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Public Funds and Private Capital Markets: The Investment Practices and Performance of State and Local Pension Funds

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  • Coronado, Julie L.
  • Engen, Eric M.
  • Knight, Brian

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of whether a government entity can invest money on behalf of employees or constituents in a manner comparable to the private sector. We focus on the experience of pension funds operated by state and local governments on behalf of their employees. Using data from a sample of public plans, we find some evidence that after controlling for differences in asset allocation certain types of political interference lead to a sacrifice of returns on plan assets. Combining data from public and private plans, it appears that public plans earned a significantly lower rate of return than private plans in 1998, the year for which data was available for both types of plans.

Suggested Citation

  • Coronado, Julie L. & Engen, Eric M. & Knight, Brian, 2003. "Public Funds and Private Capital Markets: The Investment Practices and Performance of State and Local Pension Funds," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(3), pages 579-594, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:56:y:2003:i:3:p:579-94
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Hoepner & Lisa Schopohl, 2015. "Red versus Blue: Do Political Dimensions Influence the Investment Preferences of State Pension Funds?," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2015-06, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    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. Xavier Aleksander Andonov & Xavier Yael V. Hochberg & Joshua D. Rauh, 2016. "Pension Fund Board Composition and Investment Performance: Evidence from Private Equity," Economics Working Papers 16104, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    4. Volker Meinhardt & Katja Rietzler & Rudolf Zwiener, 2009. "Konjunktur und Rentenversicherung - gegenseitige Abhängigkeiten und mögliche Veränderungen durch diskretionäre Maßnahmen," IMK Studies 03-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    5. Albuquerque, Rui & Lei, Zicheng & Rocholl, Jorg & Zhang, Chendi, 2016. "Institutional Investors and Corporate Political Activism," CEPR Discussion Papers 11301, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Munnell, Alicia H. & Aubry, Jean-Pierre & Quinby, Laura, 2011. "Public pension funding in practice," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 247-268, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Ashok Thomas & Luca Spataro, 2016. "The Effects Of Pension Funds On Markets Performance: A Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 1-33, February.
    9. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John W., 2013. "Political-economy of pension plans: Impact of institutions, gender, and culture," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1860-1879.
    10. Ashok Thomas & Luca Spataro, 2013. "Pension funds and Market Efficiency: A review," Discussion Papers 2013/164, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    11. repec:spr:ecogov:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10101-018-0201-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Thomas, Ashok & Spataro, Luca & Mathew, Nanditha, 2014. "Pension funds and stock market volatility: An empirical analysis of OECD countries," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 11(C), pages 92-103.
    13. J. Aronson & James Dearden & Vincent Munley, 2009. "The impact of surplus sharing on the portfolio mix of public sector defined benefit pension plans: a public choice approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 161-184, July.
    14. Zandberg, Eelco & Spierdijk, Laura, 2013. "Funding of pensions and economic growth: are they really related?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 151-167, April.

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