Household Characteristics

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Abstract
This thesis investigates the role of household characteristics in explaining stock ownership and stock holdings using data from 2013 U.S. Survey of Consumers Finances (SCF). The household characteristics of interest in this thesis are: gross total income, education, age, marital status, risk attitude, private business ownership, health status and child living at home. First, the hypotheses concerning the relations between those characteristics and stock ownership as well as stock holdings are formulated based on existing literature. After that, logistic regression and multiple OLS regression are employed to test how these selected household characteristics are correlated with stock ownership and stock holdings, respectively. Furthermore,
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A variety of ingenious literature empirically explores the patterns of household portfolio (Poterba &Samwick, 1997, Hochguertel et al., 1997, Guiso et al., 2002). They find there are substantial differences across households in their portfolio choice. Some key socioeconomic and demographic characteristics identified are determinants of household portfolio decision. A great many authors have shown that wealth is an important determinant of portfolio choice (Hochguertel et al., 1997, Bertaut &Starr, 2000). Guiso et al., (2002) find wealth and age are significantly associated with risky asset participation but not with the portfolio share. Poterba and Samwick (1997) find there are evident heterogeneity in the asset ownership probabilities of different birth cohorts. Moreover, some study demonstrate background risk is a crucial factor in explaining the heterogeneity in household portfolio choice. In addition, financial literacy or financial awareness appears to be a plausible explanation for limited risky asset market participation (Bertaut, 1998, Campbell, 2006, Cardak &Wilkins, 2009). Since asset ownership is the main carrier for households to transform current income into future consumption, asset allocation has important implications for the wealth accumulation. Differences in portfolio across households may shape the response to aggregate consumption in changes of macro variable and fiscal policies (Bertaut &Starr, 2000). To sum up, a better and in-depth understanding of household portfolio decision may provide richer insight into household financial theory. Thus, the main research question of this study

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