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Robust Tests of Forward Exchange Market Efficiency with Empirical Evidence from the 1920s

  • Phillips, Peter C B
  • McFarland, James W
  • McMahon, Patrick C

This paper provides a robust statistical approach to testing the unbiasedness hypothesis in forward exchange market efficiency studies. The methods we use allow us to work explicitly with levels rather than differenced data. They are statistically robust to data distributions with heavy tails, and they can be applied to data sets where the frequency of observation and the futures maturity do not coincide. In addition, our methods allow for stochastic trend nonstationarity and general forms of serial dependence. The methods are applied to daily data of spot exchange rates and forward exchange rates during the 1920's, which marked the first episode of a broadly general floating exchange rate system. The tail behavior of the data is analyzed using an adaptive data-based method for estimating the tail slope of the density. The results confirm the need for the use of robust regression methods. We find cointegration between the forward rate and spot rate for the four currencies we consider (the Belgian and French francs, the Italian lira and the US dollar, all measured against the British pound), we find support for a stationary risk premium in the case of the Belgian franc, the Italian lira and the US dollar, and we find support for the simple market efficiency hypothesis (where the forward rate is an unbiased predictor of the future spot rate and there is a zero mean risk premium) in the case of the US dollar.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 11 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (Jan.-Feb.)
Pages: 1-22

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:11:y:1996:i:1:p:1-22
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  1. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1990. "A Shortcut to LAD Estimator Asymptotics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 949, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1993. "Robust Nonstationary Regression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1064, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Koedijk, Kees G & Kool, Clemens J M, 1992. "Tail Estimates of East European Exchange Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 83-96, January.
  4. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1993. "Fully Modified Least Squares and Vector Autoregression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1047, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1995. "Unit Root Tests," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1104, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 1989. " Common Stochastic Trends in a System of Exchange Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 167-81, March.
  7. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3108733 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Phillips, Peter C B & Ouliaris, S, 1990. "Asymptotic Properties of Residual Based Tests for Cointegration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 165-93, January.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521385824 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Peter C.B. Phillips & Werner Ploberger, 1992. "Time Series Modeling with a Bayesian Frame of Reference: Concepts, Illustrations and Asymptotics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1038, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Levine, Ross, 1989. "The pricing of forward exchange rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 163-179, June.
  12. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
  13. Jansen, Dennis W & de Vries, Casper G, 1991. "On the Frequency of Large Stock Returns: Putting Booms and Busts into Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 18-24, February.
  14. Chan, Ngai Hang & Tran, Lanh Tat, 1989. "On the First-Order Autoregressive Process with Infinite Variance," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 354-362, December.
  15. Park, Joon Y, 1992. "Canonical Cointegrating Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 119-43, January.
  16. Phillip Kearns & Adrian Pagan, 1997. "Estimating The Density Tail Index For Financial Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 171-175, May.
  17. Phillips, P.C.B., 1990. "Time Series Regression With a Unit Root and Infinite-Variance Errors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 44-62, March.
  18. 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.
  19. Knight, Keith, 1991. "Limit Theory for M-Estimates in an Integrated Infinite Variance," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 200-212, June.
  20. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  21. Hakkio, Craig S. & Rush, Mark, 1989. "Market efficiency and cointegration: an application to the sterling and deutschemark exchange markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 75-88, March.
  22. Corbae, Dean & Lim, Kian-Guan & Ouliaris, Sam, 1992. "On Cointegration and Tests of Forward Market Unbiasedness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 728-32, November.
  23. Phillips, Peter C.B. & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Posterior Odds Testing for a Unit Root with Data-Based Model Selection," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3-4), pages 774-808, August.
  24. Hsieh, David A, 1989. "Modeling Heteroscedasticity in Daily Foreign-Exchange Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(3), pages 307-17, July.
  25. Peter C.B. Phillips & Bruce E. Hansen, 1988. "Statistical Inference in Instrumental Variables," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 869R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 1989.
  26. repec:cup:etheor:v:7:y:1991:i:2:p:200-212 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. repec:cup:etheor:v:7:y:1991:i:4:p:450-63 is not listed on IDEAS
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