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International Home Bias in International Finance and Business Cycles

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  • Karen K. Lewis

Abstract

Domestic investors hold a substantially larger proportion of their wealth portfolios in domestic assets than standard portfolio theory would suggest. This phenomenon has been called equity home bias.' In the absence of this home bias, investors would optimally diversify away domestic output risk. Therefore, in a world without investor home bias, consumption growth rates would tend to comove across countries even when output growth rates do not. Empirically, however, consumption growth rates tend to have a lower correlation across countries than do output growth rates. Moreover, consumption growth in each country appears to be highly correlated with its own output growth relative to the world. This phenomenon may be called consumption home bias.' In this paper, I evaluate existing explanations for these two types of home bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen K. Lewis, 1998. "International Home Bias in International Finance and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 6351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6351
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    3. Antoine Bouveret & Bruno Ducoudre, 2007. "On the Contingency of Equilibrium Exchange Rates with Time - Consistent Economic Policies," Working Papers hal-01066080, HAL.
    4. Portes, Richard & Rey, Helene, 2005. "The determinants of cross-border equity flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 269-296, March.
    5. David Kim & Jeffrey Sheen, 2007. "Consumption Risk‐Sharing within Australia and with New Zealand," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(260), pages 46-59, March.
    6. Stephen Ching & Michael B. Devereux, 2003. "Mundell Revisited: a Simple Approach to the Costs and Benefits of a Single Currency Area," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 674-691, September.
    7. Robert C. Merton & Zvi Bodie, 2005. "Design Of Financial Systems: Towards A Synthesis Of Function And Structure," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: H Gifford Fong (ed.), The World Of Risk Management, chapter 1, pages 1-27, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Jondeau, E. & Rockinger, M., 2004. "The Bank Bias: Segmentation of French Fund Families," Working papers 107, Banque de France.
    9. Bruno Ducoudre, 2008. "Structure par terme des taux d’intérêt et anticipations de la politique économique," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5221, Sciences Po.
    10. Philip Lane, 2001. "Do international investment income flows smooth income?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(4), pages 714-736, December.
    11. Thomas J. Flavin & Michael R. Wickens, 1998. "Optimal International Asset Allocation and Home Bias," Economics Department Working Paper Series n841298, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    12. Thomas J. Flavin & Michael R. Wickens, 1998. ": A Risk Management Approach to Optimal Asset Allocation," Economics Department Working Paper Series n851298, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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