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Correlation Analysis of Financial Contagion: What One Should Know Before Running a Test

  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Marcello Pericoli
  • Massimo Sbracia

This paper builds a general test of contagion in financial markets based on bivariate correlation analysis - a test that can be interpreted as an extension of the normal correlation theorem. Contagion is defined as a structural break in the data generating process of rates of return. Using a factor model of returns as theoretical framework, we nest leading contributions in the literature as special cases of our test. We show that, while the literature on correlation analysis of contagion is successful in controlling for a potential bias induced by changes in the variance of global shocks, current tests are conditional on a specific yet arbitrary assumption about the variance of country specific shocks. Our results suggest that, for a number of pairs of country stock markets, the hypothesis of 'no contagion' can be rejected only if the variance of country specific shocks is set to levels that are not consistent with the evidence.

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File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp822.pdf
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Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 822.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:822
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  1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 1999. "What triggers market jitters: a chronicle of the Asian crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 634, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. T. Todd Smith & Garry J. Schinasi, 1999. "Portfolio Diversification, Leverage, and Financial Contagion," IMF Working Papers 99/136, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Kaminsky, Graciela L. & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2000. "On crises, contagion, and confusion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 145-168, June.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "Interest Rate Volatility, Capital Controls, and Contagion," NBER Working Papers 6756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michelacci, Claudio & Zaffaroni, Paolo, 2000. "(Fractional) beta convergence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-153, February.
  6. Jeanne, Olivier & Masson, Paul, 2000. "Currency crises, sunspots and Markov-switching regimes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 327-350, April.
  7. Kristin J. Forbes & Roberto Rigobon, 2002. "No Contagion, Only Interdependence: Measuring Stock Market Comovements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2223-2261, October.
  8. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew K & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "Contagious Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 1453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 343, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Ranil Salgado & Luca Antonio Ricci & Francesco Caramazza, 2000. "Trade and Financial Contagion in Currency Crises," IMF Working Papers 00/55, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 2000. "Rational contagion and the globalization of securities markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 79-113, June.
  12. Michael D. Bordo & Antu P. Murshid, 2000. "Are Financial Crises Becoming Increasingly More Contagious? What is the Historical Evidence on Contagion?," NBER Working Papers 7900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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