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Country Fund Discounts, Asymmetric Information and the Mexican Crisis of 1994: Did Local Residents Turn Pessimistic Before International Investors?

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel
  • Sergio L. Schmukler

It has been suggested that Mexican investors were the front-runners in the peso crisis of December 1994, turning pessimistic before international investors. Different expectations about their own economy, perhaps due to asymmetric information, prompted Mexican investors to be the first ones to leave the country. This paper uses data from three Mexican country funds to investigate the hypothesis of divergent expectations. We find that, right before the devaluation, Mexican fund Net Asset Values (mainly driven by Mexican investors) dropped faster than Mexican country fund prices (mainly driven by foreign investors). Moreover, we find that Mexican NAVs tend to Granger-cause the country fund prices. This suggests that causality, in some sense, flows from the Mexico City investor community to the Wall Street investor community. More generally, the paper proposes an asymmetric information approach that differs from the existing explanations of country fund discounts.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5714.

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Date of creation: Aug 1996
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Publication status: published as Reprinted in Currency Crashes: Causes, Consequences and Policy Responses, edited by George Tavlas, Kluwer, 1997, 81-104.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5714
Note: AP IFM
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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Sterilization of money inflows: Difficult (Calvo) or Easy (Reisen)?," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 24(2 Year 19), pages 263-285, December.
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  8. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & DEC, 1994. "The new wave of private capital inflows : push or pull?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1312, The World Bank.
  9. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-38, August.
  10. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Schmukler, Sergio L., 1998. "Country funds and asymmetric information," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1886, The World Bank.
  11. Lee, Charles M C & Shleifer, Andrei & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Closed-End Mutual Funds," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 153-64, Fall.
  12. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107, March.
  13. Robert Brandon Kahn & Adam Bennett & María Vicenta Carkovic S. & Susan Schadler, 1993. "Recent Experiences with Surges in Capital Inflows," IMF Occasional Papers 108, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Charles Frederick Kramer & T. Todd Smith, 1995. "Recent Turmoil in Emerging Markets and the Behavior of Country-Fund Discounts; Renewing the Puzzle of the Pricing of Closed-End Mutual Funds," IMF Working Papers 95/68, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  16. Chuhan, Punam & Claessens, Stijn & Mamingi, Nlandu, 1998. "Equity and bond flows to Latin America and Asia: the role of global and country factors," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 439-463, April.
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