题目：Do pensions have real teeth? Evidence from the state government borrowing costs
主讲人：Ting Zhang教授，University of Dayton
Ting Zhang，University of Dayton的J. Robert Berry Endowed Fellow，经济与金融系终身教授。他主要的研究兴趣包括公司金融与公司治理、新兴市场金融、养老金金融与基金以及中国股票市场，并在金融与会计顶级期刊Review of Accounting Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Banking and Finance等期刊发表论文超过30篇。
Yes, they do. State governments with risky defined benefit pension plans have higher borrowing costs, as measured by larger bond offering yield spreads. To control for the potential endogenous issue, we utilize the instruments of actuarial firms’ reputation, and direct flight between the state capital and actuarial firm headquarter. We further identify the relation between pension plan investment risks and borrowing costs using two quasi-experimental shocks: the introduction of a defined contribution plan or a hybrid plan, and state political regime shift. The effect of pension investment risk becomes stronger for the states with a large variation of pension contributions and greater financial constraints. Our results indicate that pension investment risks trigger subsequent unexpected pension contributions and cash flow shocks for state governments, which are the potential drivers of state borrowing costs. Additional tests show a stronger association between pension fund investment risks and state municipal finance for states with larger union membership and better pension law protection, as well as for general obligation bonds.