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Private Information, Human Capital, and Optimal "Home Bias" in Financial Markets

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Author Info

  • Ehrlich, Isaac

    ()
    (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

  • Shin, Jong Kook

    ()
    (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

  • Yin, Yong

    ()
    (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Abstract

By allowing for imperfectly informed markets and the role of private information, we offer new insights about observed deviations of portfolio concentrations in domestic relative to foreign risky assets, or "home bias", from what standard finance models predict. Our model ascribes the "bias" to endogenous information acquisition bolstered by investors' human capital. We develop discriminating hypotheses about the influence of "specific" and "general" human capital endowments and direct and opportunity costs of managing risky assets in determining whether to hold these assets, and how the assets' portfolio shares vary across investors and financial markets. These hypotheses are supported by numerical and econometric analyses of panel data from the US over 1992-2007, and 23 international financial markets over 2001-2007. The results indicate the existence of differences across countries in the degree to which home asset prices are "information-revealing", which may be relevant for fully understanding the global financial crisis of 2007-09.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6060.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Human Capital, 2011, 5 (3), 255-301
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6060

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Keywords: risky assets; financial markets; home bias; human capital; private information; global financial crisis;

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References

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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  2. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  3. Verrecchia, Robert E, 1982. "Information Acquisition in a Noisy Rational Expectations Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1415-30, November.
  4. R Portes & H Rey, 2000. "The Determinants Of Cross-Border Equity Flows," CEP Discussion Papers dp0446, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Laura Veldkamp & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2004. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," Working Papers 04-32, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. Mark Grinblatt, 2001. "How Distance, Language, and Culture Influence Stockholdings and Trades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 1053-1073, 06.
  7. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Zoran Ivkovich & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Information Diffusion Effects in Individual Investors' Common Stock Purchases Covet Thy Neighbors' Investment Choices," NBER Working Papers 13201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Anat R. Admati, Paul Pfleiderer, 1988. "A Theory of Intraday Patterns: Volume and Price Variability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 3-40.
  10. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 1999. "Home Bias at Home: Local Equity Preference in Domestic Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2045-2073, December.
  11. Karsten Jeske, 2001. "Equity home bias: Can information cost explain the puzzle?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 31-42.
  12. Massimo Massa & Andrei Simonov, 2006. "Hedging, Familiarity and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 633-685.
  13. Kalok Chan & Vicentiu Covrig & Lilian Ng, 2005. "What Determines the Domestic Bias and Foreign Bias? Evidence from Mutual Fund Equity Allocations Worldwide," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1495-1534, 06.
  14. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2001. "The Geography of Investment: Informed Trading and Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 811-841, August.
  15. Isaac Ehrlich & William A. Hamlen Jr. & Yong Yin, 2008. "Asset Management, Human Capital, and the Market for Risky Assets," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 217-262.
  16. 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.
  17. Pesenti, Paolo & van Wincoop, Eric, 2002. "Can Nontradables Generate Substantial Home Bias?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 25-50, February.
  18. Bottazzi, Laura & Pesenti, Paolo & van Wincoop, Eric, 1996. "Wages, profits and the international portfolio puzzle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-254, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Isaac Ehrlich & Jong Kook Shin, 2010. "The Role of Human Capital in Imperfectly Informed International Financial Markets," Working Papers 092010, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.

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