Trust and Local Bias of Individual Investors

46 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2016

See all articles by Ran Shao

Ran Shao

Yeshiva University

Na Wang

Hofstra University - Frank G. Zarb School of Business

Date Written: August 10, 2016


It has been widely documented that investment decisions of individual investors exhibit local bias. Yet little is known of how societal forces affect investors' portfolio allocations of local versus nonlocal assets. We propose that social capital, and trust in particular, decreases the local bias of individual investors. Using the trading records of Chinese retail investors, we find that investors with a higher level of trust exhibit less local bias in their stock investments, and this pattern survives under various robustness checks. Furthermore, we document that trust has less effect on local bias of small stocks and potentially informed investors. These findings suggest that trust plays an important role in individual investors' financial decisions, especially for their non-information-driven trading behaviors.

Keywords: trust, local bias, portfolio holdings, individual investors, small stocks, information advantage.

JEL Classification: G02, G11, G15.

Suggested Citation

Shao, Ran and Wang, Na, Trust and Local Bias of Individual Investors (August 10, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Ran Shao

Yeshiva University ( email )

500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
United States


Na Wang (Contact Author)

Hofstra University - Frank G. Zarb School of Business ( email )

134 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States

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