Location Choice, Portfolio Choice
66 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 2017
Households hold nondiversified stock portfolios of firms headquartered near their city of residence. Explanations assign a causal role for proximity, either in generating an informational advantage or a familiarity bias. Empirical analyses assume households locate randomly, even though they optimally select a city. This selection is important since latent location factors might be correlated with latent demand for local stocks. Building on location choice models from urban economics, we develop a Heckman (1977)-style model to account for the effect of location choices on portfolio choices. Adjusting for selection significantly reduces local bias and the performance of local stock picks.
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