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Real Exchange Rates, Preferences, and Incomplete Markets: Evidence, 1961-2001


  • Allen C. Head

    () (Queen's University)

  • Todd D. Mattina

    () (Queen's University)

  • Gregor W. Smith

    () (International Monetary Fund)


Many international macroeconomic models link the real exchange rate to a ratio of marginal utilities. We examine this link empirically, allowing the marginal utility of consumption to depend on government expenditure, real money balances, or external habit. We also consider two environments with incomplete asset markets; one with exogenously missing markets but an endogenous discount rate that anchors the distribution of wealth and one with endogenous market segmentation. Although none of these satisfies theoretical and over-identifying restrictions for every country, utility with external habit persistence provides the best match with real exchange rates for OECD countries between 1961 and 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen C. Head & Todd D. Mattina & Gregor W. Smith, 2004. "Real Exchange Rates, Preferences, and Incomplete Markets: Evidence, 1961-2001," Working Papers 1246, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1246

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pavlidis, Efthymios G. & Paya, Ivan & Peel, David A., 2015. "Testing for linear and nonlinear Granger causality in the real exchange rate–consumption relation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 13-17.
    2. Jorge Selaive & Vicente Tuesta, 2003. "Net foreign assets and imperfect pass-through: the consumption real exchange rate anomaly," International Finance Discussion Papers 764, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Charles Engel & John H Rogers, 2009. "Expected Consumption Growth from Cross-Country Surveys: Implications for Assessing International Capital Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 543-573, August.
    4. Predrag Petrović, 2016. "Backus–Smith puzzle and the European Union: It’s not just the nominal exchange rate," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 393-418.
    5. Jorge Selaive & Vicente Tuesta, 2003. "Net Foreign Assets And Imperfect Financial Integration: An Empirical Approach," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 252, Central Bank of Chile.
    6. Devereux, Michael B. & Smith, Gregor W. & Yetman, James, 2012. "Consumption and real exchange rates in professional forecasts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 33-42.
    7. Efthymios Pavlidis & Ivan Paya & David Peel, 2010. "Further empirical evidence on the consumption-real exchange rate anomaly," Working Papers 447022, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

    More about this item


    real exchange rate; consumption; marginal utility;

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics


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