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Property Sector Financialization: The Case of Swiss Pension Funds (1992–2005)

Financialization is a major trend in Western economies. This paper shows, on the one hand, how it changes the management criteria and, on the other hand, the limits to financialization in the property sector. Between 1992 and 2004, about 15% of Swiss pension funds’ wealth was invested in property. As far as their investment policy is concerned, pension funds have two choices. First, they can directly own, and have management responsibility for, the properties in their portfolios. Alternatively, they can buy shares in mainly Zurich-based investment vehicles. In the first case, pension funds require staff with the relevant expertise along with the knowledge of property markets. Investments have a regional focus and are assessed internally by the funds. In the second case, pension funds are merely investors and investment appraisals and comparisons are made on the basis of market criteria such as yield, diversification in relation to risk and liquidity. In this case, property investments focus solely on the country’s main urban areas.

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Paper provided by GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel in its series GRET Publications and Working Papers with number 01-10.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Planning Studies, January 2010, Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 189-212
Handle: RePEc:nct:wpaper:01-10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Faubourg de l'Hôpital 27, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
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  1. Ingrid Nappi-Choulet, 2006. "The Role and Behaviour of Commercial Property Investors and Developers in French Urban Regeneration: The Experience of the Paris Region," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 43(9), pages 1511-1535, August.
  2. José Corpataux & Olivier Crevoisier & Thierry Theurillat, . "The Expansion of the Finance Industry and Its Impact on the Economy: A Territorial Approach Based on Swiss Pension Funds," GRET Journal Papers 07-09, GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel.
  3. Igor S Mayer & Ellen M van Bueren & Pieter W G Bots & Haiko van der Voort & Robin Seijdel, 2005. "Collaborative decisionmaking for sustainable urban renewal projects: a simulation - gaming approach," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(3), pages 403-423, May.
  4. G. Hodgson., 2007. "What Are Institutions?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 8.
  5. José Corpataux & Olivier Crevoisier, 2005. "Increased Capital Mobility/Liquidity and its Repercussions at Regional Level," GRET Publications and Working Papers 10-05, GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel.
  6. Alastair Adair & Jim Berry & Stanley McGreal & Norman Hutchison & Craig Watkins & Kenneth Gibb, 2003. "Urban regeneration and property investment performance," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 371-386, December.
  7. Olivier Crevoisier, 2004. "The Innovative Milieus Approach: Toward a Territorialized Understanding of the Economy?," GRET Publications and Working Papers 10-04, GRET Group of Research in Territorial Economy, University of Neuchâtel.
  8. Ellen van Bueren & Ernst ten Heuvelhof, 2005. "Improving governance arrangements in support of sustainable cities," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(1), pages 47-66, January.
  9. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 1998. "The Approach of Institutional Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 166-192, March.
  10. José Corpataux & Olivier Crevoisier & Thierry Theurillat, 2009. "The Expansion of the Finance Industry and Its Impact on the Economy: A Territorial Approach Based on Swiss Pension Funds," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 313-334, 07.
  11. repec:nct:journl:v:85:y:2009:i:3:p:313-334 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Hagerman, Lisa A. & Clark, Gordon L. & Hebb, Tessa, 2007. "Investment intermediaries in economic development: Linking public pension funds to urban revitalization," Community Development Investment Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue 1, pages 45-65.
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