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Defined Benefit Pension Plan Liabilities and International Asset Allocation

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  • Tongxuan Yang

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Despite the integration of international capital markets and the relaxation of capital controls, U.S. defined benefit pension plans do not sufficiently diversify their assets across international holdings. In this paper, we explore whether incorporating liabilities in the asset allocation decision can help explain pension plans’ home bias. We find that incorporating pension liabilities proves not to explain pension plan home bias in the case when returns are nominal. Furthermore, when we focus on real returns, incorporating pension plan liabilities makes the home bias puzzle worse. The fact remains that U.S. defined benefit pension plans could benefit substantially from more international investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Tongxuan Yang, 2003. "Defined Benefit Pension Plan Liabilities and International Asset Allocation," Working Papers wp058, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp058
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
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    3. Huberman, Gur, 2001. "Familiarity Breeds Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 659-680.
    4. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-226, May.
    5. Tesar, Linda L. & Werner, Ingrid M., 1995. "Home bias and high turnover," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-492, August.
    6. Froot, Kenneth A. & O'Connell, Paul G. J. & Seasholes, Mark S., 2001. "The portfolio flows of international investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 151-193, February.
    7. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 170-180, March.
    8. Kenneth A. Froot & Tarun Ramadorai, 2001. "The Information Content of International Portfolio Flows," NBER Working Papers 8472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Cooper, Ian & Kaplanis, Evi, 1994. "Home Bias in Equity Portfolios, Inflation Hedging, and International Capital Market Equilibrium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 45-60.
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