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The random-walk hypothesis revisited: new evidence on multiple structural breaks in emerging markets

Geoffrey Ngene, Kenneth A. Tah and Ali F. Darrat

Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies, 2017, vol. 10, issue 1, 88-106

Abstract: We examine whether stock prices in 18 emerging markets follow random-walk or mean-reversion processes in the presence of sudden and gradual multiple structural breaks. Our tests endogenously determined the structural shifts and are more powerful than either the traditional random-walk (unit root) tests or the single structural break tests. In all emerging markets, we find strong evidence for multiple structural breaks. When we use single break tests, the random-walk hypothesis is rejected. However, when we use tests of double level shifts in the mean and make due allowance for multiple structural breaks, the results are consistent with the random-walk hypothesis in the vast majority of the sampled markets. The evidence proves robust to using price indexes whether denominated in U.S. dollars, in local currencies or in real terms, and also to using fractional integration tests. Our results contradict some previous studies for emerging markets which restrict structural breaks to only one-time shift.

Date: 2017
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