The Introduction of the Euro and the Currency Risk Premium
41 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2006
Date Written: August 2006
Exchange rates arrangements aim at reducing uncertainty attached to currency fluctuations hence a reduction in systematic risks. This paper analyzes the behaviour of risk premiums in major equity markets, following the introduction of the euro. Using a multifactor asset pricing model, we find exchange rate risk premium in the largest eurozone markets (Germany and France) rose sharply after 1999, unlike in the "smaller" markets (Italy and the Netherlands). Market risk premium declined in the eurozone markets except Germany. It appears the euro resulted in systematic risk reduction in the smaller eurozone markets at the expense of their larger partners. This challenges an important rationale for the euro.
Keywords: Equity Risk Premium, Asset Pricing, the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, Currency Risk
JEL Classification: E44, F31, G12
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