Long Term Savings Decisions: Financial Reform, Peer Effects and Ethnicity
42 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2012 Last revised: 2 May 2014
Date Written: May 2, 2014
In 2005, a drastic reform in the Israeli capital market shifted the power to choose savings vehicles from employers to individuals. Using a unique dataset from a large employer, this event provides us a rare window into individuals’ savings decisions and the effect of their social environment. In the first year following the reform’s implementation, 7% of the employees switched out of the fund in which they all previously saved. Choice of fund was not associated with observable measures of fund performance, but was strongly affected by the employees’ social environment. Exploiting within-department variation in peer groups, we find that savings decisions were strongly influenced by the choices of co-workers from the same ethnic group. Interviews also point to the influence of non-professional colleagues.
Keywords: financial reform, long term savings, peer effects
JEL Classification: D14, G11, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation