Eric Hilt, Wendy Rahn, 02 September 2018

Political pundits have argued that owning financial assets induces households to support business-friendly political parties. This column analyses how ownership of liberty bonds – mass marketed to US households during WWI – affected voting behaviour in the 1920s. Voters responded to fluctuations in the value of the bonds by punishing incumbents when their value fell, and rewarding them when bond values recovered. Although liberty bonds contributed significantly to Republican margins in the 1920s, they don’t appear to have been decisive. 

Kristian Rydqvist, Ilya Strebulaev, Joshua Spizman, 26 September 2009

Since World War II, direct stock ownership by households has largely been replaced by indirect stock ownership by financial institutions. This column argues that tax policy drove that shift.


CEPR Policy Research