Year of publication
- The victory of hope over Angst? : Funding, asset allocation, and risk-taking in german public sector pension reform (2007)
- Public employee pension systems throughout the developed world have traditionally been of the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) defined benefit (DB) variety, where pensioner payments are financed by taxes (contributions) levied on the working generation. But as the number of retirees rises relative to the working-age group, such systems have begun to face financial distress. This trend has been exacerbated in many countries, among them Germany, by high unemployment rates producing further deterioration of the contribution base. In the long run, public sector pension benefits will have to be cut or contributions increased, if the systems are to be maintained. An alternative path sometimes offered to ease the crunch of paying for public employee pensions is to move toward funding: here, plan assets are gradually built up, invested, and enhanced returns devoted to partly defray civil servants’ pension costs. In this study, we evaluate the impact of introducing partial prefunding, paired with a strategic investment policy for the German federal state of Hesse. The analysis assesses the impact of introducing a supplementary tax-sponsored pension fund whose contributions are invested in the capital market and used to relieve the state budget from (some) pension payments. Our model determines the expectation and the Conditional Value-at-Risk of economic pension costs using a stochastic simulation process for pension plan assets. This approach simultaneously determines the optimal contribution rate and asset allocation that controls the expected economic costs of providing the promised pensions, while at the same time controlling investment risk. Specifically, we offer answers to the following questions: 1. How can the plan be designed to control cash-flow shortfall risk, so as to mitigate the potential burden borne by future generations of taxpayers? 2. What is the optimal asset allocation for this fund as it is built up, to generate a maximum return while simultaneously restricting capital market and liability risk? 3. What are reasonable combinations of annual contribution rates and asset allocation to a state-managed pension fund, which will limit costs of providing promised public sector pensions? We anticipate that this research will interest several sorts of policymaker groups. First, focusing on the German case, the state and Federal governments should find it relevant, as these entities face considerable public sector pension liabilities. Second, our findings will also be of interest to other European countries, as most have substantial underfunded defined benefit plans for civil servants. In what follows, we first offer a brief description of the structure of civil servant pensions in Germany, focusing on their benefit formulas, their financing, and the resulting current as well as future plan obligations for taxpayers. Next, we turn to an analysis of the actuarial status of the Hesse civil servants’ pension plan and evaluate how much would have to be contributed to fund this plan in a nonstochastic context. Subsequently we evaluate the asset-liability and decision-making process from the viewpoint of the plan sponsor, to determine sensible plan asset allocation behavior. A final section summarizes findings and implications.
- Asset meltdown : fact or fiction? (2006)
- This paper analyzes the relation between demographic structure and real asset returns on treasury bills, bonds and stocks for the G7-countries (United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Germany). A macroeconomic multifactor model is used to examine a variety of different demographic factors from 1951 to 2002. There was no robust relationship found between shocks in demographic variables and asset returns in the framework of these models, which suggests that Asset Meltdown is rather fiction than fact.
- Konstruktion transaktionsbasierter Immobilienindizes : theoretische Grundlagen und empirische Umsetzung für den Wohnungsmarkt in Paris (2001)
- Der vorliegende Beitrag zeigt auf, wie hedonische Preisindizes für Immobilien auf der Basis von Transaktionen berechnet werden können. Der Heterogenität der Immobilien wird dabei durch ein ökonometrisches Modell Rechnung getragen, wobei in dieser Arbeit das Problem der Wahl einer geeigneten Funktionsform durch eine Transformation nach dem Ansatz von Box/Cox (1964) explizit berücksichtigt wird. Die Datenbasis deckt etwa 65% der Transaktionen des Wohnungsmarktes im Zeitraum 1990-1999 ab. Die Korrektur aufgrund unvollständiger Angaben führt zu einem Datensatz von 84 686 Transaktionen. Dieser Datensatz ist ein Vielfaches dessen, was bisher vergleichbaren Studien zugrunde lag und stellt damit eine international einmalige Datengrundlage dar.
- Inflation risk analysis of European real estate securities (2002)
- The focus of this article is the analysis of the inflation risk of European real estate securities. Following both a causal and a final understanding of risk, the analysis is twofold. First, to examine the causal influence of inflation on short- and long-term asset returns, different regression approaches are employed based on the methodology of Fama and Schwert (1977). Hedging capacities against expected inflation are found only for German open-end funds. Secondly, different shortfall risk measures are used to study whether an investment in European real estate securities protects against a negative real return at the end of a given investment period.
- Zur Quantifizierung der Risikoprämien deutscher Versicherungsaktien im Kontext eines Multifaktorenmodells (2000)
- Vorgestellt wird eine empirische Studie, welche den Zusammenhang zwischen Rendite und Risiko für ein Sample deutscher Versicherungsaktien im Zeitraum 1975-1998 untersucht. Als Methode wurde ein Multifaktorenmodell mit makroökonomischen Faktoren verwendet. Je nach Untersuchungszeitraum beläuft sich der Anteil der erklärten Varianz auf 9,29% bis 13,62%. Es konnte eine signifikanter negativer Einfluß zwischen der Veränderung des allgemeinen Zinsniveaus und den Risikoprämien von Versicherungsaktien identifiziert werden. Weiterhin ist Wechselkurses der DM zum US-Dollar signifikant.
- Integrated asset liability modelling for property casuality insurance : a portfolio theoretical approach (2001)
- In this paper we have developed a financial model of the non-life insurer to provide assistance for the management of the insurance company in making decisions on product, investment and reinsurance mix. The model is based on portfolio theory and recognizes the stochastic nature of and the interaction between the underwriting and investment income of the insurance business. In the context of an empirical application we illustrate howa portfolio optimisation approach can be used for asset-liability management.
- Vermögensanlagevorschriften für deutsche Versicherungsunternehmen : Status Quo und finanzwirtschaftliche Bewertungen (2000)
- Versicherungsunternehmen haben bei der Auswahl ihrer Vermögensanlagen die gesetzlichen Restriktionen des Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetzes einzuhalten. Neben einer strukturierten Darstellung der zahlreichen Regulierungstatbestände werden aus Sicht der Finanzierungstheorie sowie den empirischen Verhältnissen an den Kapitalmärkten die im VAG enthaltenen Rahmenbedingungen einer kritischen Bewertung unterzogen.
- How Much Foreign Stocks? Bayesian Approaches to Asset Allocation Can Explain the Home Bias of US Investors (2003)
- US investors hold much less foreign stocks than mean/variance analysis applied to historical data predicts. In this article, we investigate whether this home bias can be explained by Bayesian approaches to international asset allocation. In contrast to mean/variance analysis, Bayesian approaches employ different techniques for obtaining the set of expected returns. They shrink sample means towards a reference point that is inferred from economic theory. We also show that one of the Bayesian approaches leads to the same implications for asset allocation as mean-variance/tracking error criterion. In both cases, the optimal portfolio is a combination the market portfolio and the mean/variance efficient portfolio with the highest Sharpe ratio. Applying the Bayesian approaches to the subject of international diversification, we find that substantial home bias can be explained when a US investor has a strong belief in the global mean/variance efficiency of the US market portfolio and when he has a high regret aversion falling behind the US market portfolio. We also find that the current level of home bias can justified whenever regret aversion is significantly higher than risk aversion. Finally, we compare the Bayesian approaches to mean/variance analysis in an empirical out-ofsample study. The Bayesian approaches prove to be superior to mean/variance optimized portfolios in terms of higher risk-adjusted performance and lower turnover. However, they not systematically outperform the US market portfolio or the minimum-variance portfolio.
- Bayesian Asset Allocation and U.S. Domestic Bias (2003)
- U.S. investors hold much less international stock than is optimal according to mean–variance portfolio theory applied to historical data. We investigated whether this home bias can be explained by Bayesian approaches to international asset allocation. In comparison with mean–variance analysis, Bayesian approaches use different techniques for obtaining the set of expected returns by shrinking the sample means toward a reference point that is inferred from economic theory. Applying the Bayesian approaches to the field of international diversification, we found that a substantial home bias can be explained when a U.S. investor has a strong belief in the global mean–variance efficiency of the U.S. market portfolio, and in this article, we show how to quantify the strength of this belief. We also found that one of the Bayesian approaches leads to the same implications for asset allocation as the mean–variance/tracking-error criterion. In both cases, the optimal portfolio is a combination of the U.S. market portfolio and the mean–variance-efficient portfolio with the highest Sharpe ratio.
- Characteristics of German Real Estate Return Distributions: Empirical Evidence from Germany and Comparison to the U.S. and U.K (2004)
- In contrast to the United States and the United Kingdom, little empirical work exists about the distributional characteristics of appraisalbased real estate returns outside these countries. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by focusing on Germany. In line with other studies, this paper offers an extensive investigation into the distribution of German real estate returns and compares them with and U.S. and U.K. data in the same period. Furthermore, the comovements with bonds and stocks are also examined. In the core, the distributional characteristics for German real estate are comparable to that for the U.S. and U.K.