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Emerging Market Currency Excess Returns

  • Stephen Gilmore
  • Fumio Hayashi

We discuss the foreign currency forward premium puzzle in the context of 20 internationally tradable emerging market currencies. We find that since the late 1990s the broad basket of emerging market currencies has provided significant equity-like excess returns against a number of major market currencies, but with low volatility. We also find that the forward premium, or carry, is significant in explaining that excess return but that excess returns would still have existed even in the absence of positive carry. Our calculation shows that transactions cost due to bid/offer spreads is substantially lower than commonly supposed in the academic literature.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14528.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Stephen Gilmore & Fumio Hayashi, 2011. "Emerging Market Currency Excess Returns," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 85-111, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14528
Note: IFM
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  1. Bansal, Ravi & Dahlquist, Magnus, 2000. "The forward premium puzzle: different tales from developed and emerging economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 115-144, June.
  2. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick, 1991. "On Biases in the Measurement of Foreign Exchange Risk Premiums," NBER Working Papers 3861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zsolt Darvas, 2008. "Leveraged Carry Trade Portfolios," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0822, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  4. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2007. "The Returns to Currency Speculation in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 12916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. de Zwart, Gerben & Markwat, Thijs & Swinkels, Laurens & van Dijk, Dick, 2009. "The economic value of fundamental and technical information in emerging currency markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 581-604, June.
  6. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Kleshchelski, Isaac & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2008. "Do Peso Problems Explain the Returns to the Carry Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6873, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hanno Lustig & Adrien Verdelhan, 2006. "The Cross-Section of Foreign Currency Risk Premia and Consumption Growth Risk," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-045, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Frankel, Jeffrey & Poonawala, Jumana, 2010. "The forward market in emerging currencies: Less biased than in major currencies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 585-598, April.
  9. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
  10. Engel, Charles, 1996. "The forward discount anomaly and the risk premium: A survey of recent evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 123-192, June.
  11. Ravi Balakrishnan & Volodymyr Tulin, 2006. "U.S. Dollar Risk Premiums and Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/160, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Hanno Lustig & Adrien Verdelhan, 2004. "The Cross-Section of Foreign Currency Risk Premia and US Consumption Growth Risk," 2004 Meeting Papers 136c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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