Industry Clusters and the Geography of Portfolio Choice

Jawad M. Addoum, Stefanos Delikouras, Da Ke, and George M. Korniotis

Using detailed data on U.S. households’ locations, employment, and financial portfolios, we document that individuals employed in locally clustered industries are more likely to invest in risky assets. This pattern is strongest among individuals with high labor income, employed in skilled occupations, and with strong cognitive skills. Our overall evidence suggests the relation between industry clusters and investment decisions is best explained by clusters enhancing human capital among local industry workers, in turn amplifying their effective risk tolerance. Our findings highlight the important role of local labor market composition in generating household portfolio patterns within and across geographies.