Coronavirus Updates

The TIAA Institute awarded Dr. Pascal Noel of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Dr. Peter Ganong of The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy the 26th annual TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security. The Samuelson Award recognizes outstanding research that can enhance Americans’ financial well-being.

Record foreclosure rates and reduced aggregate demand during the Great Recession sparked a vigorous policy debate about decreasing defaults and increasing the consumption of struggling borrowers. The award-winning report, “Liquidity Versus Wealth in Household Debt Obligations: Evidence from Housing Policy in the Great Recession,” finds liquidity drives borrowers’ default and consumption decisions, which suggests that distressed debt restructurings can be redesigned with substantial gains to borrowers, lenders and taxpayers.

“This research has the potential to change how we look at borrowing and consumption during major economic downturns,” said David P. Richardson, head of the TIAA Institute. “The authors not only outline the important role of liquidity but also suggest truly impactful solutions.”

“Falling behind on mortgage payments during the Great Recession was devastating for many families, leading 1-in-13 owner-occupied homes to undergo foreclosure when all many needed to catch up was a temporary payment reduction,” said Dr. Pascal Noel. “By making temporary payment reduction broadly accessible during the Covid-19 pandemic, policymakers prevented a similar wave of foreclosures,” added Dr. Peter Ganong.

According to Stephen P. Zeldes, Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and one of the Samuelson Award judges, “In this creative, beautifully executed, and policy-relevant paper, the authors address an important and longstanding question in economics: how much does short-term liquidity influence consumer behavior? Using new comprehensive data, they come up with a clear answer: liquidity matters, both for consumer spending and mortgage default.”

Learn more about the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award here.

About the TIAA Institute
The TIAA Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The institute conducts in-depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders, and enables those it serves to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success. For more information about the TIAA Institute, visit

About TIAA
TIAA is a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions. It is the #1 not-for-profit retirement market provider, paid more than 1 $3.6 billion to retired clients in 2020 and has $1.3 trillion in assets under management (as of 9/30/2021). As of September 30, 2021, assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams are $1,331 trillion.

Contact Booth Media Relations

Marielle Sainvilus
Director of Public Relations and Communications
Phone: 773.531.2894

Email Marielle