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EMU and Portfolio Diversification Opportunities

  • Kpate ADJAOUTÉ,

    (Morgan Stanley Capital International, Geneva)

  • Jean-Pierre DANTHINE

    (University of Lausanne, CEPR and FAME)

This paper studies the impact of EMU on portfolio diversification opportunities. We find a significant increase in the correlation between stock returns, whether they are computed on the basis of market or sector indices. This is true for two definitions of the pre-convergence and convergence periods. Diversification opportunities within the Euro-area have thus been reduced. The culprit appears to be less the disappearance of currency risk than the convergence of economic structures and/or the homogenisation of economic shocks (across the Euro-15 member states). This evolution should mark the end of pure country allocation strategies within Europe. If these are the alternatives, the increased conformity of stock returns implies that international diversification does not pay: the cost of the home bias within Euroland has been lowered (in some cases to zero). Diversification across both countries and sectors, however, remains the much superior investment strategy, and, in light of this option, the cost of the home bias continues to be significant.

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Paper provided by International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering in its series FAME Research Paper Series with number rp31.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp31
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  1. Hardouvelis, Gikas A & Malliaropoulos, Dimitrios & Priestley, Richard, 1999. "EMU and European Stock Market Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  3. Harvey, Campbell R, 1991. " The World Price of Covariance Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 111-57, March.
  4. Lewis, Karen K., 1995. "Puzzles in international financial markets," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1913-1971 Elsevier.
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