nep-ifn New Economics Papers
on International Finance
Issue of 2011‒10‒09
nine papers chosen by
Ajay Shah
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy

  1. Equity Prices and Equity Flows: Testing Theory of the Information-Efficiency Tradeoff By Assaf Razin; Anuk Serechetapongse
  2. Exports, Foreign Direct Investments and Productivity: Are Services Firms different? By Joachim Wagner
  3. Financial integration and international business cycle co-movement: the role of balance sheets By Scott Davis
  4. Lessons from the evolution of foreign exchange trading strategies By Christopher J. Neely; Paul A. Weller
  5. International Business Cycle Comovement: Trade and Foreign Direct Investment By Jos Jansen; Ad Stokman
  6. The Efficacy of Foreign Exchange Market Intervention in Malawi By Kisukyabo Simwaka; Leslie Mkandawire
  7. Opposition to capital market opening By Engler, Philipp; Wulff, Alexander
  8. A Risk-Driven Approach to Exchange-Rate Modelling By Piotr Keblowski; Aleksander Welfe
  9. Some Stylized Facts of Returns in the Foreign Exchange and Stock Markets in Peru By Alberto Humala; Gabriel Rodriguez

  1. By: Assaf Razin (Cornell University and Tel Aviv University and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research); Anuk Serechetapongse (Cornell University)
    Abstract: The paper tests three hypotheses concerning foreign equity investment in the presence of liquidity risk. First, the FDI-to-FPI price differential is negatively related to liquidity risk (the "Price Discount Hypothesis"). The idea is that market participants do not know whether the FDI investor liquidates a firm because of an idiosyncratic liquidity shock, or because, as an informed investor, the firm is hit by a productivity shock. Second, the FDI-to-FPI composition of foreign equity investment skews towards FPI if investors are expected to experience a liquidity shortage in the future (the "Equity-Composition Hypothesis"). The idea is that because direct investments are more costly to liquidate, due to the price discount, the more severe is the expected liquidity shock, the smaller is the FDI-to-FPI ratio. Third, the FDI-to-FPI composition of foreign equity flows skews towards FDI, the larger are past FDI-to-FPI stocks (the "Strategic Complementarity Hypothesis"). The idea is that high liquidity needs investors generate a positive information-externality for low liquidity needs investors among investors who choose FDI, and further increases in the number of FDI investors comes from mainly high liquidity needs investors. Such an increase reinforces the information externality, thereby lowering the FDI-to-FPI price discount, creating further incentives for investors to choose FDI. The paper brings these hypotheses to country level data consisting of a large set of developed and developing countries over the period 1970 to 2004. The evidence gives strong support to the hypotheses. To test the hypotheses, we apply also a dynamic panel model to examine the variation of FPI relative to FDI for source and host countries from 1985 to 2004. Country-wide sales of external assets are used as a proxy for liquidity problems. We estimate the determinants of liquidity problems, and then test the effect of expected liquidity problems on stock prices, the ratio of FPI to FDI and gross flows of FDI and FPI. We find strong support for the hypotheses: greater expected liquidity problems increase the price discount, have a significant positive effect on gross flows of FPI, negative effect on gross flows of FPI, and positive effect on the ratio between FPI and FDI.
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Joachim Wagner (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on international firm activities and firm performance by providing the first evidence on the link of productivity and both exports and foreign direct investment (fdi) in services firms from a highly developed country. It uses unique new data from Germany - one of the leading actors on the world market for services - that merge information from regular surveys and from a one-time special purpose survey performed by the Statistical Offices. Descriptive statistics, parametric and non-parametric statistical tests and regression analyses (with and without explicitly taking differences along the conditional productivity distribution and firms with extreme values, or outliers, into account) indicate that the productivity pecking order found in numerous studies using data for firms from manufacturing industries – where the firms with the highest productivity engage in fdi while the least productive firms serve the home market only and the productivity of exporting firms is in between – does not exist among firms from services industries. In line with the theoretical model and the empirical results for software firms from India provided by Bhattacharya, Patnaik and Shah (2010) there is evidence that firms with fdi are less productive than firms that export.
    Keywords: Exports, foreign direct investments, productivity, services firms
    JEL: F14 F21
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Scott Davis
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of international financial integration on international business cycle co-movement. We first show with a reduced form empirical approach how capital market integration (equity) has a negative effect on business cycle co-movement while credit market integration (debt) has a positive effect. We then construct a model that can replicate these empirical results.> ; In the model, capital market integration is modeled as crossborder equity ownership and involves wealth effects. Credit market integration is modeled as cross-border borrowing and lending between credit constrained entrepreneurs and banks, and thus involves balance sheet effects. The wealth effect tends to reduce cross-country output correlation, but balance sheet effects serve to increase correlation as a negative shock in one country causes loan losses on the balance sheets of foreign banks.> ; In versions of the model with a financial accelerator and balance sheet effects, credit market integration has a positive effect on cyclical correlation. However, in versions of the model without the financial accelerator and balance sheet effects, credit market integration has a negative effect on cyclical correlation.
    Keywords: International finance ; Business cycles ; Equity ; Debt
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Christopher J. Neely; Paul A. Weller
    Abstract: The adaptive markets hypothesis posits that trading strategies evolve as traders adapt their behavior to changing circumstances. This paper studies the evolution of trading strategies for a hypothetical trader who chooses portfolios from foreign exchange (forex) technical rules in major and emerging markets, the carry trade, and U.S. equities. The results show that forex trading alone dramatically outperforms the S&P 500 but there is little gain to coordinating forex and equity strategies, which explains why practitioners consider these tools separately. In addition, a backtesting procedure to choose optimal portfolios does not select carry trade strategies until well into the 1990s, which helps to explain the relatively recent surge in interest in this strategy. Forex trading returns dip significantly in the 1990s but recover by the end of the decade and have greatly outperformed an equity position since 1998. Overall, trading rule returns still exist in forex markets—with substantial stability in the types of rules—though they have migrated to emerging markets to a considerable degree.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange ; Trade
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Jos Jansen; Ad Stokman
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between foreign direct investment (FDI) and business cycle synchronization in the period 1982–2010 for eight industrialized countries. We find that more synchronized business cycles are associated with stronger FDI relations during 1995–2010, but that they are mainly associated with stronger trade linkages before 1995. More intensive FDI links are also associated with a greater vulnerability to lagged output spillovers from abroad, whereas trade links are not. Our findings suggest that FDI has become a separate channel through which economies may affect each other and that FDI stocks are now an essential aspect of economic interdependence.
    Keywords: business cycle synchronization; international linkages; trade; FDI; vertical integration
    JEL: F21
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Kisukyabo Simwaka; Leslie Mkandawire
    Abstract: The Malawi kwacha was floated in February 1994. Since then, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has periodically intervened in the foreign exchange market. This report analyses the effectiveness of foreign exchange market interventions by RBM. We used a generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedastic (GARCH; 1,1) model to simultaneously estimate the effect of intervention on the mean and volatility of the kwacha. We also ran an equilibrium exchange rate model and use the equilibrium exchange rate criterion to compare results with those from the GARCH model. Using monthly exchange rates and official intervention data from January 1995 to June 2008, results from the GARCH model indicated that net sales of United States dollars by RBM depreciate, rather than appreciate, the kwacha. Empirically, this implies the RBM “leans against the wind”, i.e., the RBM intervenes to reduce, but not reverse, around-trend exchange rate depreciation. However, results from the GARCH model for the post-2003 period indicated that RBM intervention in the market stabilizes the kwacha. In general, results from both the GARCH model and the real equilibrium exchange rate criterion for the entire study period showed that RBM interventions have been associated with increased exchange rate volatility, except during the post-2003 period. The implication of this finding is that intervention can only have a temporary influence on the exchange rate, as it is difficult to find empirical evidence showing that intervention has a longlasting, quantitatively significant effect.
    Date: 2011–01
  7. By: Engler, Philipp; Wulff, Alexander
    Abstract: We employ a neoclassical growth model to assess the impact of financial liberalization in a developing country on capital owners` and workers` consumption and welfare. We find in a baseline calibration for an average non-OECD country that capitalists suffer a 42 percent reduction in permanent consumption because capital inflows reduce their return to capital while workers gain 8 percent of permanent consumption because capital inflows increase wages. These huge gross impacts contrast with the small positive net effect found in a neoclassical represent agent model by Gourinchas and Jeanne (2006). We further show that the result for capitalists is insensitive to enhanced productivity catch-up processes induced by capital inflows. Our findings can help explain why poorer countries tend to be less financially open as capitalists` losses are largest for countries with the lowest capital stocks, inducing strong opposition to capital market opening. --
    Keywords: Capital flows,international financial integration,growth,neoclassical model,heterogenous agents
    JEL: F2 F3 F43 E13 E25 O11
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Piotr Keblowski (University of Lodz, Poland); Aleksander Welfe (University of Lodz, Poland)
    Abstract: The paper presents a new approach to exchange rate modelling that augments the CHEER model with a sovereign credit default risk as perceived by financial investors making their decisions. In the cointegrated VAR system with nine variables comprised of the short- and long-term interest rates in Poland and the euro area, inflation rates, CDS indices and the zloty/euro exchange rate, four long-run relationships were found. Two of them link term spreads with inflation rates, the third one describes the exchange rate and the fourth one explains the inflation rate in Poland. Transmission of shocks was analysed by common stochastic trends. The estimation results were used to calculate the zloty/euro equilibrium exchange rate.Length: 25 pages
    Keywords: exchange rate modelling, sovereign credit default risk, CDS spread, international parities, equilibrium exchange rate
    JEL: C32 E31 E43
    Date: 2011–09–30
  9. By: Alberto Humala; Gabriel Rodriguez (Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)
    Abstract: Some stylized facts for foreign exchange and stock market returns are explored using statistical methods. Formal statistics for testing presence of autocorrelation, asymmetry, and other deviations from normality are applied to these ?nancial returns. Dynamic correlations and di¤erent kernel estimations and approximations of the empirical distributions are also under scrutiny. Furthermore, dynamic analysis of mean, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis are also performed to evaluate time-varying properties in return distributions. Main results reveal di¤erent sources and types of non-normality in the return distributions in both markets. Left fat tails, excess kurtosis, return clustering and unconditional time-varying moments show important deviations from normal- ity. Identi?able volatility cycles in both forex and stock markets are associated to common macro ?nancial uncertainty events.
    Keywords: Non-Normal Distributions, Stock Market Returns, Foreign Exchage, Market Returns
    JEL: C16 E44 F31 G10
    Date: 2011

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