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On the Unstable Relationship between Exchange Rates and Macroeconomic Fundamentals

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  • Philippe Bacchetta
  • Eric van Wincoop

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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15008.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15008

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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2009. "How Stable Are Monetary Models of the Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate? - A Time-varying Coefficient Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0134, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  6. 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.
  7. Park, Cheolbeom & Park, Sookyung, 2013. "Exchange rate predictability and a monetary model with time-varying cointegration coefficients," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 394-410.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Ding, Liang & Ma, Jun, 2013. "Portfolio reallocation and exchange rate dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3100-3124.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

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