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The Dollar as Speculative Bubble: A Tale of Fundamentalists and Chartists

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  • Jeffrey A. Frankel
  • Kenneth A. Froot

Abstract

Several recent developments have inspired us to consider a non-standard model of the dollar as a speculative bubble without the constraint of fully rational expectations: (1) the dollar continued to rise in 1984 after real interest rate differentials and other fundamentals began moving the wrong way; (2) the results of market efficiency tests imply, that the rationally expected rate of dollar depreciation has been less than the forward discount; (3) Krugman-Marris current account calculations suggest that the rationally expected rate of depreciation is greater than the forward discount; (4) survey data show an expected rate of depreciation that is also greater than the forward discount; (5) the hypothesis of a "safe-haven" shift into U.S. assets and a decrease in the U.S. risk premium, which would explain some of the foregoing, is contradicted by a decline in the differential between off shore interest rates (covered) and U.S. interest rates. Our model features three classes of actors: fundamentalists, chartists and portfolio managers. Fundamentalists forecast a depreciation of the dollar based on an overshooting model that would be rational if there were no chartists. Chartists extrapolate recent trends based on an information set that includes no fundamentals. Portfolio managers take positions in the market, and thus determine the exchange rate, based on expectations that area weighted average of the fundamentalists and chartists. The first stage of the dollar appreciation after 1980 is explained by increases in real interest differentials. The second stage is explained by the endogenous takeoff of a speculative bubble when the fundamentalists have mis-forecast for so long that they have lost credibility. In 1985, the dollar may have entered a third stage in which an ever-worsening current account deficit begins a reversal of the bubble.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1986. "The Dollar as Speculative Bubble: A Tale of Fundamentalists and Chartists," NBER Working Papers 1854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1854
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul De Grauwe & Marianna Grimaldi, 2003. "Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market in a Model with Noise Traders," Working Papers 162003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    2. Michel Beine & Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Hélène Colas, 2003. "Imitation Amongst Exchange-Rate Forecasters: Evidence from Survey Data," THEMA Working Papers 2003-39, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Juann H. Hung, 1995. "Intervention strategies and exchange rate volatility: a noise trading perspective," Research Paper 9515, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    4. 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.
    5. Alfarano, Simone & Lux, Thomas, 2007. "A Noise Trader Model As A Generator Of Apparent Financial Power Laws And Long Memory," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(S1), pages 80-101, November.
    6. Kathryn Dominguez & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1991. "Does foreign exchange intervention matter? disentangling the portfolio and expectations effects for the mark," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    7. Rubaszek, Michal, 2005. "Fundamental equilibrium exchange rate for the Polish zloty," MPRA Paper 126, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Paul S. L. Yip, 2016. "China’S Exchange Rate System Reform: Two Potential Mistakes And The Recommended Long-Term System," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 61(02), pages 1-40, June.
    9. Vitale, Paolo, 2000. "Speculative noise trading and manipulation in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 689-712, October.
    10. Benassy-Quere, A. & Larribeau, S. & MacDonald, R., 1999. "Models of Exchange Rate Expectations: Heterogeneous Evidence from Panel Data," Papers 99-02, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    11. Helliwell, John F., 1988. "Pour une vision à long terme de la coopération économique internationale," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 64(3), pages 313-335, septembre.
    12. Alfarano, Simone & Lux, Thomas, 2003. "A minimal noise trader model with realistic time series properties," Economics Working Papers 2003-15, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    13. Benassy-Quere, Agnes & Larribeau, Sophie & MacDonald, Ronald, 2003. "Models of exchange rate expectations: how much heterogeneity?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 113-136, April.
    14. Rhys ap Gwilym, 2013. "The Monetary Policy Implications of Behavioral Asset Bubbles," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 252-270, July.
    15. Fernando Fernández-Rodríguez & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Julián Andrada-Félix, "undated". "Nearest-Neighbour Predictions in Foreign Exchange Markets," Working Papers 2002-05, FEDEA.
    16. Bühler, Wolfgang & Kempf, Alexander, 1994. "The value of the early unwind option in futures contracts with an endogenous basis," ZEW Discussion Papers 94-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    17. Richard C. Marston & Guido Carli & Jacques Attali & John R. Petty & Robert Solomon, 1988. "Exchange Rate Coordination," NBER Chapters,in: International Economic Cooperation, pages 79-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1986. "Interpreting Tests of Forward Discount Bias Using Survey Data on Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:fis:journl:180105 is not listed on IDEAS

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