Equity home bias: Can information cost explain the puzzle?
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.
Volume (Year): (2001)
Issue (Month): Q3 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.frbatlanta.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Ben Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, .
"The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is there a Common Cause?,"
32326, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- 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.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Working Papers 7777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," International Trade 0012003, EconWPA.
- Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C00-112, University of California at Berkeley.
- Robert C. Merton, 1980.
"On Estimating the Expected Return on the Market: An Exploratory Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
0444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.).
- 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.
- Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997.
"On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1908, David K. Levine.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, 09.
- Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.