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International financial contagion: what do we know?


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Dungey, Mardi 
Tambakis, Demosthenes N 


This paper attempts a synthesis of theoretical and empirical work on international financial contagion. Although a professional consensus on the appropriate definitions of contagion has yet to emerge, we document substantial research progress towards this goal. On the empirical front, determining when returns are ‘excessive’ is a pre-condition for designing effective policy response to crises. At the theoretical level, tracing the observed herding behavior to market participants’ uncertain beliefs and information asymmetries is a key element for understanding how contagious effects arise. It is argued that the recent focus on better understanding of high-frequency financial returns data and decision making at the market microstructure level are promising avenues for understanding the transmission of shocks across markets and countries.



international financial contagion, crises, fundamentals, policy response, IMF

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CFAP, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

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