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Australia’s Real Exchange Rate – Is it Explained by the Terms of Trade or by Real Interest Differentials?

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  • David W.R. Gruen

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Jenny Wilkinson

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

We use time series techniques to examine the behaviour of Australia’s real exchange rate from 1969 to 1990. The real exchange rate exhibits non-stationary behaviour over this period, in contrast to simple purchasing power parity theory. We find weak evidence that the real exchange rate exhibits a stable long run relationship with the terms of trade. There is no stable long run relationship between the real exchange rate and either short or long real interest differentials between Australia and its major trading partners. Since the float of the Australian dollar and the world-wide deregulation of financial markets, we find some evidence that the real exchange rate exhibits a stable relationship with the terms of trade alone, and with long real interest differentials alone. The evidence for a stable relationship is clearest with long real interest differentials. After the float, we also find evidence that the terms of trade and long real interest differentials together help to explain the Australian real exchange rate. We estimate the number of independent long run relationships between the real exchange rate, the terms of trade and long real interest differentials and, for some specifications, find evidence of two independent relationships. Since the float, our best estimates are that a 1 per cent improvement in the terms of trade leads to an appreciation of the Australian real exchange rate of about 0.3 to 0.5 per cent, while an increase of 1 percentage point in the differential between Australian and world long real interest rates is associated with an appreciation of the Australian real exchange rate of about 2 to 3½ per cent.

Suggested Citation

  • David W.R. Gruen & Jenny Wilkinson, 1991. "Australia’s Real Exchange Rate – Is it Explained by the Terms of Trade or by Real Interest Differentials?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9108, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp9108
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    3. David Gruen & Geoffrey Shuetrim, 1994. "Internationalisation and the Macroeconomy," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Philip Lowe & Jacqueline Dwyer (ed.),International Intergration of the Australian Economy, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Alison Tarditi & Gordon Menzies, 1991. "Monthly Movements in the Australian Dollar and Real Short-term Interest Differentials: An Application of the Kalman Filter," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9111, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Zhang, Hui Jun & Dufour, Jean-Marie & Galbraith, John W., 2016. "Exchange rates and commodity prices: Measuring causality at multiple horizons," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 100-120.
    6. Adrian Blundell-Wignall & Jerome Fahrer & Alexandra Heath, 1993. "Major Influences on the Australian Dollar Exchange Rate," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Adrian Blundell-Wignall (ed.),The Exchange Rate, International Trade and the Balance of Payments, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    7. Alison Tarditi, 1996. "Modelling the Australian Exchange Rate, Long Bond Yield and Inflationary Expectations," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9608, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    8. Andrew Stone & Troy Wheatley & Louise Wilkinson, 2005. "A Small Model of the Australian Macroeconomy: An Update," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2005-11, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    9. Malcolm Edey, 1997. "The Debate on Alternatives for Monetary Policy in Australia," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Philip Lowe (ed.),Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    10. Gordon D. Menzies, 2005. "Who'S Afraid Of The Marshall-Lerner Condition?," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 24(4), pages 309-315, December.
    11. Nikola Dvornak & Marion Kohler & Gordon Menzies, 2005. "Australia's Medium‐Run Exchange Rate: A Macroeconomic Balance Approach," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(253), pages 101-112, June.
    12. Frank Smets, 1997. "Financial-asset Prices and Monetary Policy: Theory and Evidence," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Philip Lowe (ed.),Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    13. K.F. Wallis, 1992. "On Macroeconomic Policy and Macroeconomic Modeling," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 92-04, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    14. Jacqueline Dwyer & Philip Lowe, 1993. "Alternative Concepts of the Real Exchange Rate: A Reconciliation," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9309, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    15. Gordon de Brouwer & Luci Ellis, 1998. "Forward-looking Behaviour and Credibility: Some Evidence and Implications for Policy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9803, Reserve Bank of Australia.
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    18. Jonathan Hambur & Lynne Cockerell & Christopher Potter & Penelope Smith & Michelle Wright, 2015. "Modelling the Australian Dollar," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2015-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.

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