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Lucio Sarno

8 August 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 790
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Abstract
This paper analyses the role of asset prices in comparison to other factors, in particular exchange rates, as a driver of the US trade balance. It employs a Bayesian structural VAR model that requires imposing only a minimum of economically meaningful sign restrictions. We find that equity market shocks and housing price shocks have been major determinants of the US current account in the past, accounting for up to 32% of the movements of the US trade balance at a horizon of 20 quarters. By contrast, shocks to the real exchange rate have been much less relevant, explaining less than 7% and exerting a more temporary effect on the US trade balance. Our findings suggest that sizeable exchange rate movements may not necessarily be a key element of an adjustment of today's large current account imbalances, and that in particular relative global asset price changes could be a more potent source of adjustment.
JEL Code
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F40 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→General
C30 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→General
31 March 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 883
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Abstract
This paper considers a stylized asset pricing model where the returns from exchange rates, stocks and bonds are linked by basic risk-arbitrage relationships. Employing GMM estimation and monthly data for 18 economies and the US (treated as the domestic country), we identify through a simple test the countries whose assets strongly comove with US assets and the countries whose assets might other larger diversification benefits. We also show that the strengthening of the comovement of returns across countries is neither a gradual process nor a global phenomenon, reinforcing the case for international diversification. However, our results suggest that fund managers are better other constructing portfolios selecting assets from a subset of countries than relying on either fully inter-nationally diversified or purely domestic portfolios.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
1 February 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1418
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Abstract
This paper provides an empirical test of the scapegoat theory of exchange rates (Bacchetta and van Wincoop 2004, 2011), as an attempt to evaluate its potential for explaining the poor empirical performance of traditional exchange rate models. This theory suggests that market participants may at times attach significantly more weight to individual economic fundamentals to rationalize the pricing of currencies, which are partly driven by unobservable shocks. Using novel survey data which directly measure foreign exchange scapegoats for 12 currencies and a decade of proprietary data on order flow, we find empirical evidence that strongly supports the empirical implications of the scapegoat theory of exchange rates, with the resulting models explaining a large fraction of the variation and directional changes in exchange rates. The findings have implications for exchange rate modelling, suggesting that a more accurate understanding of exchange rates requires taking into account the role of scapegoat factors and their time-varying nature.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General