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Long term savings decisions: Financial reform, peer effects and ethnicity

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  • Mugerman, Yevgeny
  • Sade, Orly
  • Shayo, Moses

Abstract

In 2005, a drastic reform in the Israeli capital market shifted the power to choose savings vehicles from employers to individuals. Using a unique dataset from a large employer, this event provides us a rare window into individuals’ savings decisions and the effect of their social environment. In the first year following the reform's implementation, 7% of the employees switched out of the fund in which they all previously saved. Choice of fund was not associated with observable measures of fund performance, but was strongly affected by the employees’ social environment. Exploiting within-department variation in peer groups, we find that savings decisions were strongly influenced by the choices of co-workers from the same ethnic group. Interviews also point to the influence of non-professional colleagues.

Suggested Citation

  • Mugerman, Yevgeny & Sade, Orly & Shayo, Moses, 2014. "Long term savings decisions: Financial reform, peer effects and ethnicity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 235-253.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:235-253
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.07.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Kast, Felipe & Meier, Stephan & Pomeranz, Dina, 2018. "Saving more in groups: Field experimental evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 275-294.
    2. Hamdani, Assaf & Kandel, Eugene & Mugerman, Yevgeny & Yafeh, Yishay, 2017. "Incentive Fees and Competition in Pension Funds: Evidence from a Regulatory Experiment," Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 49-86, June.
    3. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Spyridon Lazarakis & Jim Malley, 2019. "The Distributional Effects of Peer and Aspirational Pressure," CESifo Working Paper Series 7838, CESifo.
    4. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Spyridon Lazarakis & Jim Malley, 2019. "The Distributional Effects of Peer and Aspirational Pressure," CESifo Working Paper Series 7838, CESifo.
    5. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Lee, Chi-Chuan & Zeng, Jhih-Hong & Hsu, Yu-Ling, 2017. "Peer bank behavior, economic policy uncertainty, and leverage decision of financial institutions," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 79-91.
    6. Maya Haran Rosen & Orly Sade, 2017. "Does Financial Regulation Unintentionally Ignore Less Privileged Populations? The Investigation of a Regulatory Fintech Advancement, Objective and Subjective Financial Literacy," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2017.10, Bank of Israel.
    7. Park, Youngkyun & Banerjee, Sudipto, 2020. "Coworker influence on annuitization decisions: Evidence from defined benefit plans," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 582-606.
    8. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Spyridon Lazarakis & James Malley, 2019. "The distributional effects of peer and aspirational pressure," Working Papers 2019-06, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    9. Lu, Timothy (Jun) & Tang, Ning, 2019. "Social interactions in asset allocation decisions: Evidence from 401(k) pension plan investors," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 1-14.
    10. Adi Meir & Yevgeny Mugerman & Orly Sade, 2016. "Financial Literacy And Retirement Planning: Evidence From Israel," Israel Economic Review, Bank of Israel, vol. 14(1), pages 75-95.
    11. Peng, Zhen & Lian, Yujun & Forson, Joseph Ato, 2017. "Peer Effects in R&D Investment Policy: Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 102394, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Jun 2019.
    12. Maya Haran Rosen & Orly Sade, 2019. "Does Financial Regulation Unintentionally Ignore Less Privileged Populations? The Investigation of a Regulatory Fintech Advancement, Objective and Subjective Financial Literacy," Natural Field Experiments 00662, The Field Experiments Website.
    13. Hamdani, Assaf & Kandel, Eugene & Mugerman, Yevgeny & Yafeh, Yishay, 2015. "Incentive Fees and Competition in Pension Funds: Evidence from a Regulatory Experiment in Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 10911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial reform; Savings decisions; Peer effects;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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