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Population Ageing, Household Portfolios and Financial Asset Returns: a Survey of the Literature

  • Brunetti Marianna

Population ageing is a recognised phenomenon affecting many countries in the world including most EU ones, Japan and US. The financial implications of this phenomenon can be manifold and some recent literature has focused in particular on the possible consequences of ageing on household portfolios and on main financial asset returns ones. Overall, the extant literature on household portfolios reports a significant effect of age on asset allocation, thereby providing evidence in favour of the standard life-cycle hypothesis. On the other hand, empirical results on the link between demographics and financial asset prices/returns are less uniform. The aim of this paper is to systematize the extant literature on these issues and to provide an overview of the main results reported so far, trying to evaluate whether the different conclusions reached depend on the approach taken in the empirical exercises rather than on the actual differences, in terms of demographic dynamics, public pension systems and financial markets, of the realities considered.

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Article provided by Società editrice il Mulino in its journal Politica economica.

Volume (Year): (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 171-208

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Handle: RePEc:mul:je8794:doi:10.1429/24806:y:2007:i:2:p:171-208
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  1. James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 2001. "Household Portfolio Allocation over the Life Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 65-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Banks & Tanner, S, 2000. "Household portfolios in the UK," IFS Working Papers W00/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Jappelli, Tullio, 1999. "The Age-Wealth Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis: A Cohort Analysis with Time Series of Cross-Sections of Italian Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(1), pages 57-75, March.
  4. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Robin Brooks, 2006. "Demographic Change and Asset Prices," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Carol C. Bertaut & Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "Household portfolios in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. John Geanakoplos & Michael Magill & Martine Quinzii, 2002. "Demography and the Long-run Predictability of the Stock Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1380, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  9. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
  10. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
  11. James Poterba, 2004. "The Impact of Population Aging on Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 10851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David E. Bloom & David Canning, 2004. "Global demographic change : dimensions and economic significance," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 9-56.
  13. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2009. "The Decline of Defined Benefit Retirement Plans and Asset Flows," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 333-379 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:gdm:wpaper:1906 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "The effects of a baby boom on stock prices and capital accumulation in the presence of Social Security," Working Papers 03-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  16. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "Will bequests attenuate the predicted meltdown in stock prices when baby boomers retire?," Working Papers 01-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
  19. Kedar-Levy, Haim, 2006. "Can baby-boomers' retirement increase stock prices?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 284-299, May.
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