The war on terror and its impact on the long-term volatility of financial markets

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In this article, we analyze how the U.S.' declaration of the war on terror and the subsequent invasion of Iraq has impacted long-term volatility of stock markets around the world. In doing so, we utilize two statistical techniques: wavelet-based variance analysis and a semi-parametric fractional autoregressive (SEMIFARIMA) model. Our sample comprises stock and commodity indices worldwide for the sample period January 2000-June 2006. Specifically, we consider four geographic regions: the Americas, Africa/Middle East, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. We conclude that political instability in the Middle East had its greatest impact on the volatility of financial markets around the beginning of the Iraq war, and it mostly hit developed markets (e.g., United States, United Kingdom, and Japan). Thereafter, for most sampled indices, volatility has exhibited a decreasing trend to reach eventually levels even lower than that observed at the beginning of our sample. An exception is Egypt's CMA and the Dow Jones AIG all commodities. We think that the latest political conflicts in the Middle East and their impact on the price of oil may be the most likely driving force of such volatility in those two indices. Specifically, among Egypt's main export products are petroleum and petroleum products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Volatility breakpoints
  • Wavelets


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