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Do Privatizations Boost Household Shareholding? Evidence from Italy

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  • Ottavio Ricchi

    (Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Government of the Republic of Italy)

  • Adolfo Di Carluccio

    (Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Government of the Republic of Italy)

  • Cecilia Frale

    (Ministry of the Economy and Finance, Government of the Republic of Italy)

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    Abstract

    It is believed that privatizations substantially contributed to boost stock markets through the 1980s and 1990s. However, trough which channels did that materialize? We test whether privatizations –improving households’ acquaintance with the risk and return characteristics of stocks through the massive accompanying advertising campaigns– boosted demand for stocks by enlarging the set of households willing to invest in shares. We use a unique micro-data set collected for a large sample of Italian households on Public Offerings (PO) during 1995-99, the climax of privatizations in Italy. We show that advertising increased the notoriety of the incoming PO at households, and through this furthered households’ propensity to subscribe that PO. Furthermore, the propensity to subscribe the incoming PO also increased as households became better informed about past privatizations. Thus, privatizations expanded households’ share participation in Italy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2004.3.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.3

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    Keywords: Household portfolio choice; Information; Privatizations;

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    1. Gabriella Chiesa & Giovanna Nicodano, 2003. "Privatization and Financial Market Development: Theoretical Issues," Working Papers 2003.1, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Panetta, F. & Violi, R., 1999. "Is there an Equity Premium Puzzle in Italy? A Look at Asset Returns, Consumption and Financial Structure Data Over the Last Century," Papers 353, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
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    7. Bernardo Bortolotti & Marcella Fantini & Domenico Siniscalco, 2001. "Privatisation Around the World: New Evidence from Panel Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 600, CESifo Group Munich.
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    13. Jones, Steven L. & Megginson, William L. & Nash, Robert C. & Netter, Jeffry M., 1999. "Share issue privatizations as financial means to political and economic ends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 217-253, August.
    14. Pagano, Marco, 1993. "The flotation of companies on the stock market : A coordination failure model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1101-1125, June.
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