Employee Output Response to Stock Market Wealth Shocks
Dr. Wenlan Qian
Associate Professor of Finance
NUS Business School
National University of Singapore
This paper uses individual-level data linking stock investments with work performance to examine how changes in stock market wealth affect worker output. We document that a 10% increase in monthly stock investment returns is associated with a decrease of 3.8% in the same investor’s next-month work output on average. The negative output response is not driven by concurrent economic conditions and is unexplained by investor-specific liquidity needs. Consistent with the wealth-effect interpretation, the response is stronger for higher-income workers. We also uncover asymmetric responses to stock market gains and losses: a decline in stock investment returns is followed by lower output especially for male and younger workers. Overall, our results highlight a novel channel of transmitting stock market fluctuation through labor supply.