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Domestic versus International Portfolio Selection: A Statistical Examination of the Home Bias

Author

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  • Larry R. Gorman

    () (California Polytechnic State University, U.S.A.)

  • Bjorn N. Jorgensen

    (Columbia University, U.S.A.)

Abstract

The observed international home bias has traditionally been viewed as an anomaly. This paper provides statistical evidence contrary to this view within a mean-variance framework. Two methods of estimating the expected return and covariance parameters are investigated: (i) the traditional Markowitz approach, and (ii) the Bayes-Stein "shrinkage" algorithm. In-sample tests reveal that neither the Markowitz tangency allocation vectors nor the Bayes-Stein tangency allocation vectors are significantly different than a 100% domestic allocation (i.e. extreme home bias). These results are robust to the shorting of equity and across foreign exchange hedge strategies. The paper also reports out-of-sample tests with a view toward investment performance. Typically, a 100% domestic allocation outperforms both the Bayes-Stein and Markowitz tangency portfolios. Overall, the theorized gains to international diversification appear difficult to capture in practice and, hence, investors exhibiting a strong home bias are not necessarily acting irrationally.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry R. Gorman & Bjorn N. Jorgensen, 2002. "Domestic versus International Portfolio Selection: A Statistical Examination of the Home Bias," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 6(3-4), pages 131-166, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mfj:journl:v:6:y:2002:i:3-4:p:131-166
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
    2. Smimou, K., 2014. "International portfolio choice and political instability risk: A multi-objective approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(2), pages 546-560.
    3. Raman Uppal & Tan Wang, 2003. "Model Misspecification and Underdiversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2465-2486, December.
    4. Mishra, Anil V., 2015. "Measures of equity home bias puzzle," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 293-312.
    5. repec:eee:revfin:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:41-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Raman Uppal, 2004. "Systemic Risk and International Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2809-2834, December.
    8. Karen K. Lewis, 1998. "International Home Bias in International Finance and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 6351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Mounira Chniguir & Mohamed Karim Kefi & Jamel Eddine Henchiri, 2017. "The Determinants of Home Bias in Stock Portfolio: An Emerging and Developed Markets Study," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(6), pages 182-191.
    11. Kempf, Alexander & Memmel, Christoph, 2005. "On the estimation of the global minimum variance portfolio," CFR Working Papers 05-02, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    12. Lewis, Karen K., 2000. "Why do stocks and consumption imply such different gains from international risk sharing?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-35, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    efficient allocation; foreign exchange hedging; home bias; international allocation; portfolio;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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