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.
This paper examines possible explanations for “winner–loser reversals” in the national stock market indices of 16 countries. There is no evidence that loser countries are riskier than winner countries either in terms of standard deviations, covariance with the world market or other risk factors, or performance in adverse economic states of the world. While there is evidence that small markets are subject to larger reversals than large markets, perhaps because of some form of market imperfection, the reversals are not just a small-market phenomenon. The apparent anomaly of winner-loser reversals in national market indices therefore remains unresolved.