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Are the Gains from Foreign Diversification Diminishing? Assessing the Impact with Cross-listed Stocks

  • Karen K. Lewis
  • Sandy Lai
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    How important is foreign diversification? In this paper, we re-examine this question motivated by findings from the literature about foreign companies that are listed on US exchanges. Specifically, domestic portfolios including cross-listed stocks can provide the same diversification as foreign market returns without the need for US investors to go abroad. At the same time, the betas of these foreign stock returns against the US market increase after cross-listing, suggesting diversification worsens over time. In this paper, we assess the impact of these changes on foreign diversification for a US investor. We test for and estimate breaks in the sensitivity of individual foreign stocks listed on US exchanges. We find that roughly half of the changes in betas arise from greater integration between the U.S. and the companies' home markets, not in the companies betas themselves. Moreover, the gains from diversifying into these stocks has declined over time.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18627.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18627
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    1. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey, 2000. "Foreign Speculators and Emerging Equity Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 565-613, 04.
    2. Doidge, Craig & Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, Rene M., 2004. "Why are foreign firms listed in the U.S. worth more?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 205-238, February.
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    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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    7. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lumsdaine, Robin L., 2002. "Dating the integration of world equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 203-247, August.
    8. Bartram, Sohnke M. & Griffin, John & Ng, David, 2010. "How Important Are Foreign Ownership Linkages for International Stock Returns?," Working Papers 10-21, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    9. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
    10. Dumas, Bernard & Solnik, Bruno, 1995. " The World Price of Foreign Exchange Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 445-79, June.
    11. Liu, Edith X., 2010. "Diversifying Credit Risk with International Corporate Bonds," Working Papers 10-4, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
    12. Shmuel Baruch & Gideon Saar, 2009. "Asset Returns and the Listing Choice of Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2239-2274, June.
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