IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/fip/fedaer/y2001iq3p31-42nv.86no.3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Equity home bias: Can information cost explain the puzzle?

Author

Listed:
  • Karsten Jeske

Abstract

Most stock market investors believe that the ideal equity portfolio should be well diversified to lower overall portfolio risk. International financial markets offer a means for diversification, but most investors do not exploit this risk-sharing opportunity and instead hold large shares of their portfolios in domestic stocks-a tendency called home bias. ; To measure how severe home bias is, the author introduces a method of quantifying it. A simple asset allocation model is used to determine the shadow cost of foreign investment-that is, the perceived annual cost of foreign equity necessary to create a bias away from perfect international risk sharing and toward domestic equity. The model shows that in most industrialized nations the shadow costs would have to be unrealistically high to account for home bias. In the United States the home bias is almost 150 basis points per year, by far the lowest among all industrialized nations. ; The article then discusses a popular explanation for home bias: information cost. This theory argues that investors face lower costs for gathering information on their domestic assets than on foreign assets and are therefore biased toward holding domestic equity. While this explanation is intuitive, the author demonstrates, using both a naive model and a rational expectations model, that the theory is unable to account for observed patterns of home bias. The author thus concludes that home bias is still a puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Jeske, 2001. "Equity home bias: Can information cost explain the puzzle?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 31-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q3:p:31-42:n:v.86no.3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/frbatlanta/filelegacydocs/ACF62A.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    2. French, Kenneth R. & Poterba, James M., 1990. "Japanese and U.S. cross-border common stock investments," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 476-493, December.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    5. Ahearne, Alan G. & Griever, William L. & Warnock, Francis E., 2004. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of US holdings of foreign equities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 313-336, March.
    6. Merton, Robert C., 1980. "On estimating the expected return on the market : An exploratory investigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 323-361, December.
    7. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    8. Gehrig, Thomas, 1993. " An Information Based Explanation of the Domestic Bias in International Equity Investment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(1), pages 97-109.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Glabadanidis, Paskalis, 2009. "Measuring the economic significance of mean-variance spanning," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 596-616, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Bong-Chan Kho & René M. Stulz & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Financial Globalization, Governance, and the Evolution of the Home Bias," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 597-635, May.
    4. Shin, Chae Hee, 2014. "An Industrial Organization Approach to International Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from the U.S. Mutual Fund Families," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-78, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Prat, Georges, 2013. "Equity risk premium and time horizon: What do the U.S. secular data say?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 76-88.
    6. Yakov Ben-Haim & Karsten Jeske, 2003. "Home bias in financial markets: robust satisficing with info gaps," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-35, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    7. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Hélène Rey, 2013. "Home Bias in Open Economy Financial Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 63-115, March.
    8. Oehler, Andreas & Wendt, Stefan & Horn, Matthias, 2017. "Are investors really home-biased when investing at home?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 52-60.
    9. Mishra, Anil V., 2016. "Foreign bias in Australian-domiciled mutual fund holdings," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 101-123.
    10. Juan Carlos Hatchondo, 2005. "Asymmetric information and the lack of international portfolio diversification," Working Paper 05-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    11. Isaac Ehrlich & Jong Kook Shin & Yong Yin, 2011. "Private Information, Human Capital, and Optimal "Home Bias" in Financial Markets," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 255-301.
    12. Bekaert, Geert & Hoyem, Kenton & Hu, Wei-Yin & Ravina, Enrichetta, 2017. "Who is internationally diversified? Evidence from the 401(k) plans of 296 firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 86-112.
    13. Christopher Balding, 2009. "Who's Afraid of Sovereign Wealth Funds ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 9(1), pages 201-210.
    14. Mishra, Anil V., 2015. "Measures of equity home bias puzzle," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 293-312.
    15. Christopher Balding, 2009. "Qui a peur des fonds souverains ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 9(1), pages 215-227.
    16. Lau, Sie Ting & Ng, Lilian & Zhang, Bohui, 2010. "The world price of home bias," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 191-217, August.
    17. Yakov Ben-Haim, 2007. "Info-Gap Robust-Satisficing and the Probability of Survival," DNB Working Papers 138, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    18. Baele, Lieven & Pungulescu, Crina & Ter Horst, Jenke, 2007. "Model uncertainty, financial market integration and the home bias puzzle," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 606-630, June.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q3:p:31-42:n:v.86no.3. 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: (Meredith Rector). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbatus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.