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Countercyclical Currency Risk Premia

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  • Hanno Lustig
  • Nikolai Roussanov
  • Adrien Verdelhan

Abstract

We describe a novel currency investment strategy, the ‘dollar carry trade,’ which delivers large excess returns, uncorrelated with the returns on well-known carry trade strategies. Using a no-arbitrage model of exchange rates we show that these excess returns compensate U.S. investors for taking on aggregate risk by shorting the dollar in bad times, when the U.S. price of risk is high. The counter-cyclical variation in risk premia leads to strong return predictability: the average forward discount and U.S. industrial production growth rates forecast up to 25% of the dollar return variation at the one-year horizon. The estimated model implies that the variation in the exposure of U.S. investors to world-wide risk is the key driver of predictability.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16427.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as Lustig, Hanno & Roussanov, Nikolai & Verdelhan, Adrien, 2014. "Countercyclical currency risk premia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 527-553.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16427

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher J. Neely & Paul A. Weller, 2011. "Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 2011-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Doukas, John A. & Zhang, Hao, 2013. "The performance of NDF carry trades," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 172-190.
  3. Matteo Maggiori, 2012. "Financial Intermediation, International Risk Sharing, and Reserve Currencies," 2012 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 146, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Matteo Maggiori, 2013. "The U.S. Dollar Safety Premium," 2013 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 75, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Charlotte Christiansen & Maik Schmeling & Andreas Schrimpf, 2012. "A Comprehensive Look at Financial Volatility Prediction by Economic Variables," BIS Working Papers 374, Bank for International Settlements.
  6. Ralph S.J. Koijen & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2011. "Predictability of Returns and Cash Flows," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 467-491, December.
  7. Juan M. Londono & Hao Zhou, 2012. "Variance risk premiums and the forward premium puzzle," International Finance Discussion Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 1068, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Wouter Hueskes & Ralph S.J. Koijen & Evert B. Vrugt & Jules H. van Binsbergen, 2011. "A Term Structure of Growth," 2011 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 672, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Sarno, Lucio & Schneider, Paul & Wagner, Christian, 2012. "Properties of foreign exchange risk premiums," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 279-310.
  10. Andreas Stathopoulos & Andrea Vedolin & Philippe Mueller, 2012. "International Correlation Risk," 2012 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 818, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2014. "Term Premia and Inflation Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from an International Panel Dataset: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 323-37, January.
  12. Karen K. Lewis, 2011. "Global asset pricing," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 88, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  13. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Jing (Cynthia) Wu, 2011. "Unbiased estimate of dynamic term structure models," Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco 2011-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Jeremy Graveline & Irina Zviadadze & Mikhail Chernov, 2012. "Crash Risk in Currency Returns," 2012 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 753, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 16972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Arash, Aloosh, 2011. "Variance Risk Premium Differentials and Foreign Exchange Returns," MPRA Paper 40829, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Aug 2012.
  17. Silvia Miranda Agrippino & Hélène Rey, 2013. "Funding Flows and Credit in Carry Trade Economies," RBA Annual Conference Volume, Reserve Bank of Australia, in: Alexandra Heath & Matthew Lilley & Mark Manning (ed.), Liquidity and Funding Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
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