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International Mutual Funds, Capital Flow Volatility, and Contagion – A Survey

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  • R. G Gelos

Abstract

Gaining a better understanding of the behavior of international investors is key for informing the debate about the optimal response to capital flows and about reforms to the international financial architecture. In this context, recent research on the behavior of international mutual funds at the micro level has expanded our knowledge about the drivers of portfolio flows and the mechanisms behind the transmission of financial shocks across countries. This paper provides a brief survey of this literature, with a focus on the empirical evidence for emerging markets. Overall, the behavior of international mutual funds is complex and overly simplistic characterizations are misleading. However, there is broad-based evidence for momentum trading among funds. Moreover, funds tend to avoid opaque markets and assets, and this behavior becomes more pronounced during volatile times. Portfolio rebalancing mechanisms are clearly important in explaining contagion patterns, even in the absence of common macroeconomic fundamentals. From a surveillance point of view, this implies that monitoring the exposures of large investors at a micro level is crucial to assess vulnerabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • R. G Gelos, 2011. "International Mutual Funds, Capital Flow Volatility, and Contagion – A Survey," IMF Working Papers 11/92, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/92
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Brandao-Marques & R. G Gelos & Hibiki Ichiue & Hiroko Oura, 2015. "Changes in the Global Investor Base and the Stability of Portfolio Flows to Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 15/277, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Forbes, Kristin & Fratzscher, Marcel & Kostka, Thomas & Straub, Roland, 2016. "Bubble thy neighbour: Portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 85-104.
    3. Jinjarak, Yothin & Zheng, Huanhuan, 2014. "Granular institutional investors and global market interdependence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 61-81.
    4. Puy, Damien, 2016. "Mutual funds flows and the geography of contagion," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 73-93.
    5. repec:eee:finsta:v:35:y:2018:i:c:p:172-191 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gauvin, L. & McLoughlin, C. & Reinhardt, D., 2013. "Policy Uncertainty Spillovers to Emerging Markets - Evidence from Capital Flows," Working papers 435, Banque de France.
    7. repec:eee:ememar:v:32:y:2017:i:c:p:96-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. International Monetary Fund, 2014. "Mexico; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 14/320, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Koepke, Robin, 2015. "What Drives Capital Flows to Emerging Markets? A Survey of the Empirical Literature," MPRA Paper 62770, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Alessandro Schiavone, 2018. "Estimating the contagion effect through the portfolio channel using a network approach," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 429, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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