financial knowledge accumulation, where financial knowledge enables individuals to better allocate lifetime resources in a world of uncertainty and imperfect insurance. Moreover, because of how the U.S. social insurance system works, better-educated individuals have most to gain from investing in financial knowledge. Our parsimonious specification generates substantial wealth inequality relative to a one-asset saving model and one where returns on wealth depend on portfolio composition alone. We estimate that 30-40 percent of retirement wealth inequality is accounted for by financial knowledge.

    View details for DOI 10.1086/690950

    View details for Web of Science ID 000398681700004

    View details for PubMedID 28555088

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5445941

  • Debt literacy, financial experiences, and overindebtedness JOURNAL OF PENSION ECONOMICS & FINANCE Lusardi, A., Tufano, P. 2015; 14 (4): 332-368
  • Financial literacy and financial sophistication in the older population JOURNAL OF PENSION ECONOMICS & FINANCE Lusardi, A., Mitchell, O. S., Curto, V. 2014; 13 (4): 347-366


    Using a special-purpose module implemented in the Health and Retirement Study, we evaluate financial sophistication in the American population over the age of 50. We combine several financial literacy questions into an overall index to highlight which questions best capture financial sophistication and examine the sensitivity of financial literacy responses to framing effects. Results show that many older respondents are not financially sophisticated: they fail to grasp essential aspects of risk diversification, asset valuation, portfolio choice, and investment fees. Subgroups with notable deficits include women, the least educated, non-Whites, and those over age 75. In view of the fact that retirees increasingly must take on responsibility for their own retirement security, such meager levels of knowledge have potentially serious and negative implications.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S1474747214000031

    View details for Web of Science ID 000346456300001

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5445927

  • The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE Lusardi, A., Mitchell, O. S. 2014; 52 (1): 5-44


    This paper undertakes an assessment of a rapidly growing body of economic research on financial literacy. We start with an overview of theoretical research which casts financial knowledge as a form of investment in human capital. Endogenizing financial knowledge has important implications for welfare as well as policies intended to enhance levels of financial knowledge in the larger population. Next, we draw on recent surveys to establish how much (or how little) people know and identify the least financially savvy population subgroups. This is followed by an examination of the impact of financial literacy on economic decision-making in the United States and elsewhere. While the literature is still young, conclusions may be drawn about the effects and consequences of financial illiteracy and what works to remedy these gaps. A final section offers thoughts on what remains to be learned if researchers are to better inform theoretical and empirical models as well as public policy.

    View details for DOI 10.1257/jel.52.1.5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000333751300001

    View details for PubMedID 28579637

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5450829

  • Financial literacy around the world: an overview JOURNAL OF PENSION ECONOMICS & FINANCE Lusardi, A., Mitchell, O. S. 2011; 10 (4): 497-508


    In an increasingly risky and globalized marketplace, people must be able to make well-informed financial decisions. Yet new international research demonstrates that financial illiteracy is widespread when financial markets are well developed as in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States, or when they are changing rapidly as in Russia. Further, across these countries, we show that the older population believes itself well informed, even though it is actually less well informed than average. Other common patterns are also evident: women are less financially literate than men and are aware of this shortfall. More educated people are more informed, yet education is far from a perfect proxy for literacy. There are also ethnic/racial and regional differences: city-dwellers in Russia are better informed than their rural counterparts, while in the U.S., African Americans and Hispanics are relatively less financially literate than others. Moreover, the more financially knowledgeable are also those most likely to plan for retirement. In fact, answering one additional financial question correctly is associated with a 3-4 percentage point higher chance of planning for retirement in countries as diverse as Germany, the U.S., Japan, and Sweden; in the Netherlands, it boosts planning by 10 percentage points. Finally, using instrumental variables, we show that these estimates probably underestimate the effects of financial literacy on retirement planning. In sum, around the world, financial literacy is critical to retirement security.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S1474747211000448

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296906000001

    View details for PubMedID 28553190

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5445931

  • Financial literacy and stock market participation JOURNAL OF FINANCIAL ECONOMICS van Rooij, M., Lusardi, A., Alessie, R. 2011; 101 (2): 449-472
  • Liquidity constraints, household wealth, and entrepreneurship JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Hurst, E., Lusardi, A. 2004; 112 (2): 319-347

    View details for DOI 10.1086/381478

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220482700003