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Interpreting Tests of Forward Discount Bias Using Survey Data on Exchange Rate Expectations

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  • Kenneth A. Froot
  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

Abstract

Survey data on exchange rate expectations are used to divide the forward discount into expected depreciation and a risk premium. Our starting point is the common test oh whether the forward discount is an unbiased predictor of future changes in the spot rate. We use the surveys to decompose the bias into a protion attributable to the risk premium and a portion attributable to systematic prediction errors. The survey data suggest that our findings of both unconditional and conditional bias are overwhelmingly due to systematic expectational errors. Regressions of future changes in the spot rate against the forward discount do not yield insights into the sign, size or variability of the risk premium as is usually thought.We test directly the hypothesis of perfect substitutability, and find support for it on that changes in the forward discount reflect, one for one , changes in expected depreciation. The "random-walk" view that expected depreciation is zero is thus rejected; expected depreciation is even significantly more variable than the risk premium. In fact, investors would do better if they always reduced fractionally the magnitude of expected depreciation. This is the same result that Bilson and many others have found with forward market data, but now it cannot be attributed to a risk premium.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1963
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    Cited by:

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    2. Lyons, Richard K., 1988. "Tests of the foreign exchange risk premium using the expected second moments implied by option pricing," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 91-108, March.
    3. Paul De Grauwe & Marianna Grimaldi, 2004. "Bubbles and Crashes in a Behavioural Finance Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 1194, CESifo.
    4. MacDonald, Ronald, 2000. "Is the foreign exchange market 'risky'? Some new survey-based results," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, January.
    5. Rajesh Chakrabarti & Barry Scholnick, 2002. "Exchange rate expectations and foreign direct investment flows," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(1), pages 1-21, March.
    6. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Froot, Kenneth A., 1987. "Short-term and long-term expectations of the yen/dollar exchange rate: Evidence from survey data," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 249-274, September.
    7. Jason Childs & Stuart Mestelman, 2006. "Rate‐of‐return Parity in Experimental Asset Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 331-347, August.
    8. Ronald MacDonald, 2000. "Expectations Formation and Risk in Three Financial Markets: Surveying What the Surveys Say," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 69-100, February.
    9. Kaufmann, Daniel & Mehrez, Gil & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2005. "Predicting currency fluctuations and crises: Do resident firms have an informational advantage?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1012-1029, October.
    10. Waheed, Muhammad, 2009. "Forward rate unbiased hypothesis, risk premium and exchange rate expectations: estimates on Pakistan Rupee-US Dollar," MPRA Paper 33167, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2010.
    11. Phungo, Muka & Bonga-Bonga, Lumengo, 2019. "An analysis of the unbiased forward rate hypothesis in developed and emerging economies," MPRA Paper 92222, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Raj Aggarwal & Sijing Zong, 2008. "Behavioral Biases in Forward Rates as Forecasts of Future Exchange Rates: Evidence of Systematic Pessimism and Under-Reaction," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 12(3-4), pages 241-277, September.
    13. Douglas, Justin J. & Bartley, Scott W., 1997. "Risk premia in Australian interest rates," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 41(2), pages 1-35.
    14. Brian Lucey & Grace Loring, 2012. "Forward Exchange Rate Biasedness across Developed and Developing Country Currencies - Do Observed Patterns Persist Out of Sample?Abstract:," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp404, IIIS.
    15. König, Peter & Möller, Joachim, 1988. "Deviations from uncovered interest parity: A Kalman filter approach to the Mark/Dollar rate and the Swiss Franc/Dollar rate," Discussion Papers, Series II 52, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    16. Imad Moosa & Abul Shamsuddin, 2004. "Expectation formation mechanisms, profitability of foreign exchange trading and exchange rate volatility," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(14), pages 1599-1606.
    17. Loring, Grace & Lucey, Brian, 2013. "An analysis of forward exchange rate biasedness across developed and developing country currencies: Do observed patterns persist out of sample?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 14-28.

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