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Tacit On the Unstable Relationship between Exchange Rates and Macroeconomic Fundamentals

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  • Philippe Bacchetta
  • Eric van Wincoop

Abstract

It is well known from anecdotal, survey and econometric evidence that the relationship between the exchange rate and macro fundamentals is highly unstable. This could be explained when structural parameters are known and very volatile, neither of which seems plausible. Instead we argue that large and frequent variations in the relationship between the exchange rate and macro fundamentals naturally develop when structural parameters in the economy are unknown and change very slowly. We show that the reduced form relationship between exchange rates and fundamentals is driven not by the structural parameters themselves, but rather by expectations of these parameters. These expectations can be highly unstable as a result of perfectly rational "scapegoat" effects. This happens when parameters can potentially change much more in the long run than the short run. This generates substantial uncertainty about the level of parameters, even though monthly or annual changes are small. This mechanism can also be relevant in other contexts of forward looking variables and could explain the widespread evidence of parameter instability found in macroeconomic and financial data. Finally, we show that parameter instability has remarkably little effect on the volatility of exchange rates, the in-sample explanatory power of macro fundamentals and the ability to forecast out of sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2009. "Tacit On the Unstable Relationship between Exchange Rates and Macroeconomic Fundamentals," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 09.07, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:09.07
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    File URL: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/textes/09.07.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rossi, Barbara, 2013. "Advances in Forecasting under Instability," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    2. Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 2013. "On the unstable relationship between exchange rates and macroeconomic fundamentals," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 18-26.
    3. Fratzscher, Marcel & Rime, Dagfinn & Sarno, Lucio & Zinna, Gabriele, 2015. "The scapegoat theory of exchange rates: the first tests," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-21.
    4. Huang, Huichou & MacDonald, Ronald & Zhao, Yang, 2012. "Global Currency Misalignments, Crash Sensitivity, and Downside Insurance Costs," MPRA Paper 53745, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Nov 2013.
    5. Abbate, Angela & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2016. "Point, interval and density forecasts of exchange rates with time-varying parameter models," CEPR Discussion Papers 11559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Nessrine Hamzaoui & Boutheina Regaieg, 2016. "The Glosten-Jagannathan-Runkle-Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedastic approach to investigating the foreign exchange forward premium volatility," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 1608-1615.
    7. Waldyr Areosa & Marta Areosa, 2012. "The Signaling Effect of Exchange Rates: pass-through under dispersed information," Working Papers Series 282, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    8. Park, Cheolbeom & Park, Sookyung, 2013. "Exchange rate predictability and a monetary model with time-varying cointegration coefficients," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 394-410.
    9. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop & Toni Beutler, 2010. "Can Parameter Instability Explain the Meese-Rogoff Puzzle?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009, pages 125-173 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Yutaka Kurihara, 2012. "Exchange rate determination and structural changes in response to monetary policies," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 187-196, July.
    11. ter Ellen, Saskia & Verschoor, Willem F.C. & Zwinkels, Remco C.J., 2013. "Dynamic expectation formation in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 75-97.
    12. Syllignakis, Manolis N. & Kouretas, Georgios P., 2011. "Markov-switching regimes and the monetary model of exchange rate determination: Evidence from the Central and Eastern European markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 707-723.
    13. repec:rss:jnljfe:v4i1p3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Ding, Liang & Ma, Jun, 2013. "Portfolio reallocation and exchange rate dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3100-3124.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    exchange rate; time-varying coefficients;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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