IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Household stockholding in Europe: where do we stand and where do we go?

  • Luigi Guiso
  • Michael Haliassos
  • Tullio Jappelli

We discuss the current state of stockownership among households in major European countries, drawing parallels and contrasts with the US experience. Our analysis of detailed microeconomic data documents increasing stock market participation and persistent differences across countries in our sample: many more US, UK and Swedish households participate in the stock market than is the case in the Netherlands and, especially, in France, Germany, and Italy. At the individual household level, the data indicate that stock market participation correlates robustly with wealth and education, which have only small effects, however, on the asset share invested in stocks by households who do participate. These empirical results point to the relevance of participation costs, and we find that indicators of such costs are consistent with the observed pattern of participation across countries. Over time, higher participation was brought about by lower participation costs. We discuss the possible impact of market entry by households with different characteristics, and outline types of policies that could mitigate any undesirable stock market effects of cheaper and broader participation. Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2003..

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2003)
Issue (Month): 36 (04)
Pages: 123-170

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:18:y:2003:i:36:p:123-170
Contact details of provider: Postal: 3rd Floor, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ
Phone: +44 (0)20 7183 8801
Fax: +44 (0)20 7183 8820
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Postal: Schackstr. 4, 80539 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 2180-2748
Fax: +49 (89) 39 73 03
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Postal: 48 boulevard Jourdan - 75014 Paris
Phone: 01 43 13 63 00
Fax: 01 43 13 63 10
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Basak, Suleyman & Cuoco, Domenico, 1998. "An Equilibrium Model with Restricted Stock Market Participation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 309-41.
  2. Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
  3. Michael Haliassos, Alexander Michaelides, 2000. "Portfolio Choice And Liquidity Constraints," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 297, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Social Interaction and Stock-Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 8358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
  6. Gale, D. & Allen, F., 1991. "Limited Market Participation and Volatility of Asset Prices," Weiss Center Working Papers 14-91, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  7. Patrick J. Bayer & B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Employers," Working Papers 96011, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  8. Pagano, Marco & Randl, Otto & Röell, Ailsa A & Zechner, Josef, 2001. "What Makes Stock Exchanges Succeed? Evidence from Cross-Listing Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. M. Fatih Guvenen, 2002. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: A Macroeconomic Perspective," RCER Working Papers 491, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER), revised Mar 2003.
  10. Helios Herrera, 2001. "Participation Externalities and Asset Price Volatility," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000242,
  11. Miquel Faig & Pauline Shum, 2000. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Personal Illiquid Projects," Working Papers faig-00-03, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  12. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 7563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Pagano, Marco, 1986. "Endogenous Market Thinness and Stock Price Volatility," CEPR Discussion Papers 146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Monica Paiella, 2001. "Limited Financial Market Participation: A Transaction Cost-Based Explanation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 415, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  16. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
  17. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Stock Prices and Fundamentals," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 213-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1994. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Arie Kapteyn & Constantijn Panis, 2003. "The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands," Working Papers 03-05, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  20. Joël Peress, 2004. "Wealth, Information Acquisition, and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 879-914.
  21. Pagano, Marco & Röell, Ailsa A & Zechner, Josef, 2001. "The Geography of Equity Listing: Why Do Companies List Abroad?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Mervyn A. King & Jonathan I. Leape, 1984. "Wealth and Portfolio Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 2000. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Background Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 1-26, January.
  24. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  25. Christian Gollier, 2004. "The Economics of Risk and Time," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572249, June.
  26. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
  27. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  28. Michael Haliassos & Christis Hassapis, 2002. "Equity culture and household behavior," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 719-745, October.
  29. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2549, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:18:y:2003:i:36:p:123-170. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.