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Why is it so Difficult to Beat the Random Walk Forecast of Exchange Rates?

  • Kilian, Lutz
  • Taylor, Mark P

We propose an exchange rate model that can explain both the observed volatility and the persistence of real and nominal exchange rate movements and thus in some measure resolves Rogoff’s (1996) purchasing power parity puzzle. Our analysis reconciles the well-known difficulties in beating the random walk forecast model with the statistical evidence of nonlinear mean reversion in deviations from fundamentals. Our analysis also provides a compelling rationale for the long-horizon predictability of exchange rates. We find strong empirical support for long-horizon predictability, and we explain why it is difficult to exploit this predictability in real-time forecasts. Our results not only lend support to economists’ beliefs that the exchange rate is inherently predictable, but they also help us to understand the reluctance of applied forecasters to abandon chartist methods in favor of models based on economic fundamentals.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3024.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3024
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  1. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Purchasing Power Parity and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 2913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Peel, David & Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Nonlinear Mean-Reversion in Real Exchange Rates: Towards a Solution to the Purchasing Power Parity Puzzles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2658, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Berben, R-P. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 1998. "Does the absence of cointegration explain the typical findings in long horizon regressions?," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9814, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Andrew K. Rose., 1995. "A Survey of Empirical Research on Nominal Exchange Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-051, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Nathan S. Balke & Thomas B. Fomby, 1992. "Threshold cointegration," Research Paper 9209, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    • Balke, Nathan S & Fomby, Thomas B, 1997. "Threshold Cointegration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 627-45, August.
  8. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  9. Dumas, Bernard, 1992. "Dynamic Equilibrium and the Real Exchange Rate in a Spatially Separated World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 153-80.
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  12. Maurice Obstfeld and Alan M. Taylor., 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C97-088, University of California at Berkeley.
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  16. Kilian, Lutz, 1999. "Exchange Rates and Monetary Fundamentals: What Do We Learn from Long-Horizon Regressions?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 491-510, Sept.-Oct.
  17. Taylor, Mark P. & Peel, David A., 2000. "Nonlinear adjustment, long-run equilibrium and exchange rate fundamentals," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 33-53, February.
  18. Jeremy Berkowitz & Lorenzo Giorgianni, 2001. "Long-Horizon Exchange Rate Predictability?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 81-91, February.
  19. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mark, Nelson C. & Sul, Donggyu, 2001. "Nominal exchange rates and monetary fundamentals: Evidence from a small post-Bretton woods panel," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 29-52, February.
  21. Eitrheim, Oyvind & Terasvirta, Timo, 1996. "Testing the adequacy of smooth transition autoregressive models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 59-75, September.
  22. Richard Meese & Kenneth Rogoff, 1983. "The Out-of-Sample Failure of Empirical Exchange Rate Models: Sampling Error or Misspecification?," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rates and International Macroeconomics, pages 67-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Lothian, James R. & Taylor, Mark P., 1997. "Real exchange rate behavior," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 945-954, December.
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  26. McCracken, Michael W., 2007. "Asymptotics for out of sample tests of Granger causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 719-752, October.
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  31. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521396905 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  33. Taylor, Mark P. & Allen, Helen, 1992. "The use of technical analysis in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 304-314, June.
  34. Mark, Nelson C, 1995. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Evidence on Long-Horizon Predictability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 201-18, March.
  35. Yin-Wong Cheung & Menzie D. Chinn, 1999. "Macroeconomic Implications of the Beliefs and Behavior of Foreign Exchange Traders," NBER Working Papers 7417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Allen, Helen & Taylor, Mark P, 1990. "Charts, Noise and Fundamentals in the London Foreign Exchange Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 49-59, Supplemen.
  37. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1995. "Empirical research on nominal exchange rates," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 1689-1729 Elsevier.
  38. Paul Grauwe & Hans Dewachter, 1993. "A chaotic model of the exchange rate: The role of fundamentalists and chartists," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 351-379, December.
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  40. Hegwood, Natalie D & Papell, David H, 1998. "Quasi Purchasing Power Parity," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 279-89, October.
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