Selling Company Shares to Reluctant Employees: France Télécom's Experience
In 1997, France Télécom, the French telecommunications firm, went through a partial privatization. The government offered current and prior France Télécom employees the opportunity to buy portfolios of shares with various combinations of discounts, required holding periods, and levels of downside protection. We adapt a neoclassical model of investment decision-making that takes into account firm-specific human capital and holding period restrictions to predict how employees might respond to the share offers. Using a new database that tracks over 200,000 eligible participants, we analyse the employees' characteristics and their decisions regarding (a) whether to participate; (b) how much to invest; and (c) what form of stock alternatives they selected. The results are broadly consistent with the neoclassical model. However, the amount of funds invested in the stock plans seems driven by a different set of forces than the decision to participate. While former employees and retirees are less likely to participate in the offering, they tend to invest more than others conditional on participating. We suspect that this phenomenon reflects a 'threshold effect', which we attempt to measure. Employees forewent benefits equal to one to two months' salary by failing to participate. Finally, we find that the characteristics of the average chosen portfolios are broadly consistent with theoretical predictions from our neoclassical model, but almost all potential participants underweighted the most valuable asset, a decision hard to reconcile with rational portfolio choice.
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.
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.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Robert H. Topel, 1990.
"Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority,"
NBER Working Papers
3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
- Shiller, Robert J., 1999.
"Human behavior and the efficiency of the financial system,"
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1305-1340
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Human Behavior and the Efficiency of the Financial System," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1172, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Human Behavior and the Efficiency of the Financial System," NBER Working Papers 6375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992.
"Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
- Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292.
- Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-43, October.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996.
"Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1797-1855, December.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
- Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Discussion Papers 96-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Deaton, Angus, 1991.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
- H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977.
"An Economic Theory of Self-Control,"
NBER Working Papers
0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1994.
"Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Portfolio Choice,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 1996. "Income Risk, Borrowing Constraints, and Portfolio Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 158-72, March.
- Schelling, Thomas C, 1984. "Self-Command in Practice, in Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 1-11, May.
- Sunden, Annika E & Surette, Brian J, 1998. "Gender Differences in the Allocation of Assets in Retirement Savings Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 207-11, May.
- James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- R. C. Merton, 1970.
"Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model,"
58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
- Luis M. Viceira, 1999.
"Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income,"
NBER Working Papers
7409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Luis M. Viceira, 2001. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 433-470, 04.
- Shefrin, Hersh M. & Statman, Meir, 1984. "Explaining investor preference for cash dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 253-282, June.
- Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos, 1996.
"Precautionary Portfolio Behavior from a Life-Cycle Perspective,"
- Bertaut, Carol C. & Haliassos, Michael, 1997. "Precautionary portfolio behavior from a life-cycle perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(8-9), pages 1511-1542, June.
- Carol C. Bertaut & Michael Haliassos, 1996. "Precautionary portfolio behavior from a life-cycle perspective," International Finance Discussion Papers 542, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Hallock, Kevin F, 1998. "Layoffs, Top Executive Pay, and Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 711-23, September.
- Maki, Atsushi & Nishiyama, Shigeru, 1996. "An analysis of under-reporting for micro-data sets: The misreporting or double-hurdle model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 211-220, September.
- Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
- Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 1994. "Behavioral Capital Asset Pricing Theory," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(03), pages 323-349, September.
- Williams, Nicolas, 1991. "Reexamining the Wage, Tenure and Experience Relationship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 512-17, August.
- Leland, Hayne E, 1980.
" Who Should Buy Portfolio Insurance?,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 581-94, May.
- 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.
- Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Saving, Fungibility, and Mental Accounts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 193-205, Winter.
- Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
- Blume, Marshall E & Friend, Irwin, 1975. "The Asset Structure of Individual Portfolios and Some Implications for Utility Functions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 585-603, May.
- Mankiw, N.G. & Zeldes, S.P., 1990.
"The Consumption Of Stockholders And Non-Stockholders,"
Weiss Center Working Papers
23-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
- Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
- N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1990. "The Consumption of Stockholders and Non-Stockholders," NBER Working Papers 3402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jones, Derek C & Kato, Takao, 1995. "The Productivity Effects of Employee Stock-Ownership Plans and Bonuses: Evidence from Japanese Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 391-414, June.
- 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.
- Richard Thaler, 1985.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 4(3), pages 199-214.
- Hersh Shefrin & Meir Statman, 1993. "Behavioral Aspects of the Design and Marketing of Financial Products," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 22(2), Summer.
- Laibson, David & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1998. "Amos Tversky and the Ascent of Behavioral Economics," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 7-47, April.
- Myron S. Scholes & Mark A. Wolfson, 1989. "Employee Stock Ownership Plans and Corporate Restructuring: Myths and Realities," NBER Working Papers 3094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel Szpiro, 1995. "La diffusion des produits financiers auprès des ménages en France," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 281(1), pages 41-68.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2483. 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: ()
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.