This article studies the importance of stock market literacy and trust for stock ownership decisions. We find that these two distinct channels simultaneously explain not only the probability of participation, but, conditional on participation, also explain the share of investment in stocks. Once we account for stock market literacy, sociability is no longer significant for participation; what matters is literacy rather than sociability. Further, we observe that economic shocks and future expectations are key behavioral characteristics that explain a household’s decision to invest in stocks. However, upon participation, a larger set of behavioral characteristics explains the level of stock investment.
We study the dynamics of stock market integration and its consequences during the recent financial crisis for twenty-three developed and sixty emerging markets. We find that integration increased slightly for emerging markets but decreased for developed countries during the crisis. Moreover, we argue that the high degree of integration propagated the crisis across the global financial markets at the beginning of the crisis, but it had little effect during the crisis. We also find that integration is mostly affected by financial openness, the institutional environment, and global financial uncertainty but that these determinants vary slightly between emerging and developed markets.
We rely on a model with incomplete contracts and bargaining power to argue that trade credit (TC) can serve as a commitment device for making relationship-specific investments (RSIs). Unlike existing theories, we explain within a single theoretical framework why TC is affected by firms’ bargaining power and by the specialized nature of transacted goods. Using a large panel of publicly listed firms and innovation-based proxies for RSI, we find strong support for the model’s predictions: TC increases in upstream firm’s RSI and downstream firm’s market power. Endogeneity concerns are addressed by using the passage of innovation-increasing state laws to instrument for RSI and import penetration to instrument for bargaining power.