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Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans

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  • Joshua Rauh

Abstract

The asset allocation of defined benefit pension plans is a setting where both risk shifting and risk management incentives are likely be present. Empirically, firms with poorly funded pension plans and weak credit ratings allocate a greater share of pension fund assets to safer securities such as government debt and cash, whereas firms with well-funded pension plans and strong credit ratings invest more heavily in equity. These relations hold both in the cross-section and within firms and plans over time. The incentive to limit costly financial distress plays a considerably larger role than risk shifting in explaining variation in pension fund investment policy among U.S. firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Rauh, 2007. "Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 13240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo & Weisbach, Michael S., 2011. "Corporate financial and investment policies when future financing is not frictionless," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 675-693, June.
    2. Weller, Christian E. & Wenger, Jeffrey B., 2009. "Prudent investors: the asset allocation of public pension plans," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 501-525, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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