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Household preferences and demand for stocks in the Crisis: France 2004-2014

Abstract : In this paper, we assess how the factors explaining stockholdings have evolved through the financial crisis. We rely on the data collected in surveys conducted among French households during the period 2004-2014. There are three main modes for investing in stocks: buying shares directly; purchasing them through mutual funds; and finally taking out unit-linked life insurance. Obviously, these three ways to invest in stocks do not involve the same investment behaviours since, besides the risk and return characteristics, they differ in their transaction costs, management fees and taxation. As a result, there is no a priori reason to consider that portfolio choice decisions by households on these modes of stockownership are equivalent and correspond to the same individuals’ characteristics. We show that the holding of risky assets and of individual direct shares decreased during the period, and especially between 2009 and 2014. The estimation of a simultaneous model shows the specific characteristics of stockholders depending on the chosen support (direct, indirect or on life insurance): those who invest directly in stocks are richer, more educated and less risk averse; those who hold mutual funds are a little richer but more risk averse and do not appear the most educated; finally, for ownership in stocks on life insurance contracts, the position in the life cycle plays an important role as well as the social category.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 24, 2020 - 3:15:59 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:58 AM

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Luc Arrondel, Jérôme Coffinet. Household preferences and demand for stocks in the Crisis: France 2004-2014. Revue d'Economie Politique, Dalloz, 2019, 129 (3), pp.391-417. ⟨10.3917/redp.293.0391⟩. ⟨halshs-02489618⟩



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