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The Long or Short of it: Determinants of Foreign Currency Exposure in External Balance Sheets

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  • Lane, Philip R.
  • Shambaugh, Jay C

Abstract

Recently, there have been numerous advances in modelling optimal international portfolio allocations in macroeconomic models. A major focus of this literature has been on the role of currency movements in determining portfolio returns that may hedge various macroeconomic shocks. However, there is little empirical evidence on the foreign currency exposures that are embedded in international balance sheets. Using a new database, we provide stylized facts concerning the cross-country and time-series variation in aggregate foreign currency exposure and its various subcomponents. In panel estimation, we find that richer, more open economies take longer foreign-currency positions. In addition, we find that an increase in the propensity for a currency to depreciate during bad times is associated with a longer position in foreign currencies, providing a hedge against domestic output fluctuations. We view these new stylized facts as informative in their own right and also potentially useful to the burgeoning theoretical literature on the macroeconomics of international portfolios.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6887.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6887

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Keywords: exchange rates; Financial globalization; international portfolios;

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References

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  1. Julian di Giovanni & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2006. "The Impact of Foreign Interest Rateson the Economy," IMF Working Papers 06/37, International Monetary Fund.
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  4. Anna Pavlova & Roberto Rigobon, 2007. "Asset Prices and Exchange Rates," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 1139-1180.
  5. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "External Capital Structure," IMF Working Papers 00/152, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Jay C. Shambaugh, 2004. "The Effect of Fixed Exchange Rates on Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 300-351, February.
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  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Kathryn M.E. Dominguez & Linda L. Tesar, 2001. "Exchange Rate Exposure," NBER Working Papers 8453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Philip Lane & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2007. "Financial Exchange Rates and International Currency Exposures," NBER Working Papers 13433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle When Goods Prices Are Sticky: It's Really about Exchange-Rate Hedging, Not Equity Portfolios," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 155-88, July.
  19. André Faria & Philip R. Lane & Paolo Mauro & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "The Shifting Composition of External Liabilities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 480-490, 04-05.
  20. Michael B. Devereux & Alan Sutherland, 2008. "Country Portfolios in Open Economy Macro Models," NBER Working Papers 14372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Soyoung Kim, 2002. "Nominal Revaluation of Cross-Border Assets, Terms-of-Trade Changes, International Portfolio Diversification, and International Risk Sharing," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 327-344, October.
  22. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1982. "A Comparison of Exchange Rate Regimes in the Presence of Imperfect Capital Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(2), pages 365-88, June.
  23. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2000. "External Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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