Call for Papers: RAND Behavioral Finance Forum 2020

in partnership with AARP

Financial Security Over the Lifespan

The conference is moving online! More details to come.

*NEW* Deadline for submission: July 31, 2020

The RAND Behavioral Finance Forum will be holding its annual conference in October 2020 in partnership with AARP. Out of concern for your safety we are moving the conference online this year, and hosting three afternoon events.

  • Wednesday, October 14 from 3-5 p.m. EDT – Research panels and discussion
  • Friday, October 23 from 12-2 p.m. EDT – Keynote George Loewenstein and research panel
  • Thursday, October 29 from 3-5 p.m. EDT – Roundtable and perspectives of practitioners

Topics and detailed agenda TBD depending on your research submissions.

About the Behavioral Finance Forum

The conference will (virtually) bring together leaders from academia, government, regulatory agencies, and industry to share the latest research and exchange ideas on how to leverage behavioral principles to promote financial well-being, broadly conceived. The goal of the conference is to encourage the incorporation of cutting-edge research into policy and financial products that best serve the public's interests as well as to encourage collaboration between sectors. Presentations are for a mixed audience, and should be geared towards providing insights for practitioners and policy makers. See presentations from past conferences.

The Behavioral Finance Forum will include three online sessions, each followed by a virtual happy hour for socializing and networking. Dates throughout October, to help you avoid meeting fatigue and attend to your personal and professional commitments.

Earlier this year we posted this call for papers to encourage researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to think about new research and to develop partnerships that may help to advance our understanding of financial behavior and allow for testing of new ideas that support financial security.

We are now extending the deadline to accommodate your original submissions, and in addition, encouraging you to think about submissions that address:

  • How the coronavirus pandemic is likely to affect financial well-being in the short-, medium-, and long-term
  • Racial inequality in wealth accumulation, account ownership, or financial security more broadly

With the online format, we will be sharing more content before and after the meeting, so stay tuned! As always, the event is free for anyone to attend.


The theme of the conference is: Financial security over the lifespan.

As our lifespans increase, planning for financial security at all stages of life can become increasingly challenging. Competing needs at different stages of life can make decisions about savings and spending even more difficult. Lessons from behavioral finance and behavioral economics can help policies, programs, and products adapt to people changing needs at every stage of life. Possible topics include:

  • Encouraging precautionary savings to support emergency financial needs
  • New insights on household financial decision making around critical life events, such as adult caregiving responsibilities, divorce, and late-career changes
  • Effective mechanisms for households to balance liquidity with long-term financial goals
  • Analysis of underserved and/or understudied populations, such as older workers and immigrants
  • Shifting from a savings mindset into a spenddown mindset in retirement
  • The impact of changes in behavior in one domain on other financial choices

Not all submissions need to fit into these topic areas. We also welcome papers that address other topics in behavioral finance and financial decisionmaking.

Submission Guidelines: Research Sessions

Interested presenters are invited to submit abstracts by July 31, 2020 to

Please provide one file, titled LastName_FirstName_ShortTitle, in an email to, with “Research Session” in the subject line.

Please provide the following:

  1. The title and co-authors
  2. An extended (one page) abstract summarizing
    1. The importance of your paper
    2. Your research methodology
    3. Key findings
    4. Implications/applications that you would like to highlight
    5. If you have a key table, graph, or other data visualization, you may include that on a second page
  1. A link to or copy of your paper (if available)
  2. Specify who would be the presenter (and use their name in titling your attachment)
  3. Include “Research Session” in the subject of your email

Submissions need not reflect completed papers, however preference will be given to those whose research is in a more advanced stage. Researchers from policy, industry, and academic institutions may submit to these sessions. Your paper will be paired with companion studies and a discussant in a research panel.

Submission Guidelines: Innovation Session

Please provide a short proposal in an email to, with “Innovation Session” in the subject line.

The conference will feature a roundtable session discussing recent innovations in policy and industry. Speakers will provide a brief description of the challenges they are trying to address and solutions they are developing and implementing. Submissions should relate to the theme, financial security over the lifespan. After each speaker’s opening remarks, we will proceed with panel discussion with input from the audience. If you are interested in speaking, please send a one to two paragraph description to Be sure to include “Innovation Session” in the subject of your email. You may also recommend one or more companion speakers; for recommended speakers please provide a one to two paragraph description and contact information if available.

Please forward this call for papers to anyone who might be interested in presenting. Feel free to email us with questions or clarifications at

Drew M. Anderson
RAND Behavioral Finance Forum Director