One Half-Billion Shareholders and Counting-Determinants of Individual Share Ownership Around the World
Paul A. Grout
University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)
William L. Megginson
University of Oklahoma
University of Bath - Centre for Governance and Regulation; School of Management
December 1, 2009
This study presents the first comprehensive compilation of the number of people around the world owning shares voluntarily. We document that at least 317 million people in 70 countries (24 developed and 46 emerging market nations) invest in equity of publically listed companies or mutual funds. Accounting for contributors of voluntarily pension schemes investing in equity increases the number of shareholders to over 544 million. We also test for determinants of personal shareholdings and find that (i) the legal origin matters (common law countries have statistically significantly higher percentage of population investing in equity), (ii) GDP per capita also matters but its significance is driven by emerging markets (in particular those opened before 1985), and (iii) privatisation does not contribute to higher levels of shareholder participation in the medium- and long-run.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Government policy and regulation, Capital and ownership structure, Property rights, Legal origin, International finance, Emerging markets
JEL Classification: G18, G32, P14working papers series
Date posted: March 22, 2009 ; Last revised: December 1, 2009
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