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Home bias and high turnover reconsidered

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  • Francis E. Warnock
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    Abstract

    It is a stylized fact of international finance that foreign equities are underweighted (the home bias) but overtraded (the high turnover). Since stylized facts drive research, theoretical models are now developed to explain the puzzling coexistence of home bias and high turnover, first presented in Tesar and Werner (1995), and researchers now dismiss transaction costs as a plausible explanation of home bias. I show, however, that part of the puzzle--very high turnover rates on foreign equity portfolios--is based on inaccurate estimates of cross-border holdings. Revised estimates of holdings of foreign equities from comprehensive benchmark surveys produce foreign turnover rates that are much lower than previously reported and are comparable to domestic turnover rates. The implications of this finding are clear. First, researchers should no longer develop theoretical models to explain the coexistence of home bias and high turnover. Second, the relationship between transaction costs and home bias should be reexplored. On the second point, the basic intuition from Tesar and Werner (1995)--that transaction costs do not help explain the observed home bias--is confirmed using actual data on transaction costs in 41 markets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 702.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:702

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    Keywords: International finance ; Capital movements;

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    References

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    1. Alaganar, V. T. & Bhar, Ramaprasad, 2001. "Diversification gains from American depositary receipts and foreign equities: evidence from Australian stocks," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 97-113, March.
    2. Philippe Martin & Helene Rey, 2000. "Financial integration and asset returns," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20201, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Massimo Guidolin, 2005. "Home bias and high turnover in an overlapping generations model with learning," Working Papers 2005-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Jun-Koo Kang & Rene M. Stulz, 1995. "Why Is There a Home Bias? An Analysis of Foreign Portfolio Equity Ownership in Japan," NBER Working Papers 5166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
    6. Rowland, Patrick F., 1999. "Transaction costs and international portfolio diversification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 145-170, October.
    7. Tesar, Linda L. & Werner, Ingrid M., 1995. "Home bias and high turnover," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-492, August.
    8. Alan G. Ahearne & William L. Griever & Francis E. Warnock, 2000. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of U.S. holdings of foreign equities," International Finance Discussion Papers 691, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Michael J. Brennan. and H. Henry Cao., 1997. "International Portfolio Investment Flows," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-271, University of California at Berkeley.
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    Cited by:
    1. Daly, Kevin & Vo, Xuan Vinh, 2013. "The determinants of home bias puzzle in equity portfolio investment in Australia," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 34-42.
    2. Massimo Guidolin, 2005. "Home bias and high turnover in an overlapping generations model with learning," Working Papers 2005-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Lee Pinkowitz & Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Corporate Governance and the Home Bias," NBER Working Papers 8680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hahm, Joon-Ho & Shin, Kwanho, 2009. "Complementarity among international asset holdings," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 37-55, March.
    5. Thapa, Chandra & Poshakwale, Sunil S., 2012. "Country-specific equity market characteristics and foreign equity portfolio allocation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 189-211.
    6. Catherine L. Mann & Ellen E. Meade, 2002. "Home Bias, Transaction Costs, and Prospects for the Euro: A More Detailed Analysis," Working Paper Series WP02-3, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Eichler, Stefan, 2012. "Equity home bias and corporate disclosure," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1008-1032.
    8. Catherine L. Mann & Ellen E. Meade, 2002. "Home bias, transactions costs, and prospects for the Euro: a more detailed analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20076, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Fidora, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel & Thimann, Christian, 2007. "Home bias in global bond and equity markets: The role of real exchange rate volatility," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 631-655, June.
    10. Francis E. Warnock & Chad Cleaver, 2002. "Financial centers and the geography of capital flows," International Finance Discussion Papers 722, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Baele, Lieven & Pungulescu, Crina & Ter Horst, Jenke, 2007. "Model uncertainty, financial market integration and the home bias puzzle," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 606-630, June.
    12. Shujing Li & Hamid Faruqee & Isabel K. Yan, 2004. "The Determinants of International Portfolio Holdings and Home Bias," IMF Working Papers 04/34, International Monetary Fund.

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