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Home-field advantage or a matter of ambiguity aversion? Local bias among German individual investors

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  • Baltzer, Markus
  • Stolper, Oscar
  • Walter, Andreas

Abstract

We analyze the effect of geographic proximity on individual investors' portfolio choice. Using a unique data set which covers the common stockholdings of private households at regional banks in Germany, we document strong and consistent overinvestment in geographically close companies. Our results conclusively reject the presence of an informational advantage ('home-field advantage') of local over non-local investors. Instead, households' preference for local equity turns out to be familiarity-driven. We conclude that individual investors' local bias is induced by ambiguity aversion in the portfolio selection process rather than a trading strategy based on superior information about local companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Baltzer, Markus & Stolper, Oscar & Walter, Andreas, 2011. "Home-field advantage or a matter of ambiguity aversion? Local bias among German individual investors," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,23, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:201123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Koen Schoors & Maria Semenova & Andrey Zubanov, 2016. "Depositor Discipline in Russian Regions: Flight to Familiarity or Trust in Local Authorities?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 58/FE/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    2. Tim Schmitz & Ingo Hoffmann, 2020. "Re-evaluating cryptocurrencies' contribution to portfolio diversification -- A portfolio analysis with special focus on German investors," Papers 2006.06237, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2020.
    3. repec:zbw:bofitp:2017_001 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dehua Shen & Xiao Li & Andrea Teglio & Wei Zhang, 2016. "The impact of information-based familiarity on the stock market," Working Papers 2016/08, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    5. Baltzer, Markus & Stolper, Oscar & Walter, Andreas, 2013. "Is local bias a cross-border phenomenon? Evidence from individual investors’ international asset allocation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2823-2835.
    6. Andreas Oehler & Matthias Horn, 2021. "Behavioural portfolio theory revisited: lessons learned from the field," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(S1), pages 1743-1774, April.
    7. Koen Schoors & Maria Semenova & Andrey Zubanov, 2016. "Depositor Discipline in Russian Regions: Flight to Familiarity or Trust in Local Authorities?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 58/FE/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    8. Schoors, Koen & Semenova, Maria & Zubanov, Andrey, 2019. "Depositor discipline during crisis: Flight to familiarity or trust in local authorities?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 25-39.
    9. Lars Hornuf & Matthias Neuenkirch, 2017. "Pricing shares in equity crowdfunding," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 795-811, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    local bias; portfolio diversification; household finance; investor behaviour; ambiguity aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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