More Layers than an Onion: Looking for a Definition of Sovereign Wealth Funds

37 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2014 Last revised: 19 Feb 2014

See all articles by Javier Capapé

Javier Capapé

IE University

Tomas Guerrero Blanco

ESADE University Faculties - ESADEgeo

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

We analyze definitions used by researchers about a single concept: Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF). It is still a matter of recent controversy and debate. We place these definitions into one of eleven categories. The results show full agreement (what we have called ‘the core’) for just two characteristics: SWFs are owned by governments and they are investment funds. Beyond the core, there are three layers commanding general consensus: SWFs are (1) international investors; (2) without explicit pension liabilities; (3) determined by the source of funding. But the debate remains open. The dynamic nature of SWFs, morphing institutions in a continuous evolution led us to conclude that there is no definition capturing the essence of these "new" instruments of state intervention.

Keywords: sovereign wealth funds, state capitalism, pension funds

JEL Classification: G15, G23, G24, G32, G38, F39, K33, E62, E63

Suggested Citation

Capapé Aguilar, Javier and Guerrero Blanco, Tomas, More Layers than an Onion: Looking for a Definition of Sovereign Wealth Funds (June 1, 2013). SovereigNET Research Papers; ESADE Business School Research Paper No. 21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2391165

Javier Capapé Aguilar (Contact Author)

IE University ( email )

Calle Maria de Molina 6
Madrid, Madrid 28006
Spain

Tomas Guerrero Blanco

ESADE University Faculties - ESADEgeo ( email )

Mateo Inurria, 25-27
Madrid, 28036
Spain

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