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A Gravity View of Exchange Rate Disconnect

  • Fitzgerald, Doireann
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    The empirical “gravity†equation is extremely successful in explaining bilateral trade. This paper shows how a multi-country model of specialization and costly trade (i.e. a microfounded gravity model) can be applied to explain empirical exchange rate puzzles. One such puzzle is the fact that nominal exchange rates are enormously volatile, but that this volatility does not appear to affect inflation. The gravity model is very successful in explaining this puzzle. In a sample of 25 OECD countries in the post- Bretton Woods period, the gravity prediction of inflation substantially outperforms the purchasing power parity prediction. The gravity prediction matches the volatility of actual inflation, and tracks its path closely. The superior performance of the gravity prediction is explained primarily by the fact that it takes account of the interaction of specialization with home bias. The stability of inflation in very open economies is explained in addition by the fact that the size of bilateral trade is negatively correlated with bilateral exchange rate volatility.

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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt05121869.

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    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt05121869
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    8. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Neves, Joao C & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2001. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "Regional Patterns in the Law of One Price: The Roles of Geography vs. Currencies," NBER Working Papers 5395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-026, University of California at Berkeley.
    11. Philip R. Lane, & Patrick Honohan, 2003. "Divergent Inflation Rates in EMU," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp05, IIIS.
    12. Papell, David H & Theodoridis, Hristos, 2001. "The Choice of Numeraire Currency in Panel Tests of Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 790-803, August.
    13. Hau, Harald, 2002. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and Economic Openness: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 611-30, August.
    14. Christian Broda & John Romalis, 2011. "Identifying the Relationship Between Trade and Exchange Rate Volatility," NBER Chapters, in: Commodity Prices and Markets, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 20, pages 79-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. José Manuel Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 2005. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through into Import Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 679-690, November.
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