Joelle Saad-Lessler

School: School of Business

Columbia University, New York, NY

Ph.D.     Department of Economics      May 2003

M.A.      Department of Economics      May 1996

B.A.       Department of Economics      May 1994


Economics of Retirement, Labor Economics,

Economics of Immigration


Stevens Institute of Technology, School of Business, Hoboken, NJ

Associate Industry Professor                          September 2016-Present

The New School, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, New York, NY

Research Economist                                            July 2010- July 2016

Long Island University, Brookville, NY

Assistant Professor of Economics             September 2001-August 2012

Professional Societies

Member of American Economic Association

Grants, Contracts & Funds
  • “Determinants of Retirement Savings Accumulations: The Role of Life Events” with Ghilarducci, T., The National Endowment for Financial Education, $120,000, 2015 
  • “Falling Through the Cracks: The Crisis of Jobs and Healthcare for Unemployed Americans Aged 55-64” with Ghilarducci, T., The UpJohn Institute, $10,000, 2012. 
  • “The Crisis of Jobs and Healthcare for Unemployed Americans Aged 55-64”, with Ghilarducci, T., the Borchard Foundation Center for Law and Aging, $20,000, 2011
Selected Publications
  1. Saad-Lessler, J., Ghilarducci, T. and Reznik, G. (2018). "Defined Contribution Wealth Inequality: Role of Earnings Shocks, Portfolio Choice, and Employer Contributions", Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin.
  2. Ghilarducci, T., Saad-Lessler, J. and Reznik, G. (2017). "Earnings Volatility and 401(k) Contributions", Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press. 1-22.
  3. Brown J. E., Rhee N., Saad-Lessler J. and Oakley D.. (2016). "Shortchanged in Retirement: Continuing Challenges to Women’s Financial Future", Journal of Insurance and Financial Management, 2 (6), 78-114.
  4. Ghilarducci, T. and Saad-Lessler, J.. (2015). "Explaining the Decline in Retirement Account Coverage between 2003 – 2012", Industrial Labor Relations Review, 68 (4), 807-832.
  5. Ghilarducci, T., Saad-Lessler, J. and Bahn, K.. (2015). "Are U.S. Workers Ready for Retirement? Trends in Plan Sponsorship, Participation, and Preparedness", Journal of Pension Benefits , 22 (2), 25-39.
  6. Saad-Lessler, J. and Richman, K.. (2014). "The Impact of Collectivism on Savings Behavior: A Case Study of Mexican-Americans and Non-Mexican Latinos", Review of Economics of the Household, 1-23.
  7. Ghilarducci, T., Saad-Lessler, J. and Fisher, E.. (2012). "The Macroeconomic Stabilization Effects of Social Security and 401 (k) Plans", Cambridge Journal of Economics, 26 (1).
  8. Saad-Lessler, J. and Richman, K.. (2009). "A Cross-National Study of Child Labor and its Determinants", The Journal of Developing Areas, 44 (1).
  9. Saad-Lessler, J. and Tselioudis, G.. (2008). "Storms, Climate Change, and the US Economy: A Regional Analysis", Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, 9 (1).
  10. Saad-Lessler, J. and Tselioudis, G.. (2008). "Labor Market Adjustment in the U.S.", Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, 8 (2).
  11. Saad-Lessler, J.. (2005). "Do Local Relative Factor Supplies Affect Local Relative Factor Prices?", Topics in Economic Analysis & Policy, 5 (1).
  1. Ghilarducci, T. and Saad-Lessler, J.. (Jul 17, 2013). "How Defined Benefit Retirement Plans Outperform Defined Contribution Plans", The Huffington Post.
  2. Ghilarducci, T. and Saad-Lessler, J.. (Dec 21, 2012). "Blowing Smoke at the Retirement Crisis", The Huffington Post.
  1. Saad-Lessler, J. and Bahn K.. (2017). "The Importance of Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave for Family Caregivers", Center for American Progress.
  2. Saad-Lessler, J., Ghilarducci, T., and Schmitz, L.. (2012). "Are New Yorkers Ready for Retirement?: Trends in Plan Sponsorship, Participation and Preparedness", New York City Comptroller’s Office Budget & Policy Bureau.
  3. Richman, K., Ghilarducci, T., Knight, R., Jelm, E. & Saad-Lessler, J.. (2012). "Confianza, savings, and retirement: A study of Mexican immigrants", Notre Dame: Institute of Latino Studies.
  4. Allegretto, S.,Rhee, N., Saad-Lessler, J. and Schmitz, L.. (2011). "California workers’ retirement prospects", Nari Rhee, Meeting California’s retirement security challenge , UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.. 21-41.
Research Papers
  1. Saad-Lessler, J. and Ghilarducci, T.. (2013). "New Policies for an Older Unemployed Population", SSRN.
Book Chapters
  1. Ghilarducci, T. and Saad-Lessler, J.. (2015). "How 401(k) Plans Make Recessions Worse", Financial Market Developments and Labor Relations, Christian Weller, Labor and Employment Relations Association research volume.
  2. Saad-Lessler, J., Ghilarducci, T. and Richman, K.. (2013). "Sociology of Minority Aging: Work and Retirement.", Handbook of Minority Aging, Keith Whitfield & Tamara Baker , Springer Publishing Company. . 497-513.
  • BT 244 Microeconomics
  • BT 243 Macroeconomics
  • MGT 606 Economics for Managers
  • BT 343 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • BT 344 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • FIN 704 Econometric Theory and Applications