IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Can trade costs in goods explain home bias in assets?

  • van Wincoop, Eric
  • Warnock, Francis E.

A debate has raged in the general equilibrium literature on the impact of trade costs on portfolio home bias. In all of these models there is a simple, easily observed covariance-variance ratio. We compute this term using data on real exchange rates and asset returns. The resulting portfolio home bias is close to zero, implying that GE models that create home bias through trade costs are not grounded in empirical reality. Our results enable the GE literature to move forward, but in a way in which the theoretical models are not at odds with an easily observed empirical regularity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 1108-1123

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:1108-1123
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2011. "When Bonds Matter: Home Bias in Goods and Assets," NBER Working Papers 17560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Portes, Richard & Rey, Helene, 2005. "The determinants of cross-border equity flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 269-296, March.
  4. Bong-Chan Kho & René M Stulz & Francis E Warnock, 2006. "Financial globalisation, governance and the evolution of the home bias," BIS Working Papers 220, Bank for International Settlements.
  5. Tesar, Linda L., 1995. "Evaluating the gains from international risksharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 95-143, June.
  6. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Robert Kollmann & Philippe Martin, 2009. "International Portfolios with Supply, Demand and Redistributive Shocks," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 231-263 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Aviat, Antonin & Coeurdacier, Nicolas, 2007. "The geography of trade in goods and asset holdings," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 22-51, March.
  8. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jorge Braga de Macedo & Jeffrey Goldstein & David Meerschwam, 1984. "International Portfolio Diversification: Short-Term Financial Assets and Gold," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 199-238 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "International Investment Patterns," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp024, IIIS.
  11. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2013. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Not as Bad as You Think," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1108 - 1159.
  12. Fabrice Collard & Harris Dellas & Behzad Diba & Alan Stockman, 2009. "Goods Trade and International Equity Portfolios," School of Economics Working Papers 2009-14, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  13. Robert Kollmann, 2006. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of International Portfolio Holdings: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 269-273, 01.
  14. Akito Matsumoto & Charles Engel, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle when Goods Prices Are Sticky: It's Really About Exchange-Rate Hedging, not Equity Portfolios," IMF Working Papers 09/12, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Nicolas Coeurdacier, 2006. "Do trade costs in goods market lead to home bias in equities?," 2006 Meeting Papers 111, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Pentti J.K. Kouri & Jorge B. de Macedo, 1978. "Exchange Rates and the International Adjustment Process," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 488, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Branson, William H. & Henderson, Dale W., 1985. "The specification and influence of asset markets," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 749-805 Elsevier.
  18. Baxter, M. & Jermann, U.J., 1993. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse than you Think," RCER Working Papers 350, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  19. Christian Julliard, 2003. "The international diversification puzzle is not worse than you think," International Finance 0301004, EconWPA.
  20. Alan G. Ahearne & William L. Griever & Francis E. Warnock, 2000. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of U.S. holdings of foreign equities," International Finance Discussion Papers 691, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. 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.
  22. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "The Returns on Human Capital: Good News on Wall Street is Bad News on Main Street," NBER Working Papers 11564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-84, June.
  24. Pentti J. K. Kouri & Jorge Braga De Macedo, 1978. "Exchange Rates and the International Adjustments Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 111-158.
  25. Jorge Braga de Macedo, 1982. "Optimal Currency Diversification for a Class of Risk Averse International Investors," NBER Working Papers 0959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Lane, P, 1999. "International Investment Positions: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," Trinity Economics Papers 995, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  29. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H. & H. Wright, Jonathan, 2003. "Exchange rate forecasting: the errors we've really made," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 35-59, May.
  30. Uppal, Raman, 1993. " A General Equilibrium Model of International Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 529-53, June.
  31. de Macedo, Jorge Braga, 1983. "Optimal currency diversification for a class of risk-averse international investors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 173-185, February.
  32. Cooper, Ian & Kaplanis, Evi, 1994. "Home Bias in Equity Portfolios, Inflation Hedging, and International Capital Market Equilibrium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 45-60.
  33. Christian Julliard, 2004. "Human capital and international portfolio choice," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4813, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:1108-1123. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.