The Long or Short of it: Determinants of Foreign Currency Exposure in External Balance Sheets

44 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 28 Sep 2010

See all articles by Philip R. Lane

Philip R. Lane

Trinity College (Dublin) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Central Bank of Ireland

Jay Shambaugh

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

A major focus of the recent literature on the determination of optimal portfolios in open-economy macroeconomic models has been on the role of currency movements in determining portfolio returns that may hedge various macroeconomic shocks. However, there is little empirical evidence on the foreign currency exposures that are embedded in international balance sheets. Using a new database, we provide stylized facts concerning the cross-country and time-series variation in aggregate foreign currency exposure and its various subcomponents. In panel estimation, we find that richer, more open economies take longer foreign-currency positions. In addition, we find that an increase in the propensity for a currency to depreciate during bad times is associated with a longer position in foreign currencies, providing a hedge against domestic output fluctuations. We view these new stylized facts as informative in their own right and also potentially useful to the burgeoning theoretical literature on the macroeconomics of international portfolios.

Suggested Citation

Lane, Philip R. and Shambaugh, Jay, The Long or Short of it: Determinants of Foreign Currency Exposure in External Balance Sheets (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14909. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394816

Philip R. Lane (Contact Author)

Trinity College (Dublin) - Department of Economics ( email )

Trinity College
Dublin 2
Ireland
+353 1 608 2259 (Phone)
+353 1 677 2503 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Central Bank of Ireland ( email )

P.O. Box 559
Dame Street
Dublin, 2
Ireland

Jay Shambaugh

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

309 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-9345 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~economic/faculty/Shambaugh/

Georgetown University - Department of Strategy/Economics/Ethics/Public Policy

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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