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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 and Sergio L. Shmukler.

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 investigates whether data from three Mexican country funds provide evidence that supports the "divergent expectations" hypothesis. We find that, right before the devaluation, Mexican fund Net Asset Values (mainly driven by Mexican investors) dropped first and/or 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 approach that differs from the existing explanations of country fund discounts. It suggests that different expectations, perhaps arising from asymmetric information, may help to explain the observed behavior of country fund discounts in partially segmented markets.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C96-067.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1996
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c96-067
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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. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Sergio L. Schmukler, 1998. "Country Funds and Asymmetric Information," International Finance 9805003, EconWPA.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Sara, 1996. "Capital Flows to Latin America: Is There Evidence of Contagion Effects?”," MPRA Paper 7124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "The Internationalization of Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 4590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & DEC, 1994. "The new wave of private capital inflows : push or pull?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1312, The World Bank.
  10. Gikas A. Hardouvelis & Rafael La Porta & Thierry A. Wizman, 1993. "What Moves the Discount on Country Equity Funds?," NBER Working Papers 4571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen Reinhart & Guillermo Calvo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America; The Role of External Factors," IMF Working Papers 92/62, International Monetary Fund.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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