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Human capital and international portfolio choice

  • Christian Julliard

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
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  1. Michaelides, Alexander, 2001. "International Portfolio Choice: Liquidity Constraints and the Home Equity Bias Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3066, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "The Human Capital of Stockholders and the International Diversification Puzzle," Working Papers 2001-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hau, Harald & Rey, Hélène, 2003. "Exchange Rates, Equity Prices and Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 3735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Tesar, Linda L., 1993. "International risk-sharing and non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 69-89, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Angus Deaton, 1989. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Gali, J., 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," Working Papers 96-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. 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.
  13. Francis E. Warnock, 2001. "Home bias and high turnover reconsidered," International Finance Discussion Papers 702, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Constantinides,George & Duffie,Darrel, 1992. "Asset pricing with heterogeneous consumers," Discussion Paper Serie A 381, University of Bonn, Germany.
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