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Flight-to-quality or Contagion? An EmpiricalAnalysis of Stock-bond correlations

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  • Dirk Baur
  • Brian M. Lucey

Abstract

This paper analyzes the existence of flight-to-quality from stocks to bonds and contagion between the two asset classes. Flight-to-quality is present if correlations between stocks and bonds strongly decrease in falling stock markets since this constitutes a movement of the asset classes in opposite directions. A movement in the same direction characterized by strongly increasing correlations in falling stock markets implies contagion across asset classes. We estimate dynamic conditional correlations and analyze normal and extreme changes of these correlations through time without an a priori specification of any crisis period. Daily MSCI stock and government bond returns are analyzed for a selection of European countries and the US. Our findings show that the correlation between the asset classes is characterized by large fluctuations and negative on average for the whole sample period. Extreme negative and positive correlation changes explained with flight-to-quality and contagion are relatively frequent phenomena. Examples of flight-to-quality are in the Asian and Russian crisis 1997 and 1998 and contagion is found after September 11. Controlling for the regime of correlations further shows that stock market volatility contributes to flight-to-quality and bond volatility to contagion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp122.

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Date of creation: 05 Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp122

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Keywords: flight-to-quality; contagion; multivariate GARCH;

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Cited by:
  1. Szafarz, Ariane & Chapelle, Ariane & Brière, Marie, 2012. "No contagion, only globalization and flight to quality," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7746, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Szafarz, Ariane & Brière, Marie, 2008. "Crisis-Robust Bond Portfolios," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7748, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Venus Khim-Sen Liew & Zhuo Qiao & Wing-keung Wong, 2010. "Linearity and stationarity of G7 government bond returns," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 2642-2655.
  4. Giovanni Pittaluga & Elena Seghezza, 2012. "Euro vs Dollar: An Improbable Threat," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 89-108, February.
  5. Smith, Kenneth L. & Swanson, Peggy E., 2008. "The dynamics among G7 government bond and equity markets and the implications for international capital market diversification," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 222-245, June.
  6. Angelos Kanas, 2009. "The relation between the equity risk premium and the bond maturity premium in the UK: 1900–2006," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 111-127, April.

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