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IMF Staff Papers Logo    Last updated: August 2004
Volume 51, Number 2
Extreme Contagion in Equity Markets
Jorge A. Chan-Lau, Donald J. Mathieson, and James Y. Yao

Full Text of this Article (PDF 207K)

Contagion can be defined as the probability of observing large return realizations simultaneously across different financial markets (co-exceedances) rather than as increases in correlations. We introduce global extreme contagion measures constructed from bivariate extremal dependence measures. The measures are used to quantify both negative and positive equity returns contagion at the inter- and intraregional level for a number of mature and emerging equity markets during the past decade. Our results suggest that (a) contagion patterns differ significantly within regions and across regions, with Latin America showing a secular increase in contagion not matched by other regions or countries; (b) contagion is higher for negative returns than for positive returns; (c) only the 1998 Russian and Brazilian crises led to a global increase in contagion; and (d) extremal dependence measures of contagion and simple correlation measures are not highly correlated, with the exception of Latin America, suggesting that the use of correlations as a proxy for contagion may be misleading. [JEL F30, G10, G15, C10]