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Regime shifts in mean-variance efficient frontiers: some international evidence

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  • Massimo Guidolin
  • Federica Ria

Abstract

Regime switching models have been assuming an increasingly central role in financial applications because of their well-known ability to capture the presence of rich non-linear patterns in the joint distribution of asset returns. After reviewing key concepts and technical issues related to specifying, estimating, and using multivariate Markov switching models in financial applications, in this paper we examine how the presence of regimes in means, variances, and covariances of asset returns translates into explicit dynamics of the Markowitz mean-variance frontier. In particular, we show both theoretically and through an application to international equity portfolio diversification that substantial differences exist between bull and bear regime-specific frontiers, both in statistical and in economic terms. Using Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) investable indices for five countries/macro-regions, we characterize mean-variance frontiers and optimal portfolio strategies in bull periods, in bear periods, and in periods where high uncertainty exists on the nature of the current regime.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Guidolin & Federica Ria, 2010. "Regime shifts in mean-variance efficient frontiers: some international evidence," Working Papers 2010-040, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-040
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Turtle, H.J. & Zhang, Chengping, 2012. "Time-varying performance of international mutual funds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 334-348.
    2. Angelidis, Timotheos & Tessaromatis, Nikolaos, 2014. "Global Style Portfolios Based on Country Indices," MPRA Paper 53094, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Apostolos Thomadakis, 2012. "Contagion or Flight-to-Quality Phenomena in Stock and Bond Returns," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0612, School of Economics, University of Surrey.

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    Keywords

    Asset pricing ; Econometric models ; Rate of return ; Great Britain;

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