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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. André Faria & Philip R. Lane & Paolo Mauro & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "The Shifting Composition of External Liabilities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 480-490, 04-05.
  2. Eric Van Wincoop & Cedric Tille, 2007. "International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 12856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jay C. Shambaugh & Julian di Giovanni, 2006. "The Impact of Foreign Interest Rates on the Economy: The Role of the Exchange Rate Regime," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp116, IIIS.
  4. Lane, Philip R. & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2008. "Financial exchange rates and international currency exposures," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,22, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Michael B. Devereux & Alan Sutherland, 2011. "Country Portfolios In Open Economy Macro‐Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 337-369, 04.
  6. Pavlova, Anna & Rigobon, Roberto, 2004. "Asset Prices and Exchange Rates," Working papers 4322-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  7. Torsten Persson & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1989. "Exchange Rate Variability And Asset Trade," NBER Working Papers 2811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Akito Matsumoto & Charles Engel, 2005. "Portfolio Choice in a Monetary Open-Economy DSGE Model," IMF Working Papers 05/165, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Michael B. Devereux & Makoto Saito, 2006. "A Portfolio Theory of International Capital Flows," Working Papers 112006, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  12. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  13. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "External Capital Structure; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 00/152, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Robert Kollmann & Philippe Martin, 2009. "International Portfolios with Supply, Demand and Redistributive Shocks," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 231-263 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Edwards, Sebastian, 2007. "Capital controls, capital flow contractions, and macroeconomic vulnerability," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 814-840, September.
  16. Kathryn M.E. Dominguez & Linda L. Tesar, 2001. "Exchange Rate Exposure," NBER Working Papers 8453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).
  20. 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.
  21. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1987. "Trade in Nominal Assets: Monetary Policy, and Price Level and Exchange Rate Risk," NBER Working Papers 2417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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