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No Contagion, Only Interdependence: Measuring Stock Market Co-movements

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  • Kristin Forbes
  • Roberto Rigobon

Abstract

This paper examines stock market co-movements. It begins with a discussion of several conceptual issues involved in measuring these movements and how to test for contagion. Standard tests examine if cross-market correlation in stock market returns increase during a period of crisis. The measure of cross-market correlations central to this standard analysis, however, is biased. The unadjusted correlation coefficient is conditional on market movements over the time period under consideration, so that during a period of turmoil when stock market volatility increases, standard estimates of cross-market correlations will be biased upward. It is straightforward to adjust the correlation coefficient to correct for this bias. The remainder of the paper applies these concepts to test for stock market contagion during the 1997 East Asian crises, the 1994 Mexican peso collapse, and the 1987 U.S. stock market crash. In each of these cases, tests based on the unadjusted correlation coefficients find evidence of contagion in several countries, while tests based on the adjusted coefficients find virtually no contagion. This suggests that high market co-movements during these periods were a continuation of strong cross-market linkages. In other words, during these three crises there was no contagion, only interdependence.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristin Forbes & Roberto Rigobon, 1999. "No Contagion, Only Interdependence: Measuring Stock Market Co-movements," NBER Working Papers 7267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew K & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "Contagious Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 1453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Allan Drazen, 2000. "Political Contagion in Currency Crises," NBER Chapters,in: Currency Crises, pages 47-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1995. "Contagious speculative attacks," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 45-63, March.
    4. King, Mervyn A & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1990. "Transmission of Volatility between Stock Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(1), pages 5-33.
    5. Paul Cashin & Manmohan S. Kumar & C. John McDermott, 1995. "International Integration of Equity Markets and Contagion Effects," IMF Working Papers 95/110, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Ray Yeu-Tien Chou & Victor Ng & Lynn K. Pi, 1994. "Cointegration of International Stock Market Indices," IMF Working Papers 94/94, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Hamao, Yasushi & Masulis, Ronald W & Ng, Victor, 1990. "Correlations in Price Changes and Volatility across International Stock Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(2), pages 281-307.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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