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The Backus-Smith Puzzle: The Role of Expectations

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  • Luis Opazo

Abstract

Efficient risk-sharing dictates a positive relationship between the real exchange rate and relative consumption across countries: consumption should be relatively high where consumption is relatively cheap. However, contrary to the positive relationship predicted by most models, the empirical correlation between bilateral real exchange rates and relative consumptions is typically negative (see Backus and Smith, 1993). In this paper I extend a standard two-country, two-good international business cycle model with internationally incomplete financial markets to incorporate public signals about future innovations to total factor productivity. In this environment, a positive signal increases the relative present value of domestic lifetime income, implying that current consumption can increase by more than current output. This increase in demand in turn generates an appreciation in the real exchange rate, suggesting a potential resolution to the Backus-Smith puzzle. When the economy is calibrated to the United States versus the rest of the industrialized world, numerical simulations deliver a correlation between the exchange rate and relative consumption that is similar to that observed empirically.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 395.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:395

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  1. 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.
  2. Batchelor, Roy & Dua, Pami, 1992. "Survey Expectations in the Time Series Consumption Function," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 598-606, November.
  3. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Working Papers 96-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Kollmann, R., 1992. "Consumption, Real Exchange Rates and the Structure of International Asset Markets," Cahiers de recherche 9232, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1994. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," NBER Working Papers 4975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B & Johnsen, Thore, 1998. "Productivity Growth, Consumer Confidence and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial autarky and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 601-627, April.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Andrew Scott, 1993. "Consumer Confidence and Rational Expectations: Are Agents Beliefs Consistent with the Theory?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0119, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  10. Harold L. Cole & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Commodity Trade and International Risk Sharing: How Much Do Financial Markets Matter?," NBER Working Papers 3027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Backus, David K. & Smith, Gregor W., 1993. "Consumption and real exchange rates in dynamic economies with non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 297-316, November.
  12. Vicente Tuesta & Jorge Selaive, 2004. "Net Foreing Assets and Imperfect Pass-through: The Consumption-Real Exchange Rate Anomaly," 2004 Meeting Papers 203, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Jorge Selaive ; Vicente Tuesta, 2004. "Net Foreign Assets And Imperfect Financial Integration: An Empirical Approach," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 90, Econometric Society.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron & Ventura, Jaume, 2001. "The World Income Distribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Masashige Hamano, 2013. "The consumption-real exchange rate anomaly with extensive margins," CREA Discussion Paper Series 13-01, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Viani, Francesca, 2011. "Traded and nontraded goods prices, and international risk sharing: an empirical investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert Kollmann, 2012. "Limited asset market participation and the consumption-real exchange rate anomaly," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 566-584, May.
  4. Kyriacos Lambrias, 2013. "News Shocks, Real Exchange Rates and International Co-Movements," BCL working papers 83, Central Bank of Luxembourg.

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