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Mean-variance inefficiency of CRRA and CARA utility functions for portfolio selection in defined contribution pension schemes

Author

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  • Elena Vigna

    () (University of Turin and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin)

Abstract

We consider the portfolio selection problem in the accumulation phase of a defined contribution pension scheme in continuous time, and compare the mean-variance and the expected utility maximization approaches. Using the embedding technique pioneered by Zhou and Li (2000) we first find the efficient frontier of portfolios in the Black-Scholes financial market. Then, using standard stochastic optimal control we find the optimal portfolios derived via expected utility for popular utility functions. As a main result, we prove that the optimal portfolios derived with the CARA and CRRA utility functions are not mean-variance efficient. As a corollary, we prove that this holds also in the standard portfolio selection problem. We provide a natural measure of inefficiency based on the difference between optimal portfolio variance and minimal variance, and we show its dependence on risk aversion, Sharpe ratio of the risky asset, time horizon, initial wealth and contribution rate. Numerical examples illustrate the extent of inefficiency of CARA and CRRA utility functions in defined contribution pension schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Elena Vigna, 2009. "Mean-variance inefficiency of CRRA and CARA utility functions for portfolio selection in defined contribution pension schemes," CeRP Working Papers 89, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:89
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wu, Huiling & Zeng, Yan, 2015. "Equilibrium investment strategy for defined-contribution pension schemes with generalized mean–variance criterion and mortality risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 396-408.
    2. Soriano-Morales, Yazmín Viridiana & Vallejo-Jiménez, Benjamín & Venegas-Martínez, Francisco, 2017. "Impact of the Degree of Relative Risk Aversion, the Interest Rate and the Exchange Rate Depreciation on Economic Welfare in a Small Open Economy," MPRA Paper 76441, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. He, Lin & Liang, Zongxia, 2013. "Optimal investment strategy for the DC plan with the return of premiums clauses in a mean–variance framework," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 643-649.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mean-variance approach; efficient frontier; expected utility maximization; defined contribution pension scheme; portfolio selection; risk aversion; Sharpe ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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