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Measuring the Real Exchange Rate: Pitfalls and Practicalities

  • Luci Ellis

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

The real exchange rate is an important concept in economic theory, but it is not directly observable and must be constructed, usually as an index. The construction of such indices requires a number of decisions – which currencies to include, the appropriate weighting scheme and the price measures to use – which materially alter the results. Unfortunately, theory often gives very little guidance on the appropriate assumptions to make when constructing an exchange rate index. This paper discusses the various choices, highlighting their differing implications. Some of the practical issues of calculation are also reviewed. Several exchange rate indices that have been used in analytical work in the Reserve Bank are presented. These will be updated quarterly on the Reserve Bank website at .

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File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2001/pdf/rdp2001-04.pdf
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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2001-04.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2001-04
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  1. Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1997. "International Macroeconomic Dynamics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201119, June.
  2. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
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