Stock Market Expectations and Portfolio Choice of American Households

TitleStock Market Expectations and Portfolio Choice of American Households
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKezdi, G, Willis, RJ
InstitutionUniversity of Michigan
KeywordsExpectations, Methodology, Net Worth and Assets, Risk Taking

This paper measures heterogeneity in the stock market expectations of households using survey answers to probability questions. We address survey measurement error in an explicit way and develop a joint model of the effect of expectations on portfolio choice on the one hand and survey answers on the other hand. The model is consistent with documented features of measurement error. We show substantial heterogeneity and that heterogeneity in expectations predicts heterogeneity in stockholding. We show that a general tendency to be optimistic is related to optimism about stock returns and in turn increases stockholding, while a general tendency to be uncertain is strongly related to uncertainty about stock market returns and in turn decreases stockholding. We estimate the level of risk tolerance that links subjective beliefs to stockholding to be moderate. We also show that a significant part of stockholding differences among demographic groups is explained by differences in their expectations.

Endnote Keywords

subjective expectations/survey measurement/household finances/Stock Market/expectations/risk tolerance

Endnote ID


Citation Key5794