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On the Rand: Determinants of the South African Exchange Rate

  • Frankel, Jeffrey

    (Harvard U)

This paper is an econometric investigation of the determinants of the real value of the South African rand over the period 1984-2006. The results show a relatively good fit. As always with exchange rate equations, there is substantial weight on the lagged exchange rate, which can be attributed to a momentum component. Nevertheless, economic fundamentals are significant and important. This is especially true of an index of the real prices of South African mineral commodities, which even drives out real income as a significant determinant. An implication is that the 2003-2006 real appreciation of the rand can be attributed to the Dutch Disease. In other respects, the rand behaves like currencies of industrialized countries with well-developed financial markets. In particular, high South African interest rates raise international demand for the rand and lead to real appreciation, once one also controls for a forward-looking measure of expected inflation and a measure of default risk or country risk. It is in the latter respects, in particular, that the paper purports to improve on earlier studies of the rand. [Jointly published as Center for International Development Working Paper No. 139 and KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP07-015.]

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp07-015.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-015
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  1. Janine Aron & Ibrahim Elbadawi and Brian Kahn, 1997. "Determinants of the real exchange rate in South Africa," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2006. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 12213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Ricardo J Caballero & Guido Lorenzoni, 2014. "Persistent Appreciations and Overshooting: A Normative Analysis," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 62(1), pages 1-47, April.
  5. Hildegunn Ekroll Stokke, 2006. "Resource Boom, Productivity Growth and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics - A dynamic general equilibrium analysis of South Africa," Working Paper Series 7206, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  6. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-53, March.
  7. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min, 2007. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1163-1212, May.
  8. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ronald Macdonald & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2004. "Estimation Of The Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate For South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(2), pages 282-304, 06.
  10. Goodhart, Charles, 1988. "The Foreign Exchange Market: A Random Walk with a Dragging Anchor," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(220), pages 437-60, November.
  11. Janine Aron & Ibrahim Elbadawi, 1999. "Reflections on the South African rand crisis of 1996 and its consequences," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
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