The Effects of U.S. Monetary Policy on Emerging Market Economies' Sovereign and Corporate Bond Markets
We analyze the effect of the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy on EME sovereign and corporate bond markets by focusing on two dimensions: the evolution of the structure (size and currency composition) of the bond markets and their allocations within the bond portfolios of US investors. Global factors, particularly the level of long-term US Treasury yields, matter. Across all specifications, when US long-term interest rates were low (i) EMEs issued more sovereign and private-sector local currency bonds and more private-sector foreign currency bonds and (ii) US investment in EME sovereign bonds (both local currency and USD-denominated) increased. In contrast, after controlling for the level of US long-term interest rates, measures that attempt to isolate the effects of US unconventional monetary policy are often statistically insignificant in our analysis. Local factors matter too: The local currency government bond markets in countries with stronger regulatory quality/creditor rights are larger and attract relatively more US investment. Finally, consistent with Burger et al. (2017), we find that the well-known home bias phenomenon is at least in part a home currency bias: US investors exhibit no home bias against some countries’ USD-denominated bonds, whereas for local currency bonds the familiar home bias is very present.