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Macroeconomic Determinants of Real Exchange Rates


  • William H. Branson


This paper presents a model that integrates money, relative prices, and the current account balance as factors explaining movements in nominal (effective) exchange rates. Thus money and the current account are the proximate determinants of changes in real (effective) rates. The basic model is first analyzed under static expectations. It is an extension of Branson (1977) to include explicitly exogenous disturbances to the current account. Next, rational expectations are introduced, and it is shown that the nominal (and real) rate should be expected to jump instantaneously in response to new information or "innovations" in money, the current account, and relative prices. The model is applied to the quarterly data on effective exchange rates, relative prices, money and the current account for four countries--the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Japan -- since 1973. First the time-series properties of the data are described. All are approximately first-order autocorrelations except all relative prices and Japan's effective exchange rate and current account balance. These are second-order autocorrelations. Then vector autoregressions (VARs) are estimated among the four variables for each country. The residuals from these equations are the "innovations" in the data -- the current movements not predicted by the past. The correlations amongst these innovations are consistent with the theory. Thus the broad conclusion from the paper is that the theoretical model which integrates money, the balance on current account and relative prices, is consistent with movements in these variables since 1973. Real exchange rates adjust to real disturbances in the current account, and time-series innovations in the current account seem to signal the need for adjustment.

Suggested Citation

  • William H. Branson, 1981. "Macroeconomic Determinants of Real Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 0801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0801
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    2. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1980. "Exchange Rate Economics: Where Do We Stand?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 143-206.
    3. Taylor, John B., 1980. "Output and price stability: An international comparison," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 109-132, May.
    4. Branson, William H. & Halttunen, Hannu & Masson, Paul, 1977. "Exchange rates in the short run: The dollar-dentschemark rate," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 303-324.
    5. William H. Branson & Herbert Giersch & Peter G. Peterson, 1980. "Trends in United States International Trade and Investment since World War II," NBER Chapters,in: The American Economy in Transition, pages 183-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Paul A. Anderson, 1979. "Help for the regional economic forecaster: vector autoregression," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum.
    7. Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "Estimating vector autoregressions using methods not based on explicit economic theories," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blaise Gnimasoun & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Current-account adjustments and exchange-rate misalignments," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-31, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    2. Richard H. Clarida, 1984. "Current Account, Exchange Rate, and Monetary Dynamics in a Stochastic Equilibrium Model," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 694, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. Zain Ahmed, 2014. "Factors Affecting Exchange Rate Fluctuation in Pakistan," International Journal of Social Sciences and Management Studies (IJSSMS), The Economics and Social Development Organization (TESDO), vol. 1(2), pages 80-88, June.
    4. William H. Branson, 1984. "Exchange Rate Policy after a Decade of "Floating"," NBER Chapters,in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 79-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. William H. Branson, 1983. "A Model of Exchange-Rate Determination with Policy Reaction: Evidence from Monthly Data," NBER Working Papers 1135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2015. "Persistence of Current-account Disequilibria and Real Exchange-rate Misalignments," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 137-159, February.
    7. Muhsin Kar & Tayfur Bayat & Selim Kayhan, 2016. "Impacts of Credit Default Swaps on Volatility of the Exchange Rate in Turkey: The Case of Euro," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-18, July.
    8. repec:rjr:romjef:v::y:2017:i:1:p:38-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fabella, Raul V., 1996. "The debt-adjusted real exchange rate," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 475-484, June.
    10. Tatiana K. Blokhina & Oksana A. Karpenko & Andrey V. Guirinskiy, 2016. "The Relationship between Oil Prices and Exchange Rate in Russia," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 721-726.
    11. Manuel BENAZIC & Ines KERSAN-SKABIC, 2016. "The determinants of exchange rate in Croatia," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 7, pages 125-150, June.

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