The Impact of the US Interest Rate Hike on Emerging Market Economies and the Belt and Road Initiative

Shuyu Wu, Biliang Hu & Qingzhong Pan (2019) The Impact of the US Interest Rate Hike on Emerging Market Economies and the Belt and Road Initiative, China & World Economy, Vol. 27, No. 3, 126-142.


Since the end of 2015, the US Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate nine times. This has led to capital outflows and asset depreciation in many emerging market economies. The present paper examines the factors that determine the financial volatility of emerging markets in the face of external shocks. By calculating the capital flows of 30 emerging markets from 1990 to 2018 and conducting panel regression, this paper finds that countries with good infrastructure facilities, a sound banking system and high economic growth have significantly lower cross-border financial risks. An implication from the empirical analysis is that emerging countries would benefit greatly by actively taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative. The framework of the Belt and Road Initiative allows emerging countries better access to China’s massive consumer market to promote trade and long-term growth. Their quality of infrastructure can be improved through cooperation with China in infrastructure investment. They can also jointly establish a cooperative financial framework to enhance regional financial stability. These strategies will reduce systematic financial risks and counteract the negative impacts of US interest rate hikes.