Extreme Correlation of International Equity Markets

  • Author(s): François Longin, Bruno Solnik
  • Published: Dec 17, 2002
  • Pages: 649-676
  • DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00340

Testing the hypothesis that international equity market correlation increases in volatile times is a difficult exercise and misleading results have often been reported in the past because of a spurious relationship between correlation and volatility. Using “extreme value theory” to model the multivariate distribution tails, we derive the distribution of extreme correlation for a wide class of return distributions. Empirically, we reject the null hypothesis of multivariate normality for the negative tail, but not for the positive tail. We also find that correlation is not related to market volatility per se but to the market trend. Correlation increases in bear markets, but not in bull markets.

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