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Non-Informative Tests of the Unbiased Forward Exchange Rate

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  • Barnhart, Scott W.
  • McNown, Robert
  • Wallace, Myles S.

Abstract

This paper reexamines a familiar but unsettling result in the foreign exchange literature: that the forward rate is not an unbiased predictor of the future spot rate. The paper outlines why some frequently used tests of unbiasedness are non-informative in the sense that they are incapable of correctly testing the hypothesis. Specifically, many of these tests are based on regressions that suffer from simultaneity bias, resulting in biased and inconsistent estimators. This is true whether the tests are conducted using stationary or non-stationary data. We demonstrate this point both analytically and with simulations. Tests of co-integration, which are not subject to the critique presented in the paper, generally fail to reject unbiasedness.

Suggested Citation

  • Barnhart, Scott W. & McNown, Robert & Wallace, Myles S., 1999. "Non-Informative Tests of the Unbiased Forward Exchange Rate," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 265-291, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:34:y:1999:i:02:p:265-291_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "Resolving the unbiasedness puzzle in the foreign exchange market," Working Papers 2009-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    2. Vipul Bhatt & Arvind Virmani, 2005. "Global integration of India's Money Market : Interest rate parity in India," Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers 164, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India.
    3. Kleopatra Nikolaou & Lucio Sarno, 2006. "New evidence on the forward unbiasedness hypothesis in the foreign‐exchange market," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 627-656, July.
    4. Wagner, Christian, 2012. "Risk-premia, carry-trade dynamics, and economic value of currency speculation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1195-1219.
    5. Nagayasu, Jun, 2012. "Long-Run Implications of the Covered Interest Rate Parity Condition: Evidence during the Recent Crisis and Non-Crisis Periods," MPRA Paper 41566, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Guneratne Banda Wickremasinghe, 2004. "Efficiency Of Foreign Exchange Markets: A Developing Country Perspective," International Finance 0406004, EconWPA.
    7. Lucio Sarno & Giorgio Valente & Hyginus Leon, 2006. "Nonlinearity in Deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity: An Explanation of the Forward Bias Puzzle," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, pages 443-482.
    8. Liu, Ming-Hua & Margaritis, Dimitri & Tourani-Rad, Alireza, 2008. "Monetary policy transparency and pass-through of retail interest rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 501-511, April.
    9. Manolis Kavussanos & Ilias Visvikis & David Menachof, 2005. "The Unbiasedness Hypothesis in the Freight Forward Market: Evidence from Cointegration Tests," Review of Derivatives Research, Springer, pages 241-266.
    10. Ana-Maria Fuertes & Jerry Coakley, 2001. "Rethinking the Forward Premium Puzzle in a Non-linear Framework," Working Papers wp01-06, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
    11. Christian Wagner, 2008. "Risk-Premia, Carry-Trade Dynamics, and Speculative Efficiency of Currency Markets," Working Papers 143, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    12. Martin Cincibuch & David Vavra, 2004. "Testing for the uncovered interest parity using distributions implied by FX options," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 16, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    13. Nagayasu, Jun, 2011. "The threshold nonstationary panel data approach to forward premiums," MPRA Paper 34265, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Guneratne Banda Wickremasinghe, 2004. "Efficiency of the Foreign Exchange Market of Papua New Guinea During the Recent Float," International Trade 0406007, EconWPA.

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