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

  • Philip R. Lane and Jay C. Shambaugh

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 IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp253.

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Date of creation: 20 Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp253
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  1. Pavlova, Anna & Rigobon, Roberto, 2003. "Asset Prices and Exchange Rates," Working papers 4322-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Julian di Giovanni & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2006. "The Impact of Foreign Interest Rateson the Economy; The Role of the Exchange Rate Regime," IMF Working Papers 06/37, International Monetary Fund.
  6. 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.
  7. Lane, Philip R. & Shambaugh, Jay C, 2007. "Financial Exchange Rates and International Currency Exposures," CEPR Discussion Papers 6473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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).
  9. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle When Goods Prices Are Sticky: It's Really about Exchange-Rate Hedging, Not Equity Portfolios," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 155-88, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Torsten Persson & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1989. "Exchange Rate Variability And Asset Trade," NBER Working Papers 2811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "External Capital Structure; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 00/152, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2006. "Portfolio Choice in a Monetary Open-Economy DSGE Model," NBER Working Papers 12214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Michael B. Devereux & Makoto Saito, 2006. "A Portfolio Theory of International Capital Flows," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp124, IIIS.
  15. 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.
  16. Cedric Tille & Eric van Wincoop, 2007. "International Capital Flows," Working Papers 122007, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  17. Kathryn M.E. Dominguez & Linda L. Tesar, 2001. "Exchange Rate Exposure," NBER Working Papers 8453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
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