Good Carry, Bad Carry

78 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2019 Last revised: 12 Jan 2019

See all articles by Geert Bekaert

Geert Bekaert

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics

George Panayotov

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

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Date Written: January 2019


We distinguish between ”good” and ”bad” carry trades constructed from G-10 currencies. The good trades exhibit higher Sharpe ratios and sometimes positive return skewness, in contrast to the bad trades that have both substantially lower Sharpe ratios and highly negative return skewness. Surprisingly, good trades do not involve the most typical carry currencies like the Australian dollar and Japanese yen. The distinction between good and bad carry trades significantly alters our understanding of currency carry trade returns, and invalidates, for example, explanations invoking return skewness and crash risk.

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Suggested Citation

Bekaert, Geert and Panayotov, George, Good Carry, Bad Carry (January 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25420. Available at SSRN:

Geert Bekaert (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

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George Panayotov

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

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