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Country Size, Currency Unions, and International Asset Returns

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  • Tarek Alexander Hassan

Abstract

Differences in real interest rates across developed economies are puzzlingly large and persistent. I propose a simple explanation: Bonds issued in the currencies of larger economies are expensive because they insure against shocks that affect a larger fraction of the world economy. I show that differences in the size of economies indeed explain a large fraction of the cross-sectional variation in currency returns. The data also support a number of additional implications of the model: The introduction of a currency union lowers interest rates in participating countries and stocks in the non-traded sector of larger economies pay lower expected returns.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18057.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as Tarek A. Hassan, 2013. "Country Size, Currency Unions, and International Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(6), pages 2269-2308, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18057

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  1. Philippe Martin & Helene Rey, 2000. "Financial super-markets: size matters for asset trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20197, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J & McGrattan, Ellen R, 2002. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 533-63, July.
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  5. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "International Financial Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 665-703, 08.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Robert Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2002. "Optimal Currency Areas," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1958, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey & Nicolas Govillot, 2010. "Exorbitant Privilege and Exorbitant Duty," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-20, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  2. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2013. "External Adjustment, Global Imbalances and Valuation Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ian Martin, 2011. "The Forward Premium Puzzle in a Two-Country World," NBER Working Papers 17564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Tarek A. Hassan & Rui C. Mano, 2014. "Forward and Spot Exchange Rates in a Multi-currency World," NBER Working Papers 20294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gorea, Denis & Radev, Deyan, 2014. "The euro area sovereign debt crisis: Can contagion spread from the periphery to the core?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 78-100.
  6. Matteo Maggiori, 2012. "Financial Intermediation, International Risk Sharing, and Reserve Currencies," 2012 Meeting Papers 146, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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