Looking at the cross-section of equity exposure, they find the inclusion of responsible equity options in the menu of available funds is associated with a 2.1% higher equity allocation by plan participants. Compared to an average equity asset allocation of 12.1%, it represents a material increase (17% in relative terms). Difference-in-differences analyses confirm the introduction of a responsible equity option to a saving plan is followed by an increase of 7.2% in participants’ appetite for stocks, contrary to what happens with conventional equity funds. They discuss the role of personal values in explaining this phenomenon. Responsible investment products may reduce the gap preventing many retail investors from more actively participating in the stock market.
Recently, savers’ appetite for responsible investments has grown, but little is known about the consequences of this development on individual investment decisions. Employee savings plans constitute a unique laboratory for studying these choices. In a recent Amundi research article (Brière and Ramelli, 2021), they analysed the impact of introducing solidarity funds on the investment choices of more than 900,000 French employees. They show the addition of a solidarity fund in the available funds offering led to a 7% increase in the equity allocation of new investments. Compared to an average equity allocation of around 13%, this increase is substantial and is an encouraging result for French participation in the equity market.
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