Local Bias and Stock Market Conditions
31 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 15, 2012
We show that the local bias in US mutual fund portfolios varies significantly over time and is more pronounced at times of heightened market uncertainty, such as during financial crises. Similarly, local bias is less pronounced in periods when market sentiment is strong. These results do not depend on past fund performance or fund inflows during good times. Additionally, we do not find that fund managers earn superior returns on local stocks during periods of heightened market uncertainty. Overall, we conclude that informational advantages or scale economies are unlikely to be important factors in explaining the dependence of local bias on market conditions, and that our evidence is more consistent with a behavioral explanation whereby changes in market conditions affect the preference for local stocks of ambiguity averse investors.
Keywords: mutual funds, local bias, market conditions
JEL Classification: G11, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation