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 studies whether bilateral international financial connection data help predict bilateral stock return comovement. It is shown that, when the United States is chosen as the benchmark, a larger U.S. portfolio investment asset position on the destination economy predicts a stronger stock return comovement between them. For large economies such as the United States and Germany, the portfolio investment position is also the best predictor among other connection variables. The paper discusses with a simple general equilibrium portfolio model that the empirical pattern is consistent with the behavior of index investors who trade in response to risk-on/risk-off shocks.