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Author:Brooks, Robin 

Working Paper
The rise in comovement across national stock markets: market integration or IT bubble?
A stylized fact in the portfolio diversification literature is that diversifying across countries is more effective than diversifying across industries in terms of risk reduction. But with the rise in comovement across national stock markets since the mid-1990s, this no longer appears to be true. We explore whether this change is driven by global integration and therefore likely to be permanent, or if it is a temporary phenomenon associated with the recent stock market bubble. Our results point to the latter hypothesis. In the aftermath of the bubble, diversifying across countries may therefore still be effective in reducing portfolio risk.
AUTHORS: Brooks, Robin; Del Negro, Marco
DATE: 2002

Working Paper
Firm-level evidence on international stock market movement
We explore the link between international stock market comovement and the degree to which firms operate globally. Using stock returns and balance sheet data for companies in twenty countries, we estimate a factor model that decomposes stock returns into global, country- and industry-specific shocks. We find a large and highly significant link: a firm raising its international sales by 10 percent raises the exposure of its stock return to global shocks by 2 percent and reduces its exposure to country-specific shocks by 1.5 percent. This link has grown stronger over time since the mid-1980s.
AUTHORS: Brooks, Robin; Del Negro, Marco
DATE: 2003

Working Paper
International diversification strategies
We estimate a model with country- and industry-specific shocks that extends the dummy variable model used in the portfolio diversification literature by relaxing the restriction that all stocks with exposure to a given shock have the same exposure to that shock. We find that: i) This restriction is strongly rejected by the data. ii) Many industry betas are negative, while almost all country betas are positive. This difference in within-group heterogeneity may explain why country shocks have historically outweighed industry shocks in explaining international return variation. iii) We use the betas to construct portfolios whose volatility is substantially below that of the world market, both in and out of sample.
AUTHORS: Brooks, Robin; Del Negro, Marco
DATE: 2002

Working Paper
International stock returns and market integration: A regional perspective
An empirical regularity in the portfolio diversification literature is the importance of country effects in explaining international return variation. We develop a new decomposition that disaggregates these country effects into region effects and within-region country effects. We find that half the return variation typically attributed to country effects is actually due to region effects, a result robust across developed and emerging markets, with the remaining variation explained by within-region country effects. For the average investor, this means that diversifying across countries within Europe, for example, delivers half the risk reduction possible from diversifying across regions globally.
AUTHORS: Brooks, Robin; Del Negro, Marco
DATE: 2003

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