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Random Walk Expectations and the Forward Discount Puzzle

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  • Eric van Wincoop
  • Philippe Bacchetta

Abstract

Two well-known, but seemingly contradictory, features of exchange rates are that they are close to a random walk while at the same time exchange rate changes are predictable by interest rate differentials. In this paper we investigate whether these two features of the data may in fact be related. In particular, we ask whether the predictability of exchange rates by interest differentials naturally results when participants in the FX market adopt random walk expectations. We find that random walk expectations can explain the forward premium puzzle, but only if FX portfolio positions are revised infrequently. In contrast, with frequent portfolio adjustment and random walk expectations, we find that high interest rate currencies depreciate much more than what UIP would predict.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 346-350

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:2:p:346-350

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.2.346
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References

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  1. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "The Returns to Currency Speculation," 2006 Meeting Papers 864, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  3. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2005. "Incomplete Information Processing: A Solution to the Forward Discount Puzzle," Working Papers 05.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  4. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Nucera, Federico & Valente, Giorgio, 2013. "Carry trades and the performance of currency hedge funds," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 407-425.
  2. Kerstin Bernoth & J�rgen von Hagen & Casper G. de Vries, 2007. "The Forward Premium Puzzle only emerges gradually," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-033/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Kerstin Bernoth & Juergen von Hagen & Casper de Vries, 2010. "The Forward Premium Puzzle and Latent Factors Day by Day," DNB Working Papers 246, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  4. Tracy Yue Wang & David Hirshleifer & Bing Han, 2010. "Investor Overconfidence and the Forward Discount Puzzle," 2010 Meeting Papers 1201, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Michael Jetter & Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, 2013. "Monetary Policy Shifts and the Forward Discount Puzzle," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010729, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
  6. Anella Munro, 2014. "Exchange rates, expected returns and risk," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2014/01, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  7. Demosthenes N. Tambakis & Nikola Tarashev, 2012. "Systematic monetary policy and the forward premium puzzle," BIS Working Papers 396, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Loring, Grace & Lucey, Brian, 2013. "An analysis of forward exchange rate biasedness across developed and developing country currencies: Do observed patterns persist out of sample?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 14-28.

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