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When Carry Trades in Currency Markets are not Profitable

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  • Richard T. Baillie
  • Dooyeon Cho

Abstract

The success of the carry trade in international currency and money markets is related to the extent of the forward premium anomaly. We present evidence that the anomaly is a very time dependent phenomenon. We also formulate a model where the ex post returns from the carry trade are functionally related to the relative difference between the interest rate on the funding currency and the interest rate associated with the target currency; i.e. the relative interest rate opportunity (RIRO). We estimate a nonlinear smooth transition regime model that relates the RIRO to the returns on the carry trade, and the estimated transition function then represents the time periods when the carry trade was profitable and when it was not. The analysis indicates that the desirability of carry trading has declined and for many currencies has actually become unprofitable since the financial crisis of 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard T. Baillie & Dooyeon Cho, 2014. "When Carry Trades in Currency Markets are not Profitable," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 794-803, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:18:y:2014:i:4:p:794-803
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/rode.12119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 1994. "The long memory of the forward premium," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 565-571, October.
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    7. Hyoung-Seok Lim & Masao Ogaki, 2013. "A Theory of Exchange Rates and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 74-87, February.
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    12. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2009. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 313-347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maake, Tebogo & Bonga-Bonga, Lumengo, 2019. "The relationship between carry trade and asset markets in South Africa," MPRA Paper 96667, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Cho, Dooyeon & Chun, Sungju, 2019. "Can structural changes in the persistence of the forward premium explain the forward premium anomaly?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 225-235.
    3. Cho, Dooyeon, 2018. "On the persistence of the forward premium in the joint presence of nonlinearity, asymmetry, and structural changes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 310-319.
    4. Michael D. Goldberg & Olesia Kozlova & Deniz Ozabaci, 2020. "Forward Rate Bias in Developed and Developing Countries: More Risky Not Less Rational," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-1, December.
    5. Cho, Dooyeon & Han, Heejoon & Lee, Na Kyeong, 2019. "Carry trades and endogenous regime switches in exchange rate volatility," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 255-268.

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