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Nontraded Goods, Nontraded Factors, and International Non-Diversification

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  • Marianne Baxter
  • Urban J. Jermann
  • Robert G. King

Abstract

Can the presence of nontraded consumption goods explain the high degree of 'home bias' displayed by investor portfolios? We find that the answer is no, so long as individuals have access to free international trade in financial assets. In particular, it is never optimal to exhibit home bias with respect to domestic traded-good equities. By contrast, an optimal portfolio may exhibit substantial home bias with respect to nontraded-good equities, although this result requires a very low degree of substitution between traded and nontraded goods in the utility function. Further, our analysis uncovers a second puzzle: the composition of investors' portfolios appears to be strongly at variance with the predictions of the model that incorporates nontraded goods.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5175.

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Date of creation: Jul 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of International Economics, Vol. 44, no. 2 (April 1998): 211-229.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5175

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  1. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann, 1995. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse Than You Think," NBER Working Papers 5019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1992. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 495-517, September.
  3. Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557.
  4. Eldor, Rafael & Pines, David & Schwartz, Abba, 1988. "Home asset preference and productivity shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 165-176, August.
  5. Tesar, Linda L., 1993. "International risk-sharing and non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 69-89, August.
  6. Stulz, Rene M., 1983. "The demand for foreign bonds," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 225-238, November.
  7. Stockman, Alan C. & Dellas, Harris, 1989. "International portfolio nondiversification and exchange rate variability," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 271-289, May.
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