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

  • Lane, Philip R.
  • Shambaugh, Jay C

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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  1. Neumeyer, Pablo Andres, 1998. "Currencies and the Allocation of Risk: The Welfare Effects of a Monetary Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 246-59, March.
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  4. Michael B. Devereux & Alan Sutherland, 2008. "Country Portfolios in Open Economy Macro Models," NBER Working Papers 14372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. di Giovanni, Julian & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2008. "The impact of foreign interest rates on the economy: The role of the exchange rate regime," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 341-361, March.
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  11. 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.
  12. Akito Matsumoto & Charles Engel, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle when Goods Prices Are Sticky; It's Really About Exchange-Rate Hedging, not Equity Portfolios," IMF Working Papers 09/12, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Philip R. Lane & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2007. "Financial Exchange Rates and International Currency Exposures," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp229, IIIS.
  14. 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.
  15. André Faria & Philip R. Lane & Paolo Mauro & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "The Shifting Composition of External Liabilities," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp190, IIIS.
  16. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1989. "Trade in nominal assets : Monetary policy, and price level and exchange rate risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 1-28, February.
  17. Dominguez, Kathryn M.E. & Tesar, Linda L., 2006. "Exchange rate exposure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 188-218, January.
  18. Cedric Tille, 2003. "The impact of exchange rate movements on U.S. foreign debt," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Jan).
  19. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "External Capital Structure; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 00/152, International Monetary Fund.
  20. 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.
  21. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2006. "Portfolio Choice in a Monetary Open-Economy DSGE Model," NBER Working Papers 12214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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