IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Is It So Difficult to Beat the Random Walk Forecast of Exchange Rates?

  • Lutz Kilian

    (University of Michigan and the Centre for Economic Policy Research)

  • Mark P. Taylor

    (University of Warwick and the Centre for Economic Policy Research)

We propose a stylized exchange rate model based on diversity and weight of opinion. Our model departs from standard assumptions in that we allow for heterogeneous agents. We show that such a model can explain both the observed volatility and the persistence of real and nominal exchange rate movements and thus in some measure resolves Rogoff’s (1996) purchasing power parity puzzle. Our empirical analysis reconciles the well-known difficulties in beating the random walk forecast model with the statistical evidence of nonlinear mean reversion in deviations from fundamentals. We find strong evidence of long-horizon predictability both in theory and in practice. We also explain why it is difficult to exploit this predictability in out-ofsample forecasts. Our results not only lend support to economists’ beliefs that the exchange rate is inherently predictable, but they also help us to understand the reluctance of applied forecasters to abandon chartists methods in favor of models based on economic fundamentals.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 464.

in new window

Length: 43 Pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:464
Contact details of provider: Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Waldmann, Robert J., 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Scholarly Articles 3725552, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Kilian, Lutz, 1999. "Exchange Rates and Monetary Fundamentals: What Do We Learn from Long-Horizon Regressions?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 491-510, Sept.-Oct.
  3. 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.
  4. Donald A. Walker (ed.), 2000. "Equilibrium," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 1585, March.
  5. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Lothian, James R. & Taylor, Mark P., 1997. "Real exchange rate behavior," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 945-954, December.
  9. Dumas, Bernard, 1992. "Dynamic Equilibrium and the Real Exchange Rate in a Spatially Separated World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 153-80.
  10. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
  11. Eitrheim, Øyvind & Teräsvirta, Timo, 1995. "Testing the Adequacy of Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 56, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Alan M. Taylor & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "The Purchasing Power Parity Debate," NBER Working Papers 10607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hegwood, Natalie D & Papell, David H, 1998. "Quasi Purchasing Power Parity," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 279-89, October.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1997. "Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited," NBER Working Papers 6053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 1997. "The Behaviour of Real Exchange Rates During the Post-Bretton Woods Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 1730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. 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.
  18. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1994. "A Survey of Empirical Research on Nominal Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1995. "Empirical research on nominal exchange rates," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 1689-1729 Elsevier.
  22. Richard Meese & Kenneth Rogoff, 1982. "The out-of-sample failure of empirical exchange rate models: sampling error or misspecification?," International Finance Discussion Papers 204, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1989. "Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," NBER Working Papers 2880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Purchasing Power Parity and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 2913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. 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.
  26. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "The Noise Trader Approach to Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 19-33, Spring.
  27. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
  28. Taylor, Mark P. & Peel, David A., 2000. "Nonlinear adjustment, long-run equilibrium and exchange rate fundamentals," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 33-53, February.
  29. Paul Grauwe & Hans Dewachter, 1993. "A chaotic model of the exchange rate: The role of fundamentalists and chartists," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 351-379, December.
  30. Taylor, Mark P & Peel, David A & Sarno, Lucio, 2001. "Nonlinear Mean-Reversion in Real Exchange Rates: Toward a Solution to the Purchasing Power Parity Puzzles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1015-42, November.
  31. Frenkel, Jacob A, 1976. " A Monetary Approach to the Exchange Rate: Doctrinal Aspects and Empirical Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 200-224.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. McCracken, Michael W., 2007. "Asymptotics for out of sample tests of Granger causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 719-752, October.
  36. Chinn, Menzie D. & Meese, Richard A., 1995. "Banking on currency forecasts: How predictable is change in money?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 161-178, February.
  37. Tjøstheim, Dag, 1986. "Estimation in nonlinear time series models," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 251-273, February.
  38. 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.
  39. Mark P. Taylor, 2003. "Purchasing Power Parity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 436-452, 08.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:464. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (FSPP Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.