Stock ownership and political behavior: Evidence from demutualizations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research units

  • Centre for Economic Policy Research, London


Asetting in which customer-owned mutual companies converted to publicly listed firms created a plausibly exogenous increase in stock ownership. We use this shock to identify the effect of ownership of publicly listed shares on political behavior. Using instrumental variable regressions, difference-in-differences analyses, and matching methods, we find the shock changed the way people vote in the affected areas, with the demutualizations being followed by a 1.7-2.7-percentage-point increase in right-of-center vote share. Analyses of demutualizations that did not involve public listing of shares suggest that explanations based on wealth, liquidity, and tax-related incentives do not drive the results, and that the ownership of publicly listed shares was instrumental in generating the increase in conservative voting.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-963
Number of pages19
JournalManagement Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Attention, Identity, Political Behavior, Salience, Stock Ownership

ID: 2032345