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Investing at home and abroad: Different costs, different people

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  • Christelis, Dimitris
  • Georgarakos, Dimitris

Abstract

We investigate US households' direct investment in stocks, bonds and liquid accounts and their foreign counterparts, in order to identify the different participation hurdles affecting asset investment domestically and overseas. To this end, we estimate a trivariate probit model with three further selection equations that allows correlations among unobservables of all possible asset choices. Our results point to the existence of a second hurdle that stock owners need to overcome in order to invest in foreign stocks. Among stockholders, we show that economic resources, willingness to assume greater financial risks, shopping around for the best investment opportunities all increase the probability to invest in foreign stocks. Furthermore, we find that households who seek financial advice from relatives, friends and work contacts are less likely to invest in foreign stocks. This result corroborates the conjecture by Hong et al. (2004) that social interactions should discourage investment in foreign stocks, given their limited popularity. On the other hand, we find little evidence for additional pecuniary or informational costs associated with investment in foreign bonds and liquid accounts. Finally, we show that ignoring correlations of unobservables across different asset choices can lead to very misleading results. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2009/28.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200928

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Keywords: Foreign Assets; Household Finance; Stockholding; Multivariate Probit; Simulated Maximum Likelihood; Selection;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Haliassos, Michael, 2008. "Economic integration and mature portfolios," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/05, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. Robert Kollmann, 2012. "Limited asset market participation and the consumption-real exchange rate anomaly," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 566-584, May.
  3. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Haliassos, Michael, 2009. "Stockholding: From participation to location and to participation spillovers," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Tobias Broer, 2013. "The home bias of the poor: terms of trade effects and portfolios across the wealth distribution," 2013 Meeting Papers 618, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Arie Kapteyn & Federica Teppa, 2009. "Subjective Measures of Risk Aversion, Fixed Costs, and Portfolio Choice," DNB Working Papers 216, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. Christelis, Dimitris & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Haliassos, Michalis, 2010. "Stockholding: Participation, Location, and Spillovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 8113, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Beracha, Eli & Fedenia, Mark & Skiba, Hilla, 2014. "Culture's impact on institutional investors' trading frequency," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 34-47.

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