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Borrowing in foreign currency: Austrian households as carry traders


Beer, Christian; Ongena, Steven; Peter, Marcel (2010). Borrowing in foreign currency: Austrian households as carry traders. Journal of Banking and Finance, 34(9):2198-2211.

Abstract

Household borrowing in a foreign currency is a widespread phenomenon in Austria. Thirteen percent of Austrian households report their housing loan to be denominated in foreign currency, mostly Swiss franc. Yet, despite its importance, peculiar character, and acute policy concerns, we know little about the attitudes and characteristics of the households involved in this type of carry trade. We analyze a uniquely detailed financial wealth survey of 2556 Austrian households to sketch a comprehensive profile of the attitudes and characteristics of the households involved. We employ both univariate tests and multivariate multinomial logit models. The survey data suggest that risk seeking, affluent, and married households are more likely to take a housing loan in a foreign currency. Financially literate or high-income households are more likely to take a housing loan in general. These findings partially assuage policy concerns about household default risk on foreign-currency housing loans or household retirement security.

Abstract

Household borrowing in a foreign currency is a widespread phenomenon in Austria. Thirteen percent of Austrian households report their housing loan to be denominated in foreign currency, mostly Swiss franc. Yet, despite its importance, peculiar character, and acute policy concerns, we know little about the attitudes and characteristics of the households involved in this type of carry trade. We analyze a uniquely detailed financial wealth survey of 2556 Austrian households to sketch a comprehensive profile of the attitudes and characteristics of the households involved. We employ both univariate tests and multivariate multinomial logit models. The survey data suggest that risk seeking, affluent, and married households are more likely to take a housing loan in a foreign currency. Financially literate or high-income households are more likely to take a housing loan in general. These findings partially assuage policy concerns about household default risk on foreign-currency housing loans or household retirement security.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Banking and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Finance
Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Language:English
Date:September 2010
Deposited On:24 Nov 2020 14:31
Last Modified:25 Nov 2020 21:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-4266
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbankfin.2010.02.008
Official URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378426610000701
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:11785

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