International Capital Flows under Dispersed Information: Theory and Evidence
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI)
Eric Van Wincoop
University of Virginia - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6989
We develop a new theory of international capital flows based on dispersed information across individual investors. There is extensive evidence of information heterogeneity within and across countries, which has proven critical to understanding asset price behavior. We introduce information dispersion into an open economy dynamic general equilibrium portfolio choice model, and emphasize two implications for capital flows that are specific to the presence of dispersed information. First, gross and net capital flows become partially disconnected from publicly observed fundamentals. Second, capital flows (particularly gross flows) contain information about future fundamentals, even after controlling for current fundamentals. We find that these implications are quantitatively significant and consistent with data for industrialized countries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 62
Keywords: information dispersion, international capital flows
JEL Classification: F32, F36, F41
Date posted: December 2, 2008
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