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Long Swings in the Exchange Rate: Are they in the Data and Do Markets Know It?

  • Charles Engel
  • James D. Hamilton

The value of the dollar appears to move in one direction for long periods of time. We develop a new statistical model of exchange rate dynamics as a sequence of stochastic, segmented time trends. The paper implements new techniques for parameter estimation and hypothesis testing for this framework. We reject the null hypothesis that exchange rates follow a random walk in favor of our model of long swings. Our model also generates better forecasts than a random walk. We conclude that persistent movement in the value of the dollar is a fact that calls for greater attention in the theory of exchange rate behavior. The model is a natural framework for assessing the importance of the "peso problem" for the dollar. It allows for the expectation of future exchange rates to be influenced by the probability of a change in regime. We nonetheless reject uncovered interest parity. The forward premium appears frequently to put too high a probability on a change in regime.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3165.

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Date of creation: Nov 1989
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Publication status: published as "Long Swings in the Dollar: Are they in the Data and Do Markets Know It?" American Economic Review, Volume 80, September 1990, 689-713
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3165
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "International Interest Rate and Price Level Linkages under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 121-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lee, Lung-Fei & Chesher, Andrew, 1986. "Specification testing when score test statistics are identically zero," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 121-149, March.
  3. Hamilton, James D., 1988. "Rational-expectations econometric analysis of changes in regime : An investigation of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 385-423.
  4. Mussa, Michael, 1986. "Nominal exchange rate regimes and the behavior of real exchange rates: Evidence and implications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 117-214, January.
  5. Diebold, Francis X. & Nason, James A., 1990. "Nonparametric exchange rate prediction?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 315-332, May.
  6. Robert P. Flood & Peter M. Garber, 1981. "A Model of Stochastic Process Switching," NBER Working Papers 0626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  8. Tauchen, George, 1985. "Diagnostic testing and evaluation of maximum likelihood models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 415-443.
  9. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1987. "International Capital Flows and Domestic Economic Policies," NBER Working Papers 2210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mussa, Michael, 1979. "Empirical regularities in the behavior of exchange rates and theories of the foreign exchange market," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 9-57, January.
  11. 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.).
  12. Newey, Whitney K, 1985. "Maximum Likelihood Specification Testing and Conditional Moment Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1047-70, September.
  13. Frankel, Jeff & Froot, Ken, 1986. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1972q8wm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  14. Hamilton, James D., 1990. "Analysis of time series subject to changes in regime," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 39-70.
  15. Brock, W.A. & Dechert, W.D. & LeBaron, B. & Scheinkman, J.A., 1995. "A Test for Independence Based on the Correlation Dimension," Working papers 9520, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  16. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  17. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1986. "Flexible Exchange Rate and Excess Capital Mobility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 209-226.
  19. Martin Feldstein, 1986. "The Budget Deficit and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 1898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Daniel, Betty C, 1989. "One-Sided Uncertainty about Future Fiscal Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 176-89, May.
  22. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1985. "The Dazzling Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(1), pages 199-217.
  23. Watson, Mark W & Engle, Robert F, 1985. "Testing for Regression Coefficient Stability with a Stationary AR(1) Alternative," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 341-46, May.
  24. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Perspectives on High World Real Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 273-334.
  25. 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.
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