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Is Home Bias in Assets Related to Home Bias in Goods?

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  • Eric van Wincoop
  • Francis E. Warnock

Abstract

Obstfeld and Rogoff (2000) have reinvigorated an old literature on the link between home bias in the goods market and home bias in the asset market by arguing that trade costs in the goods market can account for the observed portfolio home bias. The key link between home bias in the two markets is the real exchange rate. Home bias in consumption implies a different expenditure allocation across countries, which leads to different inflation rates when measured in the same currency. This leads investors from different countries to choose different portfolios to hedge against inflation uncertainty. An older partial equilibrium literature argued that such hedge portfolios are not large enough to produce substantial home bias. We link the general equilibrium and partial equilibrium literatures and show that in both the resulting home bias in the equity market depends on a covariance-variance ratio: the covariance between the real exchange rate and the excess return on home relative to foreign equity, divided by the variance of the excess return. Empirical evidence shows that this ratio and the implied home bias are close to zero, casting significant doubt on a meaningful link between home bias in the goods and asset markets. General equilibrium models that conclude otherwise imply a covariance-variance ratio that is at odds with the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric van Wincoop & Francis E. Warnock, 2006. "Is Home Bias in Assets Related to Home Bias in Goods?," NBER Working Papers 12728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12728
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2013. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Not as Bad as You Think," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1108-1159.
    2. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Kollmann, Robert & Martin, Philippe, 2010. "International portfolios, capital accumulation and foreign assets dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 100-112, January.
    3. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2016. "When bonds matter: Home bias in goods and assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 119-137.
    4. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Robert Kollmann & Philippe Martin, 2009. "International Portfolios with Supply, Demand and Redistributive Shocks," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 231-263 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mukherjee, Rahul, 2015. "Institutions, Corporate Governance and Capital Flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 338-359.
    6. Luke Willard, 2007. "Trade Costs and Some Puzzles in International Macroeconomics," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2007-10, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    7. Nicolas Coeurdacier, 2009. "Theoretical perspectives on financial globalization: trade costs and equity home bias," Working Papers hal-01063456, HAL.
    8. Koralai Kirabaeva & Assaf Razin, 2009. "Composition of International Capital Flows: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 15599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Tobias Broer, 2008. "The home bias of the poor: terms of trade effects and portfolios across the wealth distribution," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/28, European University Institute.
    10. Robert Kollmann & Nicolas Coeurdacier & Philippe Martin, 2008. "International portfolios, current account dynamics and capital accumulation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13410, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Philip R. Lane, 2008. "EMU and Financial Integration," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp272, IIIS.
    12. Kim, Heeho & Cho, Seong-Hoon & Kim, Yongku, 2015. "Home bias, risk differential, and cultural spatial spillover effects," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 114-136.
    13. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g7485ckbm is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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