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What's in a name? An experimental examination of investment behavior

  • Lucy F. Ackert
  • Bryan K. Church
  • James Tompkins
  • Ping Zhang

A fundamental unresolved issue is whether information asymmetries underlie investors' predisposition to invest close to home (i.e., domestically or locally). The authors conduct experiments in the United States and Canada to investigate agents' portfolio allocation decisions, controlling for the availability of information. Providing participants with information about a firm's home base, without disclosing its specific identity, is not sufficient to change investment behavior. Rather, participants need to know a firm's name and home base. Additional evidence indicates that participants are more familiar with securities in which they chose to invest than other securities. Familiarity is a key determinant of investment behavior.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2003-12.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2003-12
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  1. Gustavo Grullon, 2004. "Advertising, Breadth of Ownership, and Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 439-461.
  2. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann, 1995. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse Than You Think," NBER Working Papers 5019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brennan, Michael J & Cao, H Henry, 1997. " International Portfolio Investment Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1851-80, December.
  4. Janiszewski, Chris, 1993. " Preattentive Mere Exposure Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 376-92, December.
  5. Shapiro, Stewart, 1999. " When an Ad's Influence Is Beyond Our Conscious Control: Perceptual and Conceptual Fluency Effects Caused by Incidental Ad Exposure," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 16-36, June.
  6. M. J. Brennan, 1995. "The Individual Investor," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 18(1), pages 59-74, 03.
  7. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-51, September.
  8. 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.
  9. Statman, Meir, 1987. "How Many Stocks Make a Diversified Portfolio?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(03), pages 353-363, September.
  10. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 1999. "Home Bias at Home: Local Equity Preference in Domestic Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2045-2073, December.
  11. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
  12. Gehrig, Thomas, 1993. " An Information Based Explanation of the Domestic Bias in International Equity Investment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(1), pages 97-109.
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