DP8853 Sudden Spikes in Global Risk

Author(s): Philippe Bacchetta, Eric van Wincoop
Publication Date: February 2012
Keyword(s): contagion, international finance
JEL(s): F30, G15
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics, Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8853

Recent episodes (October 2008, May 2010, August 2011) have witnessed huge spikes in equity price risk (implied volatility). Apart from their large size, several features characterize these risk panics. They are global phenomena, shared among a broad set of countries. There is substantial variation though in the extent to which individual countries are impacted, while the impact bears little relation to financial linkages with the epicenter of the crisis. In addition there is usually not a large shock to fundamentals that sets off these panics. We provide an explanation for these risk panic features in the context of a two-country model that allows for self-fulfilling shifts in risk.