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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. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Sara, 1996. "Capital Flows to Latin America: Is There Evidence of Contagion Effects?”," MPRA Paper 7124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  4. 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.
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  8. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "The Internationalization of Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 4590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1994. "Sterilization of Money Inflows: Difficult (Calvo) or Easy (Reisen)?," IMF Working Papers 94/159, International Monetary Fund.
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  12. 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.
  13. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Schmukler, Sergio L., 1997. "Country Funds and Asymmetric Information," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt2791c3wm, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  14. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  15. Michael P. Dooley & Eduardo Fernandez-Arias & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Recent Private Capital Inflows to Developing Countries: Is the Debt Crisis History?," NBER Working Papers 4792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. 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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