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Rational herd behavior and the globalization of securities markets


  • Guillermo A. Calvo
  • Enrique G. Mendoza


This paper shows that globalization of securities markets exacerbates the volatility of capital flows by strengthening incentives for herding behavior. This is a prediction of a mean-variance portfolio optimization model with imperfect information, in which investors acquire country-specific expertise at a fixed cost and incur variable reputational costs. The model produces equilibria in which incentives to confirm rumors decrease with globalization. Simulations based on equity markets data and country credit ratings suggest that herd behavior can induce large capital outflows from emerging markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 1997. "Rational herd behavior and the globalization of securities markets," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 120, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:120

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 2000. "Homework in labor economics: Household production and intertemporal substitution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 557-579, December.
    2. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J. & King, Robert G., 1998. "Nontraded goods, nontraded factors, and international non-diversification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 211-229, April.
    3. Urban J. Jermann & Marianne Baxter, 1999. "Household Production and the Excess Sensitivity of Consumption to Current Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 902-920, September.
    4. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-226, May.
    5. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 170-180, March.
    6. Taylor, John B & Uhlig, Harald, 1990. "Solving Nonlinear Stochastic Growth Models: A Comparison of Alternative Solution Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, January.
    7. Charles Ka Yui Leung, 1995. "Does non-traded input necessarily deepen the international non-diversification puzzle I?: The one-good case," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 281-285, September.
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    More about this item


    Capital market ; Securities ; Stock market;

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets


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