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Keywords:

  • political elections;
  • currency devaluation;
  • market contagion
  • G12

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of political uncertainty on financial crises using a panel of 22 emerging markets. By examining political election cycles, we find that eight out of nine of the financial crises happened during the periods of political election and transition. Using a combination of probit and switching regression analysis, we find that there is a significant relationship between political election and financial crisis after controlling for differences in economic and financial conditions. We observe increased market volatility during political election and transition periods. Our results suggest that political uncertainty could be a major contributing factor to financial crisis. Thus, politics does matter in emerging markets. Since the odds of financial crisis tend to be much larger during the political election periods, institutional investors should take that into account when making emerging market investment during those time periods.