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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: https://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
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  5. Mondria, Jordi & Wu, Thomas, 2010. "The puzzling evolution of the home bias, information processing and financial openness," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 875-896, May.
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  11. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Christopher J. Malloy, 2005. "The Geography of Equity Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 719-755, 04.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Dahlquist, Magnus & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, René M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2002. "Corporate Governance and the Home Bias," SIFR Research Report Series 11, Institute for Financial Research.
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  18. Jordi Mondria, 2006. "Financial Contagion and Attention Allocation," 2006 Meeting Papers 177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. 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.
  20. Falkinger, Josef, 2007. "Attention economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 266-294, March.
  21. 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.
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  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Brennan, Michael J & Cao, H Henry, 1997. " International Portfolio Investment Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1851-80, December.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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