Opportunity or Crisis? Volatility and Leverage Effect in the World’s Largest Economies

Amalendu Bhunia, Devrim Yaman


This paper examines the relationship between asset volatility and leverage for the three largest economies (based on purchasing power parity) in the world; US, China, and India. Collectively, these economies represent Int$56,269 billion of economic power, making it important to understand the relationship among these economies that provide valuable investment opportunities for investors. We focus on a volatile period in economic history starting in 1997 when the Asian financial crisis began. Using autoregressive models, we find that Chinese stock markets have the highest volatility among the three stock markets while the US stock market has the highest average returns. The Chinese market is less efficient than the US and Indian stock markets since the impact of new information takes longer to be reflected in stock prices. Our results show that the unconditional correlation among these stock markets is significant and positive although the correlation values are low in magnitude. We also find that past market volatility is a good indicator of future market volatility in our sample. The results show that positive stock market returns result in lower volatility compared to negative stock market returns. These results demonstrate that the largest economies of the world are highly integrated and investors should consider volatility and leverage besides returns when investing in these countries.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijafr.v9i4.15609


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