IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Why Do Foreigners Invest in the United States?

  • Kristin J. Forbes

    (MIT-Sloan School of Management)

Why are foreigners willing to invest almost $2 trillion/year in the United States? The answer will affect if the existing pattern of global imbalances can persist and if the United States can continue to finance its current account deficit without a major change in asset prices and returns. This paper tests various hypotheses, focusing on the factors driving private-sector investment decisions. Standard portfolio allocation models and diversification motives are poor predictors of foreign holdings of U.S. liabilities. Instead, foreigners hold greater shares of their investment portfolios in the United States if they have less developed financial markets. The magnitude of this effect is greater in lower income countries. Countries with more capital controls also invest less in U.S. equity and bond markets, and foreign investors “chase returns” in their purchases of U.S. equities (although not bonds). The empirical results showing a primary role of financial market development in driving foreign purchases of U.S. portfolio liabilities supports recent theoretical work on global imbalances.

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: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2008/paper_387.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 387.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:387
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
Email:


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. Kristin J. Forbes, 2008. "Why do Foreigners Invest in the United States?," NBER Working Papers 13908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fang Cai & Francis E. Warnock, 2005. "International Diversification at Home and Abroad," Kiel Working Papers 1246, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Kristin J. Forbes, 2003. "One Cost of the Chilean Capital Controls: Increased Financial Constraints for Smalles Traded Firms," NBER Working Papers 9777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alogoskoufis, G. & Portes, R. & Rey, H., 1997. "The Emergence of the Euro as an International Currency," DELTA Working Papers 97-28, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Antonin Aviat & Nicolas Coeurdacier, 2007. "The geography of trade in goods and asset holdings," Post-Print hal-01045223, HAL.
  6. Kalok Chan & Vicentiu Covrig & Lilian Ng, 2005. "What Determines the Domestic Bias and Foreign Bias? Evidence from Mutual Fund Equity Allocations Worldwide," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1495-1534, 06.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Ben Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, "undated". "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is there a Common Cause?," Working Paper 32326, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Richard Clarida, "undated". "The Unsustainable U S Current Account Position Revisited," Working Paper 14901, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Working Papers 11589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g708pipbp is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Bong-Chan Kho & René M. Stulz & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Financial Globalization, Governance, and the Evolution of the Home Bias," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 597-635, 05.
  12. Lane, Philip R, 2005. "Global Bond Portfolios and EMU," MPRA Paper 654, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Feb 2006.
  13. Philippe Martin and Hélène Rey., 2000. "Financial Super-Markets: Size Matters for Asset Trade," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C00-110, University of California at Berkeley.
  14. 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.
  15. Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2006. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 11973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2007. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 645-674 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "International Investment Patterns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 538-549, August.
  17. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Working Papers 11563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  19. Jay C. Shambaugh, 2004. "The Effect of Fixed Exchange Rates on Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 301-352.
  20. Joseph W. Gruber & Steven B. Kamin, 2008. "Do differences in financial development explain the global pattern of current account imbalances?," International Finance Discussion Papers 923, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2002. "A Gravity Model of Sovereign Lending: Trade, Default and Credit," NBER Working Papers 9285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Ju, Jiandong & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 5981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Kristin J. Forbes, 2005. "The Microeconomic Evidence on Capital Controls: No Free Lunch," NBER Working Papers 11372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Aviat, Antonin & Coeurdacier, Nicolas, 2007. "The geography of trade in goods and asset holdings," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 22-51, March.
  25. Pol Antràs & Ricardo J. Caballero, 2007. "Trade and Capital Flows: A Financial Frictions Perspective," NBER Working Papers 13241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharftstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1992. " Herd on the Street: Informational Inefficiencies in a Market with Short-Term Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1461-1484, September.
  27. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2005. "Bubbles and Capital Flow Volatility: Causes and Risk Management," NBER Working Papers 11618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Michael W. Klein, 2003. "Capital Account Openness and the Varieties of Growth Experience," NBER Working Papers 9500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. di Giovanni, Julian, 2002. "What Drives Capital Flows? The Case of Cross-Border M&A Activity and Financial Deepening," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7nq6d7wp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  30. Aggarwal, Reena & Klapper, Leora & Wysocki, Peter D., 2005. "Portfolio preferences of foreign institutional investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2919-2946, December.
  31. Kang, Jun-Koo & Stulz, Rene M., 1997. "Why is there a home bias? An analysis of foreign portfolio equity ownership in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 3-28, October.
  32. Ahearne, Alan G. & Griever, William L. & Warnock, Francis E., 2004. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of US holdings of foreign equities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 313-336, March.
  33. Leuz, Christian & Lins, Karl V. & Warnock, Francis E., 2007. "Do Foreigners Invest Less in Poorly Governed Firms?," Working Papers 07-2, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  34. Shujing Li & Hamid Faruqee & Isabel K. Yan, 2004. "The Determinants of International Portfolio Holdings and Home Bias," IMF Working Papers 04/34, International Monetary Fund.
  35. Bohn, Henning & Tesar, Linda L, 1996. "U.S. Equity Investment in Foreign Markets: Portfolio Rebalancing or Return Chasing?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 77-81, May.
  36. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  39. Rafael Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "What Works in Securities Laws?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-32, 02.
  40. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Gelos, Gaston & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2004. "Transparency and International Portfolio Holdings," CEPR Discussion Papers 4476, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  42. Hausmann, Ricardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2006. "Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations," Working Paper Series rwp06-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  43. Woochan Kim & Taeyoon Sung & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "How Does Corporate Governance Risk at Home Affect Investment Choices Abroad?," NBER Working Papers 13721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. John D. Burger & Francis E. Warnock, 2003. "Diversification, original sin, and international bond portfolios," International Finance Discussion Papers 755, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  45. Hau, Harald & Rey, Hélène, 2008. "Global Portfolio Rebalancing Under the Microscope," CEPR Discussion Papers 6901, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  46. Christian Daude & Marcel Fratzscher, 2007. "The pecking order of cross-border investment," CGFS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Research on global financial stability: the use of BIS international financial statistics, volume 29, pages 53-89 Bank for International Settlements.
  47. Portes, Richard & Rey, Helene & Oh, Yonghyup, 2001. "Information and capital flows: The determinants of transactions in financial assets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 783-796, May.
  48. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2007. "The stability of large external imbalances: the role of returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 894, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  49. William R. Cline, 2005. "United States as a Debtor Nation, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3993, January.
  50. Shang-Jin Wei & Jiandong Ju, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/178, International Monetary Fund.
  51. Xinge Zhao, 2008. "Determinants of flows into retail international equity funds," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(7), pages 1169-1177, October.
  52. William L. Griever & Gary A. Lee & Francis E. Warnock, 2001. "The U.S. system for measuring cross-border investment in securities: a primer with a discussion of recent developments," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Oct, pages 634-650.
  53. Carol C. Bertaut & Linda S. Kole, 2004. "What makes investors over or underweight? explaining international appetites for foreign equities," International Finance Discussion Papers 819, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  54. Peter B. Clark & Shang-Jin Wei & Natalia T. Tamirisa & Azim M Sadikov & Li Zeng, 2004. "A New Look at Exchange Rate Volatility and Trade Flows," IMF Occasional Papers 235, International Monetary Fund.
  55. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "International Investors, the U.S. Current Account, and the Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 1-66.
  56. Kim, Woochan & Sung, Taeyoon & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2011. "Does corporate governance risk at home affect investment choices abroad?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 25-41, September.
  57. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 1999. "Home Bias at Home: Local Equity Preference in Domestic Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2045-2073, December.
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:red:sed008:387. 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: (Christian Zimmermann)

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.