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The Forward-Bias Puzzle: A Solution Based on Covered Interest Parity

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  • Pippenger, John E

Abstract

The forward-bias puzzle is probably the most important puzzle in international macroeconomics. After more than 20 years, there is no accepted solution. My solution is based on covered interest parity (CIP). CIP implies: (1) Forward rates are not rational expectations of future spot rates. Those expectations depend on future spot rates and interest rate differentials. (2) The forward bias is the result of a specification error, replacing future forward exchange rates with current forward exchange rates. That misspecification is the direct result of (1). Implication (1) has the further implication that, in general, covered and uncovered interest parity are inconsistent.

Suggested Citation

  • Pippenger, John E, 2009. "The Forward-Bias Puzzle: A Solution Based on Covered Interest Parity," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt05d0t24b, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt05d0t24b
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:6:y:2008:i:42:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Goodhart, Charles A E & McMahon, Patrick C & Ngama, Yerima Lawan, 1992. "Does the Forward Premium/Discount Help to Predict the Future Change in the Exchange Rate?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 39(2), pages 129-140, May.
    4. Mark E. Wohar & Nathan S. Balke, 1998. "Nonlinear dynamics and covered interest rate parity," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 535-559.
    5. Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min & Xing, Yuhang, 2007. "Uncovered interest rate parity and the term structure," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1038-1069, October.
    6. Chakraborty, Avik & Evans, George W., 2008. "Can perpetual learning explain the forward-premium puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 477-490, April.
    7. Stephen E. Haynes & Avik Chakraborty, 2005. "Econometrics of the forward premium puzzle," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-18, University of Oregon Economics Department.
    8. Sercu, Piet & Vinaimont, Tom, 2006. "The forward bias in the ECU: Peso risks vs. fads and fashions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2409-2432, August.
    9. Jonathan Kearns, 2007. "Commodity Currencies: Why Are Exchange Rate Futures Biased if Commodity Futures Are Not?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(260), pages 60-73, March.
    10. Avik Chakraborty & Stephen E. Haynes, 2008. "Econometrics of the Forward Premium Puzzle," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(42), pages 1-17.
    11. 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, vol. 10(3), pages 443-482, September.
    12. Lucio Sarno, 2005. "Viewpoint: Towards a solution to the puzzles in exchange rate economics: where do we stand?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 673-708, August.
    13. Akram, Q. Farooq & Rime, Dagfinn & Sarno, Lucio, 2008. "Arbitrage in the foreign exchange market: Turning on the microscope," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 237-253, December.
    14. Lucio Sarno, 2005. "Towards a Solution to the Puzzles in Exchange Rate Economics: Where Do We Stand?," Working Papers wp05-11, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
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