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Aging and Asset Prices

  • Börsch-Supan, Axel

    ()

    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Ludwig, Alexander

    ()

    (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) and Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Sommer, Mathias

    ()

    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

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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File URL: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp07-29.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 07-29.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:07-29
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Ralf Rodepeter & Reinhold Schnabel & University of Mannheim & Germany, 2000. "Household Savings in Germany," Macroeconomics 0004053, EconWPA.
  2. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Aging and International Capital Flows," MEA discussion paper series 02010, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  3. Green, Richard & Hendershott, Patric H., 1996. "Age, housing demand, and real house prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 465-480, August.
  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. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Aging, pension reform and capital flows: a multi-country simulation model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 108, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Pension reform, capital markets, and the rate of return," MEA discussion paper series 02023, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. 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.
  8. Robin Brooks, 2004. "The Equity Premium and the Baby Boom," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 155, Econometric Society.
  9. 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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