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In search of lost capital: an estimation of undeclared portfolio assets

  • Valeria Pellegrini

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Enrico Tosti

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

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    The analyses of the international investment position and balance of payments statistics suggest that foreign assets held abroad are greatly underestimated, in particular in the sector of portfolio investments. The aim of this work is to test this hypothesis and to estimate the magnitude of under-reported assets. The approach is based on the comparison of mirror statistics on portfolio assets and liabilities, mainly using data coming from the Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS) conducted by the IMF, with the addition of information derived from several international databases. For the years from 2001 to 2010 the global discrepancy is estimated to be equal to 7.3% of world GDP on average. Different criteria have been adopted to attribute the share of the estimated under-reporting, particularly significant in the case of mutual funds issued by Luxembourg and the main off-shore centres, to the main euro area countries. Results vary from 6 to 10 per cent of national GDPs. If these amounts were added to national data, statistical consistency in international statistics would improve.

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    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2012-0131/QEF_131.pdf
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    Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 131.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_131_12
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
    Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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    1. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2004. "International Investment Patterns," IMF Working Papers 04/134, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Gabriel Zucman, 2012. "The missing wealth of nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net debtors or net creditors?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00565224, HAL.
    3. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "THE EXTERNAL WEALTH OF NATIONS: Measures of Foreign Assets and Liabilities For Industrial and Developing Countries," Trinity Economics Papers 20014, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    4. Patrick McGuire & Ilhyock Nikola Tarashev, 2008. "Global monitoring with the BIS international banking statistics," BIS Working Papers 244, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Philip R. Lane and Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Where Did All The Borrowing Go? A Forensic Analysis of the U.S. External Position," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp239, IIIS.
    6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00565224 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Alberto Felettigh & Paola Monti, 2008. "How to interpret the CPIS data on the distribution of foreign portfolio assets in the presence of sizeable cross-border positions in mutual funds. Evidence for Italy and the main euro-area countries," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 16, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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