the introduction of the Euro), similar techniques have been applied by D rummen /Z immermann (1992) , B eckers /G rinold /R udd /S tefek (1992) , H eston /R ouwenhorst (1994) , B eckers /C onnor /C urds (1996) , R ouwenhorst (1999) , C avaglia /B rightman /A ked (2000) , B aca /G arbe /W eiss (2000) and others. All of them, with the exception of C avaglia /B rightman /A ked , find country factors to heavily dominate industryfactors in terms of their explanatory power. This is usually explained by the significance of country specific characteristics
A perennial question in international finance is to what extent stock returns are influenced by country-location, as opposed to industry-affiliation, factors. This paper develops a novel methodology to measure these effects, in which portfolios mimicking "pure" country and industry factors are first constructed and their joint dynamics then modeled as regime-switching processes. Estimation using global firm-level data allows us to identify well-defined volatility states over the past thirty years and shows that the contribution of the industry factor becomes systematically more prominent during high global volatility states, while the country factor contribution declines. Using the model's estimates, we find that portfolio diversification possibilities vary considerably across economic states.
This paper revisits the relative importance of global versus country-specific factors underlying stock returns. It constructs a new firm level data set covering emerging and developed markets and estimates a simple factor model, which breaks down stock returns into a global business cycle factor, global industry factors, country-specific factors and firm-level effects. The results indicate that the share of variation in stock returns explained by global industry factors has grown sharply since the mid-1990s, at the expense of country-specific factors. Foremost among the global factors is a “new economy” factor, which has become a key determinant of global stock returns.
Using symmetric data sets of 92 weekly return observations before and after the introduction of the euro, the paper analyzes the impact of the new currency on the return structure of equity markets in the European Monetary Union. Variance decompositions, cluster analyses, and principle component analyses are used to explore the changes in the structural relations. European industry factors are found to have dramatically increased in importance with the launch of the single currency, and a new 'country-size' factor in European stock returns is detected. Furthermore, inner-European correlations are documented to have been reduced sharply with the start of the monetary union.
Mr. Eduardo Borensztein and Mr. Jonathan David Ostry
A consistent set of disaggregated industrial output data for four Eastern European countries is examined In order to determine the extent to which structural adjustment has taken place since the initiation of market-oriented reform. The latter created a massive relative price shock whose affects on the structure of the industrial sectors of these economies is shown to have been relatively small, at least one to two years after the reforms. An implication is that one argument in favor of more gradualist reform—based on the premise that more gradualism implies a smaller output cost in the short run—is questionable. By and large in these economies, the output cost associated with the removal of relative price distortions may still have to be faced.