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The Economics of State and Local Public Pensions

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  • Jeffrey R. Brown
  • Robert Clark
  • Joshua Rauh

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of an economics-based perspective on the financial aspects of state and local public pensions in the U.S. Drawing on the research commissioned for an NBER research program on this topic, we discuss the large degree to which public pension liabilities exceed the assets set aside to fund them. We summarize issues related to the optimality of pre-funding, portfolio allocation, the discounting of liabilities, as well as how plans operate in practice. We also lay out an agenda for future research related to financial aspects of public pensions, retiree health plans for public employees, as well as issues related to plan design and labor market outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16792.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16792.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16792

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  1. Friedberg, Leora, 2011. "Labor market aspects of state and local retirement plans: a review of evidence and a blueprint for future research," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 337-361, April.
  2. Alicia H. Munnell & Jean-Pierre Aubry & Laura Quinby, 2010. "Public Pension Funding in Practice," NBER Working Papers 16442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeffrey R. Brown & David W. Wilcox, 2009. "Discounting State and Local Pension Liabilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 538-42, May.
  4. Deborah Lucas, 2007. "Valuing & Hedging: Defined Benefit Pension Obligations - The Role of Stocks Revisited," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 169, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
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Cited by:
  1. Hasan U. Altiok & Glenn Jenkins, 2012. "Social Security Reforms in Northern Cyprus: Are they Fiscally Balanced and Socially Equitable?," Development Discussion Papers 2012-02, JDI Executive Programs.
  2. Altiok, Hasan U. & Jenkins, Glenn P., 2013. "The fiscal burden of the legacy of the civil service pension systems in northern Cyprus," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 92-110, January.
  3. Joelle H. Fong & John Piggott & Michael Sherris, 2012. "Public Sector Pension Funds in Australia: Longevity Selection and Liabilities," Working Papers 201217, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
  4. Hasan U. Altiok & Glenn Jenkins, . "The Pension Traps of Northern Cyprus," Development Discussion Papers 2012-03, JDI Executive Programs.

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