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On the Unstable Relationship between Exchange Rates and Macroeconomic Fundamentals

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  • Philippe Bacchetta

    (University of Lausanne, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Eric van Wincoop

    (University of Virginia, National Bureau of Economic Research, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

Abstract

It is well known from anecdotal, survey and econometric evidence that the relationship between the exchange rate and macro fundamentals is highly unstable. This could be explained when structural parameters are known and very volatile, neither of which seems plausible. Instead we argue that large and frequent variations in the relationship between the exchange rate and macro fundamentals naturally develop when structural parameters in the economy are unknown and change very slowly. We show that the reduced form relationship between exchange rates and fundamentals is driven not by the structural parameters themselves, but rather by expectations of these parameters. These expectations can be highly unstable as a result of perfectly rational "scapegoat" effects. This happens when parameters can potentially change much more in the long run than the short run. This generates substantial uncertainty about the level of parameters, even though monthly or annual changes are small. This mechanism can also be relevant in other contexts of forward looking variables and could explain the widespread evidence of parameter instability found in macroeconomic and financial data. Finally, we show that parameter instability has remarkably little effect on the volatility of exchange rates, the in-sample explanatory power of macro fundamentals and the ability to forecast out of sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 272009.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:272009

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  1. A pitfall of ageing
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-03-08 17:10:25
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Cited by:
  1. Huang, Huichou & MacDonald, Ronald & Zhao, Yang, 2012. "Global Currency Misalignments, Crash Sensitivity, and Downside Insurance Costs," MPRA Paper 53745, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Nov 2013.
  2. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop & Toni Beutler, 2009. "Can Parameter Instability Explain the Meese-Rogoff Puzzle?," Working Papers 09.04, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  3. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2011. "The dollar-euro exchange rate and macroeconomic fundamentals: a time-varying coefficient approach," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 11-40, April.
  4. Waldyr Areosa & Marta Areosa, 2012. "The Signaling Effect of Exchange Rates: pass-through under dispersed information," Working Papers Series 282, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  5. Marcel Fratzscher & Lucio Sarno & Gabriele Zinna, 2013. "The Scapegoat Theory of Exchange Rates: The First Tests," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1290, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Cheolbeom Park & Sookyung Park, 2013. "Exchange Rate Predictability and a Monetary Model with Time-varying Cointegration Coefficients," Discussion Paper Series 1302, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  7. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2011. "Cointegration, structural breaks and monetary fundamentals of the Dollar/Yen Exchange," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 397-412, November.
  8. ter Ellen, Saskia & Verschoor, Willem F.C. & Zwinkels, Remco C.J., 2013. "Dynamic expectation formation in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 75-97.
  9. Ding, Liang & Ma, Jun, 2013. "Portfolio reallocation and exchange rate dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3100-3124.
  10. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2009. "How Stable Are Monetary Models of the Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate?: A Time-Varying Coefficient Approach," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 944, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Yutaka Kurihara, 2012. "Exchange rate determination and structural changes in response to monetary policies," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 187-196, August.
  12. Dick, Christian D. & MacDonald, Ronald & Menkhoff, Lukas, 2011. "Individual exchange rate forecasts and expected fundamentals," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-062, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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