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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. 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.
  2. Peng, Lin & Xiong, Wei, 2006. "Investor attention, overconfidence and category learning," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 563-602, June.
  3. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity-Premium Puzzle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 257-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Jordi Mondria, 2006. "Financial Contagion and Attention Allocation," Working Papers tecipa-254, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.).
  7. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Business cycle dynamics under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1331, European Central Bank.
  8. Kraay, Aart & Loayza, Norman & Servén, Luis & Ventura, Jaume, 2001. "Country Portfolios," CEPR Discussion Papers 2974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Richard Portes & Helene Rey, 1999. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," NBER Working Papers 7336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1187-1215, 06.
  13. Falkinger, Josef, 2007. "Attention economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 266-294, March.
  14. Dahlquist, Magnus & Pinkowitz, Lee & Stulz, René M. & Williamson, Rohan, 2003. "Corporate Governance and the Home Bias," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 87-110, March.
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  17. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Yulei Luo, 2008. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 366-385, April.
  22. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Laura Veldkamp & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "Information Acquisition and Portfolio Underdiversification," 2005 Meeting Papers 77, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  26. Christopher J. Malloy, 2005. "The Geography of Equity Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 719-755, 04.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  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. 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.
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