Michaela Pagel: Forget About Your Portfolio


Columbia Business School
Assistant Professor


Michaela Pagel is an Assistant Professor at Columbia Business School. She received her Ph.D. from the Economics Department at UC Berkeley and works on topics in household finance. Her current work focuses on the consumption and investment implications of non-standard preferences. More specifically, she analyzes how decision-making is affected by people's beliefs about their consumption. She tests the implications of these preferences in consumption and wealth data as well as experimentally in the laboratory. She is also interested in the asset-pricing implications of non-standard preferences and behavioral biases.


Fall 2017

Capital Markets & Investments (EMBA)

Spring 2017

Capital Markets & Investments (MBA)

Spring 2016

Capital Markets & Investments (MBA)

Spring 2015

Capital Markets & Investments (MBA)


Journal articles

Expectations-Based Reference-Dependent Preferences and Asset Pricing In Journal of the European Economic Association (forthcoming)
Coauthor(s): Michaela Pagel

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Expectations-Based Reference-Dependent Life-Cycle Consumption In Review of Economic Studies (forthcoming)
Coauthor(s): Michaela Pagel

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Working papers

The Liquid Hand-to-Mouth: Evidence from a Personal Finance Management Software (2016)
Coauthor(s): Michaela Pagel, Arna Vardardottir

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A News-Utility Theory for Inattention and Delegation in Portfolio Choice (2014)
Coauthor(s): Michaela Pagel

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Expectations-Based Reference-Dependent Consumption and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from the Lab (2013)
Coauthor(s): Michaela Pagel, Christopher Zeppenfeld

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Prospective Gain-Loss Utility: Ordered versus Separated Comparison (2013)
Coauthor(s): Michaela Pagel

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Ideas and Insights

On Payday, Consumers Feel a License to Spend (2016)

Want to Grow Your Retirement Savings? Forget About It. (2014)

In The News

Media Mentions

This Is the Worst Time to Check Your Bank Account (yet People Do It All the Time)


Struggling with Credit Card Debt? There''s an App for That

International Business Times

Press Releases

Bad Air Hurts Health and Productivity, According to New Research from Columbia Business School

Read about executive education

Other experts

R.D. Nair is Professor of Accounting and Information Systems at the Wisconsin School of Business, and has been a faculty member since 1978. He served as the Senior Associate Dean of the School of Business from 1994 to 2004 and as Interim Dean of the School from September 2001 to June 2002. He wa...
Academic qualifications Ph.D. (2000), University of California, Irvine PUBLICATIONSArticles -"Octopus Smartcard: It Came From the Subway!", HKUST Case Centre, 2009 -"Climate change and international air freight.", Air Transport Research Society, Abu Dhabi, June 27-29, 2009 (with Demmer,Sims...