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Macro lessons from microstructure

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  • Carol L. Osler

    (Brandeis University, Waltham, USA)

Abstract

Empirical research on the microeconomics of currency markets, an area known sometimes as 'currency market microstructure,' has taken off in the past decade. This paper extracts from this research four lessons for modelling short-run exchange-rate dynamics. First, currency flows are a key determinant of exchange rates, and models should have these flows fully in focus. The appropriate equilibrium condition may be flow-currency supply equals flow-currency demand. Second, the flows of first-order relevance include those of 'financial' traders, who use currencies essentially as a store of value, and 'commercial' traders, who use currencies as a medium of exchange. Financial flows and commercial flows should be negatively related to each other, meaning that financial demand tends to be met by commercial supply. Also, financial flows should be positively related to exchange rates. Third, financial traders are motivated by profits, rather than consumption, and behave as if risk averse. Fourth, commercial traders are motivated by exchange-rate levels and rationally choose not to speculate. The workhorse models of international macroeconomics do not fit most of these lessons, and these important lacunae in their microfoundations may help explain their limited empirical success. The paper sketches an optimizing model of currency flows that is consistent with the lessons and has an encouraging empirical record. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol L. Osler, 2006. "Macro lessons from microstructure," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 55-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijf:ijfiec:v:11:y:2006:i:1:p:55-80
    DOI: 10.1002/ijfe.288
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/ijfe.288
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schulmeister, Stephan, 2009. "Aggregate trading behaviour of technical models and the yen/dollar exchange rate 1976-2007," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 270-279, August.
    2. Bianconi, Ginestra & Galla, Tobias & Marsili, Matteo & Pin, Paolo, 2009. "Effects of Tobin taxes in minority game markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 231-240, May.
    3. Jacob Gyntelberg & Mico Loretan & Tientip Subhanij & Eric Chan, 2010. "Private information, stock markets, and exchange rates," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), The international financial crisis and policy challenges in Asia and the Pacific, volume 52, pages 186-210 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Dal Bianco, Marcos & Camacho, Maximo & Perez Quiros, Gabriel, 2012. "Short-run forecasting of the euro-dollar exchange rate with economic fundamentals," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 377-396.
    5. Michael Frömmel & Norbert Kiss M. & Klára Pintér, 2011. "Macroeconomic announcements, communication and order flow on the Hungarian foreign exchange market," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 172-188, April.
    6. Zhang, Zhichao & Chau, Frankie & Zhang, Wenting, 2013. "Exchange rate determination and dynamics in China: A market microstructure analysis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 303-316.
    7. King, Michael R. & Osler, Carol L. & Rime, Dagfinn, 2013. "The market microstructure approach to foreign exchange: Looking back and looking forward," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 95-119.
    8. Schulmeister, Stephan, 2006. "The interaction between technical currency trading and exchange rate fluctuations," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 212-233, September.
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    15. Ginestra Bianconi & Tobias Galla & Matteo Marsili, 2006. "Effects of Tobin Taxes in Minority Game markets," Papers cond-mat/0603134, arXiv.org.
    16. Ledenyov, Dimitri O. & Ledenyov, Viktor O., 2015. "Wave function method to forecast foreign currencies exchange rates at ultra high frequency electronic trading in foreign currencies exchange markets," MPRA Paper 67470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Stanley W. Black, 2015. "The Portfolio Theory of Exchange Rates—Then and Now," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 379-386, May.
    18. Enn Listra, 2013. "International Business Of Banking: The Pricing Example Of Retail Currency Spreads," Global Economic Observer, "Nicolae Titulescu" University of Bucharest, Faculty of Economic Sciences;Institute for World Economy of the Romanian Academy, vol. 1(1), pages 174-186, May.
    19. Pippenger, John, 2007. "How should we think about markets for foreign exchange?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3w40w1b5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.

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