Inflation, Index-Linked Bonds, and Asset Allocation
NBER Working Paper No. 2793
The recent introduction of CPI-linked bonds by several financial institutions is a milestone in the history of the U.S. financial system. It has potentially far-reaching effects on individual and institutional asset allocation decisions because these securities represent the only true long-run hedge against inflation risk. CPI-linked bonds make possible the creation of additional financial innovations that would use them as the asset base. One such innovation that seems likely is inflation-protected retirement annuities. The introduction of index-linked bonds eliminates one of the main obstacles to the indexation of benefits in private pension plans. A firm could hedge the risk associated with a long-term indexed liability by investing in index-linked bonds with the same duration as the indexed liabilities.
Published: Journal of Portfolio Management, Winter 1990.