Local correlation analysis is used to investigate flight to quality among large financial institutions before, during, and after the financial crisis of 2008-2009. While standard correlation captures general overall linear association, local correlation analysis more accurately captures changes in the associations in response to changing market conditions. Using raw, market-adjusted, and industry-adjusted stock returns of individual banks, we investigate the performance of troubled banks and the change in investing behavior. Investors react to noisy information from the financial difficulties encountered by banking institutions. This reaction results in flight to quality. While the traditional Pearson correlations capture general overall linear association, local correlation analysis captures changes in the association in response to changing market conditions. Thus, local correlation analysis more accurately measures changes in correlation where it matters most: in the loss tail of the distribution of financial returns; leading to more appropriate diversification, portfolio management, and within-industry implications.
Recommended CitationInci, A. Can; Li, Hsi; and McCarthy, Joseph, "Flight to Quality for Large Financial Institutions" (2014). Finance Journal Articles. Paper 32.