Intergenerational Risk Sharing under Loss Averse Preferences

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Abstract

Individual retirement savings schemes could benefit from risk-sharing mechanisms between generations that take behavioral aspects into account. We introduce a novel risk-sharing mechanism that incorporates nominal loss-aversion in two ways. First, the system avoids out-of-pocket wealth transfers by sharing only a fraction of positive returns over a high-water mark of pension assets. Secondly, payments from a generation insurance fund are targeted at nominal pension shortfalls below a reference point, which mitigates the loss experience at retirement. From a simulation of overlapping generations with stochastic asset returns and interest rates we find that the generation insurance scheme outperforms a pure individual retirement scheme by a significant margin: a similar risk of pension shortfall can be achieved with a contribution rate that is up to 20% lower. The efficiency gains vary with the extent of risk sharing over generations but remain large for sensible parameter values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Banking and Finance
Volume92
Early online date26 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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