NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by John D.. Burger

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Working Papers

August 2010Emerging Local Currency Bond Markets
with Francis E. Warnock, Veronica Cacdac Warnock: w16249
We assess the development of local currency bond markets in emerging market economies (EMEs). Supported by policies and laws that helped to improve macroeconomic stability and creditor rights, many local currency EME bond markets have grown substantially over the past decade and have also provided USD-based investors with attractive returns. U.S. investors have responded by increasing their holdings of EME local currency bonds from less than $2 billion in 2001 to over $27 billion by end-2008. While the increase in U.S. investment spanned many EMEs, empirical tests suggest that relatively more went to those with identifiable investor-friendly institutions and policies.
June 2010External Capital Structures and Oil Price Volatility
with Alessandro Rebucci, Francis E. Warnock, Veronica Cacdac Warnock: w16052
We assess the extent to which a country’s external capital structure can aid in mitigating the macroeconomic impact of oil price shocks. We study two Caribbean economies highly vulnerable to oil price shocks, an oil-importer (Jamaica) and an oil-exporter (Trinidad and Tobago). From a risk-sharing perspective, a desirable external capital structure is one that, through international capital gains and losses, helps offset responses of the current account balance to external shocks. We find that both countries could alter their international portfolio to provide a more effective buffer against such shocks.
October 2006Local Currency Bond Markets
with Francis E. Warnock: w12552
We analyze the development of 49 local bond markets. Our main finding is that policies and laws matter: Countries with stable inflation rates and strong creditor rights have more developed local bond markets and rely less on foreign-currency-denominated bonds. The results suggest that "original sin" is a misnomer. Emerging economies are not inherently dependent upon foreign-currency debt. Rather, by improving policy performance and strengthening institutions they may develop local currency bond markets, reduce their currency mismatch, and lessen the likelihood of future crises.
Foreign Participation in Local Currency Bond Markets
with Francis E. Warnock: w12548
Countries that cannot attract foreigners to invest in their local currency bonds run the risk of currency mismatches that can result in painful crises. We analyze foreign participation in the bond markets of over 40 countries. Bond markets in less developed countries have returns characterized by high variance and negative skewness, factors that we show are eschewed by U.S. investors. While results based on a three-moment CAPM indicate that it is diversifiable idiosyncratic risk that U.S. investors shun, our analysis suggests that countries can improve foreign participation by reducing macroeconomic instability.

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