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Public Funds and Private Capital Markets: The Investment Practices and Performance of State and Local Pension Funds

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  • Coronado, Julie L.
  • Engen, Eric M.
  • Knight, Brian

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether a government entity can invest money on behalf of employees or constituents in a manner comparable to the private sector. We focus on the experience of pension funds operated by state and local governments on behalf of their employees. Using data from a sample of public plans, we find some evidence that after controlling for differences in asset allocation certain types of political interference lead to a sacrifice of returns on plan assets. Combining data from public and private plans, it appears that public plans earned a significantly lower rate of return than private plans in 1998, the year for which data was available for both types of plans.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 579-94

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:56:y:2003:i:3:p:579-94

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Cited by:
  1. Ashok Thomas & Luca Spataro & Nanditha Mathew, 2013. "Pension funds and Stock Market Volatility: An Empirical Analysis of OECD countries," Discussion Papers 2013/162, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  2. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John W., 2013. "Political-economy of pension plans: Impact of institutions, gender, and culture," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1860-1879.
  3. Christian E. Weller & Jeffrey Wenger, 2008. "Prudent Investors: The Asset Allocation of Public Pension Plans," Working Papers wp175, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  4. Ashok Thomas & Luca Spataro, 2013. "Pension funds and Market Efficiency: A review," Discussion Papers 2013/164, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Alicia H. Munnell & Jean-Pierre Aubry & Laura Quinby, 2010. "Public Pension Funding in Practice," NBER Working Papers 16442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Volker Meinhardt & Katja Rietzler & Rudolf Zwiener, 2009. "Konjunktur und Rentenversicherung - gegenseitige Abhängigkeiten und mögliche Veränderungen durch diskretionäre Maßnahmen," IMK Studies 03-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  7. J. Aronson & James Dearden & Vincent Munley, 2009. "The impact of surplus sharing on the portfolio mix of public sector defined benefit pension plans: a public choice approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 161-184, July.
  8. Mohan, Nancy & Zhang, Ting, 2014. "An analysis of risk-taking behavior for public defined benefit pension plans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 403-419.
  9. Zandberg, Eelco & Spierdijk, Laura, 2013. "Funding of pensions and economic growth: are they really related?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 151-167, April.

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