Informative social interactions

We design, field and exploit survey data from a representative sample of the French population to examine whether informative social interactions enter households’ stockholding decisions. Respondents report perceptions about their circle of peers with whom they interact about financial matters, their social circle and the population. We provide evidence for the presence of an information channel through which social interactions influence perceptions and expectations about stock returns, and financial behavior. We also find evidence of mindless imitation of peers in the outer social circle, but this does not permeate as many layers of financial behavior as informative social interactions do.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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