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Regional Contagion and the Globalization of Securities Markets

  • Guillermo A. Calvo
  • Enrique G. Mendoza

This paper argues that the globalization of securities markets may promote contagion among investors by weakening incentives for gathering costly country-specific information and by strengthening incentives for imitating arbitrary market portfolios. In the presence of short-selling constraints, the utility gain of gathering information at a fixed cost converges to a constant level and may diminish as securities markets grow. Moreover, if a portfolio manager's marginal cost for yielding below-market returns exceeds the marginal gain for above-market returns, there is a range of optimal portfolios in which all investors imitate arbitrary market portfolios and this range widens as the market grows. Numerical simulations suggest that these frictions can have significant quantitative implications and they may induce large capital flows in emerging markets.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7153.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of International Economics, Vol. 51 (June 2000): 79-114.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7153
Note: ITI
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  1. Robert J. Shiller, 1995. "Conversation, Information, and Herd Behavior," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1092, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld, 1992. "Risk-taking, global diversification, and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 61, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of death foretold," International Finance Discussion Papers 545, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-79, June.
  5. S. Rao Aiyagari & Mark Gertler, 1999. ""Overreaction" of Asset Prices in General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 3-35, January.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Sara Calvo, 1996. "Capital Flows to Latin America: Is There Evidence of Contagion Effects?," Peterson Institute Press: Chapters, in: Guillermo A. Calvo & Morris Goldstein & Eduard Hochreiter (ed.), Private Capital Flows to Emerging Markets After the Mexican Crisis, pages 151-171 Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  7. Mendoza, Enrique G., 1997. "Terms-of-trade uncertainty and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 323-356, December.
  8. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  9. Enrique G. Mendoza, 1991. "Capital Controls and the Gains from Trade in a Business Cycle Model of a Small Open Economy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(3), pages 480-505, September.
  10. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Information and Competitive Price Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 246-53, May.
  11. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  12. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  13. Robert J. Shiller & John Pound, 1986. "Survey Evidence on Diffusion of Investment Among Institutional Investors," NBER Working Papers 1851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert J. Shiller & John Pound, 1986. "Survey Evidence on Diffusion of Interest Among Institutional Investors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 794, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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