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Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel
  • Kenneth A. Froot

Survey data provide a measure of exchange rate expectations that is superior to the commonly-used forward exchange rate in the respect that it does notinclude a risk premium. We use survey data and the technique of bootstrapping to test a number of propositions of interest. We are able to reject static or "randomwalk" expectations for both nominal and real exchange rates. Expected depreciation is large in magnitude. There is even statistically significant unconditional bias: during the 1981-85 "strong dollar period" the market persistently over estimated depreciation of the dollar. Expected depreciation is also variable, contrary to some recent claims. The expected future spot rate can be viewed as inelastic with respect to the contemporaneous spot rate, in that it also puts weight on other variables: the lagged expected spot rate (as in adaptive expectations), the lagged actual spot rate (distributed lag expectations), or a long-run equilibrium rate (regressive expectations). In one irnportant case, the relatively low weight that investors' expectations put on the contemporaneous spot rate constitutes a statistical rejection of rational expectations: we find that prediction errors are correlated with expected depreciation, so that investors would do better if they always reduced fractionally the magnitude of expected depreciation. This is the same result found by Bilson, Fama, and many others, except that it can no longer be attributed to a risk premium.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1672.

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Date of creation: Jul 1985
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Publication status: published as Frankel, Jeffrey A. and Kenneth A. Froot. "Using Standard Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, Vol. 77, No. 1, (March 1987), pp. 133-153.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1672
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  1. Longworth, David, 1981. "Testing the Efficiency of the Canadian-U.S. Exchange Market under the Assumption of no Risk Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 43-49, March.
  2. Huang, Roger D., 1984. "Some alternative tests of forward exchange rates as predictors of future spot rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 153-167, August.
  3. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1979. "On the Mark: A Theory of Floating Exchange Rates Based on Real Interest Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 610-22, September.
  4. Bilson, John F O, 1981. "The "Speculative Efficiency" Hypothesis," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 435-51, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Buiter, Willem H & Miller, Marcus, 1981. "Real Exchange Rate Overshooting and the Output Cost of Bringing Down Inflation," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 204, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Freedman, David A & Peters, Stephen C, 1984. "Bootstrapping an Econometric Model: Some Empirical Results," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(2), pages 150-58, April.
  8. 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.
  9. Hodrick, Robert J. & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1984. "An investigation of risk and return in forward foreign exchange," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 5-29, April.
  10. Cumby, Robert E & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1981. "A Note on Exchange-Rate Expectations and Nominal Interest Differentials: A Test of the Fisher Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(3), pages 697-703, June.
  11. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  12. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
  13. 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.
  14. Mussa, Michael, 1976. " The Exchange Rate, the Balance of Payments and Monetary and Fiscal Policy under a Regime of Controlled Floating," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 229-48.
  15. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1979. "Speculative bubbles, crashes and rational expectations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-389.
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