118 research outputs found

    Is it Risk? Explaining Deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity

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    This paper analyzes ex-ante returns to forward speculation and asks if these returns can be explained by models of a foreign exchange risk premium. After presenting evidence that both nominal and real expected speculative profits are non-zero, the paper examines if real returns to forward speculation are consistent with consumption-based models of risk premia. Estimates of the conditional covariance between real speculative returns and real consumption growth are presented and, like ex-ante returns to forward speculation, they exhibit statistically significant fluctuations over time and often change sign.

    Forecasting Exchange Rates and Relative Prices with the Hamburger Standard: Is What You Want What You Get With McParity?

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    A decade ago the Economist began an annual survey of Big Mac prices as a guide to whether currencies are trading at the right exchange rates. This paper asks how well the hamburger standard has performed. Although average deviations from absolute Big Mac parity are large for several currencies, once estimates of these average deviations are removed from the data, the evidence suggests that convergence to relative Big Mac parity is quite rapid. The half-life of deviations from Big Mac parity appear to be about 1 year, which is considerably shorter than estimates of the half-life of deviations from purchasing power parity (4-5 years) that are reported in the literature. In addition, deviations from relative Big Mac parity appear to provide useful information for forecasting exchange rates. After accounting for currency-specific constants, a 10 percent undervaluation according to the hamburger standard in one year is associated with a 3.5 percent appreciation over the following year. Finally, deviations from relative Big Mac parity seem to be helpful in forecasting relative local currency prices. When the U.S. dollar price of Big Macs is high in a country, the relative local currency price of Big Macs in that country is likely to fall during the following year.

    Consumption Risk and International Asset Returns: Some Empirical Evidence

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    The paper examines if real stock returns in four countries are consistent with consumption-based models of international asset pricing. The paper finds that ex-ante real stock returns exhibit statistically significant fluctuations over time and that these fluctuations cannot be explained by consumption-based models when the conditional covariances between real stock returns and the rate of change of consumption are assumed to be constant over time. These conditional covariances are then modeled and the paper finds that they too exhibit statistically significant fluctuations over time. However, even when conditional covariances are allowed to change over time, the paper finds that the consumption-based models do not fully explain real stock returns.

    International Interest-Rate and Price-Level Linkages Under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence

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    In an open economy, the scope for activist stabilization policy depends on the nature of the lincages between domestic and international markets for goods and assets. Tgo

    Finanial Policy and Speculative Runs with a Crawling Peg: Argentina 1979-1981

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    In this paper we present a model of a balance-of-payments crisis and use it to examine the Argentine experiment with a crawling peg between December 1978 and February 1981. The approach taken allows us to examine the evolution of a crisis when the collapse is not a perfectly-foreseen event. The implementation of the model yields plausible values of the one-month ahead probabilities of a collapse of the crawling peg. The probabilities exhibit a sharp increase in the middle of 1980 and indicate a significant loss of credibility throughout the remainder of the year. The results suggest that viability of an exchange rate regime depends strongly on the domestic credit policy followed by the authorities. If this policy is not consistent with the exchange rate policy pursued by the authorities, confidence in the exchange rate policy is undermined.

    Monetary Policy Under Dual Exchange Rates

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    This paper finds that the introduction of dual exchange rates gives the monetary authority greater independence from external constraints than it would otherwise enjoy. The monetary authority is able to influence the level of aggregate demand in the short run and to sterilize the effects of temporary foreign distrubances. In addition, the paper finds that dual rates insulate the domestic economy fully from foreign interest rate changes but do not provide insulation from speculative disturbances.

    Relative Labor Productivity and the Real Exchange Rate in the Long Run: Evidence for a Panel of OECD Countries

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    The Balassa-Samuelson model, which explains real exchange rate movements in terms of sectoral productivities, rests on two components. First, for a class of technologies including Cobb-Douglas, the model implies that the relative price of nontraded goods in each country should reflect the relative productivity of labor in the traded and nontraded goods sectors. Second, the model assumes that purchasing power parity holds for traded goods in the long-run. We test each of these implications using data from a panel of OECD countries. Our results suggest that the first of these two fits the data quite well. In the long run, relative prices generally reflect relative labor productivities. The evidence on purchasing power parity in traded goods is considerably less favorable. When we look at US dollar exchange rates, PPP does not appear to hold for traded goods, even in the long run. On the other hand, when we look at DM exchange rates purchasing power parity appears to be a somewhat better characterization of traded goods prices.
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