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Economic Implications of Changing Share Ownership

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  • Benjamin M. Friedman
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    Abstract

    Institutional investors, including especially pension funds and mutual funds, are steadily replacing individuals as owners of equity shares in the United States. Forty years ago individual investors owned 90% of all equity shares outstanding. Today the individually owned share is just 50%. The arguments and evidence surveyed in this paper suggest four ways in which this shift in share ownership could affect the functioning of the equity market: (1) Increasing institutional ownership could either enhance or impair the market's ability to provide equity financing for emerging growth companies. (2) Increasing institutional ownership, especially in the form of open-end mutual funds, has probably increased the market's volatility in the context of occasional large price movements. (3) The increasing prevalence of defined contribution (as opposed to defined benefit) pension plans, and especially of 401-k plans, has probably resulted in an increased market price of risk. (4) Increasing institutional ownership has facilitated a greater role for shareholders in the governance of U.S. corporate business, and correspondingly reduced the independence of corporate managements.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5141.

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    Date of creation: Oct 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5141

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    1. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1993. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing theFacts," NBER Working Papers 4492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Gerard Gennotte and Hayne Leland., 1989. "Market Liquidity, Hedging and Crashes," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-192, University of California at Berkeley.
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    7. Sylvester J. Schieber & John B. Shoven, 1994. "The Consequences of Population Aging on Private Pension Fund Saving and Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 4665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1980. "The Effect of Shifting Wealth Ownership on the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 0239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:fth:calaec:13-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    11. Lintner, John, 1969. "The Aggregation of Investor's Diverse Judgments and Preferences in Purely Competitive Security Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 347-400, December.
    12. Jeremy I. Bulow & Myron S. Scholes, 1983. "Who Owns the Assets in a Defined-Benefit Pension Plan?," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 17-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Lakonishok, Josef & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The impact of institutional trading on stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 23-43, August.
    14. Andrea L. Kusko & James M. Poterba & David W. Wilcox, 1994. "Employee Decisions with Respect to 401(k) Plans: Evidence From Individual-Level Data," NBER Working Papers 4635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. LeRoy, Stephen F, 1989. "Efficient Capital Markets and Martingales," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1583-1621, December.
    16. Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Stock Prices and Social Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 719R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    17. Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Stock Prices and Social Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 457-510.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dominique Dupont, 1998. "Equilibrium price with institutional investors and with naive traders," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Giovanni Cespa, 2000. "Short-term investment and equilibrium multiplicity," Economics Working Papers 520, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2002.
    3. Ameer, Rashid, 2010. "The role of institutional investors in the inventory and cash management practices of firms in Asia," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2-3), pages 126-143, July.
    4. Pierre Bajgrowicz & Olivier Scaillet, 2007. "Technical Trading Revisited: False Discoveries, Persistence Tests, and Transaction Costs," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 08-05, Swiss Finance Institute, revised Jul 2009.
    5. Paul A. Gompers & Andrew Metrick, . "Institutional Investors and Equity Prices," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    6. Rydqvist, Kristian & Spizman, Joshua & Strebulaev, Ilya, 2014. "Government policy and ownership of equity securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 70-85.
    7. Steiger, Max, 1998. "Institutionelle Investoren und Corporate Governance: Eine empirische Analyse," ZEW Dokumentationen 98-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Wahal, Sunil & McConnell, John J., 2000. "Do institutional investors exacerbate managerial myopia?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 307-329, September.

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