IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Understanding International Portfolio Diversification and Turnover Rates

  • Amir Amadi
  • Paul Bergin

This paper argues that fixed trading costs in international asset markets help explain equity home bias. This contrasts with explanations prevalent in international macroeconomics, which tend to be based on trading frictions instead in international goods markets, such as nontraded goods or transportation costs. While the stylized fact of high trading turnover in foreign holdings has been interpreted as evidence against international asset trading costs, we show that this argument only applies to costs that are proportional to trade, and not to fixed costs of entering the foreign market. After documenting that the home bias and turnover stylized facts remain valid in recent data, the paper constructs a very simple portfolio allocation model with various configurations of trading costs and with heterogeneous types of traders. A configuration with per unit costs heterogeneous among agents and a homogeneous fixed cost is found to replicate the pair of stylized facts. Intuitively, the lower trading costs that characterize larger and more efficient traders have two implications: firstly, these traders find it more profitable to enter foreign markets; secondly, their lower trading costs encourage a higher rate of trading turnover. Since holdings of international equities are disproportionately dominated by this class of larger and more efficient traders, average trading turnover is higher among international holdings.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12473.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Amadi, Amir A. & Bergin, Paul R., 2008. "Understanding international portfolio diversification and turnover rates," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 191-206, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12473
Note: IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alan G. Ahearne & William L. Griever & Francis E. Warnock, 2000. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of U.S. holdings of foreign equities," International Finance Discussion Papers 691, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Rowland, P.F. & Tesar, L.L., 1998. "Multinationals and the Gains from International Diversification," Working Papers 425, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Joshua Aizenman, 1997. "International Portfolio Diversification with Generalized Expected Utility Preferences," NBER Working Papers 5965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Martin, Philippe & Rey, Hélène, 1999. "Financial Integration and Asset Returns," CEPR Discussion Papers 2282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2003. "International Financial Integration," IMF Working Papers 03/86, International Monetary Fund.
  6. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  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. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2001. "Financial Globalization and Real Regionalization," Working Papers 01-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  10. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  12. Pesenti, Paolo & van Wincoop, Eric, 2002. "Can Nontradables Generate Substantial Home Bias?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 25-50, February.
  13. Mark Grinblatt, 2001. "How Distance, Language, and Culture Influence Stockholdings and Trades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 1053-1073, 06.
  14. Warnock, Francis E., 2002. "Home bias and high turnover reconsidered," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 795-805, November.
  15. Merton, Robert C., 1987. "A simple model of capital market equilibrium with incomplete information," Working papers 1869-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  16. Wincoop, Eric van, 1994. "Welfare gains from international risksharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 175-200, October.
  17. Rowland, Patrick F., 1999. "Transaction costs and international portfolio diversification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 145-170, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12473. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.