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Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Household Finance Explanation

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  • YiLi Chien
  • Hanno Lustig
  • Kanda Naknoi

Abstract

Empirical moments of asset prices and exchange rates imply that pricing kernels are almost perfectly correlated across countries. Otherwise, observed real exchange rates would be too smooth for high Sharpe ratios. However, the cross country correlation among macro fundamentals is weak. We reconcile these facts in a two-country stochastic growth model with heterogeneous households and a home bias in consumption. In our model, only a small fraction of households trade domestic and foreign equities. We show that this mechanism can quantitatively account for the smoothness of exchange rates in the presence of volatile pricing kernels and weakly correlated macro fundamentals.

Suggested Citation

  • YiLi Chien & Hanno Lustig & Kanda Naknoi, 2015. "Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Household Finance Explanation," Working Papers 2015-39, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 27 Mar 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2015-039
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2015.039
    Note: Previous title: Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Segmented Asset Markets Explanation
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yili Chien & Harold Cole & Hanno Lustig, 2011. "A Multiplier Approach to Understanding the Macro Implications of Household Finance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 199-234.
    2. Pavlova, Anna & Rigobon, Roberto, 2010. "An asset-pricing view of external adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 144-156, January.
    3. Emmanuel Farhi & Xavier Gabaix, "undated". "Rare Disasters and Exchange Rates," Working Paper 71001, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    4. Chien, YiLi & Naknoi, Kanda, 2015. "The risk premium and long-run global imbalances," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 299-315.
    5. Federico Gavazzoni & Ana Maria Santacreu, 2015. "International R&D Spillovers and Asset Prices," Working Papers 2015-41, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 13 Jan 2019.
    6. Warnock, Francis E., 2003. "Exchange rate dynamics and the welfare effects of monetary policy in a two-country model with home-product bias," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 343-363, June.
    7. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2008. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-Varying Risk Aversion? Micro-evidence on Individuals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 713-736, June.
    8. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2011. "Risks for the Long Run and the Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 153-181.
    9. Doireann Fitzgerald, 2012. "Trade Costs, Asset Market Frictions, and Risk Sharing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2700-2733, October.
    10. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 907-928, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrien Verdelhan & Hanno Lustig, 2016. "Does Incomplete Spanning in International Financial Markets Help to Explain Exchange Rates?," 2016 Meeting Papers 1183, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Anella Munro, 2016. "Bond premia, monetary policy and exchange rate dynamics," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2016/11, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asset pricing; Market segmentation; Exchange rates; International risk sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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