417 research outputs found

    Foreign Direct Investment

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    Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief

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    We compare various forms of market-based debt relief with coordinated debt forgiveness on the part of creditors. These schemes lead to different allocations of resources and levels of debtor and creditor welfare, but all attempt to stimulate debtor investment through reductions in the level of debt. If investment-incentive effects are present, then investment in liquidity-constrained debtors will respond by enough to make a reduction in debt profitable, but not by enough to make the reduction in debt optimal. For these countries the optimal debt-relief package (from the creditors perspective) will include an infusion of new lending.

    Tests of Excess Forecast Volatility in the Foreign Exchange and Stock Markets

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    Simple regression tests that have power against the alternatives that. asset prices and expected future asset returns are excessively volatile are developed and performed for the foreign exchange and stock markets. These tests have a number of advantages over alternative, variance hounds techniques. We find evidence that. both exchange rates and stock prices are excessively volatile and that expected returns on foreign exchange and stocks move too much. We also investigate whether these findings ran he attributed to time-varying risk premia, but in our tests the data provide little support for such an alternative hypothesis.

    Currency Hedging over Long Horizons

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    This paper reexamines the widely-held wisdom that the currency exposure of international investments should be entirely hedged. It finds that the previously documented ability of hedges to reduce portfolio return variance holds at short horizons, but not at long horizons. At horizons of several years, complete hedging not only does not lower return variance, it actually increases the return variance of many portfolios. Hedge ratios chosen to minimize long-run return variance are not only low, they also have no perceptible impact on return variance. The paper reports and explores these results, their apparent causes, and investigates their implications for hedging practice.

    The Evolving Market for Catastrophic Event Risk

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    This paper discusses the recent changes in the market for catastrophe risk. These risks have traditionally been distributed through the insurance and reinsurance systems. However, because insurance companies tend to share relatively small amounts of their cat exposures and because insurance companies' capital is threatened by large event, these risks are now being shared partly through the capital markets. In looking to likely future developments, the paper enumerates five key ingredients that successfully structured cat instruments are likely to share: retentions should be substantial; layers of protection should not be too high; dollar amounts of risk transfer should not be too small; loss triggers should be beyond cendent control; and loss triggers should be symmetrically transparent.

    Credibility, Real Interest Rates, and the Optimal Speed of Trade Liberalization

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    This paper investigates the effects of imperfectly credible trade liberalization programs on welfare and the allocation of real resources. We present a rational expectations model in which a government, with limited access to international financial markets may be forced to abort a liberalization program if hard-currency reserves are depleted too quickly. The liberalization's lack of perfect credibility arts as a distortion which becomes (rationally) intensified under the typical first-best policy of a direct move to free trade. A gradual lowering of trade barriers turns out to he welfare-superior to an immediate liberalization, and to improve the chance that. the program will ultimately succeed. We then derive the optimal speed of liberalization, the intertemporal allocation of resources, and the liberalization program's credibility.
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