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The effect of regulation on optimal corporate pension risk

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  • Love, David A.
  • Smith, Paul A.
  • Wilcox, David W.

Abstract

We study firms' pension prefunding and portfolio allocation choices in a model in which firms trade off the need to compensate workers for the financial risk in their pension benefit against the cost advantage that may be gained by exploiting underpriced pension insurance. In the absence of pension insurance, the firm minimizes costs by rendering promised benefits free of risk to workers, who are assumed to be unable to hedge firm-specific risk. Various forms of government intervention, such as benefit guarantees, can alter this outcome dramatically by providing the firm with an incentive to shift risk to other parties. In this case, we find that the firm's decisions depend on, among other influences, the degree of insurance mispricing, the amount of guaranteed benefits, the stringency of minimum funding requirements, and the costs of financial distress.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 18-35

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:18-35

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

Related research

Keywords: Pensions Bankruptcy Risk Portfolio choice;

References

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  1. Francesco Franzoni & José M. Marín, 2006. "Pension Plan Funding and Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 921-956, 04.
  2. Montgomery, Edward & Shaw, Kathryn & Benedict, Mary Ellen, 1992. "Pensions and Wages: An Hedonic Price Theory Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(1), pages 111-28, February.
  3. Julia Lynn Coronado & Steven A. Sharpe, 2003. "Did pension plan accounting contribute to a stock market bubble?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-38, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Altman, Edward I, 1984. " A Further Empirical Investigation of the Bankruptcy Cost Question," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1067-89, September.
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  8. Julia Coronado & Olivia S. Mitchell & Steven A. Sharpe & S. Blake Nesbitt, 2008. "Footnotes Aren't Enough: The Impact of Pension Accounting on Stock Values," NBER Working Papers 13726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Love & Paul Smith & David Wilcox, 2007. "Why Do Firms Offer Risky Defined Benefit Pension Plans?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2007-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2008. "Guaranteed Trouble: The Economic Effects of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 177-198, Winter.
  11. Sharpe, William F., 1976. "Corporate pension funding policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 183-193, June.
  12. Irwin Tepper, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Pension Policy," NBER Working Papers 0661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(7), pages 2487-2533, July.
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  16. Treynor, Jack L, 1977. "The Principles of Corporate Pension Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 627-38, May.
  17. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
  18. Sundaresan, Suresh & Zapatero, Fernando, 1997. "Valuation, Optimal Asset Allocation and Retirement Incentives of Pension Plans," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 631-60.
  19. Smith, Robert Stewart, 1981. "Compensating Differentials for Pensions and Underfunding in the Public Sector," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 463-68, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Brière, Marie & Boon, Ling-Ni & Rigot, Sandra, 2014. "Does Regulation Matter? Riskiness and Procyclicality of Pension Asset Allocation," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13624, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Iqbal Owadally, 2014. "Tail risk in pension funds: an analysis using ARCH models and bilinear processes," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 301-331, August.
  3. Boon, Ling-Ni & Brière, Marie & Gresse, Carole & Werker, Bas J. M., 2013. "Regulatory Environment and Pension Investment Performance," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13629, Paris Dauphine University.

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