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Aging and Asset Prices

Listed author(s):
  • Axel Börsch-Supan

    ()

  • Alexander Ludwig

    ()

  • Mathias Sommer

    ()

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

This study quantifies the potential effects of aging on asset prices using a sophisticated overlapping generations (OLG) model with international diversification reflecting the global nature of capital markets. We show that the expected decline in the returns to capital will depend on the degree of international diversification. In the case of optimal diversification within the EU returns will drop by around one percentage point until 2035. The increasing risk aversion of an aging society will lead to differential effects on the returns on stocks and on bonds. We estimate the equity premium to rise by around 70 base points over the next 25 years. The sector that will be affected most by the demographic trend will be returns on real estate, however, only in the very long term. The main insight is that household size lags population size by about 20 years. One reason is that an older society features a smaller household size and thus, ceteris paribus, more households. Hence, housing demand will only begin to fall from 2025 onwards even if populations start declining today. Taken all evidence together, capital markets are not immune to demography. Rates of return will decline in response to demographic forces, but only very moderately. There is no scientific reason to assume that a major “asset meltdown” will occur when the babyboom generation retires.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 07129.

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Date of creation: 03 Jul 2007
Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:07129
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  1. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
  2. J. Tobin, 1958. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 65-86.
  3. Equipe INGENUE, 2001. "Macroeconomic consequences of pension reforms in Europe: an investigation with the INGENUE world model," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 0116, CEPREMAP.
  4. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Ludwig, Alexander & Winter, Joachim, 2004. "Aging, Pension Reform, and Capital Flows:," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-65, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Robin Brooks, 2002. "Asset-Market Effects of the Baby Boom and Social-Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 402-406, May.
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  7. Hendershott, Patric H., 1991. "Are real house prices likely to decline by 47 percent?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 553-563, December.
  8. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2001. "Aging and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 8553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-887, September.
  10. Robin Brooks, 2004. "The Equity Premium and the Baby Boom," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 155, Econometric Society.
  11. Börsch-Supan, Axel H. & Heiss, Florian & Ludwig, Alexander & Winter, Joachim, 2003. "Pension reform, capital markets and the rate of return," Munich Reprints in Economics 20200, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
  13. Richard K. Green & Patric H. Hendershott, 1995. "Age, Housing Demand, and Real House Prices," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 96-09, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
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  17. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "The Effects of a Baby Boom on Stock Prices and Capital Accumulation in the Presence of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 9210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Ralf Rodepeter & Reinhold Schnabel & University of Mannheim & Germany, 2000. "Household Savings in Germany," Macroeconomics 0004053, EconWPA.
  19. Berkelaar, A.B. & Kouwenberg, R.R.P., 2000. "Dynamic asset allocation and downside-risk aversion," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2000-12/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
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  21. repec:idb:wpaper:412 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Equipe INGENUE, 2001. "Macroeconomic consequences of pension reforms in Europe: an investigation with the INGENUE world model," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2001-07, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  23. Higgins, Matthew, 1998. "Demography, National Savings, and International Capital Flows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 343-369, May.
  24. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
  25. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
  26. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  27. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Hamilton, Bruce W., 1991. "The baby boom, the baby bust, and the housing market A second look," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 547-552, December.
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