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That's Where the Money Was: Foreign Bias and English Investment Abroad, 1866-1907

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Chabot

    () (Yale University and NBER)

  • Christopher J. Kurz

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Abstract

Why did Victorian Britain invest so much capital abroad? We collect over 500,000 monthly returns of British and foreign securities trading in London and the United States between 1866 and 1907. These heretofore-unknown data allow us to better quantify the historical benefits of international diversification and revisit the question of whether British Victorian investor bias starved new domestic industries of capital. We find no evidence of bias. A British investor who increased his investment in new British industry at the expense of foreign diversification would have been worse off. The addition of foreign assets significantly expanded the mean-variance frontier and resulted in utility gains equivalent to a meaningful increase in lifetime consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Chabot & Christopher J. Kurz, 2009. "That's Where the Money Was: Foreign Bias and English Investment Abroad, 1866-1907," Working Papers 972, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:972
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Grossman, Richard, 2017. "Stocks for the Long Run: New Monthly Indices of British Equities, 1869-1929," CEPR Discussion Papers 12121, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Acheson, Graeme G. & Campbell, Gareth & Turner, John D., 2016. "Common law and the origin of shareholder protection," eabh Papers 16-03, The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH).
    3. Turner, John D., 2014. "Financial history and financial economics," QUCEH Working Paper Series 14-03, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    4. Eduardo van Hombeeck, Carlos, 2017. "An exorbitant privilege in the first age of international financial integration," Bank of England working papers 668, Bank of England.
    5. Rui Esteves & João Tovar Jalles, 2016. "Like Father Like Sons? The Cost of Sovereign Defaults in Reduced Credit to the Private Sector," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(7), pages 1515-1545, October.
    6. Kim Oosterlinck, 2013. "Sovereign debt defaults: insights from history," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-714, WINTER.
    7. Crafts, Nicholas, 2011. "British Relative Economic Decline Revisited," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 42, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    8. Sasha Indarte, 2017. "Contagion via Financial Intermediaries in Pre-1914 Sovereign Debt Markets," 2017 Meeting Papers 1141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Grossman, Richard, 2017. "Beresford's Revenge: British equity holdings in Latin America, 1869-1929," CEPR Discussion Papers 12042, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Hauner, Thomas & Milanovic, Branko & Naidu, Suresh, 2017. "Inequality, Foreign Investment, and Imperialism," MPRA Paper 83068, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Acheson, Graeme G. & Campbell, Gareth & Turner, John D., 2015. "Who financed the expansion of the equity market? Shareholder clienteles in Victorian Britain," QUCEH Working Paper Series 15-07, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    12. Goetzmann, Will & Le Bris, David & Pouget, Sébastien, 2017. "The Present Value Relation Over Six Centuries: The Case of the Bazacle Company," TSE Working Papers 17-794, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    13. Ron Alquist & Benjamin Chabot, 2012. "Institutions, the cost of capital, and long-run economic growth: evidence from the 19th century capital market," Working Paper Series WP-2012-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    14. Rui P. Esteves, 2011. "The Political Economy of Global Financial Liberalisation in Historical Perspective," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _089, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    15. Campbell, Gareth & Rogers, Meeghan & Turner, John D., 2016. "The rise and decline of the UK's provincial stock markets, 1869-1929," QUCEH Working Paper Series 2016-03, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital markets; Home bias; History; Victorian overseas investment;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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