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Borrowing in Foreign Currency: Austrian Households as Carry Traders

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Beer
  • Steven Ongena
  • Marcel Peter

Abstract

Household borrowing in a foreign currency is a widespread phenomenon in Austria. Twelve percent of Austrian households report their housing loan to be denominated in either Swiss franc or Japanese yen for example. Yet, despite its importance, peculiar character, and immediate policy concerns, we know too little about the attitudes and characteristics of the households involved in this type of carry trade. We analyze a uniquely detailed financial wealth survey of 2,556 Austrian households to sketch a comprehensive profile of the attitudes and characteristics of the households involved. We employ both univariate tests and multivariate multinomial logit models. The survey data suggests that risk-loving, wealthy, and married households are more likely to take a housing loan in a foreign currency. High-income households are more likely to take a housing loan in general. These findings may partially assuage policy concerns about household default risk on foreign-currency housing loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Beer & Steven Ongena & Marcel Peter, 2008. "Borrowing in Foreign Currency: Austrian Households as Carry Traders," Working Papers 2008-19, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2008-19
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    oreign currency borrowing; mortgages; banking sector; Austria; Swissfrancs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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