Presidential Address: Pension Policy and the Financial System

Presidential Address: Pension Policy and the Financial System

  • DAVID S. SCHARFSTEIN

Article first published online: 24th August 2018 DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12710

Abstract


In this paper, I examine the effect of pension policy on the structure of financial systems around the world. In particular, I explore the hypothesis that policies that promote pension savings also promote the development of capital markets. I present a model that endogenizes the extent to which savings are intermediated through banks or capital markets, and derive implications for corporate finance, household finance, banking, and the size of the financial sector. I then present a number of facts that are broadly consistent with the theory and examine a variety of alternative explanations of my findings.

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