Publication Details

This article was originally published as Worthington, AC and Higgs, H, Evaluating financial development in emerging capital markets with efficiency benchmarks, Journal of Economic Development, 31(1), June 2006, 1-27. Original journal available here.


This paper examines the weak-form market efficiency of twenty-seven emerging markets. The sample encompasses three markets in Africa (Egypt, Morocco and South Africa), ten in Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand), four in Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia), seven in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela) and three in the Middle East (Israel, Jordan and Turkey). Daily market returns are tested for random walks using serial correlation coefficient and runs tests, Augmented Dickey-Fuller (ADF), Phillips-Perron (PP) and Kwiatkowski, Phillips, Schmidt and Shin (KPSS) unit root tests and multiple variance ratio tests. The serial correlation and runs tests conclude that most emerging markets are weak-form inefficient. However, the unit root tests suggest the presence of weak-form efficiency in many emerging markets, but with some exceptions. The results from the most stringent multiple variance ratio tests are in general agreement with the serial correlation and runs tests. On this basis, only Hungary, Jordan and Israel are weak-form market efficient, with Egypt, Korea, Malaysia and Argentina meeting at least some of the requirements of a random walk.