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A Reconsideration of the Uncovered Interest Parity Relationship

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

The paper first presents reasons for viewing the uncovered interest-parity (VIP) relationship as more important, in terms of economic analysis, than the unbiasedness of forward rates as predictors of future spot exchange rates. The two hypotheses are closely related, so that test rejections of the latter tend to cast doubt on the former, but are not identical--so unbiasedness rejections are not conclusive for UIP. Next, some representative evidence is presented that pertains to alternative versions of the unbiasedness test. Although s[sub t] = [alpha] + ([beta]f[sub t- 1] + [epsilon, sub t] and s[sub t] - s[sub t-1] =[alpha] + [beta](f[sub t-1] ? s[sub t-1]) + [epsilon, sub t] are equivalent under the null hypothesis of [beta]= 1.0, they represent different classes of alternative hypotheses. Empirically, they give rise to extremely different outcomes, estimates of [beta] being very close to 1. 0 in the former equation but in the vicinity of -3.0 in the latter. In a generalized specification that includes both as special cases, the results strongly favor the second specification--thereby rejecting unbiasedness. Finally, three possible explanations for the [beta] = -3 result are considered and related to the UIP condition. Of these three, the latter two--one involving systematically irrational expectations and the other an additional relationship reflecting monetary policy behavior--are consistent with UIP. The policy-response hypothesis, that monetary authorities manage interest-rate differentials so as to resist rapid changes in exchange rates and in these differentials, is attractive conceptually and is capable of explaining not only the [beta] = -3 finding, but also several other notable features of the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4113.

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Date of creation: Jul 1994
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Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 33, (1994), pp 105-132
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4113

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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Levich, Richard M., 1985. "Empirical studies of exchange rates: Price behavior, rate determination and market efficiency," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 979-1040 Elsevier.
  3. Froot, Kenneth A & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Foreign Exchange," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 179-92, Summer.
  4. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick, 1991. "On Biases in the Measurement of Foreign Exchange Risk Premiums," NBER Working Papers 3861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Froot, Kenneth A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1988. "Forward Discount Bias: Is It an Exchange Risk Premium?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5w65g4zg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-53, March.
  7. Pope, Peter F. & Peel, David A., 1991. "Forward foreign exchange rates and risk premia--a reappraisal," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 443-456, September.
  8. Taylor, John B, 1989. "Monetary Policy and the Stability of Macroeconomic Relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(S), pages S161-78, Supplemen.
  9. Boyer, Russell S & Adams, F Charles, 1988. "Forward Premia and Risk Premia in a Simple Model of Exchange Rate Determination," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(4), pages 633-44, November.
  10. John F. O. Bilson, 1981. "The "Speculative Efficiency" Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 0474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Frenkel, Jacob A & Mussa, Michael L, 1980. "The Efficiency of Foreign Exchange Markets and Measures of Turbulence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 374-81, May.
  12. Meese, Richard A & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. " On Unit Roots and the Empirical Modeling of Exchange Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1029-35, September.
  13. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "International Interest Rate and Price Level Linkages under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 121-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Longworth, David, 1981. "Testing the Efficiency of the Canadian-U.S. Exchange Market under the Assumption of no Risk Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 43-49, March.
  15. 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.).
  16. Fratianni, Michele & Wakeman, L. MacDonald, 1982. "The law of one price in the eurocurrency market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 307-323, January.
  17. Jacob A. Frenkel & Michael L. Mussa, 1980. "Efficiency of Foreign Exchange Markets and Measures of Turbulence," NBER Working Papers 0476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Barnhart, Scott W. & Szakmary, Andrew C., 1991. "Testing the Unbiased Forward Rate Hypothesis: Evidence on Unit Roots, Co-Integration, and Stochastic Coefficients," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 245-267, June.
  19. 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.
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