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Trust, sociability and stock market participation

  • Georgarakos, Dimitris
  • Pasini, Giacomo

We investigate the effects of both trust and sociability for stock market participation, the role of which has been examined separately by existing finance literature. We use internationally comparable household data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe supplemented with regional information on generalized trust from the World Value Survey and on specific trust to financial institutions from Eurobarometer. We show that trust and sociability have distinct and sizeable positive effects on stock market participation and that sociability is likely to partly balance the discouragement effect on stockholding induced by low generalized trust in the region of residence. We also show that specific trust in advice given by financial institutions represents a prominent factor for stock investing, compared to other tangible features of the banking environment. Probing further into various groups of households, we find that sociability can induce stockholding among the less well off in Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland where stock market participation is widespread. On the other hand, the effect of generalized trust is strong in countries with limited participation and low average trust like Austria, Spain, and Italy, offering an explanation for the remarkably low participation rates of the wealthy living therein.

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2009/29.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200929
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  1. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
  2. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Haliassos, Michael, 2008. "Economic integration and mature portfolios," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/05, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2005. "Trusting the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 11648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, 08.
  6. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On The Economics and Biology of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 235-266, 04-05.
  7. Marcel Fafchamps & Steven N. Durlauf, 2004. "Social Capital," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  8. Guiso, Luigi & Jappelli, Tullio, 2004. "Awareness and Stock Market Participation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Harvey S. Rosen & Stephen Wu, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Health Status," NBER Working Papers 9453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Haliassos, Michael & Bertaut, Carol C, 1995. "Why Do So Few Hold Stocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1110-29, September.
  11. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2001. "Social Interaction and Stock-Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 8358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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