Zelnak Professor, Graduate Faculty
Education: Ph.D., Duke University, 1974
Office Location: 2308 Nelson
View Robert Clark's Vita
Department / Affiliations
Department of Economics | Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Membership in the following professional organizations
* American Economic Association
* Gerontological Society of America
* International Union for the Scientific Study of Population
* Member, National Academy of Social Insurance
* Member, Pension Research Council, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
* Member, Board of Outside Scholars, Michigan Retirement Research Center
* Fellow, Employee Benefit Research Institute
* Fellow, TIAA-CREF Institute
* Governor, Foundation for International Studies on Social Security
Robert Clark's Personal Biography
Robert Clark is Zelnak Professor, Poole College of Management, North Carolina State University. Clark is Professor of Economics and Professor of Management, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Professor Clark is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has conducted research examining retirement decisions, the choice between defined benefit and defined contribution plans, the impact of pension conversions to defined contribution and cash balance plans, the role of information and communications on 401(k) contributions, government regulation of pensions, and Social Security. His research has also examined the influence of employer provided pre-retirement planning programs on financial literacy and retirement decisions and the role of employee orientation and the financial information provided on enrollment rates of new employees in supplemental retirement plans. Clark has recently completed books examining the development of state and local retirement plans in the twentieth century and retiree health plans for public sector employees. He has examined the economic responses to population aging in developed countries and has written widely on international retirement plans, especially the Social Security and employer pension systems in Japan. Professor Clark earned a B.A. from Millsaps College and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University.
Labor Economics, Economics of Aging, Pension and Retirement Policies
Selected Research Publications
- Robert Clark, Naohiro Ogawa, Sang-Hyop Lee, and Rikiya Matsukura, “Older Workers and National Productivity in Japan,” Population and Development Review, 2008, vol. 34.
- Robert Clark and Linda Ghent. “Mandatory Retirement and Faculty Retirement Decisions,” Industrial Relations, January 2008, pp 153-163.
- Robert Clark, “Will Public Sector Retiree Health Benefit Plans Survive? Economic and Policy Implications of Unfunded Liabilities,” American Economic Review, May 2009, pp. 533-537.
- Robert Clark and John Sabelhaus, “How Will the Stock Market Crash Affect the Choice of Pension Plans?” National Tax Journal, September 2009, pp. 477-496.
- Robert Clark and Linda Ghent. “Strategic HR Management with An Aging Workforce: Using Demographic Models to Determine Optimal Employment Policies,” Population Research and Policy Review, 2010, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 65-80.
- Robert Clark, Naohiro Ogawa, Makoto Kondo, and Rikiya Matsukura,” Population Decline, Labor Force Stability, and the Future of the Japanese Economy,” European Journal of Population, May 2010, 207-227.
- Christina Robinson and Robert Clark, “Retiree Health Insurance and Disengagement from a Career Job,” Journal of Labor Research, August 2010, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 247-262.
- Robert Clark, “Retiree Health Plans for Public School Teachers After GASB 43 and 45,” Education Finance and Policy, Fall 2010, 438-462.
- Robert Clark and Lee Craig. “Determinants of the Generosity of Pension plans for Public School Teachers, 1982-2006,” Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, January 2011, pp. 99-118.
- Robert Clark and Melinda Morrill, “The Funding Status of Retiree Health Plans in the Public Sector,” Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, April 2011, pp 291-314.
- Robert Clark and Joshua Franzel, “Adopting Automatic Enrollment in the Public Sector: A Case Study,” Government Finance Review, 2011 February, pp. 42-48.
- Jeffrey Brown, Robert Clark, and Joshua Rauh, “The Economics of State and Local Public Pension Plans,” Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, April 2011, pp 161-172.
- Robert Clark and Lee Craig, “State Pension Plans Step Up Efforts to Adapt to 21st Century Financial Pressures,” Bureau of National Affairs, Pension and Benefits Daily, August 8, 2011.
- Robert Clark, “Evolution of Public-Sector Retirement Plans: Crisis, Challenges, and Change,” ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, 2012 forthcoming.
- Robert Clark, Melinda Morrill, and Steven Allen, “Effectiveness of Employer-Provided Financial Information: Hiring to Retiring,” American Economic Review, May 2012 forthcoming.
- Robert Clark, Melinda Morrill, and Steven Allen, “The Role of Financial Literacy in Determining Retirement Plans,” Economic Inquiry, 2012 forthcoming.
- Robert Clark and Madeleine d’Ambrosio, “Adjusting Retirement Goals and Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Education,” in Annamaria Lusardi (ed.), Improving the Effectiveness of Financial Education and Saving Programs, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008, pp. 237-256.
- Robert Clark, “ The Emergence of Phased Retirement: Economic Implications and Policy Concerns,” in Michael Abbott, Charles Beach, Robin Boadway, and James MacKinnon (eds.), Retirement Policy Issues in Canada, Kingston, Canada: John Deutsch Institute and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009, pp. 237-252.
- Robert Clark, Lee Craig, and Neveen Ahmed, “The Evolution of Public Sector Pension Plans in the United States,” in Gary Anderson and Olivia Mitchell (eds.), The Future of Public Retirement Systems, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 239-270.
- Robert Clark, Melinda Morrill, and Steve Allen, “Employer-Provided Retirement Planning Programs,” in Robert Clark and Olivia Mitchell (eds.), Reorienting Retirement Risk Management, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 36-64.
- Robert Clark and Olivia Mitchell, “The Evolution of Retirement Risk Management,” Robert Clark and Olivia Mitchell (eds.), Reorienting Retirement Risk Management, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 1-12.
- Robert Clark, Melinda Morrill, and Steven Allen, “Pension Plan Distributions: The Importance of Financial Literacy,” in Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell (eds.), Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011 pp. 40-58.
- Robert Clark, “State and Local Pensions in the United States,” in Noriyuki Takayama (ed.), Reforming Pensions for Civil and Military Servants, Tokyo: Maruzen Publishing, 2012, pp.167-182.
- Co-Principal Investigator, “Project on State and Local Government Healthcare Benefits,” Center for State and local Government Excellence, July 1, 2007-December 31, 2008,
- Principal Investigator, “Financial Education Programs for Pre-Retirees,” Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation, April 2008-April 2011, $386,763.
- Principal Investigator, “Project on State and Local Government Healthcare Benefits,” Center for State and local Government Excellence,” February 2009 to January 2010, $61,501.
- Principal Investigator, “Evaluating Workplace Education for New Hires,” Social Security Administration, October 2009 to September 2010, $208,454.
- Principal Investigator, “Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Impact on Budgets, Public Debt, and the Delivery of Services” Smith Richardson Foundation to NBER,
November 2009 to January 2011, $195,000.
- Principal Investigator, “Informed Distributional Decisions in Defined Benefit Plans,” Social Security Administration, February 2010 to September 2010, $49,997.
- Robert Clark, Naohiro Ogawa, and Andrew Mason (eds.), Population Aging, Intergenerational Transfers and the Macroeconomy, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2007.
- Robert Clark and Olivia Mitchell (eds.), Reorienting Retirement Risk Management, Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Robert Clark and Melinda Morrill. Retiree Health Plans in the Public Sector: Is There a Funding Crisis? Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010.
- Robert Clark, Lee Craig, and John Sabelhaus. State and Local Retirement Plans in the United States. Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011.
- Search Committee for Vice President of Human Resources, University of North Carolina General Administration.
- Chair, Study Commission for the North Carolina State Retirement System.
- Presented, “The Future of State Retirement Plans,” John Locke Foundation, Raleigh, March 29.
- Presented “Lump Sum Distributions for Terminated Workers Prior to Retirement Eligibility,” Research Workshop, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, April 9.
- Presented, “Current State of Public Pension Plans,” at Capital Matters: Managing Labor’s Capital Conference, Harvard Law School, April 21-23.
- Presented, “Pension Plan Distributions: The Importance of Financial Literacy,” at Financial Literacy: Implications for Retirement Security and the Financial Marketplace, Annual Conference of the Pension Research Council, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, April 29-30.
- Presented, “The Role of Financial Literacy in Retirement Saving and Individual Savers’ Decision-Making,” at Avenues for Reforming the Canadian Retirement Income System, sponsored by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Toronto, May 4-5.
- Presented, “Study Commission on the North Carolina Retirement System: A Status Report,” at 2010 TIAA-CREF Institute Fellows Symposium, Increasing Efficiency, Managing Costs and Maintaining Quality in Higher Education, New York, May 7.
- Co-author of report on financial education presented at “Implications of a Quarter Century of Research in Personal Finance,” sponsored by National Endowment for Financial Education, Denver, August 2-4.
- Organizer of “Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Impact on Budgets, Public Debt, and the Delivery of Services,” A National Bureau of Economic Research Conference funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, Jackson WY, August 18-20.
- Presented “Retiree Health Plans in the Public Sector,” at “Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Impact on Budgets, Public Debt, and the Delivery of Services,” A National Bureau of Economic Research Conference funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, Jackson WY, August 18-20.
- Presented, “The Role of Financial Literacy and Knowledge in Determining Retirement Plans” at Annual Meeting of the European Population Association, Vienna, September 2-5, 2010.
- Participant at Sixth Annual Longevity Risk Conference, Sydney Australia, September 9-10, 2010.
- Attended, Duke Conference on K-12 Education, November 11-12, 2010, Duke University.
- Presented, “Choices and Information Needs for Workers Leaving the North Carolina State Retirement Plan: Accepting a Lump sum Payment or Receiving an Annuity at Retirement,” with Melinda Morrill at First Annual Conference of the Financial Literacy Research Consortium, November 18-19, 2010, Washington, DC.
- Participant, “Rethinking Defined Contribution Plans,” sponsored by the TIAA-CREF Institute, New York City, December 3, 2010.
- Visiting Research Scholar, Nihon University Population Research Institute, December 2010.
- Presented, “Low Fertility, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: the Importance of Financial Education and Job Retraining,” at Optimal Fertility in Ageing Societies, sponsored by the Vienna Institute of Demography, Vienna, December 9-10, 2010.
- Presented, “State and Local Pension Plans in the United States” at International Workshop on Civil Service and Military Pension Arrangements in Selected Countries of the Asia –Pacific, sponsored by PIE Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, January 20-21, 2011.
- Presented, “Recommendations of Study Commission of State Retirement Plan,” to the Board of Trustees of NC State Retirement Systems, Raleigh NC, January 28, 2011.
- Presented, “A Comparison of State Managed 403(b) Plans to Plans Managed by Local School Districts,” to NC State Board of Education, Raleigh NC, March 3, 2011.
- Participant at “Expert Meeting on Workplace Financial Literacy Plan for the NYSE Euronext Foundation,” New York City, March 8, 2011.
- Presented “State of Public Pensions” to annual meeting of the National Association of State Treasurers, Washington, DC, March 30, 2011.
- Presented, “Why Do Employers Provide Financial Education,” at Financial Literacy in the Workplace: Empowering Employees Beyond the 401(k), sponsored by NYSE Euronext Foundation, New York, April 12, 2011.
- Presented, “Value to Employees of Workplace Financial Education,” at Financial Literacy in the Workplace: Empowering Employees Beyond the 401(k), sponsored by NYSE Euronext Foundation, New York, April 12, 2011.
- Presented, “Pension Choices of Workers at Job Separation,” MRRC Research Workshop, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, April 15-16.
- Presented, “Adopting Hybrid Pension Plans: Effects of Economic Crisis and Regulatory Reform,” Pension Research Council Annual Conference, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, May 5 and 6.
- Presented, “State and Local Health Plans for Active and Retired Workers,” Center for State and Local Government Excellence, Washington, DC May 16.
- Presented “Future of Employer Pensions,” to national labor contract negotiations for General Electric and its Unions, May 31, New York City.
- Participant, Superannuation Conference, University of New South Wales, Sydney, July 14-15.
- Presented “Financial Education in the Workplace: New Hires,” workshop organized by the Financial Literacy Center, Washington, DC, September 8.
- Presented “Economics of Public Pensions,” at Public Sector Employment in Times of Crisis, organized by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond VA, September 9.
- Presented keynote address “Reforming Public Retirement Plans for the 21st Century,” at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Albuquerque September 11.
- Visiting Scholar, Nihon University Population Research Institute, Tokyo, September 30 to October 8.
- Presented “Workplace Financial Education for New Hires and Their Retirement Savings Choices” at the Financial Literacy Seminar, sponsored by the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve and George Washington University, Washington DC, October 18.
- Presented “Evolution of Public Pension Plans,” at Pension Fund Boards Forum, December 13, New Orleans.
- Presented “Effectiveness of Employer-Provided Financial Information: Hiring to Firing,” at Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, January 6, Chicago.
- Organized symposium examining state health plans in conjunction with NC State Treasurer.