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Foreign currency borrowing and knowledge about exchange rate risk

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Abstract

Foreign currency borrowing is widespread in many regions of the world. This raises the question whether unhedged borrowers do not understand the exchange rate risk emanating from such loans. Employing household level micro-data from eight Central and Eastern European countries the authors study how agents’ knowledge about exchange rate risk affects the currency denomination of loans. Results show, first, that a majority of respondents is aware that depreciations increase loan installments and, secondly, that knowledge about the exchange rate risk lowers the demand for foreign currency borrowing. To assess the causal effect of literacy on loan demand the authors utilize information on agents’ exchange rate expectations. Overall, results suggest that financial literacy exerts a strong impact on the choice of the loan currency. However, from an aggregate perspective, a misunderstanding of the underlying risks is not the main cause of foreign currency borrowing.

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  • Elisabeth Beckmann & Helmut Stix, 2014. "Foreign currency borrowing and knowledge about exchange rate risk," Working Papers 188, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:188
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    Cited by:

    1. de Haas, R. & Brown, M. & Sokolov, V., 2015. "Regional Inflation, Financial Integration and Dollarization (This is a revision of CentER DP 2013-073)," Discussion Paper 2015-012, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Brown, M. & de Haas, R. & Sokolov, V., 2013. "Regional Inflation and Financial Dollarization," Discussion Paper 2013-073, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Martin Brown & Helmut Stix, 2015. "The euroization of bank deposits in Eastern Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(81), pages 95-139.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign currency borrowing and knowledge about exchange rate risk;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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