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Intergenerational Risk-Sharing and Risk-Taking of a Pension Fund

  • Christian Gollier

By using their financial reserves efficiently, pension funds can smooth shocks on asset returns, and can thus facilitate intergenerational risk-sharing. In addition to the primary benefit of improved time diversification, this form of risk allocation affords the additional benefit of allowing these funds to take better advantage of the equity premium, which also favors the consumers. In this paper, our aim is twofold. First, we characterize the socially efficient policy rules of a collective pension plan in terms of portfolio management, capital payments to retirees, and dividend payments to shareholders. We examine both the first-best rules and the second-best rules, where, in the latter case, the fund is constrained by a solvency ratio and by a guaranteed minimum return to workers’ contributions. Second, we measure the social surplus of the system compared to a situation in which each generation would save and invest in isolation for its own retirement. One of the main results of the paper is that better intergenerational risk-sharing does not reduce the risk born by each generation. Rather, it increases the expected return to the workers’ contributions.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1969.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1969
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  1. Piero Gottardi & Felix Kubler, 2006. "Social Security and Risk Sharing," CESifo Working Paper Series 1705, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Christian Gollier, 2005. "Optimal Portfolio Management for Individual Pension Plans," CESifo Working Paper Series 1394, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  4. James M. Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven F. Venti, 2005. "Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 13-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Henning Bohn, 2004. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing and Fiscal Policy," 2004 Meeting Papers 22, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Gabrielle Demange & Guy Laroque, 1999. "Social Security and Demographic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 527-542, May.
  7. Diamond, P. A., 1977. "A framework for social security analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 275-298, December.
  8. Gabrielle Demange, 2002. "On optimality in intergenerational risk sharing," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 1-27.
  9. Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving And Liquidity Constraints," Papers 153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  10. Gary Burtless, 2000. "Social Security Privatization and Financial Market Risk: Lessons from U.S. Financial History," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 211, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational, and International Risk Sharing," JCPR Working Papers 43, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  12. Piero Gottardi & Felix Kubler, 2009. "Social Security and Risk Sharing," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/12, European University Institute.
  13. Georges de Menil & Eytan Sheshinski, 2004. "Planning for the Optimal Mix of Paygo Tax and Funded Savings," DELTA Working Papers 2004-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  14. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 185-202, November.
  15. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2006. "Pareto-Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets are Incomplete!?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 737-755, June.
  16. Gollier, Christian, 2005. "Optimal Portfolio Management for Individual Pension Plans," IDEI Working Papers 298, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  17. de Vries, Casper G & Teulings, Coen N, 2004. "Generational Accounting, Solidarity and Pension Losses," CEPR Discussion Papers 4209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Salvador Valdés-Prieto, 2005. "Securitization of taxes implicit in PAYG pensions," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 215-265, 04.
  19. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Cui, Jiajia & Jong, Frank De & Ponds, Eduard, 2011. "Intergenerational risk sharing within funded pension schemes," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 1-29, January.
  21. Otto van Hemert, 2005. "Optimal intergenerational risk sharing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24660, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  22. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Decreasing absolute risk aversion and utility indices derived from cake-eating problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 245-264, April.
  23. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Time diversification, liquidity constraints, and decreasing aversion to risk on wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1439-1459, October.
  24. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
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