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The puzzling peso

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos O. Arteta
  • Steven B. Kamin
  • Justin Vitanza

Abstract

In the past decade, some observers have noted an unusual aspect of the Mexican peso's behavior: During periods when the U.S. dollar has risen (fallen) against other major currencies such as the euro, the peso has risen (fallen) against the dollar. Very few other currencies display this behavior. In this paper, we attempt to explain the unusual pattern of the peso's correlation with the dollar by developing some general empirical models of exchange rate correlations. Based on a study of 29 currencies, we find that most of the cross-country variation in exchange rate correlations with the dollar and the euro can be explained by just a few variables. First, a country's currency is more likely to rise against the dollar as the dollar rises against the euro, the closer it is to the United States and the farther it is from the euro area. In this result, distance likely proxies for the role of economic integration in affecting exchange rate correlations. Second, and perhaps more surprisingly, a country's currency is more likely to exhibit this unusual pattern when its sovereign credit rating is more risky. This may reflect that currencies of riskier countries are less substitutable in investor portfolios than those of better-rated countries. All told, these factors well explain the peso's unusual behavior, as Mexico both is very close to the United States and has a lower credit rating than most industrial economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos O. Arteta & Steven B. Kamin & Justin Vitanza, 2009. "The puzzling peso," International Finance Discussion Papers 976, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:976
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Changing Monetary Policy Rules, Learning, and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1047-1070, September.
    2. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1986. "The implications of mean-variance optimization for four questions in international macroeconomics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1, Supple), pages 53-75, March.
    3. Engel, Charles & West, Kenneth D., 2006. "Taylor Rules and the Deutschmark: Dollar Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1175-1194, August.
    4. Marcel Fratzscher, 2008. "US shocks and global exchange rate configurations," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 363-409, April.
    5. Molodtsova, Tanya & Papell, David H., 2009. "Out-of-sample exchange rate predictability with Taylor rule fundamentals," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 167-180, April.
    6. Richard Clarida & Daniel Waldman, 2007. "Is Bad News About Inflation Good News for the Exchange Rate?," NBER Working Papers 13010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmad, A.H. & Moran Hernandez, Ricardo, 2013. "Asymmetric adjustment between oil prices and exchange rates: Empirical evidence from major oil producers and consumers," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 306-317.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dollar; American ; Foreign exchange rates;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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