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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 a nonlinear econometric model that can explain both the observed volatility and the persistence of real and nominal exchange rates. The model implies that near equilibrium, the nominal exchange rate will be well approximated by a random walk process. Large departures from fundamentals, in contrast, imply mean-reverting behavior toward fundamentals. Moreover, the predictability of the nominal exchange rate relative to the random walk benchmark tends to improve at longer horizons. We test the implications of the model and find strong evidence of exchange rate predictability at horizons of two to three years, but not at shorter horizons JEL Classification: F31, F47, C53

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0088.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20010088
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  1. 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.
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  4. 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.
  5. Nelson Mark & Donggyu Sul, 1998. "Norminal Exchange Rates and Monetary Fundamentals: Evidence from a Small Post-Bretton Woods Panel," Working Papers 98-19, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
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  8. 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.
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  11. Taylor, Mark P. & Sarno, Lucio, 1998. "The behavior of real exchange rates during the post-Bretton Woods period," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-312, December.
  12. Alan M. Taylor & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "The Purchasing Power Parity Debate," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 135-158, Fall.
  13. Lothian, James R & Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Real Exchange Rate Behavior: The Recent Float from the Perspective of the Past Two Centuries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 488-509, June.
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  17. Richard Meese & Kenneth Rogoff & Jacob Frenkel, . "The Out-of-Sample Failure of Empirical Exchange Rate Models: Sampling Error or Misspecification?," Working Paper 32044, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  18. 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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  23. 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.
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  25. Abuaf, Niso & Jorion, Philippe, 1990. " Purchasing Power Parity in the Long Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 157-74, March.
  26. Tjøstheim, Dag, 1986. "Estimation in nonlinear time series models," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 251-273, February.
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  28. 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.
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  33. 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.
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  37. 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.
  38. 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.
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