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Exploring the nexus between financial openness and informational efficiency – does the quality of institution matter?

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This article examines the empirical link between financial openness and informational efficiency of stock markets in 27 emerging markets. Improving on earlier papers, this study has used World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) as the proxy of institutional development in dynamic panel data models estimated by generalized method of moments (GMM). Our results show, first, financial liberalization by itself has no impact on enhancing efficiency of stock market. Second, for countries with high level of institutional development, the interaction of trade openness and financial openness become significant. Third, for the same group of countries, interaction effect of financial liberalization and institutional development leads to more efficiency in stock market. Hence, our finding demonstrates the utmost importance of institutional development and its role on liberalization. Our results conclude that institutional development and trade openness are pre-requisites for a country to benefit from financial openness. Our study further provides empirical evidence to theoretical model proposed by Basu and Morey (2005) that governance is the missing link between stock market efficiency and financial liberalization. Our findings suggest that policy makers in developing economies should enhance the quality of their institution in order to optimize the benefits of financial liberalization.

Keywords: F15; F36; G14; financial liberalization; informational efficiency; institutional development; stock autocorrelation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Publication date: March 3, 2014

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