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Measuring flight to quality: a local correlation analysis

  • A. Can Inci
  • H.C. Li
  • Joseph McCarthy
Registered author(s):

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to use the local correlation technique to measure flight to quality, which is defined as a pronounced and generally rapid increase in risk aversion. Flight to quality between American, British, German, Japanese, and Hong Kong spot equity indices and index futures is examined. Design/methodology/approach – The technique of non-linear local correlation is employed to detect flight to quality in both spot and futures markets. The use of this methodology allows us to properly process both normally or non-normally distributed time series. In addition, the estimation of local correlation minimizes the theoretical restrictions resulting from the selection of conditional events and the use of linear regression. Findings – As market risk grows, an increase in flight to quality is documented. For example, a crash in the US stock market results in the flight of capital to the Treasury bond market. Evidence of flight to quality from domestic and foreign spot equity markets to US Treasury bonds is provided. Furthermore, flights to quality from domestic and foreign index futures to US bond futures are revealed. The strength of the reaction from one market to the other is measured and reported. Surprisingly, the authors observe that when market risk becomes extremely high, flight to quality diminishes. Originality/value – To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that examines flight to quality in the futures markets by applying local correlation analysis. This study broadens the application of local polynomial regression and local correlation analysis.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Review of Accounting and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 69 - 87

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:rafpps:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:69-87
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    1. Marie Briere & Ariane Chapelle & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "No contagion, only globalization and flight to quality," DULBEA Working Papers 08-22.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2008. "Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2195-2230, October.
    3. Sébastien Laurent & Luc Bauwens & Jeroen V. K. Rombouts, 2006. "Multivariate GARCH models: a survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 79-109.
    4. Magnus Andersson & Elizaveta Krylova & Sami Vahamaa, 2007. "Why does the correlation between stock and bond returns vary over time?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 139-151.
    5. John D. Burger & Francis E. Warnock, 2003. "Diversification, original sin, and international bond portfolios," International Finance Discussion Papers 755, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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