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Shifts in portfolio preferences of international investors: an application to sovereign wealth funds

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  • Sa, Filipa

    ()
    (Trinity College, University of Cambridge)

  • Viani, Francesca

    ()
    (Banco de España)

Abstract

Reversals in capital inflows can have severe economic consequences. This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model to analyse the effect on interest rates, asset prices, investment, consumption, output, the exchange rate and the current account of a shift in portfolio preferences of foreign investors. The model has two countries and two asset classes (equities and bonds). It is characterised by imperfect substitutability between assets and allows for endogenous adjustment in interest rates and asset prices. Therefore, it accounts for capital gains arising from equity price movements, in addition to valuation effects caused by changes in the exchange rate. To illustrate the mechanics of the model, we calibrate it to analyse the consequences of an increase in the importance of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). Specifically, we ask what would happen if ‘excess’ reserves held by emerging markets were transferred from central banks to SWFs. We look separately at two diversification paths: one in which SWFs keep the same allocation across bonds and equities as central banks, but move away from dollar assets (path 1); and another in which they choose the same currency composition as central banks, but shift from US bonds to US equities (path 2). In path 1, the dollar depreciates and US net debt falls on impact and increases in the long run. In path 2, the dollar depreciates and US net debt increases in the long run. In both cases, there is a reduction in the ‘exorbitant privilege’, ie, the excess return the United States receives on its assets over what it pays on its liabilities. The model is applicable to other episodes in which foreign investors change the composition of their portfolios.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 423.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 18 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0423

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Keywords: Portfolio preferences; sudden stops; imperfect substitutability; global imbalances; sovereign wealth funds.;

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References

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  1. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2007. "The international diversification puzzle is not as bad as you think," Staff Report 398, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Kollmann, Robert, 2006. "International Portfolio Equilibrium and the Current Account," CEPR Discussion Papers 5512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo J & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7xc0g8mm, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: U.S. External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 11-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Filipa Sá & Pascal Towbin & Tomasz Wieladek, 2011. "Low interest rates and housing booms: the role of capital inflows, monetary policy and financial innovation," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Filipa Sá & Tomasz Wieladek, 2011. "Monetary policy, capital inflows, and the housing boom," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 80, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Current account balance and dollar standard: Exploring the linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 65-94.

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