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Institute for Financial Research SIFR Research Report Series, Institute for Financial Research

No 8:
Expropriation Risk and Return in Global Equity Markets

Ravi Bansal and Magnus Dahlquist ()

Abstract: Standard asset pricing models have difficulty explaining cross-sectional differences in observed equity risk premia of developed and emerging markets. We argue that national equity returns are subject to sample selectivity. The lack of credible commitment to keep capital markets open (risk of expropriation) leads to this bias. We use the world CAPM for systematic risk and develop a model of sample selectivity. We find that after taking account of the sample selectivity bias, our model of systematic risk can account for the differences in risk premia quite well. We estimate the average expropriation risk to be more than of the ex-post risk premium for emerging economies and close to zero for developed economies. Further, we argue that the measured selectivity bias in equity premia provide valuable economic information regarding the incentives for sovereigns not to expropriate international investors. We find that the measured expropriation risk is related to reputations in capital markets (as argued in Eaton and Gersowitz, 1981) and to the magnitude of trade that an economy conducts (as argued in Bulow and Rogoff, 1989a, 1989b).

Keywords: Sample Selectivity; Sovereign Risk; Peso Problem; World CAPM; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F31; F34; G12; G15; (follow links to similar papers)

35 pages, November 15, 2002

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