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Participation Constraints in the Stock Market Evidence from Unexpected Inheritance due to Sudden Death

  • Andersen, Steffen

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)

  • Meisner Nielsen, Kasper

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

We use a natural experiment to investigate the impact of participation constraints on individuals' decisions to invest in the stock market. Unexpected inheritance due to sudden deaths results in exogenous variation in financial wealth and allows us to examine whether fixed entry and ongoing participation costs cause non-participation. We have three key findings. First, windfall wealth has a positive effect on participation. Second, the majority of households do not react to sizeable windfalls by entering the stock market, but hold on to substantial safe assets—even over longer horizons. Third, the majority of households inheriting stock holdings actively sell the entire portfolio. Overall, these findings suggest that participation by many individuals is unlikely to be constrained by financial participation costs.

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File URL: http://openarchive.cbs.dk/cbsweb/handle/10398/8169
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Paper provided by Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-2010.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsnow:2010_003
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: 38 15 25 75
Fax: 38 15 34 99
Web page: http://www.cbs.dk/departments/econ/
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