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Loss aversion, asymmetric market comovements, and the home bias

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  • Amonlirdviman, Kevin
  • Carvalho, Carlos

Abstract

Loss aversion has been used to explain why a high equity premium might be consistent with plausible levels of risk aversion. The intuition is that the first-order-different utility impact of wealth gains and losses leads loss-averse investors to behave similarly to investors with high risk aversion. But if so, should those agents not perceive larger gains from international diversification than standard expected-utility investors with plausible levels of risk aversion? They might not, because comovements in international stock markets are asymmetric: correlations are higher in market downturns than in upturns. This asymmetry dampens the gains from diversification relatively more for loss-averse investors. We analyze the portfolio problem of such an investor who has to choose between home and foreign equities in the presence of asymmetric comovement in returns. Perhaps surprisingly, in the context of the home bias puzzle we find that loss-averse investors behave similarly to those with standard expected-utility preferences and plausible levels of risk aversion. We argue that preference specifications that appear to perform well with respect to the equity premium puzzle should be subjected to this "test".

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
Pages: 1303-1320

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:29:y:2010:i:7:p:1303-1320

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

Related research

Keywords: Loss aversion Home bias Asymmetric market comovements Equity premium puzzle;

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References

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  1. Andrew J. Patton, 2006. "Modelling Asymmetric Exchange Rate Dependence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 527-556, 05.
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  12. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Lasse Steiner & Bruno S. Frey & Magnus Resch, 2013. "Home is where your art is: the home bias of art collectors," ECON - Working Papers 135, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

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