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The Term Structure of the Forward Premium

  • Craig S. Hakkio

Most studies of the efficiency of the foreign exchange market focus on a single maturity -- usually a one month exchange rate. However, one observes that forward contracts of many maturities are simultaneously traded in the foreign exchange market. The hypothesis that the foreign. exchange market uses all available information has implications for the joint behavior of forward exchange rates of various maturities. This paper theoretically and empirically examines these implications. The paper proposes an equilibrium theory of the term structure of the forward premium. By combining the theory of the term structure of (domestic and foreign)interest rates with the hypothesis of interest rate parity, a simple expression relating the six month forward premium to a geometric average of expected future one month forward premiums can be developed. By assuming that the one and six month forward premiums can be expressed as a bivariate stochastic process, one can derive an expression for the expected one month forward premium. The theory will then impose highly non-linear cross equation restrictions on the parameters of the model. Two methods of testing the validity of the restrictions are presented. The results indicate that the data are consistent with the theory for Germany and inconsistent with the theory for Canada.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 404.

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Date of creation: Nov 1979
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:404
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  1. Sargent, Thomas J, 1972. "Rational Expectations and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 4(1), pages 74-97, Part I Fe.
  2. Jensen, Michael C., 1978. "Some anomalous evidence regarding market efficiency," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2-3), pages 95-101.
  3. L. G. Telser, 1967. "A Critique of Some Recent Empirical Research on the Explanation of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 546.
  4. Frenkel, Jacob A & Levich, Richard M, 1977. "Transaction Costs and Interest Arbitrage: Tranquil versus Turbulent Periods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1209-26, December.
  5. Modigliani, Franco & Shiller, Robert J, 1973. "Inflation, Rational Expectations and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(157), pages 12-43, February.
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