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Portfolio Diversification and City Agglomeration

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  • William N. Goetzmann
  • Massimo Massa
  • Andrei Simonov

Abstract

We relate the degree of investor portfolio focus to the broader urban economic context of the household. Using a detailed panel of investors in Sweden over the period 1995 to 2000, we find that the level of investor diversification, as measured by number of stocks in the portfolio and by the average correlation among holdings, is partially explained by city industrial characteristics. We find that rural portfolios are more diversified than urban portfolios and that portfolio diversification is characterized by factors associated with urban growth. We consider a number of theories to explain investor focus, including behavioral biases, real and perceived informational advantage, local social competition and hedging of non-tradable risk. We find little evidence to support social and hedging motives to explain the lack of portfolio diversification, and some evidence in favor of perceived informational advantage in an urban setting. We attribute this evidence as support for the broader 'knowledge spillover' processes documented in the recent urban economics literature. Portfolio effects may be added to the list of factors that define and differentiate urbanism.

Suggested Citation

  • William N. Goetzmann & Massimo Massa & Andrei Simonov, 2004. "Portfolio Diversification and City Agglomeration," NBER Working Papers 10343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10343
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Teo, Wing Leong, 2011. "Should the optimal portfolio be region-specific? A multi-region model with monetary policy and asset price co-movements," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 293-304, May.
    2. Morse, Adair & Shive, Sophie, 2011. "Patriotism in your portfolio," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 411-440, May.
    3. Marion Kohler & Kylie Smith, 2005. "Housing and the Household Wealth Portfolio: The Role of Location," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2005-10, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Bodnaruk, Andriy & Ostberg, Per, 2009. "Does investor recognition predict returns?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 208-226, February.
    5. Fu, Shihe & Shan, Liwei, 2011. "Agglomeration Economies and Local Comovement of Stock Returns," MPRA Paper 31887, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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