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A Survey of Empirical Research on Nominal Exchange Rates

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  • Jeffrey A. Frankel and Andrew K. Rose.

Abstract

We survey the empirical literature on floating nominal exchange rates over the past decade. Exchange rates are difficult to forecast at short- to medium-term horizons. There is a bit of explanatory power to monetary models such as the Dornbusch "overshooting" theory, in the form of reaction to "news" and in forecasts at long-run horizons. Nevertheless, at short horizons, a driftless random walk characterizes exchange rates better than standard models based on observable macroeconomic fundamentals. Unexplained large shocks to floating rates must then, logically, be due either to innovations in unobservable fundamentals, or to non-fundamental factors such as speculative bubbles. The observed difference in exchange rate and macroeconomic volatility under different nominal exchange rate regimes makes us skeptical of the first view. The theory and evidence on speculative bubbles, however, is not conclusive. We conclude with the hope that promising new studies of the microstructure of the foreign exchange market might eventually rise to insights into these phenomena.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C95-051.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1995
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c95-051

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  1. Richard K. Lyons, 1993. "Tests of Microstructural Hypotheses in the Foreign Exchange Market," NBER Working Papers 4471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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