Comovements and contagion in emergent markets: stock indexes volatilities

Lopes, Hedibert Freitas
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The past decade has wítenessed a series of (well accepted and defined) financial crises periods in the world economy. Most of these events aI,'e country specific and eventually spreaded out across neighbor countries, with the concept of vicinity extrapolating the geographic maps and entering the contagion maps. Unfortunately, what contagion represents and how to measure it are still unanswered questions. In this article we measure the transmission of shocks by cross-market correlation\ coefficients following Forbes and Rigobon's (2000) notion of shift-contagion,. Our main contribution relies upon the use of traditional factor model techniques combined with stochastic volatility mo deIs to study the dependence among Latin American stock price indexes and the North American indexo More specifically, we concentrate on situations where the factor variances are modeled by a multivariate stochastic volatility structure. From a theoretical perspective, we improve currently available methodology by allowing the factor loadings, in the factor model structure, to have a time-varying structure and to capture changes in the series' weights over time. By doing this, we believe that changes and interventions experienced by those five countries are well accommodated by our models which learns and adapts reasonably fast to those economic and idiosyncratic shocks. We empirically show that the time varying covariance structure can be modeled by one or two common factors and that some sort of contagion is present in most of the series' covariances during periods of economical instability, or crisis. Open issues on real time implementation and natural model comparisons are thoroughly discussed.

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