Interdependence or contagion: a model switching approach with a focus on Latin America

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Empirical research analysing contagion has become increasingly fragmented. Different definitions of contagion have resulted in different methods being deployed to analyse financial transmission channels. This paper devises a novel econometric strategy where the nature of interdependencies, magnitude of interdependencies and transmission channels selected for inclusion can change over time. We thus appeal to multiple definitions of contagion, distinguishing between: interdependence, contagion through interdependence and abrupt contagion through changing linkages. Using our approach we analyse different crisis episodes in Latin America. Results generally indicate interdependence not contagion during the currency crises of the 1990s and Argentine crisis of 1998–2002. During the global financial crisis, results indicate abrupt contagion from the US to Argentina and Brazil. Mexico, however, experiences contagion through existing interdependencies with the US. Results also show that macroeconomic and uncertainty channels play a role during different crises not just financial channels. By establishing whether or not different interdependencies and transmission channels are present during different crises our model switching approach provides new insights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-197
Number of pages32
JournalEconomic Modelling
Early online date23 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020


  • Bayesian econometrics
  • time varying parameter model
  • contagion
  • financial crisis
  • Latin America


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