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Stock market optimism and participation cost: a mean-variance estimation


  • Monica Paiella
  • Andrea Tiseno


We use household data to estimate the cost of participating to financial markets and the cross sectional dispersion of stock market optimism. Our analysis is based on a mean-variance framework, within which we derive structural decision rules for individual composition of the risky assets portfolio to be efficient, as function of both the amount to invest and the optimism about excess return of stocks over bonds. Exploiting the observed heterogeneity in risky asset holdings, we identify both the fixed cost of stock market participation and the dispersion of optimism about excess return. Using the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth we estimate a fixed cost of participating to the stock market of about 150 euro per year and a standard deviation of 30% in the optimism about excess return

Suggested Citation

  • Monica Paiella & Andrea Tiseno, 2004. "Stock market optimism and participation cost: a mean-variance estimation," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 239, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:239

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Monica Paiella, 2007. "The Forgone Gains of Incomplete Portfolios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1623-1646, 2007 13.
    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.
    3. Carol C. Bertaut, 1998. "Stockholding Behavior Of U.S. Households: Evidence From The 1983-1989 Survey Of Consumer Finances," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 263-275, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-1129, September.
    6. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-887, September.
    7. Attanasio, Orazio P., 1999. "Consumption," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 741-812 Elsevier.
    8. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 1999. "What Level of Fixed Costs Can Reconcile Consumption and Stock Returns?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 969-997, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Bucciol, 2006. "The Roles of Temptation and Social Security in Explaining Individual Behavior," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0032, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

    More about this item


    heterogeneous household portfolios; mean-variance frontier; participation cost; expectation error;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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