The Relative Strength of Industries versus Countries in Global Equity Markets
Jose Menchero and Andrei Morozov
Volume 10, Number 3, Third Quarter 2012
The relative strength of industries versus countries is of great practical interest for global equity investors. In this article, we investigate the relative strength of these effects in the global equity markets over the sample period 1994-2010. In particular, we examine three market segments: (a) the world market, (b) emerging markets, and (c) developed Europe. We employ a factor-based approach to construct portfolios that capture the pure effect of each industry or country. We define two quantities to measure the relative strength of the two effects: diversification potential and mean absolute deviation. For the world market, we find that industry and country effects are of comparable strength, although each dominates during different sub-periods. In particular, countries dominated in the mid-to-late 1990s, whereas industries dominated in the aftermath of the internet bubble. For emerging markets, we find that countries have dominated industries over the entire sample period. In developed Europe, by contrast, we find that industries have dominated countries since the introduction of the euro. We also investigate the size dependency of the relative strength of industry versus country effects. In particular, we find that in the small-cap segment, industry effects become weaker whereas country effects retain their full strength.