Keeping Up with the Joneses and the Home Bias


*Beni Lauterbach. We have benefited from presentation at the 2003 European Financial Management Association (EFMA) Meetings in Helsinki, and particularly from the comments of Yakov Amihud and Ian Cooper. All remaining errors are our own.


We argue that when individuals care about their consumption relative to that of their neighbours, a home bias emerges, that is investors overweight domestic stocks in their portfolios. Domestic stocks are preferred because they also serve the objective of mimicking the economic fortunes and welfare of the investor's neighbours, countrymen, and social reference group. We also demonstrate that globalization mitigates the home bias, and derive a modified international CAPM.