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Exchange-Rate Dark Matter

Dark matter is believed to account for 83 percent of the matter in the universe and plays a central role in cosmology modeling. This paper argues that an analogous form of dark matter plays a similarly important role in international macroeconomics. Like its cosmological counterpart, exchange-rate dark matter cannot be directly observed, but its existence can be inferred from observations on the real exchange rates and interest rates. In the first part of this paper I show that dark matter is the dominant driver of short- and medium-term changes in real exchange rates for the G-7 countries; accounting for more than 90 percent of the variance at the five-year horizon. Although standard models stress the role of real interest differentials as the proximate drivers of real exchange-rate variations, my findings indicate that they are empirically unimportant. To understand the nature of exchange-rate dark matter, the second part of the paper develops an open-economy DSGE model in which the risk shocks driving households' habits interact with collateral constraints and incomplete markets. The model not only shows that risk shocks can account for the role of dark matter as a driver of real exchange-rate dynamics, but also that these same shocks have significant macroeconomic implications. My analysis suggests that exchange rates appear disconnected from traditional macroeconomic fundamentals because they are particularly susceptible to risk shocks that play an important role in international macroeconomics

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~12-12-01.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~12-12-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
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  3. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
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  5. Adrien Verdelhan, 2006. "A Habit-Based Explanation of the Exchange Rate Risk Premium," 2006 Meeting Papers 872, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Lombardo, Giovanni & Sutherland, Alan, 2005. "Computing second-order-accurate solutions for rational expectation models using linear solution methods," Working Paper Series 0487, European Central Bank.
  7. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle When Goods Prices Are Sticky: It's Really about Exchange-Rate Hedging, Not Equity Portfolios," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 155-88, July.
  8. Kollmann, Robert, 2001. "The exchange rate in a dynamic-optimizing business cycle model with nominal rigidities: a quantitative investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 243-262, December.
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  24. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2004. "International Risk Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4746, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Devereux, Michael B. & Yetman, James, 2010. "Price adjustment and exchange rate pass-through," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 181-200, February.
  27. Kim, Sunghyun Henry & Kollmann, Robert & Kim, Jinill, 2010. "Solving the incomplete market model with aggregate uncertainty using a perturbation method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 50-58, January.
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  31. repec:pup:pbooks:9745 is not listed on IDEAS
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  33. Maurice J. Roche & Michael J. Moore, 2010. "For Rich or for Poor: When does Uncovered Interest Parity Hold?," Working Papers 015, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
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