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International Diversification at Home and Abroad

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  • Fang Cai
  • Francis E. Warnock

Abstract

It is an established fact that investors favor the familiar%u2014be it domestic securities or, within a country, the securities of nearby firms%u2014and avoid investments that would provide the greatest diversification benefits. While we do not rule out familiarity as an important driver of portfolio allocations, we provide new evidence of investors%u2019 international diversification motive. In particular, our analysis of the security-level U.S. equity holdings of foreign and domestic institutional investors indicates that institutional investors reveal a preference for domestic multinationals (MNCs), even after controlling for familiarity factors. We attribute this revealed preference to the desire to obtain %u201Csafe%u201D international diversification. We then show that holdings of domestic MNCs are substantial and, after accounting for this home-grown foreign exposure, that the share of %u201Cforeign%u201D equities in investors%u2019 portfolios roughly doubles, reducing (but not eliminating) the observed home bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Fang Cai & Francis E. Warnock, 2006. "International Diversification at Home and Abroad," NBER Working Papers 12220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12220
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    Cited by:

    1. Desai, Mihir A. & Dharmapala, Dhammika, 2009. "Taxes, institutions and foreign diversification opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 703-714, June.
    2. Forbes, Kristin J., 2010. "Why do foreigners invest in the United States?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 3-21, January.
    3. Berrill, Jenny, 2010. "Firm-level analysis of the international diversification of small integrated stock markets: Ireland 1999-2007," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 172-189, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Marcela Meirelles Aurelio, 2006. "Going global : the changing pattern of U.S. investment abroad," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-32.
    6. Abreu, Margarida & Mendes, Victor & Santos, João A.C., 2011. "Home country bias: Does domestic experience help investors enter foreign markets?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2330-2340, September.
    7. Tatiana Didier & Roberto Rigobon & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2013. "Unexploited Gains From International Diversification: Patterns Of Portfolio Holdings Around The World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1562-1583, December.
    8. Zalewska, Anna, 2006. "Is locking domestic funds into the local market beneficial? Evidence from the Polish pension reforms," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 339-360, December.
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    14. Christian Thimann, 2008. "Global Roles of Currencies," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 211-245, December.
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    16. Massa, Massimo & Žaldokas, Alminas, 2014. "Investor base and corporate borrowing: Evidence from international bonds," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 95-110.
    17. John Ammer & Sara B. Holland & David C. Smith & Francis E. Warnock, 2004. "Look at me now: the role of cross-listing in attracting U.S. investors," International Finance Discussion Papers 815, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Abdioglu, Nida & Khurshed, Arif & Stathopoulos, Konstantinos, 2013. "Foreign institutional investment: Is governance quality at home important?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 916-940.

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    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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