Stock ownership and political behavior: Evidence from demutualizations

Markku Kaustia, Samuli Knüpfer, Sami Torstila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


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


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


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