Joshua D. Rauh

Director of Research and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Ormond Family Professor of Finance, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)


655 Knight Way

Stanford, CA 94305


Twitter: @joshrauh


Curriculum Vitae [December 2018]


Select Media Coverage [WSJ, FT, Economist, NYT]


Funding and Outside Activities



Select Working Papers


The Subsidy to Infrastructure as an Asset Class (with Aleksandar Andonov and Roman Kršussl), September 2018


The Return Expectations of Institutional Investors (with Aleksandar Andonov), February 2019.


Work in Progress


Behavioral Responses to California Income Taxation


Fiscal Implications of Pension Underfunding


Journal Publications


State Taxation and the Reallocation of Business Activity: Evidence from Establishment-Level Data (with Xavier Giroud), 2017, Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming

Online Appendix available here [link]

Public Data available here [link]


Political Representation and Governance: Evidence from the Investment Decisions of Public Pension Funds (with Aleksandar Andonov and Yael Hochberg), 2017, Journal of Finance, Forthcoming

Online Appendix available here [link]

Linking Benefits to Investment Performance in US Public Pension Systems (with Robert Novy-Marx), 2014, Journal of Public Economics 116, 47-61.


Revenue Demands of Public Employee Pension Promises (with Robert Novy-Marx), 2014, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(1), 193-229.


Itís the Market: The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent (with Steven N. Kaplan), Summer 2013, Journal of Economic Perspectives 27(3), 35-56.


Family, Education, and Sources of Wealth Among the Richest Americans, 1982-2012 (with Steven N. Kaplan), 2013, American Economic Review P&P 103(3), 158-162.

Our data on backgrounds of Forbes 400 available here [link]


Local Overweighting and Underperformance: Evidence from Limited Partner Private Equity Investments (with Yael Hochberg), 2013, Review of Financial Studies 26(2), 403-451

Appendix available here [link]


Explaining Corporate Capital Structure: Product Markets, Leases, and Asset Similarity (with Amir Sufi), latest version June 2011, Review of Finance 16(1), 115-155

Data appendix available here [link]


Fiscal Imbalances and Borrowing Costs: Evidence from State Investment Losses (with Robert Novy-Marx), latest version March 2011, American Economic Journal: Policy, forthcoming


Public Pension Promises: How Big Are They and What Are They Worth? (with Robert Novy-Marx), Journal of Finance 66(4), 2011, 1207-1245

Winner, 2011 Smith Breeden Prize, First Prize Paper for the best capital markets paper published in the Journal of Finance

State breakdown of $2.5 trillion unfunded public pension liability at the state level [link]

Policy Options for State Pension Systems and Their Impact on Plan Liabilities (with Robert Novy-Marx), Journal of Pension Economics and Finance 10(2), 173-194


Capital Structure and Debt Structure (with Amir Sufi), Review of Financial Studies 23(12), 2010, 4242-4280.

Public dataset [data]


The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans (with Robert Novy-Marx), Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(4), 2009, 191-210.

Summary available in Kellogg Insight


Wall Street and Main Street: What Contributes to the Rise in the Highest Incomes? (with Steven N. Kaplan), Review of Financial Studies 23(3), 2010, 1004-1050.

Public pre-publication version on SSRN [link]


Risk Shifting versus Risk Management: Investment Policy in Corporate Pension Plans, Review of Financial Studies 22(7), 2009, 2687-2734.


Defined Contribution Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, and the Accumulation of Retirement Wealth (with James Poterba, Steven Venti, and David Wise), Journal of Public Economics 91(10), 2007, 2062-2086.


Own Company Stock in Defined Contribution Pension Plans: A Takeover Defense?, Journal of Financial Economics 81(2), 2006, 379-410.


Earnings Manipulation, Pension Assumptions, and Managerial Investment Decisions (with Daniel Bergstresser and Mihir Desai), Quarterly Journal of Economics 121(1), 2006, 157-195

Winner, 2004 Barclays Global Investor Best Symposium Paper of the European Finance Association


Investment and Financing Constraints: Evidence from the Funding of Corporate Pension Plans, Journal of Finance 61(1), 2006, 33-71

Winner, 2006 Brattle Prize, First Prize Paper for the best corporate finance paper published in the Journal of Finance

Winner, 2004 Western Finance Association Award for best corporate finance paper


Some Popular Writing and Interviews


Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits: How Pension Promises Are Consuming State And Local Budgets, 2017 Edition, Hoover Institution Essay.


Unfunded Pension Debts of U.S. States Still Exceed $3 Trillion, 25 August 2015, Forbes Investing blog hosted by the Pension Research Council.


Funding Retiree Healthcare Plans (with Robert Pozen), Defining Ideas, 19 August 2015


Relief for Citiesí Budget Busting Health Care Costs (with Robert Pozen), Wall Street Journal, 26 July 2015


Averting the Public Pension Crisis without a National Insurance Agency, Advancing a Free Society, 6 August 2013


Podcast on EconTalk with Russ Roberts, 5 November 2012


Start Paying or Stop Promising, New York Times Room For Debate, 27 February 2011


Materials on Retirement Finance


Webinar: Investment Strategies for Long-Term Financial Planning, 7 November 2013

with Josh Rauh (Moderator), William F. Sharpe, John Ameriks, and John Cuniff


Webinar: The Crisis in Public Employee Pensions, 5 December 2013
with Josh Rauh (Moderator), Richard Ravitch, Sean McShea, David Crane, and Mark Dingley


Other Publications


Why City Pension Problems Have Not Improved, and a Roadmap Forward, 2016, in Public Pensions and City Solvency, ed. Susan Wachter, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent, 2015, in Inequality and Economic Policy: Essays in Memory of Gary Becker, ed. Stanford: Hoover Press.


Financial Valuation of PBGC Insurance with Market-Implied Default Probabilities (with Robert Novy-Marx and Jules van Binsbergen), 2014, Tax Policy and the Economy 28, 133-154.


The Crisis in Local Government Pensions in the United States (with Robert Novy-Marx), 2011, in Growing Old: Paying for Retirement and Institutional Money Management after the Financial Crisis, Robert Litan and Richard Herring, eds., Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

Contains city and county breakdown of $0.6 trillion unfunded liabilities at the local level

Related comment in the New York Times Room for Debate Blog [link]

Covered in the Washington Post, 12 October 2010 [link]

Front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 October 2010 [link]


Are State Public Pensions Sustainable? Why the Federal Government Should Worry About State Pension Liabilities, National Tax Journal 63(3), 2010 (Forum)

Earlier version prepared for "Train Wreck: A Conference on America's Looming Fiscal Crisis," January 2010 [link]

Related blog post [link]


Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Savings Accounts (with James Poterba, Steven Venti and David Wise), 2005, in Analyses in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise (ed), University of Chicago Press.


Lifecycle Asset Allocation Strategies and the Distribution of 401(k) Retirement Wealth (with James Poterba, Steven Venti and David Wise) in Developments in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise (ed), University of Chicago Press, forthcoming.


How Elastic is the Corporate Income Tax Base? (with Jonathan Gruber) in Taxing Corporate Income in the 21st Century, Cambridge University Press, Alan Auerbach, James R. Hines, and Joel Slemrod (eds.), 2007.


Why are Firms in the United States Abandoning Defined Benefit Pension Plans? (with Irina Stefanescu)

Rotman Journal of Pension Management 2(2), 2009, 18-25


Some Resources on the State Pension Crisis


The Public Employee Pension Crisis in South Carolina

Presented 22 October 2010 in Columbia, SC at a Roundtable hosted by Governor Mark Sanford


Table: Illinois State Systems


The Public Employee Pension Crisis in California

Presented 8 July 2010 in Sacramento at a Pension Roundtable hosted by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger


Congressional Testimony, 24 February 2011 [link]

The Pension Bomb, The Milken Institute Review, 2011Q1, [link]


Opinions and Blog Posts


The Looming Shortfall in Public Pension Costs

Washington Post, 19 October 2012


New York City, Living in Fantasy Land

Posted on New York Times Room For Debate, 7 February 2011


Return Assumptions: It's All Just Borrowing in Disguise

Posted on Everything Finance, 20 September 2010


Can the Illinois Pension Catastrophe Be Stopped? (with Robert Novy-Marx), Chicago Tribune, 13 Aug 2010


Pension Security Bonds: A New Plan to Address the Pension Crisis (with Robert Novy-Marx), The Economists' Voice 7(3), 2010

Very short version on the New York Times blog "Room for Debate", 20 May 2010 [link]


Illinois' Irrelevant Pension Reform

Posted on Everything Finance, 15 April 2010


The Day of Reckoning for State Pension Plans

Posted on Everything Finance, 22 March 2010


A Bankruptcy to Save GM (with Luigi Zingales), 19 November 2008

Bankruptcy is Best to Save GM (with Luigi Zingales), The Economists' Voice 6(4), 2009

Abbreviated version published in the Sunday Chicago Tribune, 23 November 2008 [link]

Related Letter to The New York Times, 3 December 2008 [link]


Other Papers


The Effects of Financial Condition on Capital Investment and Financing: Evidence from Variation in Pension Fund Asset Performance


The Intergenerational Transfer of Public Pension Promises (with Robert Novy-Marx)


Funding Soft Liabilities (with Robert Novy-Marx)




Joshua Rauh Stanford GSB Faculty Page


Joshua Rauh Hoover Institution Page


Posts on Everything Finance


LinkedIn Public Profile


@joshrauh on Twitter


NBER profile


NBER Working Papers by me


voxEU profile



Joshua Rauh Stanford