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Pension Funding in the Public Sector

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  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Robert S. Smith

Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of pension funding in the public sector. We formulate and test several hypotheses about the determinants of public employer pension funding practices, using a new data set describing financial and other characteristics of state, local, and teacher plans. The data show that, on average, public sector pension plans were relatively well-funded during the late 1980s. There were, however, wide variations in funding practices in our sample. Our analysis of these variations suggests that past funding practice tends to be perpetuated, that unionized employers are less likely to fully fund future pension obligations, and that funding is sensitive to fiscal pressure.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3898.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3898.

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Date of creation: Nov 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3898

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References

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  1. Edward B. Montgomery & Kathryn Shaw & Mary Ellen Benedict, 1990. "Pensions and Wages: An Hedonic Price Theory Approach," NBER Working Papers 3458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Joshua L. Schwarz, 1987. "Public Sector Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 1179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Simon, Julian L, 1990. "Great and Almost-Great Magnitudes in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 149-56, Winter.
  4. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Smith, Daniel E., 1984. "Pensions in the American Economy," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226451466, Winter.
  5. Robert P. Inman & David J. Albright, 1987. "Central Policies for Local Debt: The Case of Teacher Pensions," NBER Working Papers 2166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert P. Inman, 1985. "The Funding Status of Teacher Pensions: An Econometric Approach," NBER Working Papers 1727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Mitchell, Olivia S., 1993. "Publicpension governance and performance : lessons for developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1199, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transfer of Public Pension Promises," NBER Working Papers 14343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivia S. Mitchell & David McCarthy & Stanley C. Wisniewski & Paul Zorn, . "Developments in State and Local Pension Plans," Pension Research Council Working Papers 99-4, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Olivia S. Mitchell & Roderick Carr, . "State and Local Pension Plans," Pension Research Council Working Papers 95-13, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. An, Heng & Huang, Zhaodan & Zhang, Ting, 2013. "What determines corporate pension fund risk-taking strategy?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 597-613.

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