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Can risk aversion indicators anticipate financial crises?

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  • Coudert, V.
  • Gex, M.

Abstract

Fluctuations in investor risk aversion are often cited as a factor explaining crises on financial markets. The alternation between periods of bullishness prompting investors to make risky investments, and periods of bearishness, when they retreat to the safest forms of investments, could be at the root of sharp fluctuations in asset prices. One problem in the assessment of these different periods is clearly distinguishing the risk perceived by agents from risk aversion itself. There are several types of risk aversion indicators used by financial institutions (the VIX, the LCVI, the GRAI, etc.). These indices, which are estimated in diverse ways, often show differing developments, although it is not possible to directly assess which is the most accurate. An interesting method in this respect is to link the indicators to financial crises. In principle, financial crises should coincide with periods in which risk aversion increases. Here we estimate probabilities of financial crises –currency and stock market crises– using the different risk aversion indicators as explanatory variables. This allows us to assess their respective predictive powers. The tests carried out show that risk aversion does tend to increase before crises, at least when it is measured by the most relevant indices. This variable is a good leading indicator of stock market crises, but is less so for currency crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Coudert, V. & Gex, M., 2006. "Can risk aversion indicators anticipate financial crises?," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 9, pages 67-87, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:fisrev:2006:9:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Esteban Gómez & Sandra Rozo, 2008. "Beyond Bubbles: The Role of Asset Prices in Early-Warning Indicators," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 26(56), pages 114-148, June.
    2. Jose Fique & Frank Page, 2013. "Rollover risk and endogenous network dynamics," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 213-230, June.
    3. Laurence Kang-por Fung & Chi-sang Tam & Ip-wing Yu, 2009. "Changes in investors' risk appetite - an assessment of financial integration and interdependence," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring financial innovation and its impact", Basel, 26-27 August 2008, volume 31, pages 294-321 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Laurence Fung & Chi-sang Tam & Ip-wing Yu, 2008. "Changes in Investors' Risk Appetite - An Assessment of Financial Integration and Interdependence," Working Papers 0812, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
    5. Papadamou, Stephanos & Siriopoulos, Costas, 2008. "Does the ECB Care about Shifts in Investors’ Risk Appetite?," MPRA Paper 25973, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Marini, François, 2011. "Financial intermediation in the theory of the risk-free rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1663-1668, July.
    7. Chaipat Poonpatpibul & Vasuveerapat Ramdecha & Krittinan Wiengwangchai & Pawinee Jitmongkolsa-mer, 2008. "Border of Monetary Policy in the New Financial State," Working Papers 2008-01, Monetary Policy Group, Bank of Thailand.
    8. Neziri, Hekuran, 2008. "Can Credit Default Swaps Predict Financial Crises: An Empirical Test on Emerging Markets," MPRA Paper 13096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Hekuran NEZIRI, 2009. "Can Credit Default Swaps Predict Financial Crises? Empirical Study On Emerging Markets," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 4(1(7)_ Spr).
    10. Philipp Maier & Garima Vasishtha, 2008. "Good Policies or Good Fortune: What Drives the Compression in Emerging Market Spreads?," Staff Working Papers 08-25, Bank of Canada.
    11. Iuliia Brushko & Yuko Hashimoto, 2014. "The Role of Country Concentration in the International Portfolio Investment Positions for the European Union Members," IMF Working Papers 14/74, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Birgit Uhlenbrock, 2009. "Financial markets' appetite for risk - and the challenge of assessing its evolution by risk appetite indicators," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring financial innovation and its impact", Basel, 26-27 August 2008, volume 31, pages 221-259 Bank for International Settlements.

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