Working papers

With Elias Rantapuska and Matti Sarvimäki, working paper, 2017

Investors tend to hold the same securities as their parents. Instrumental variables that exploit social networks and a natural experiment based on mergers make it possible to attribute the security-choice correlation to social influence within families. The identical security holdings that social influence generates largely explain why risk-return profiles of household portfolios correlate across generations.

With Matti Keloharju and Joacim Tåg, working paper, 2017

Female executives are about one-half as likely to be large-company CEOs and about one-third less likely to be high earners than male executives. Abilities, skills, and education likely do not explain these gaps because female executives appear better qualified than males. Instead, slow career progression in the five years after the first childbirth explains most of the female disadvantage. Earlier version featured in HBS Working KnowledgeHelsingin Sanomat (in Finnish), and Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)

Publications

With Renée Adams and Matti Keloharju, Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

The median large-company CEO belongs to the top 5% of the population in the combination of cognitive and non-cognitive ability and height, measured at age 18. These traits have a monotonic and close to linear relationship with CEO pay, but their correlations with pay, firm size, and CEO fixed effects in firm policies are relatively low. Traits appear necessary, but not sufficient for making it to the top. Featured in Harvard Business ReviewFinancial TimesWall Street JournalHelsingin Sanomat (in Finnish), and Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 

With Elias Rantapuska and Matti Sarvimäki, Journal of Finance, forthcoming, 2016

Workers adversely affected by labor market shocks are permanently less likely to invest in risky assets. This finding shows that experiences can be a source of persistent disagreement or preference heterogeneity. Featured in the Economist.

With Mark Grinblatt, Seppo Ikäheimo, and Matti Keloharju, Management Science, 2016
Individuals endowed with better cognitive skills are less likely to choose mutual funds that charge higher fees. Catering to such heterogeneity may explain the great number of mutual funds and the large dispersion in fees charged on essentially identical products.

With Markku Kaustia and Sami Torstila, Management Science, 2016
Individuals who became shareholders through the conversions of mutual companies into publicly listed firms were more likely to vote right-of-center. This shift in voting implies that political preferences are affected by wealth-related changes in the individuals’ circumstances

With Markku Kaustia, Journal of Financial Economics, 2012

Individuals are much more likely to start investing in equities when the stock market performance of their local peers has been favorable. However, only positive performance seems to matter. This bias in the social transmission process can explain how erroneous beliefs spread in the population.

With Matti Keloharju and Juhani Linnainmaa, Review of Financial Studies, 2012

The tastes individuals develop for particular firms through consuming their products and services spill over to the individuals’ investment decisions. This behavior suggests investors treat stocks as consumption goods.
Investors strongly react to their history of IPO investment outcomes by increasing future IPO subscriptions following a string of good outcomes and decreasing subscriptions after bad outcomes. This pattern is consistent with reinforcement learning, the leading alternative to rational Bayesian learning. 

With Matti Keloharju and Sami Torstila, Review of Financial Studies, 2008

The total cost from using arrangements to attract retail investors and to discourage them from selling their shares in the aftermarket amounts to about three percent of the total privatization proceeds. Retail incentives have been effective in achieving their stated goals, suggesting room for policy initiatives that help individuals to avoid the mistake of not participating in the stock market.
Losses from not exercising subscription rights and from selling them at depressed prices are not large for the average investor, but they matter more for inactive and less affluent investors. This finding suggests heterogeneity in investor behavior that stems from financial sophistication.