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Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans

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  • Joshua Rauh
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    Abstract

    The asset allocation of defined benefit pension plans is a setting where both risk shifting and risk management incentives are likely be present. Empirically, firms with poorly funded pension plans and weak credit ratings allocate a greater share of pension fund assets to safer securities such as government debt and cash, whereas firms with well-funded pension plans and strong credit ratings invest more heavily in equity. These relations hold both in the cross-section and within firms and plans over time. The incentive to limit costly financial distress plays a considerably larger role than risk shifting in explaining variation in pension fund investment policy among U.S. firms.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13240.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2007
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    Publication status: published as Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans," Review of Financial Studies, Oxford University Press for Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(7), pages 2487-2533, July.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13240

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    Cited by:
    1. Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo & Weisbach, Michael S., 2011. "Corporate financial and investment policies when future financing is not frictionless," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 675-693, June.
    2. Weller, Christian E. & Wenger, Jeffrey B., 2009. "Prudent investors: the asset allocation of public pension plans," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 501-525, October.

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