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Real Exchange Rate Misalignment: Prelude to Crisis?

By David M. Kemme and Saktinil Roy

Abstract

A model of the long run equilibrium real exchange rate based upon macroeconomic fundamentals is employed to calculate real exchange rate misalignments for Poland and Russia during the 1990s using the Beveridge and Nelson (1981) decomposition of macrofundamentals into transitory and permanent components. Short run movements of the real exchange rate are estimated with ARIMA and GARCH error correction specifications. The different nominal exchange rate regimes of the two countries generate different levels of misalignment and different responses to exogenous shocks. The average misalignment in Russia is substantially greater than that in Poland, indicating incipient pressures to devalue the ruble immediately preceding the August 1998 crisis. The half life of an exogenous shock is found to be much shorter for Poland than for Russia in the pre-crisis period. Dynamic forecasts indicate that the movements of the real exchange rate in the post-crisis period are significantly different from those in the pre-crisis period. Thus, the currency crisis in Russia could not be anticipated with the movements of the real exchange rate estimated with the macroeconomic fundamentals.Russia, Poland, equilibrium real exchange rates, misalignment, cointegration, exogenous shocks, macroeconomic crises

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