Capital Flows and the Behavior of Emerging Market Equity Returns

By Geert BekaertCampbell R. Harvey
1998| Working Paper No. 1512

Foreign portfolio flows may reflect deep changes in the functioning of an emerging market economy and its capital markets. Using a database of monthly net U.S. equity flows, we investigate the relation of these flows to the behavior of equity returns, the structural characteristics of the capital markets, exchange rates, and the strength of the economy. We find that increases in equity flows are associated with a lower cost of capital, higher correlation with world market returns, lower asset concentration, lower inflation, larger market size relative to GDP, more trade and slightly higher per capital economic growth.