I document that US financial uncertainty shocks, measured by an increase in VIX, have a substantial impact on the output of emerging market economies (EMEs) without a material impact on US output during the last two decades. To understand this puzzling phenomenon, I propose a credit channel as a propagation mechanism of US financial uncertainty shocks to EMEs. I augment a boom-bust cycle model of EMEs by Schneider and Tornell (Rev Econ Stud 71(3):883–913 2004) with a portfolio choice model of constrained international investors. As international investors pull their money from EMEs—to satisfy their Value-at-Risk constraints—in response to financial uncertainty shocks, borrowing costs increase and domestic credit contracts. Higher borrowing costs and a decline in domestic credit, in turn, lead to a fall in investment in the non-tradable sector that causes a real depreciation via currency mismatch prevalent in EMEs and a decline in total output through sectoral linkages. The empirical regularity obtained by estimating structural VARs of 18 EMEs is consistent with the prediction of the model.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics