Responsible Investing and Stock Allocation

January 13, 2021

We analyze the portfolio choices of approximately 913,000 active participants in employee saving plans in France. Looking at the cross-section of equity exposure, we find that the inclusion of responsible equity options in the menu of available funds is associated with a 2.1% higher equity allocation by plan participants. Compared to an average equity asset allocation of 12.1%, it represents a material increase (17% in relative terms). Difference-in-differences analyses confirm that the introduction of a responsible equity option to a saving plan is followed by an increase of 7.2% in participants’ appetite for stocks, contrary to what happens with conventional equity funds. We discuss the role of personal values in explaining this phenomenon. Responsible investment products may reduce the gap preventing many retail investors from more actively participating in the stock market.


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