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Institutional investor portfolio allocation, quantitative easing and the global financial crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Joyce, Michael

    () (Bank of England)

  • Liu, Zhuoshi

    () (Bank of England)

  • Tonks, Ian

    () (University of Bath)

Abstract

We examine how the Bank of England’s quantitative easing (QE) policy during the global financial crisis affected the investment behaviour of insurance companies and pension funds and whether their behaviour was consistent with the operation of the so-called 'portfolio balance channel' that has been emphasised by UK and US monetary policy makers as a key channel through which QE works. To assess the incremental impact of QE, we need some counterfactual of how the investment behaviour of institutional investors would have changed in the absence of the policy. We construct this by conditioning on variables that explain portfolio allocation but are invariant to the QE policy itself, which allows us to construct both ex-ante and ex-post counterfactuals. Our analysis of a range of data sources, including national accounts net investment data and micro-data on life insurance companies and pension funds, suggests QE led to institutional investors shifting their portfolios away from gilts towards corporate bonds relative to the counterfactual. Although analysis of the micro-data does suggest some heterogeneity in the response to QE across different institutions, the shift into corporate bonds was quite widespread. However, portfolio rebalancing by institutional investors into riskier assets seems to have been limited to corporate bonds and did not extend to equities.

Suggested Citation

  • Joyce, Michael & Liu, Zhuoshi & Tonks, Ian, 2014. "Institutional investor portfolio allocation, quantitative easing and the global financial crisis," Bank of England working papers 510, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0510
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael A. S. Joyce & Nick McLaren & Chris Young, 2012. "Quantitative easing in the United Kingdom: evidence from financial markets on QE1 and QE2," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 671-701, WINTER.
    2. Stefania D’Amico & William English & David López‐Salido & Edward Nelson, 2012. "The Federal Reserve's Large‐scale Asset Purchase Programmes: Rationale and Effects," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 415-446, November.
    3. Vayanos, Dimitri & Vila, Jean-Luc, 2009. "A preferred-habitat model of the term structure of interest rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29308, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Joseph Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian Sack, 2011. "The Financial Market Effects of the Federal Reserve's Large-Scale Asset Purchases," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(1), pages 3-43, March.
    5. David Blake & Alberto G. Rossi & Allan Timmermann & Ian Tonks & Russ Wermers, 2013. "Decentralized Investment Management: Evidence from the Pension Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(3), pages 1133-1178, June.
    6. JULES H. Van BINSBERGEN & MICHAEL W. BRANDT & RALPH S. J. KOIJEN, 2008. "Optimal Decentralized Investment Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1849-1895, August.
    7. Michael Joyce & David Miles & Andrew Scott & Dimitri Vayanos, 2012. "Quantitative Easing and Unconventional Monetary Policy – an Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 271-288, November.
    8. Charles A. E. Goodhart & Jonathan P. Ashworth, 2012. "QE: a successful start may be running into diminishing returns," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 640-670, WINTER.
    9. Nick McLaren & Ryan N. Banerjee & David Latto, 2014. "Using Changes in Auction Maturity Sectors to Help Identify the Impact of QE on Gilt Yields," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 453-479, May.
    10. J. M. Culbertson, 1957. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 485-517.
    11. Michael A.S. Joyce & Matthew Tong, 2012. "QE and the Gilt Market: a Disaggregated Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages 348-384, November.
    12. Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(7), pages 2487-2533, July.
    13. Andrés, Javier & López-Salido, J David & Nelson, Edward, 2004. "Tobin's Imperfect Asset Substitution in Optimizing General Equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 4336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    15. Weixi Liu & Ian Tonks, 2013. "Pension Funding Constraints and Corporate Expenditures," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(2), pages 235-258, April.
    16. Michael A. S. Joyce & Ana Lasaosa & Ibrahim Stevens & Matthew Tong, 2011. "The Financial Market Impact of Quantitative Easing in the United Kingdom," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(3), pages 113-161, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abeer Reza & Eric Santor & Lena Suchanek, 2015. "Quantitative Easing as a Policy Tool Under the Effective Lower Bound," Discussion Papers 15-14, Bank of Canada.
    2. Arito Ono & Kosuke Aoki & Shinichi Nishioka & Kohei Shintani & Yosuke Yasui, 2016. "Long-term interest rates and bank loan supply: Evidence from firm-bank loan-level data," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 16-E-2, Bank of Japan.
    3. repec:eee:finana:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:281-291 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dietrich Domanski & Hyun Song Shin & Vladyslav Sushko, 2017. "The Hunt for Duration: Not Waving but Drowning?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(1), pages 113-153, April.
    5. Bubeck, Johannes & Habib, Maurizio Michael & Manganelli, Simone, 2018. "The portfolio of euro area fund investors and ECB monetary policy announcements," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 103-126.
    6. Lojschova, Adriana, 2017. "Did quantitative easing boost bank lending? The Slovak experience," MPRA Paper 79567, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Rafael Cezar & Maéva Silvestrini, 2018. "Impact of the ECB Quantitative Easing on the French International Investment Position," Working papers 701, Banque de France.
    8. Itay Goldstein & Jonathan Witmer & Jing Yang, 2018. "Following the Money: Evidence for the Portfolio Balance Channel of Quantitative Easing," Staff Working Papers 18-33, Bank of Canada.
    9. Berdin, Elia & Pancaro, Cosimo & Kok Sørensen, Christoffer, 2016. "A stochastic forward-looking model to assess the profitability and solvency of European insurers," SAFE Working Paper Series 137, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    10. Romanos Priftis & Lukas Vogel, 2016. "The Portfolio Balance Mechanism and QE in the Euro Area," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(S1), pages 84-105, September.
    11. Tim A Kroencke & Maik Schmeling & Andreas Schrimpf, 2015. "Global Asset Allocation Shifts," BIS Working Papers 497, Bank for International Settlements.
    12. LUPU, Radu & CALIN, Adrian Cantemir, 2014. "Co-Movements Of Regime Shifts In Gbp Currency Pairs Around Boe Quantitative Easing Announcements," Studii Financiare (Financial Studies), Centre of Financial and Monetary Research "Victor Slavescu", vol. 18(3), pages 89-101.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutional investors; asset allocation; quantitative easing; portfolio balance channel; financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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