Left Behind: Presidential Cycles and Partisan Gap in Stock Market Participation
42 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2019 Last revised: 7 Jan 2021
Date Written: May 18, 2020
Using longitudinal U.S. household data, I document that Democrats are less likely than Republicans to participate in the stock market. More importantly, the partisan gap in stock market participation widens sharply under Democratic presidencies, precisely when the stock market returns are substantially higher. This dynamic pattern accounts for more than 40 percent of the discrepancy in wealth accumulation between Democrats and Republicans over presidential cycles. Overall, these findings underscore the interplay between individual ideology, household portfolio choice, and changing economic and political landscape.
Keywords: wealth inequality, presidential cycle, stock market participation, ideology, portfolio choice
JEL Classification: D31, G40, G51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation