David F Babbel

David F Babbel
  • Professor Emeritus of Business Economics and Public Policy, Professor of Finance

Contact Information

  • home Address:

    215 Wakefield Road
    Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Research Interests: annuities and life insurance policies, asset/liability management for insurers, fixed income securities, interest-sensitive stochastic valuation, investment strategies

Links: CV



Postdoctoral Fellow, Insurance Economics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1984-5

Postdoctoral Studies in Finance Theory, Options, University of California at Berkeley, 1980-2

PhD, Finance, University of Florida, 1978

MBA, Finance and International Finance, University of Florida, 1975

BA, Economics and Philosophy, Brigham Young University and George Mason University, 1973

Recent Consulting: Developing financial strategies for banks and insurers, Asset/liability management, various insurers and pension funds; Insurer insolvency analysis, various clients; Valuation software developer; Investment performance analysis; Life insurance and annuities performance

Career and Recent Professional Awards; Teaching Awards: William G Whitney Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Associated Faculty; Best Feature Article Award from American Risk and Insurance Association, Best Article Award from North American Actuarial Journal, Graham-Dodd Award of Excellence from Association for Investment Management and Research; Huebner Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Fulbright Fellow

Academic Positions Held: Wharton: 1997-2010 Full Professor of Insurance and Finance; 1985-1996 Associate Professor of Insurance and Finance; Previous appointment: University of California, Berkeley

Other Positions: Senior Advisor, Charles River Associates, 2006-present; Senior Financial Economist, The World Bank, 1995; Strategist, Frank Russell, Co., 1993-94; Senior Advisor, Goldman, Sachs Pension and Insurance Department, 1986-92; Expert witness on insurance and finance matters, 1990-present

Continue Reading


  • Kabir Dutta and David F Babbel (2013), Scenario Analysis in the Measurement of Operational Risk Capital: A Change of Measure Approach, Journal of Risk and Insurance.

  • David F Babbel, Staggered Annuitization: Dealing with the Top 10 Financial Challenges.

  • David F Babbel (Work In Progress), Assessment of the PIMS Pricing Model.

  • David F Babbel and Miguel A. Herce (2013), Stable Value Funds: Performance to Date, Retirement Income Journal.

  • David F Babbel (Work In Progress), Economic Analysis of Insurance Products in Workplace Benefit Programs in the U.S.

  • David F Babbel and Jack Marrion (2011), Real World Index Annuity Returns, Journal of Financial Planning.

  • David F Babbel (2009), Measuring the Tax Benefit of a Tax-Deferred Annuity, Journal of Financial Planning.

  • David F Babbel, James Strickler, Ricki Sears (2009), Statistical String Theory for Courts: If the Data Don’t Fit, Journal of Legal Technology Risk Management.

  • David F Babbel, Financial Markets, Instruments and Institutions (2001)

  • David F Babbel, Valuation of Interest-Sensitive Financial Instruments (2000)



Investments and Securities Markets

Financial Management

International Financial Management

Advanced Asset/Liability Management

Financial Strategies and Analysis:  Insurance  (advanced fixed-income course)

Advanced Corporate Finance

Structured Notes and Asset-Backed Securities

Risk and Crisis Management

Risk Management

Principles of Risk and Insurance

Doctoral Seminar in Life Insurance—various sessions

Past Courses


    Integrates the work of the various courses and familiarizes the student with the tools and techniques of research.


    Independent Study Projects require extensive independent work and a considerable amount of writing. ISP in Finance are intended to give students the opportunity to study a particular topic in Finance in greater depth than is covered in the curriculum. The application for ISP's should outline a plan of study that requires at least as much work as a typical course in the Finance Department that meets twice a week. Applications for FNCE 899 ISP's will not be accepted after the THIRD WEEK OF THE SEMESTER. ISP's must be supervised by a Standing Faculty member of the Finance Department.

Awards and Honors

  • Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, 1986-2012
  • Critical Review of U.S. Actuarial Profession Advisory Panel, 2005-2006
  • William G. Whitney Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2003
  • Valuation Tools Task Force, American Academy of Actuaries, 1997-2002
  • Best Published Paper in North American Actuarial Journal, 2002
  • Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence, Association for Investment Management and Research, 1997
  • Best Feature Article, American Risk and Insurance Association, 1989
  • Beta Gamma Sigma (National Scholastic Honor Society of Business and Administration), 1978
  • Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, 1977
  • Fulbright Fellow, U.S. Office of Education, 1976-1977
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (International Honor Society in Economics), 1973


Latest Research

Kabir Dutta and David F Babbel (2013), Scenario Analysis in the Measurement of Operational Risk Capital: A Change of Measure Approach, Journal of Risk and Insurance.
All Research

In the News

Living Longer, Saving Less: What it Will Mean for Retirement

Changes in the economy, the nature of employment benefits and attitudes toward work more generally have made planning for retirement more complicated than ever.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 7/22/2019
All News