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Carry Trades and Risk

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  • Craig Burnside

Abstract

Carry trades, in which an investor borrows a low interest rate currency and lends a high interest rate currency, have been profitable historically. The risk exposure of carry traders might explain their high returns, but conventional models of risk do not work because traditional risk factors, used to price the stock market, do not price currency returns. Less traditional factors that are more successful in explaining currency returns, are, however, unsuccessful in explaining the returns to the stock market. More exotic models of "crisis risk" are another possibility, but I show that any time-variation in the exposure of the carry trade to market risk has been insufficient, in sample, to explain the average returns earned by carry traders. Instead, peso events remain a candidate explanation of the returns to the carry trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig Burnside, 2011. "Carry Trades and Risk," NBER Working Papers 17278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17278
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Kleshchelski, Isaac & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2006. "The Returns to Currency Speculation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5883, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    3. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Do Peso Problems Explain the Returns to the Carry Trade?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 853-891.
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    19. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2009. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 313-347 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Corrado Macchiarelli, 2013. "On the Joint Test of the Uncovered Interest Parity and the Ex-ante Purchasing Power Parity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 519-535, August.
    2. Anella Munro, 2014. "Exchange rates, expected returns and risk," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2014/01, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    3. Philippe Mueller & Andreas Stathopoulos & Andrea Vedolin, "undated". "International Correlation Risk," FMG Discussion Papers dp716, Financial Markets Group.
    4. Shakill Hassan & Sean Smith, 2011. "The Rand as a Carry Trade Target: Risk, Returns and Policy Implications," Working Papers 235, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    5. Ali Shehadeh & Peter Erdos & Youwei Li & Michael Moore, 2016. "US Dollar Carry Trades in the Era of "Cheap Money"," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 66(5), pages 374-404, October.
    6. Dick, Christian D. & Menkhoff, Lukas, 2013. "Exchange rate expectations of chartists and fundamentalists," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1362-1383.
    7. Doukas, John A. & Zhang, Hao, 2013. "The performance of NDF carry trades," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 172-190.

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    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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