Conditional Skewness of Stock Market Returns in Developed and Emerging Markets and its Economic Fundamentals
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics; University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of Lugano - Institute of Finance; Swiss Finance Institute
Rossen I. Valkanov
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management
February 14, 2011
Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 11-06
We use a quantile-based measure of conditional skewness (or asymmetry) that is robust to outliers and therefore particularly suited for recalcitrant series such as emerging market returns. Our study is on the following portfolio returns: developed markets, emerging markets, the world, and separately 73 countries. We find that the conditional asymmetry of returns varies significantly over time, even after accounting for conditional volatility and unconditional skewness effects. Interestingly, the correlation of conditional asymmetry between developed and emerging markets is surprisingly low, despite the fact that their return co-movement has been historically high and increasing. We also document a strong relationship between conditional asymmetry and macroeconomic fundamentals. Moreover, the low correlation across developed and emerging markets can largely be explained by their opposite response to those fundamentals. The economic significance of conditional skewness is demonstrated in an international portfolio setting. Tilting the portfolio weights away from a value-weighted allocation and toward emerging markets produces significant portfolio gains.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 66
Keywords: Skewness, Developed Markets, Emerging Markets, Quantile estimation, MIDAS
JEL Classification: G1, G10, G15working papers series
Date posted: February 14, 2011 ; Last revised: September 18, 2012
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