The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We investigate the relative importance of country and industry effects in international stock returns, with the innovation that we decompose country effects into region and within-region country effects. We divide the global stock market into the Americas, Asia, and Europe and find that most of the variation explained by country effects is actually due to region effects. Over time, these region effects have fallen. Within regions, however, only in Europe has segmentation declined, while it has increased elsewhere. Europe is also the only region where industry effects are now robustly more important than country effects.