Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Naka, Atsuyuki

Second Advisor

Turunen-Red, Arja

Third Advisor

Whitney, Gerald

Fourth Advisor

Varela, Oscar

Fifth Advisor

Krishnaswami, Sudha


There is an ongoing debate over the role that equity markets play in determining and influencing international equity flows. The first chapter of this dissertation describes the large portfolio equity flows into China and India, in order to understand the buying behavior of US investors. The rapid growth of the Chinese and Indian economies, coupled with the recent development and liberalization of their financial markets has attracted significant portfolio investment from U.S. investors. It is commonly assumed that domestic investors have an informational advantage over foreign investors; however, some recent empirical literature has questioned this assumption. Essay one dissects the nature of the relationship between foreign equity flows, equity returns, and related variables. The results of my empirical investigation provides evidence that U.S. institutional investors are making investment decisions based on long-run determinants of value rather than responding to price signals or ‘chasing returns'. I anticipate that the strong relationship between equity flows and fundamentals will strengthen as information asymmetries decline and US investors continue to develop more sophisticated methods of assessing underlying value in China and India. The second essay of this dissertation explores a new panel data set based on US gross cross-border equity flows to 20 industrialized nations combined with measures of market valuation for the period of 1977-2005. Empirical evidence of imperfect integration across world equity markets indicates that valuation matters. Consistent with relative value trading as a determinant of equity flow patterns, I find that equity flows decrease sharply with host-country market valuations—in particular the component of valuation that is forecasted to revert the following year. I also find that equity flows increase sharply with US equity market valuations. These results suggest the existence of a valuation channel for cross-border equity flows. The findings of this chapter show that US investors are informed about both domestic markets and foreign markets. Peripheral findings of this essay confirm the findings of other researches, but with a longer sample period. Consistent with existing literature, I find a negative influence of interest rates spreads, and information asymmetries on cross-border trade in equities.


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