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Is Real Exchange Rate Mean Reversion Caused By Arbitrage?

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  • Jose M. Campa
  • Holger C. Wolf

Abstract

The presence of purchasing power parity is often attributed to the exploitation of arbitrage opportunities in goods markets. We examine this presumption for a 1960-1996 monthly panel of bilateral exchange rates and trade for the G7 countries. The data exhibit strong mean reversion. However, despite allowing for substantial latitude in specification, we find very limited support for a simple arbitrage view. The deviations of real exchange rates and trade from trend are virtually uncorrelated. Large trade deviations neither trigger nor accelerate mean reversion. Large real exchange rate deviations do not lead to systematic changes in trade. Constricting the sample to eighteen-month episodes of notable mean reversion - large persistent depreciations starting from overvalued levels - does not reveal any systematic relation either. The timing of these episodes does point, however, to an alternative explanation of mean reversion: the majority of episodes occur during periods of nominal exchange rate regime instability, pointing towards exchange rate policy or speculation as the immediate cause of mean reversion. Both may, of course, reflect expectations of trade responses, opening an indirect role for incipient arbitrage in explaining mean reversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6162.

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Date of creation: Sep 1997
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6162

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld and Alan M. Taylor., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C97-088, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Ken Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, . "Perspectives on PPP and Long-Run Real Exchange Rates," Working Paper 32027, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Dumas, Bernard, 1992. "Dynamic Equilibrium and the Real Exchange Rate in a Spatially Separated World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 153-80.
  4. Charles Engel & Michael K. Hendrickson & John H. Rogers, 1997. "Intra-national, intra-continental, and intra-planetary PPP," International Finance Discussion Papers 589, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Isard, Peter, 1977. "How Far Can We Push the "Law of One Price"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 942-48, December.
  7. Benninga, Simon & Protopapadakis, Aris, 1988. "The equilibrium pricing of exchange rates and assets when trade takes time," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 129-149, June.
  8. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  9. Mark P. Taylor, 2003. "Purchasing Power Parity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 436-452, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie & Fujii, Eiji, 2003. "The Chinese Economies in Global Context: The Integration Process and Its Determinants," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt89s3z523, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Chen, Natalie, 2004. "The behaviour of relative prices in the European Union: A sectoral analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1257-1286, December.
  3. Jonathan Haskel & Holger C. Wolf, 2001. "The Law of One Price - A Case Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 428, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Philipp Maier & Paul Cavelaars, 2003. "EMU enlargement and convergence of price levels: Lessons from the German reunification," Macroeconomics 0306016, EconWPA.
  5. Giri, Rahul, 2012. "Local costs of distribution, international trade costs and micro evidence on the law of one price," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 82-100.
  6. Yin-Wong Cheung & Menzie D. Chinn & Eiji Fujii, 1999. "Market Structure and the Persistence of Sectoral Real Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 7408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Koedijk, Kees G. & Tims, Ben & van Dijk, Mathijs A., 2011. "Why panel tests of purchasing power parity should allow for heterogeneous mean reversion," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 246-267, February.
  8. De Carvalho, Anthony, 2002. "Wage Adjustment, Imperfect Competition and Real Exchange Rate Reversion: An Attempt to Unravel the PPP Puzzle," Discussion Papers 706, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Maier, Philipp & Cavelaars, Paul, 2004. "Convergence of price levels: lessons from the German reunification," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 467-481, September.
  10. Philipp Maier, 2004. "EMU enlargement, inflation and adjustment of tradable goods prices: What to expect?," DNB Working Papers 010, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  11. Akarim, Yasemin Deniz & Sevim, Serafettin, 2013. "The impact of mean reversion model on portfolio investment strategies: Empirical evidence from emerging markets," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 453-459.

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