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Behavioral determinants of home bias - theory and experiment

Author

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  • Dennis Dlugosch

    ()

  • Kristian Horn

    ()

  • Mei Wang

    ()

Abstract

We study portfolio diversification in an experimental decision task, where asset returns depend on a draw from an ambiguous urn. Holding other information identical and controlling for the level of ambiguity, we find that labeling assets as being familiar or from the homeland of subjects increases portfolio weights by around 25%, respectively; although the return-generating process remains unaffected. Importantly, we only find these effects when the returns of assets are highly ambiguous. Our ambiguity robust mean-variance model accurately predicts benchmark portfolio weights of the experimental control group, where assets are not labeled: subjects allocate more wealth to assets with low ambiguity. For treatment group portfolios, which show a bias towards assets with a familiar or homeland label, the model does not hold. This misdiversification against the benchmark portfolio can be rationalized via the concept of source dependence of uncertainty attitudes.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Dlugosch & Kristian Horn & Mei Wang, 2014. "Behavioral determinants of home bias - theory and experiment," Working Papers 2014-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2014-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Home bias; ambiguity aversion; familiarity; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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