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数量经济与金融系列讲座第353期:Should Corporate Pension Funds Invest in Risky Assets?

  发布日期:2017-09-22  浏览次数:

题目:Should Corporate Pension Funds Invest in Risky Assets?

Abstract: Whether defined-benefit corporate pension plans should invest in risky assets has always been subject to debate, and risky pension asset allocation frequently causes concerns. In this study, we model corporate pension decisions in a setting where a firm balances its risk management concern with employees' preference for systematic risk exposure. For a reasonable set of parameter values, optimal pension investment risk-taking and its relations with a firms' bankruptcy probability and pension funding ratio predicted by the model are consistent with empirical observations. We show that the inefficient systematic risk sharing by defined benefit pension plans may cause pensions to take even more investment risk than what employees desire if they were to manage their own retirement wealth. Further, firms may substantially reduce their overall pension funding costs under an alternative arrangement with employees bearing all systematic investment risk. This is consistent with the observed shift from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans.


Tong Yao is an associate professor of finance and Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow at Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa. He obtained a PhD degree in finance from Boston College and a bachelor's degree from the School of Economics at Fudan University. He conducts research in stock valuation, stock return predictability, and investment management issues faced by institutional investors such as mutual funds, insurers, and pensions. He has published in leading academic journals in finance, accounting, and economics. He prior experiences include teaching at University of Arizona and short stints in investment management and commercial banking industries.