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Employees' Investment Decisions about Company Stock

Author

Listed:
  • James J. Choi
  • David Laibson
  • Brigitte Madrian
  • Andrew Metrick

Abstract

We study the relationship between past returns on a company's stock and the level of investment in that stock by the participants in that company's 401(k) plan. Using data on 94,191 plan participants, we analyze several different decision points: the initial fraction of savings allocated to company stock, the changes in this fraction, and the reallocations of portfolio holdings across different asset classes. Like Benartzi (2001), we find that high past returns on company stock induce participants to allocate more of their contributions to company stock. We also find, however, that high returns on company stock have the opposite effect on reallocations of portfolio holdings, with high returns leading to shifts away from company stock and into other forms of equity. Overall, for company stock decisions, participants in our sample appear to be momentum investors when making contribution decisions and contrarian investors when making trading decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "Employees' Investment Decisions about Company Stock," NBER Working Papers 10228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10228 Note: AP AG
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Metrick, Andrew, 2002. "How does the Internet affect trading? Evidence from investor behavior in 401(k) plans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 397-421, June.
    2. Mark Grinblatt, 2001. "What Makes Investors Trade?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 589-616, April.
    3. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2001. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Decisions, and the Path of Least Resistance," NBER Working Papers 8655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2002. "Defined Contribution Pensions: Plan Rules, Participant Choices, and the Path of Least Resistance," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16, pages 67-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Aubert, 2006. "Understanding Employer's Stock Holdings in the French Company Savings Plans Using the Literature on the American 401(k) plans," Post-Print halshs-00188518, HAL.
    2. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Individual Account Investment Options and Portfolio Choice: Behavioral Lessons from 401(k) Plans," NBER Chapters,in: Public Policy and Retirement, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 1992-2013 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2008. "The Flypaper Effect in Individual Investor Asset Allocation," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2560, Yale School of Management.
    4. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "Saving or Retirement on the Path of Least Resistance," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000606, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Spiegel, Matthew & Zhang, Hong, 2013. "Mutual fund risk and market share-adjusted fund flows," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 506-528.
    7. Blake, David & Cairns, Andrew & Dowd, Kevin, 2008. "Turning pension plans into pension planes: What investment strategy designers of defined contribution pension plans can learn from commercial aircraft designers," MPRA Paper 33749, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "Consumption-Wealth Comovement of the Wrong Sign," NBER Working Papers 10454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2011. "Behavioral economics perspectives on public sector pension plans," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 315-336, April.
    10. Andreas Fuster & Benjamin Hebert & David Laibson, 2012. "Natural Expectations, Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Asset Pricing," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-48.
    11. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, August.
    12. James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrain & Andrew Metrick, 2007. "Reinforcement Learning in Investment Behavior," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001737, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Gur Huberman & Sheena Iyengar & Wei Jiang, 2007. "Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Determinants of Participation and Contributions Rates," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 31(1), pages 1-32, February.
    14. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "Mental Accounting in Portfolio Choice: Evidence from a Flypaper Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2085-2095, December.
    15. Dummann, Kathrin, 2008. "Retirement saving and attitude towards financial intermediaries: Evidence for Germany," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 99, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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