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The “forward premium puzzle” and the sovereign default risk

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  • Coudert, Virginie
  • Mignon, Valérie

Abstract

Carry-trade strategies which consist of buying forward high-yield currencies tend to yield positive excess returns when global financial markets are booming, whereas they generate losses during crises. Firstly, we show that the sovereign default risk, which is taken on by investing in high-yield currencies, may increase the magnitude of the gains during the boom periods and the losses during crises. We empirically test for this hypothesis on a sample of 18 emerging currencies over the period from June 2005 to September 2010, the default risk being proxied by the sovereign credit default swap spread. Relying on smooth transition regression (STR) models, we show that default risk contributes to the carry-trade gains during booms, and worsens the losses during busts. Secondly, we turn to the “Fama regression” linking the exchange-rate depreciation to the interest-rate differential. We propose a nonlinear estimation of this equation, explaining the puzzling evolution of its coefficient by the change in the market volatility along the financial cycle. Then, we introduce the default risk into this equation and show that the “forward bias”, usually evidenced by a coefficient smaller than unity in this regression, is somewhat alleviated, as the default risk is significant to explain the exchange-rate change.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 491-511

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:32:y:2013:i:c:p:491-511

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

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Keywords: Carry trades; UIP puzzle; Default risk; Smooth transition regression models;

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References

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  1. Virginie Coudert & Cécile Couharde & Valérie Mignon, 2010. "Exchange Rate Flexibility Across Financial Crises," Working Papers 2010-08, CEPII research center.
  2. Adrien Verdelhan, 2006. "A Habit-Based Explanation of the Exchange Rate Risk Premium," 2006 Meeting Papers 872, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Angelo Ranaldo & Paul Söderlind, 2007. "Safe Haven Currencies," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-22, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  4. Eitrheim, Øyvind & Teräsvirta, Timo, 1995. "Testing the Adequacy of Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 56, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. A. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2010. "Do Peso Problems Explain the Returns to the Carry Trade?," Working Papers 10-44, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  6. Marion Kohler, 2010. "Exchange rates during financial crises," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  7. Huisman, Ronald & Koedijk, Kees & Kool, Clemens & Nissen, Francois, 1998. "Extreme support for uncovered interest parity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-228, February.
  8. Terasvirta, T & Anderson, H M, 1992. "Characterizing Nonlinearities in Business Cycles Using Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S119-36, Suppl. De.
  9. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2009. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 313-347 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Clarida, Richard & Davis, Josh & Pedersen, Niels, 2009. "Currency carry trade regimes: Beyond the Fama regression," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1375-1389, December.
  11. Kindleberger,, 2008. "Financial Crises," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521068710.
  12. Coudert, Virginie & Gex, Mathieu, 2008. "Does risk aversion drive financial crises? Testing the predictive power of empirical indicators," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 167-184, March.
  13. Charles Engel, 1995. "The Forward Discount Anomaly and the Risk Premium: A Survey of Recent Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hanno Lustig & Adrien Verdelhan, 2004. "The Cross-Section of Foreign Currency Risk Premia and US Consumption Growth Risk," 2004 Meeting Papers 136c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Virginie Coudert & Cyriac Guillaumin & Hélène Raymond, 2014. "Looking at the other side of carry trades: Are there any safe haven currencies?," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-13, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  2. Loring, Grace & Lucey, Brian, 2013. "An analysis of forward exchange rate biasedness across developed and developing country currencies: Do observed patterns persist out of sample?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 14-28.
  3. Snaith, Stuart & Coakley, Jerry & Kellard, Neil, 2013. "Does the forward premium puzzle disappear over the horizon?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3681-3693.
  4. Vithessonthi, Chaiporn, 2014. "Monetary policy and the first- and second-moment exchange rate change during the global financial crisis: Evidence from Thailand," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 170-194.

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