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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. 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.
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  7. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  8. 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.
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  12. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "Will Bequests Attenuate The Predicted Meltdown In Stock Prices When Baby Boomers Retire?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 589-595, November.
  13. James M. Poterba & Andrew A. Samwick, 1997. "Household Portfolio Allocation Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Cutler, D.M. & Poterba, J.M. & Sheiner, L.M. & Summers, L.H., 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity Or Challenge," Working papers 553, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Carol 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.).
  19. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
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