IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Exchange Rate Forecasting Techniques, Survey Data, and Implications for the Foreign Exchange Market


  • Jeffrey A. Frankel
  • Kenneth Froot


The paper presents new empirical results that elucidate the dynamics of the foreign exchange market. The first half of the paper is an updated study of the exchange rate expectations held by market participants, as reflected in responses to surveys, and contains the following conclusions. First, the bias observed in the forward discount as a predictor of the future spot rate is not attributable to an exchange risk premium, as is conventionally believed. Second, at short horizons forecasters tend to extrapolate recent trends, while at long horizons they tend to forecast a reversal. Third, the bias in expectations is robust in the samples, based on eight years of data across five currencies. The second half of the paper abandons the framework in which all market participants share the same forecast, to focus on the importance of heterogeneous expectations. Tests suggest that dispersion of opinion, as reflected in the standard deviation across respondents in the survey, affects the volume of trading in the market, and, in turn, the degree of volatility of the exchange rate. An example of how conflicting forecasts can lead to swings in the exchange rate is the model of "chartists and fundamentalists." The market weights assigned to the two models fluctuate over time in response to recent developments, leading to fluctuations in the demand for foreign currency. The paper ends with one piece of evidence to support the model: the fraction of foreign exchange forecasting services that use "technical analysis" did indeed increase sharply during 1983-85, but declined subsequently.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth Froot, 1990. "Exchange Rate Forecasting Techniques, Survey Data, and Implications for the Foreign Exchange Market," NBER Working Papers 3470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3470
    Note: ME ITI IFM

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Campbell, John Y. & Clarida, Richard H., 1987. "The dollar and real interest rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 103-139, January.
    2. Froot, Kenneth A. & Ito, Takatoshi, 1989. "On the consistency of short-run and long-run exchange rate expectations," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 487-510, December.
    3. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1989. "Forward Discount Bias: Is it an Exchange Risk Premium?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 139-161.
    4. 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.
    5. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Speculative Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 529-546.
    6. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "Foreign Exchange Rate Expectations: Micro Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 434-449, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Kees G. Koedijk & Mack Ott, 1987. "Risk aversion, efficient markets and the forward exchange rate," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Dec, pages 5-13.
    9. Paul R. Krugman, 1985. "Is the strong dollar sustainable?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 103-155.
    10. Taylor, Mark P, 1989. "Charts, Noise and Fundamentals: A Study of the London Foreign Exchange Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Dominguez, Kathryn M., 1986. "Are foreign exchange forecasts rational? : New evidence from survey data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 277-281.
    12. Goodhart, Charles, 1988. "The Foreign Exchange Market: A Random Walk with a Dragging Anchor," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(220), pages 437-460, November.
    13. Bruce Kasman & Charles Pigott, 1988. "Interest rate divergences among the major industrial nations," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aut, pages 28-44.
    14. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1987. "The Economic Consequences of Noise Traders," NBER Working Papers 2395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Charles Engel & James D. Hamilton, 1989. "Long Swings in the Exchange Rate: Are they in the Data and Do Markets Know It?," NBER Working Papers 3165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
    17. John G. Cragg & Burton G. Malkiel, 1982. "Expectations and the Structure of Share Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number crag82-1, January.
    18. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3470. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.