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The "Speculative Efficiency" Hypothesis

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  • John F. O. Bilson

Abstract

The hypothesis that forward prices are the best unbiased forecast of future spot prices is often presented in the economic and financial analysis of futures markets. This paper considers the hypothesis independently of its implications for rational expectations or market efficiency and in order to stress this fact, the term "speculative efficiency" is used to characterize the state envisaged under the hypothesis. If a market is subject to efficient speculation, the supply of speculative funds is infinitely elastic at the forward price that is equal to the expected future spot price. The expected future spot price is a market price determined as the solution to the underlying rational expectations macroeconomic model. Although the paper is primarily concerned with testing this hypothesis in the foreign exchange market, the methodology introduced in the paper is of general application to all futures markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0474.

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Date of creation: Apr 1980
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Publication status: published as Bilson, John F.O. "The 'Speculative Efficiency' Hypothesis." Journal of Business, Vol. 54, No. 3, (June 1981), pp. 435-451.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0474

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  1. Geweke, John F & Feige, Edgar L, 1979. "Some Joint Tests of the Efficiency of Markets for Forward Foreign Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 334-41, August.
  2. Hakkio, Craig S., 1981. "The term structure of the forward premium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 41-58.
  3. Bilson, John F O, 1981. "The "Speculative Efficiency" Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 435-51, July.
  4. Goodman, Stephen H, 1979. "Foreign Exchange Rate Forecasting Techniques: Implications for Business and Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(2), pages 415-27, May.
  5. André Farber & Eugene Fama, 1979. "Money, bonds and foreign exchange," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/11356, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  7. Craig S. Hakkio, 1980. "Expectations and the Forward Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 0439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ralph Tryon, 1979. "Testing for rational expectations in foreign exchange markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 139, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-82, June.
  10. John F. O. Bilson, 1979. "Recent Developments in Monetary Models of Exchange Rate Determination (Evolution récente des modèles monétaires de détermination des taux de change) (Progreso reciente en el campo de los m," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(2), pages 201-223, June.
  11. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1979. "The diversifiability of exchange risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 379-393, August.
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