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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics