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International Asset Allocation with Time-Varying Correlations

Geert Bekaert

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrew Ang

BlackRock, Inc

March 1999

NBER Working Paper No. w7056

It is widely believed that correlations between international equity markets tend to increase in highly volatile bear markets. This has led some to doubt the benefits of international diversification. This article solves the dynamic portfolio choice problem of a US investor faced with a time-varying investment opportunity set which may be characterized by correlations and volatilities that increase in bad times. We model the state dependance of US, UK, and German equity returns using a regime-switching model and find evidence for the existence of a high volatility regime, in which returns are more highly correlated and have lower means. Solving the dynamic asset allocation problem for a CCRA investor, we show international diversification is still valuable with regime changes. Currency hedging imparts further benefit. The costs of ignoring the regimes are small for moderate levels of risk aversion, and the intertemporal hedging demands induced by time-varying correlations are negligible.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 65

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Date posted: September 15, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Bekaert, Geert and Ang, Andrew, International Asset Allocation with Time-Varying Correlations (March 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7056. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=227422

Contact Information

Geert Bekaert
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Andrew Ang (Contact Author)
BlackRock, Inc ( email )
55 East 52nd Street
New York City, NY 10055
United States
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