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Human capital and international portfolio choice

  • Christian Julliard
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    This paper shows that in a non-representative agent model in which households face short selling constraints and labor income risk, in the form of both uninsurable shocks and a common aggregate component, small differences in the correlation between aggregate labor income shocks and domestic and foreign stock market returns lead to a very large home bias in asset holdings. Calibrating this buffer-stock saving model to match both microeconomic and macroeconomic U.S. labor income data, I demonstrate that, consistent with the empirical literature, a) investors that enter the stock market will initially specialize in domestic assets, b) individual portfolios become more internationally diversified, adding foreign stocks one at a time, as the level of asset wealth increases, and c) most importantly, the implied aggregate portfolio of U.S. investors shows a large degree of home bias consistent with observed levels.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4813/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 4813.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:4813
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Spendthrift in America? On Two Decades of Decline in the U.S. Saving Rate," NBER Working Papers 7238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann & Robert G. King, 1995. "Nontraded Goods, Nontraded Factors, and International Non-Diversification," NBER Working Papers 5175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Tesar, Linda L. & Werner, Ingrid M., 1995. "Home bias and high turnover," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-492, August.
    4. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
    5. Michaelides, Alexander, 2001. "International Portfolio Choice: Liquidity Constraints and the Home Equity Bias Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3066, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "The Human Capital of Stockholders and the International Diversification Puzzle," Working Papers 2001-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    7. Harald Hau & Hélène Rey, 2006. "Exchange Rates, Equity Prices, and Capital Flows," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 273-317.
    8. Alexander Michaelides, 2003. "International portfolio choice, liquidity constraints and the home equity bias puzzle," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 195, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Eldor, Rafael & Pines, David & Schwartz, Abba, 1988. "Home asset preference and productivity shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 165-176, August.
    10. Stockman, Alan C. & Dellas, Harris, 1989. "International portfolio nondiversification and exchange rate variability," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 271-289, May.
    11. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
    12. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Pesenti, Paolo & van Wincoop, Eric, 2002. "Can Nontradables Generate Substantial Home Bias?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 25-50, February.
    14. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
    15. Tesar, Linda L., 1993. "International risk-sharing and non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 69-89, August.
    16. Christian Julliard, 2002. "The international diversification puzzle is not worse than you think," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4814, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Warnock, Francis E., 2002. "Home bias and high turnover reconsidered," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 795-805, November.
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