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Why Is There a Shortage of Long-Term Investors?

Sandra Rigot * Centre d'économie de Paris Nord – CNRS.Contact : et
Dominique Plihon * Centre d'économie de Paris-Nord, rattaché au CNRS. Contact :

Institutional investors have become leading players in international financial markets, alongside systemic banks. These players offer different financial services and, according to theory, their common function is to reduce the imperfections of markets and ensure the overall adjustment between savings and investment. However, observation indicates that in the real world, the behavior of these players is affected by a short-term bias, which can be explained by their policy of asset management. This behavior contributes to the global imbalance between savings and investment, such that surplus savings cannot contribute to the financing of innovations and production for lack of long-term investors., Institutional investors holding long-term and stable liabilities are unable to focus on a long horizon, longer than economic cycles, because they cannot escape the constraints of market liquidity and volatility. Institutional, regulatory and accounting factors, which should be reformed, appear to contribute to this short-term bias. This situation also suggests that new forms of financial intermediation are necessary, such as those carried out by public development banks and sovereign investment funds which already exist in some countries, such as Germany, Brazil and France.

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