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Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Heterogeneous Portfolio Explanation

Author

Listed:
  • Kanda Naknoi

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Hanno Lustig

    (Stanford University)

  • YiLi Chien

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

Empirical work on asset prices suggests that pricing kernels have to be almost perfectly correlated across countries. If they are not, real exchange rates are too smooth to be consistent with high Sharpe ratios in asset markets. However, the cross-country correlation of macro fundamentals is far from perfect. We reconcile these empirical facts in a two-country stochastic growth model with heterogeneous household portfolios. A large fraction of households either hold low risk portfolios and/or do not adjust their portfolio optimally, and these households drive down the cross-country correlation in aggregate consumption. Only a small fraction of households participate in international risk sharing by frequently trading domestic and foreign equities. These active traders are the marginal investors, who impute the almost perfect correlation in pricing kernels. In our calibrated economy, we show that this mechanism can quantitatively account for the excess smoothness of exchange rates in the presence of highly volatile stochastic discount factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanda Naknoi & Hanno Lustig & YiLi Chien, 2017. "Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Heterogeneous Portfolio Explanation," 2017 Meeting Papers 214, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:214
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    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2017/paper_214.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Gavazzoni, Federico & Santacreu, Ana Maria, 2015. "International R&D Spillovers and Asset Prices," Working Papers 2015-41, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Edouard Djeutem & Geoffrey R. Dunbar, 2018. "Uncovered Return Parity: Equity Returns and Currency Returns," Staff Working Papers 18-22, Bank of Canada.

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