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Human capital and international portfolio choice

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  • Julliard, Christian

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Julliard, Christian, 2004. "Human capital and international portfolio choice," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4813, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:4813
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/4813/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Warnock, Francis E., 2002. "Home bias and high turnover reconsidered," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 795-805, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    6. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J. & King, Robert G., 1998. "Nontraded goods, nontraded factors, and international non-diversification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-229, April.
    7. Jonathan A. Parker, 2000. "Spendthrift in America? On Two Decades of Decline in the U.S. Saving Rate," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 317-387 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Tesar, Linda L., 1993. "International risk-sharing and non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 69-89, August.
    10. Julliard, Christian, 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2001. "The human capital of stockholders and the international diversification puzzle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 309-331, August.
    14. 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.
    15. Michaelides, Alexander, 2003. "International portfolio choice, liquidity constraints and the home equity bias puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 555-594, December.
    16. 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.
    17. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2001. "The human capital of stockholders and the international diversification puzzle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 309-331, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2013. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Not as Bad as You Think," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1108-1159.
    2. Fugazza, Carolina & Giofré, Maela & Nicodano, Giovanna, 2011. "International diversification and industry-related labor income risk," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 764-783, October.
    3. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Robert Kollmann & Philippe Martin, 2009. "International Portfolios with Supply, Demand and Redistributive Shocks," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 231-263 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Barbara Pfeffer, 2006. "Trade Policy and Risk Diversification," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 126-06, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    5. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Kollmann, Robert & Martin, Philippe, 2010. "International portfolios, capital accumulation and foreign assets dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 100-112, January.
    6. Akito Matsumoto & Charles Engel, 2005. "Portfolio Choice in a Monetary Open-Economy DSGE Model," IMF Working Papers 05/165, International Monetary Fund.
    7. van Wincoop, Eric & Warnock, Francis E., 2010. "Can trade costs in goods explain home bias in assets?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1108-1123, October.
    8. Stewen, Iryna, 2014. "Is Real Exchange Rate Hedging Motive Still Important in Determining Equity Home Bias?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100571, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Home Bias; International Diversification; Human Capital; Labor Income Risk; Buffer-Stock Saving; Optimal Portfolio Choice;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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