Stock Market Participation and Pension Reform
28 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2006
Date Written: August 2006
We study how the introduction of a defined contribution market based retirement system affects the propensity of the investor to participate in the stock market. By using data on the "Swedish experiment", we focus on the decision to invest directly in stocks and we see how it changes once the households are allowed to participate to the new pension system. We show that, the introduction of the possibility to invest in retirement funds increases the probability of stock market participation. That is, an individual that did not participate in the stock market has a higher probability of entering it once he has been presented with the new pension scheme. Moreover, the individuals who are more likely to enter the stock market are the ones who make a deliberate portfolio choice for the retirement money. This finding is not consistent with investors perceiving the investment in retirement accounts as a close substitute to investment in equity. Quite the contrary, it suggests that being induced to choose among different pension funds does "educate" the individual, inducing him to participate in the stock market.
Keywords: Stock market participation, crowding out, pension reform
JEL Classification: G11, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation