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Financial centers and the geography of capital flows

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  • Francis E. Warnock
  • Chad Cleaver

Abstract

We examine an assumption common in empirical work on bilateral portfolio capital flows that the countries the flows are attributed to are also the countries of the security's issuer, seller, or ultimate buyer. We do this by estimating U.S. investors' holdings of debt and equities in over 40 countries and, for the same countries, foreign investors' holdings of U.S. debt and equities. A comparison of our estimates with data from benchmark surveys provides insight into U.S. data on international debt and equity transactions. We find that, contrary to the common assumption, the data do not track the location of U.S. investment or the location of investors in U.S. assets very well. Because the U.S. portfolio flow data collection system was designed to measure cross-border transactions with foreign counterparties who are often intermediaries, the majority of the flows are attributed to financial centers. By aggregating our country-level estimates, we find that U.S. data accurately portray net inflows into U.S. equities and net outflows into foreign bonds. However, the data substantially overcount net inflows into U.S. bonds and may undercount net outflows into foreign equities. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings for research on capital flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis E. Warnock & Chad Cleaver, 2002. "Financial centers and the geography of capital flows," International Finance Discussion Papers 722, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:722
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Curcuru, Stephanie E. & Thomas, Charles P. & Warnock, Francis E. & Wongswan, Jon, 2014. "Uncovered Equity Parity and rebalancing in international portfolios," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 86-99.
    2. Jaroslaw Marczak & Natalya Uvarova, 2016. "The Kazakhstan-European Union Partnership: Modernization of the Republic's Financial System," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 4, pages 229-241, December.
    3. Lin, Anchor Y. & Swanson, Peggy E., 2008. "U.S. investors and global equity markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 83-107.
    4. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R., 2003. "Emerging markets finance," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 3-56, February.
    5. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530.
    6. Arribas Ivan & Perez Francisco & Tortosa-Ausina Emili, 2010. "The Determinants of International Financial Integration Revisited: The Role of Networks and Geographic Neutrality," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-55, December.
    7. Rui Albuquerque & Gregory Bauer & Martin Schneider, 2004. "Characterizing Asymmetric Information in International Equity Markets," International Finance 0405005, EconWPA.
    8. Albuquerque, Rui & H. Bauer, Gregory & Schneider, Martin, 2009. "Global private information in international equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 18-46, October.
    9. Porras, Eva & Ülkü, Numan, 2015. "Foreigners’ trading and stock returns in Spain," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 111-126.
    10. Mann, Catherine L. & Meade, Ellen E., 2002. "Home bias, transactions costs, and prospects for the Euro: A more detailed analysis," Research Notes 6, Deutsche Bank Research.
    11. Warnock, Francis E., 2002. "Home bias and high turnover reconsidered," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 795-805, November.
    12. Hale, Galina & Arteta, Carlos, 2009. "Currency crises and foreign credit in emerging markets: Credit crunch or demand effect?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 758-774, October.
    13. Rogelio Mercado Jr., 2018. "Bilateral Capital Flows: Transaction Patterns and Gravity," Trinity Economics Papers tep0218, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2018.
    14. Daly, Kevin & Vo, Xuan Vinh, 2013. "The determinants of home bias puzzle in equity portfolio investment in Australia," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 34-42.
    15. Mishra, Anil V., 2015. "Measures of equity home bias puzzle," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 293-312.
    16. Ravi Balakrishnan & Volodymyr Tulin & Tamim Bayoumi, 2007. "Globalization, Gluts, Innovation or Irrationality; What Explains the Easy Financing of the U.S. Current Account Deficit?," IMF Working Papers 07/160, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Numan Ülkü & Petar Petrov, 2015. "How Reliable Are the Findings of ‘Foreign’ Investor Studies That Use TIC Data? A Look from the Host Market," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 521-553, December.
    18. Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2011. "Asian holding of US Treasury securities: Trade integration as a threshold," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 321-335, September.
    19. Hale, Galina B. & Spiegel, Mark M., 2012. "Currency composition of international bonds: The EMU effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 134-149.
    20. Glassman, Debra A. & Riddick, Leigh A., 2006. "Market timing by global fund managers," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1029-1050, November.
    21. Brandon Julio & Youngsuk Yook, 2013. "Policy uncertainty, irreversibility, and cross-border flows of capital," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    22. Lin, Anchor Y. & Swanson, Peggy E., 2008. "Foreigners' perceptions of U.S. markets: Do foreigners exhibit herding tendencies?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 179-203.

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    Keywords

    Capital movements ; Investments; Foreign;

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