The authors develop a new methodology to investigate how crises cause the relationship between financial variables to change. Two possible sources of increased co-movement between markets during high-variance episodes are considered: larger common shocks operating through standard market linkages, and a structural change in the propagation of shocks between markets, called "shift contagion." The methodology has three key features: (i) high- and low-variance episodes are model-determined, rather than exogenously assigned; (ii) the markets where crises originate need not be known; and (iii) the approach provides an unambiguous test of shift contagion. Applications to bivariate returns in currency markets of developed countries and bond markets of emerging-market countries suggest that shift contagion occurs among the former but not the latter.

Also published as:

Detecting shift-contagion in currency and bond markets
Journal of International Economics (0022-1996)
March 2006. Vol. 68, Iss. 2, pp. 409-23