James Choi

Professor of Finance

Professor Choi's research spans behavioral finance, behavioral economics, household finance, capital markets, health economics, and sociology. His work on default options has led to changes in 401(k) plan design at many U.S. corporations and has influenced pension legislation in the United States and abroad. In other papers, he has investigated topics such as the influence of racial, gender, and religious identity on economic preferences, investor ignorance of mutual fund fees, the effect of deadlines and peer information on savings choices, how retail investor sentiment in China affects stock returns, and the use of subtle planning prompts to increase vaccination rates.

Professor Choi is a recipient of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for outstanding scholarly writing on lifelong financial security. He is ​an Associate Director of the Retirement Research Center at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the FINRA Investor Issues Committee ​,​ and a TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow.


  • PhD, Harvard University, 2005
  • AB, Harvard University, 1998


International Experience: Chile
MGT 416
Corporate Finance
MGT 541
Integrated Management Perspectives
MGT 430


Selected Articles

J.J. Choi, J. Beshears, D. Laibson, B. Madrian, and K. Milkman
Journal of Finance
Social Identity and Preferences
D.J. Benjamin, J.J. Choi, and A.J. Strickland
American Economic Review
Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds
J.J. Choi, D. Laibson, and B.C. Madrian
Review of Financial Studies
Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions
G.D. Carroll, J.J. Choi, D. Laibson, B.C. Madrian, and A. Metrick
Quarterly Journal of Economics
J. J. Choi, D. Laibson, B. C. Madrian and A. Metrick
Tax Policy and the Economy

Selected Working Papers

Does Aggregated Returns Disclosure Increase Portfolio Risk-Taking?
​ ​J. Beshears, ​J.J. Choi, D. Laibson, and B.C. Madrian
Who is Easier to Nudge?
J. Beshears, ​J.J. Choi, D. Laibson, B.C. Madrian, and S. Wang
Small Cues Change Savings Choices
J.J. Choi, ​E. Haisley, J. Kurkoski, and C. Massey
Informed Trading and the Cost of Capital
​J.J. Choi, L. Jin, and H. Yan
Self-Control and Commitment: Can Decreasing the Liquidity of a Savings Account Increase Deposits?
​J. Beshears, ​J.J. Choi, ​ C. Harris,​ D. Laibson, B.C. Madrian, and J. Sakong


40 Under 40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors
Poets & Quants
TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for outstanding scholarly writing on lifelong financial security (with D. Laibson and B.C. Madrian)
NBER Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Aging and Health Economics
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Hoopes Prize for excellence in Harvard undergraduate research
Phi Beta Kappa
Harvard University