OECD Journal: Financial Market Trends

  • Discontinued

The articles in Financial Market Trends focus on trends, structural issues and developments in financial markets and the financial sector.


Revisiting the asset-meltdown hypothesis

The present article focuses on the so-called “asset meltdown hypothesis”, which postulates a direct link between demographic developments and the level of asset

prices. In particular, proponents of this hypothesis argue, when baby boomers start

entering retirement they will become net sellers of financial assets to finance retirement consumption. As subsequent generations are smaller in numbers, other things equal, this would put downward pressure on financial asset prices. Revisiting this hypothesis, there is some support for a link between demographics and financial asset prices, although the link may not be strong. A number of mitigating factors exist, so that “other things” will not be equal. A major question in this context is to what extent demographic developments and their implications for other variables affecting financial asset prices are already reflected in financial asset prices and how fast any additional pressures on financial asset prices will play themselves out.


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