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Nontraded goods, nontraded factors, and international non-diversification

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

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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  • Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J. & King, Robert G., 1998. "Nontraded goods, nontraded factors, and international non-diversification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-229, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:44:y:1998:i:2:p:211-229
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    1. Tesar, Linda L., 1993. "International risk-sharing and non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 69-89, August.
    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. Stulz, Rene M., 1983. "The demand for foreign bonds," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 225-238, November.
    4. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 170-180, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557-557.
    7. K. J. Arrow, 1964. "The Role of Securities in the Optimal Allocation of Risk-bearing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 91-96.
    8. 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.
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