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Dr Chryssi Giannitsarou

Chryssi Giannitsarou

Title of research: Financial Information Networks and the Stock Market: Empirical Survey Evidence

We examine how social interactions and peer effects affect individuals' decisions to invest in the stock market. We design, field and exploit novel survey data (from a representative sample of the French population in December 2014 and May 2015) that provide insights regarding two channels via which social interactions may generally affect financial decisions: (i) information peer effects, which arise solely from communicating and disseminating information to and from friends and acquaintances and (ii) endorsement peer effects, broadly understood as comprising of social norm effects in preferences, imitation, complementarities, opinion transmission, etc. Preliminary analysis suggests that respondents with larger social circles invest a higher proportion of their wealth in the stock market, in accordance to theoretical predictions. We also find that both information and endorsement effects are significant, and that perceptions about peers behaviour and information have only an indirect effect on expectations of returns, and mainly through respondents' information set.

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Project Update - July 2016