Year of publication
- Lifecycle impacts of the financial and economic crisis on household optimal consumption, portfolio choice, and labor supply (2011)
- The direct financial impact of the financial crisis has been to deal a heavy blow to investment-based pensions; many workers lost a substantial portion of their retirement saving. The financial sector implosion produced an economic crisis for the rest of the economy via high unemployment and reduced labor earnings, which reduced household contributions to Social Security and some private pensions. Our research asks which types of individuals were most affected by these dual financial and economic shocks, and it also explores how people may react by changing their consumption, saving and investment, work and retirement, and annuitization decisions. We do so with a realistically calibrated lifecycle framework allowing for time-varying investment opportunities and countercyclical risky labor income dynamics. We show that households near retirement will reduce both short- and long-term consumption, boost work effort, and defer retirement. Younger cohorts will initially reduce their work hours, consumption, saving, and equity exposure; later in life, they will work more, retire later, consume less, invest more in stocks, save more, and reduce their demand for private annuities. Keywords: Financial Crisis , Household Finance , Cycle Portfolio Choice , Labor Supply Classification: D1, G11, G23, G35, J14, J26, J32
- Welche Sicherheit und Rendite bietet die kapitalgedeckte Alterssicherung? : Zu Möglichkeiten der Risikoabschätzung (2003)
- Der "Generationenvertrag" der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung hat die Grenzen seiner Leistungsfähigkeit erreicht. Damit ist die "erste Säule" der Alterssicherung, die auf diesem Umlageverfahren basiert, ins Wanken geraten. Schuld daran ist die zunehmende Überalterung der Gesellschaft, aber auch die anhaltend hohe Arbeitslosigkeit, die zu enormen Beitragsausfällen führt. Schon heute sind die Rentenzahlungen nur noch zu rund 75 Prozent durch die Sozialversicherungsbeiträge der arbeitenden Bevölkerung gedeckt, der Rest muss – ähnlich wie bei den Beamtenpensionen – aus dem allgemeinen Steueraufkommen finanziert werden. Das birgt vor allem für die jungen Beitragszahler substanzielle Risiken. Angesichts dieser Perspektiven sind immer weniger junge Menschen bereit, steigende Rentenbeiträge bei stetig sinkenden Leistungen zu akzeptieren. Kann die kapitalgedeckte Alterssicherung diese Defizite auffangen? Wie lassen sich die vielfältigen Konzepte der privaten Alterssicherung bewerten?
- Money in motion: dynamic portfolio choice in retirement (2007)
- Retirees confront the difficult problem of how to manage their money in retirement so as to not outlive their funds while continuing to invest in capital markets. We posit a dynamic utility maximizer who makes both asset location and allocation decisions when managing her retirement financial wealth and annuities, and we prove that she can benefit from both the equity premium and longevity insurance in her retirement portfolio. Even without bequests, she will not fully annuitize; rather, her optimal stock allocation amounts initially to more than half of her financial wealth and declines with age. Welfare gains from this strategy can amount to 40 percent of financial wealth (depending on risk parameters and other resources). In practice, it turns out that many retirees will do almost as well by purchasing a variable annuity invested 60/40 in stocks/bonds. JEL Classification: G11, G23, G22, D14, J26, H55
- 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.
- Proof that it is not always optimal to locate bonds in a tax-deferred account (2006)
- The tax codes in many countries allow for special tax advantages for investments in special retirement plans. Probably the most important advantage to these plans is that profits usually remain untaxed. This paper deals with the question, which assets are preferable in a taxdeferred account (TDA). Contrary to the conventional wisdom that one should prefer bonds in the TDA, it is shown that especially in early years, stocks can be the preferred asset to hold in the TDA for an investor maximizing final wealth, given a certain asset allocation. The higher the performance of stocks compared to bonds, the higher the tax burden put on stocks compared to bonds. Simultaneously, the longer the remaining investment horizon, the larger the relative outperformance of the optimal asset location strategy compared to the myopic strategy of locating bonds in the TDA. An algorithm is provided to determine the investment strategy that maximizes (expected) funds at the end of a given investment horizon when there is an analytical solution.
- 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.
- 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.
- International equity portfolios and currency hedging : the viewpoint of German and Hungarian investors (2001)
- In this paper we study the benefits derived from international diversification of stock portfolios from German and Hungarian point of view. In contrast to the German capital market, which is one of the largest in the world, the Hungarian Stock Exchange is an emerging market. The Hungarian stock market is highly volatile, high returns are often accompanied by extremely large risk. Therefore, there is a good potential for Hungarian investors to realize substantial benefits in terms of risk reduction by creating multi-currency portfolios. The paper gives evidence on the above me ntioned benefits for both countries by examining the performance of several ex ante portfolio strategies. In order to control the currency risk, different types of hedging approaches are implemented.
- 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.