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International Asset Allocation with Time-Varying Correlations

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Listed:
  • Andrew Ang
  • Geert Bekaert

Abstract

It is widely believed that correlations between international equity markets tend to increase in highly volatile bear markets. This has led some to doubt the benefits of international diversification. This article solves the dynamic portfolio choice problem of a US investor faced with a time-varying investment opportunity set which may be characterized by correlations and volatilities that increase in bad times. We model the state dependance of US, UK, and German equity returns using a regime-switching model and find evidence for the existence of a high volatility regime, in which returns are more highly correlated and have lower means. Solving the dynamic asset allocation problem for a CCRA investor, we show international diversification is still valuable with regime changes. Currency hedging imparts further benefit. The costs of ignoring the regimes are small for moderate levels of risk aversion, and the intertemporal hedging demands induced by time-varying correlations are negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 1999. "International Asset Allocation with Time-Varying Correlations," NBER Working Papers 7056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7056
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Lynch, Anthony W., 1999. "Transaction costs and predictability: some utility cost calculations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 47-78, April.
    2. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Regime Switches in Interest Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 163-182, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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