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The scapegoat theory of exchange rates: the first tests

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  • Fratzscher, Marcel
  • Sarno, Lucio
  • Zinna, Gabriele

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical test of the scapegoat theory of exchange rates (Bacchetta and van Wincoop 2004, 2011), as an attempt to evaluate its potential for explaining the poor empirical performance of traditional exchange rate models. This theory suggests that market participants may at times attach significantly more weight to individual economic fundamentals to rationalize the pricing of currencies, which are partly driven by unobservable shocks. Using novel survey data which directly measure foreign exchange scapegoats for 12 currencies and a decade of proprietary data on order flow, we find empirical evidence that strongly supports the empirical implications of the scapegoat theory of exchange rates, with the resulting models explaining a large fraction of the variation and directional changes in exchange rates. The findings have implications for exchange rate modelling, suggesting that a more accurate understanding of exchange rates requires taking into account the role of scapegoat factors and their time-varying nature. JEL Classification: F31, G10

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1418.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121418

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Keywords: economic fundamentals; Exchange Rates; order flow; Scapegoat; survey data;

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References

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  1. Barbara Rossi, 2005. "Testing Long-Horizon Predictive Ability With High Persistence, And The Meese-Rogoff Puzzle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 61-92, 02.
  2. Garry J. Schinasi & P.A.V.B. Swamy, 1987. "The out-of-sample forecasting performance of exchange rate models when coefficients are allowed to change," International Finance Discussion Papers 301, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Martin D. D. Evans and Richard K. Lyons., 1999. "Order Flow and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-288, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Kevin D. Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, 1999. "Data mining reconsidered: encompassing and the general-to-specific approach to specification search," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 167-191.
  5. Lucio Sarno & Elvira Sojli, 2009. "The Feeble Link between Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Can We Blame the Discount Factor?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 437-442, 03.
  6. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie David, 2001. "Currency traders and exchange rate dynamics: a survey of the US market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 439-471, August.
  7. Mark, Nelson C, 1995. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Evidence on Long-Horizon Predictability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 201-18, March.
  8. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop & Toni Beutler, 2010. "Can Parameter Instability Explain the Meese-Rogoff Puzzle?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009, pages 125-173 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rossi, Barbara, 2006. "Are Exchange Rates Really Random Walks? Some Evidence Robust To Parameter Instability," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 20-38, February.
  10. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 1999. "Improving on 'Data mining reconsidered' by K.D. Hoover and S.J. Perez," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 202-219.
  11. Lucio Sarno & Giorgio Valente, 2009. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Footloose or Evolving Relationship?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 786-830, 06.
  12. Love, Ryan & Payne, Richard, 2008. "Macroeconomic News, Order Flows, and Exchange Rates," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 467-488, June.
  13. Chib, Siddhartha & Greenberg, Edward, 1995. "Hierarchical analysis of SUR models with extensions to correlated serial errors and time-varying parameter models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 339-360, August.
  14. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2009. "On the Unstable Relationship between Exchange Rates and Macroeconomic Fundamentals," Working Papers 272009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  15. Nelson C. Mark, 2005. "Changing Monetary Policy Rules, Learning, and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 11061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Clark, Todd E. & West, Kenneth D., 2006. "Using out-of-sample mean squared prediction errors to test the martingale difference hypothesis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 155-186.
  17. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Exchange rates and scapegoats
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-07-20 15:02:00
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Cited by:
  1. Jose Luiz Rossi Junior & Wilson Rafael de Oliveira Felicio, 2014. "Common Factors and the Exchange Rate: Results From the Brazilian Case," Revista Brasileira de Economia, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 68(1), pages 49-71, April.
  2. Rossi, José Luiz Júnior, 2014. "The Usefulness of Financial Variables in Predicting Exchange Rate Movements," Insper Working Papers wpe_332, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.

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