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Time-varying risk and international portfolio diversification with contagious bear markets


  • Giorgio De Santis
  • Bruno Gerard


In this paper we estimate and test a conditional version of the international CAPM. By using a parsimonious parameterization recently proposed by Ding and Engle (1994), we allow risk premia, betas, and correlations to very through time and test the cross-section restrictions of the model using a relatively large number of assets. One advantage of our test is that it does not require the market weights to be observed in each period. In support of the international CAPM, we find that world-wide risk is priced whereas country-specific risk is not. Further, we find that the price of world risk is time-varying and has a strong January seasonal. When the price of risk is allowed to vary, a January dummy and the world dividend yield are driven out as independently priced factors. However, contrary to the prediction of the model, differences in risk premia across countries are explained not only by world-wide risk, but also by a constant country-specific factor. The estimated correlations reveal three main facts, cross-country correlations vary through time; they have been affected only to a limited extent by the process of liberalization of the last decade; they tend to increase during severe bear markets in the U.S. However, international correlations are smaller than correlations among U.S. assets. Therefore, investors gain from global diversification, even with contagious bear markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Giorgio De Santis & Bruno Gerard, 1995. "Time-varying risk and international portfolio diversification with contagious bear markets," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 99, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:99

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giovannini, Alberto & Jorion, Philippe, 1989. " The Time Variation of Risk and Return in the Foreign Exchange and Stock Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 307-325, June.
    2. Engel, Charles & Rodrigues, Anthony P, 1989. "Tests of International CAPM with Time-Varying Covariances," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 119-138, April-Jun.
    3. Campbell, John Y, 1993. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing without Consumption Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 487-512, June.
    4. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    5. Bollerslev, Tim & Engle, Robert F & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1988. "A Capital Asset Pricing Model with Time-Varying Covariances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 116-131, February.
    6. Chan, K. C. & Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, ReneM., 1992. "Global financial markets and the risk premium on U.S. equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 137-167, October.
    7. Engle, Robert F & Lilien, David M & Robins, Russell P, 1987. "Estimating Time Varying Risk Premia in the Term Structure: The Arch-M Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 391-407, March.
    8. Cumby, Robert E & Glen, Jack D, 1990. " Evaluating the Performance of International Mutual Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 497-521, June.
    9. Ferson, Wayne E & Harvey, Campbell R, 1993. "The Risk and Predictability of International Equity Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(3), pages 527-566.
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    Cited by:

    1. G. Andrew Karolyi & Rene Stulz, "undated". "Why do Markets Move Together? An Investigation of U.S.-Japan Stock Return Comovements using ADRS," Research in Financial Economics 9501, Ohio State University.
    2. Karolyi, G Andrew & Stulz, Rene M, 1996. " Why Do Markets Move Together? An Investigation of U.S.-Japan Stock Return Comovements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 951-986, July.


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