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The Determinants of International Investment and Attention Allocation: Using Internet Search Query Data

  • Jordi Mondria
  • Thomas Wu
  • Yi Zhang

The challenge of evaluating asymmetric information theories relies on assessing the pieces of information investors decide to process. This paper overcomes such challenge exploring a unique dataset containing the "search/click-through" behavior of internet search engine users. We analyze the relationship between attention allocation and international investment decisions by combining U.S. data on portfolio holdings of foreign securities with the attention allocated by America Online customers in search queries towards these countries. We find evidence that: (i) agents tend to search more information about countries where they hold more assets, and (ii) agents tend to invest more in countries where they process more information.

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-326.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-326.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 08 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-326
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle," Working Paper Series 2006-35, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bekaert, Geert, 1995. "Market Integration and Investment Barriers in Emerging Equity Markets," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 75-107, January.
  5. Jordi Mondria & Climent Quintana‐Domeque, 2013. "Financial Contagion and Attention Allocation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(568), pages 429-454, 05.
  6. Yulei Luo, 2005. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Macroeconomics 0505011, EconWPA, revised 03 Jun 2005.
  7. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Lee Pinkowitz & Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Corporate Governance and the Home Bias," NBER Working Papers 8680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Laura Veldkamp & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2004. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," Working Papers 04-32, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  11. Aart Kraay & Norman Loayza & Luis Servén & Jaume Ventura, 2000. "Country portfolios," Economics Working Papers 913, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2001. "The Geography of Investment: Informed Trading and Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 811-841, August.
  13. Richard Portes & Hélène Rey, 2001. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," DELTA Working Papers 2001-08, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  14. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity Premium Puzzle," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1947, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Brennan, Michael J & Cao, H Henry, 1997. " International Portfolio Investment Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1851-80, December.
  16. Thomas Wu & Jordi Mondria, 2007. "The Puzzling Evolution of the Home Bias, Information Processing and Financial Openness," 2007 Meeting Papers 669, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2010. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7691, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
  19. Lin Peng & Wei Xiong, 2005. "Investor Attention: Overconfidence and Category Learning," NBER Working Papers 11400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Josef Falkinger, 2003. "Attention Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 1079, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. 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.).
  22. Zhou, Chunsheng, 1998. "Dynamic portfolio choice and asset pricing with differential information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 1027-1051, May.
  23. Barron, John M. & Ni, Jinlan, 2008. "Endogenous asymmetric information and international equity home bias: The effects of portfolio size and information costs," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 617-635, June.
  24. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
  25. Christopher J. Malloy, 2005. "The Geography of Equity Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 719-755, 04.
  26. 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.
  27. Laura Veldkamp & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "Information Acquisition and Portfolio Underdiversification," 2005 Meeting Papers 77, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  28. Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David Isaac & Moloche, Guillermo & Stephen, Weinberg, 2003. "The allocation of attention: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 47339, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  29. 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.
  30. Gehrig, Thomas, 1993. " An Information Based Explanation of the Domestic Bias in International Equity Investment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(1), pages 97-109.
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