Offshore Investment Funds: Monsters in Emerging Markets?

Posted: 12 Sep 2003

See all articles by Woochan Kim

Woochan Kim

Korea University Business School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Asian Institute of Corporate Governance (AICG)

Shang-Jin Wei

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); International Monetary Fund (IMF); Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Abstract

The 1997-99 financial crises in the emerging markets have brought to the foreground the concern about offshore investment funds and their possible role in exacerbating volatility in the markets they invest in. Offshore investment funds are alleged to engage in trading behaviors that are different from their onshore counterparts. Because their behavior is less moderated by tax consequences, and because they may be subject to less supervision and regulation, the offshore funds may trade more intensely. They could also pursue more aggressively certain trading strategies such as positive feedback trading or herding that could contribute to greater volatility in the market.

Using a unique data set, we compare the trading behavior in Korea by offshore funds with that of their onshore counterparts registered in the United States and the United Kingdom. There are a number of interesting findings. First there is indeed evidence suggesting that the offshore funds trade more intensely than their onshore counterparts. Second, however, there is no evidence that the offshore funds engage in positive feedback trading. In contrast, there is strong evidence that the funds from the US and UK do so. Third, while offshore funds herd, they do so significantly less than the offshore funds from the US or UK. In sum, the offshore funds are not especially worrisome monsters.

JEL Classification: F21, F3, G15

Suggested Citation

Kim, Woochan and Wei, Shang-Jin, Offshore Investment Funds: Monsters in Emerging Markets?. Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 68, pp. 205-224. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=362600

Woochan Kim

Korea University Business School ( email )

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Seoul, Seoul 136701
+822-3290-2816 (Phone)
+822-922-7220 (Fax)

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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

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B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Asian Institute of Corporate Governance (AICG) ( email )

1, 5-ga, Anam-dong
Sungbuk-gu
Seoul, 136-701
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Shang-Jin Wei (Contact Author)

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

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Beijing, 100084
China

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