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Look at Me Now: What Attracts U.S. Shareholders?

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  • John Ammer
  • Sara B. Holland
  • David C. Smith
  • Francis E. Warnock
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the underlying determinants of home bias using a comprehensive data set on U.S. investors' aggregate holdings of every foreign stock. Among those foreign stocks that are not listed on U.S. exchanges, which account for more than 96 percent of our usable data sample, we find that U.S. investors prefer firms with characteristics associated with greater information transparency, such as stronger home-country accounting standards. We document that a U.S. cross-listing is economically important, as U.S. ownership of a foreign firm roughly doubles upon cross-listing in the United States. We explore the cross-sectional variation in this "cross-listing effect" and find that the increase in U.S. investment is greatest for firms that are from weak accounting backgrounds and are otherwise informationally opaque, suggesting that the key effect of cross-listing is improvements in disclosure that are valued by U.S. investors. By contrast, cross-listing does not increase the appeal of stocks from countries with weak shareholder rights, suggesting that U.S. cross-listing cannot substitute for legal protections in the home country. Nor does the cross-listing effect appear to be driven simply by increased "familiarity"� with the stock or lowered cross-border transactions costs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12500.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12500

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    Cited by:
    1. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris, 2013. "Investing at home and abroad: Different costs, different people?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2069-2086.
    2. Desai, Mihir A. & Dharmapala, Dhammika, 2009. "Taxes, institutions and foreign diversification opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 703-714, June.
    3. Bae, Kee-Hong & Stulz, René M. & Tan, Hongping, 2008. "Do local analysts know more? A cross-country study of the performance of local analysts and foreign analysts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 581-606, June.
    4. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2007. "Taxes and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from JGTRRA's Treatment of International Dividends," NBER Working Papers 13281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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