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Emerging Market Currency Excess Returns

  • Stephen Gilmore
  • Fumio Hayashi

We consider the excess return from 20 internationally tradable emerging market (EM) currencies against the US dollar. It has two contributions. First, we document stylized facts about EM currencies. EM currencies have provided significant equity-like excess returns against major currencies, but with low volatility. Picking EM currencies with a relatively high forward premium raises the portfolio return substantially. Second, our calculation incorporates institutional features of the foreign exchange market, such as lags in settling spot contracts, FX swaps, and bid/offer spreads. Transaction costs arising from bid/offer spreads are less than one-fifth of what is typically presumed in the literature. (JEL C58, F31, G15)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.3.4.85
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/mac/data/2010-0059_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 85-111

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:85-111
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.4.85
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-macro
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  1. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
  2. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2007. "The Returns to Currency Speculation in Emerging Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6148, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Kleshchelski, Isaac & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2008. "Do Peso Problems Explain the Returns to the Carry Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6873, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hanno Lustig & Adrien Verdelhan, 2007. "The Cross Section of Foreign Currency Risk Premia and Consumption Growth Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 89-117, March.
  5. Bansal, Ravi & Dahlquist, Magnus, 2000. "The forward premium puzzle: different tales from developed and emerging economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 115-144, June.
  6. de Zwart, G.J. & Markwat, T.D. & Swinkels, L.A.P. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 2007. "The Economic Value of Fundamental and Technical Information in Emerging Currency Markets," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-096-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  7. Frankel, Jeffrey & Poonawala, Jumana, 2010. "The forward market in emerging currencies: Less biased than in major currencies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 585-598, April.
  8. Ravi Balakrishnan & Volodymyr Tulin, 2006. "U.S. Dollar Risk Premiums and Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/160, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick, 1991. "On Biases in the Measurement of Foreign Exchange Risk Premiums," NBER Working Papers 3861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Darvas, Zsolt, 2009. "Leveraged carry trade portfolios," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 944-957, May.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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