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Are Exchange Rates Really Random Walks? Some Evidence Robust to Parameter Instability

  • Barbara Rossi

    (Duke University)

Many authors have documented that it is challenging to explain exchange rate fluctuations with macroeconomic fundamentals: a random walk forecasts future exchange rates better than existing macroeconomic models. This paper applies newly developed tests for nested model that are robust to the presence of parameter instability. The empirical evidence shows that for some countries we can reject the hypothesis that exchange rates are random walks. This raises the possibility that economic models were previously rejected not because the fundamentals are completely unrelated to exchange rate fluctuations, but because the relationship is unstable over time and, thus, difficult to capture by Granger Causality tests or by forecast comparisons. We also analyze forecasts that exploit the time variation in the parameters and find that, in some cases, they can improve over the random walk.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Data with number 0503001.

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Date of creation: 19 Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpda:0503001
Note: Type of Document - zip. The zip file contains two directories, each of which contains files to replicate the results in the two distinct sections of the paper (sections 4 and 5). The data are in .txt format, and the codes are in Matlab. Both directories contain a readme file.
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  1. Meese, Richard A & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1988. " Was It Real? The Exchange Rate-Interest Differential Relation over the Modern Floating-Rate Period," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(4), pages 933-48, September.
  2. Garry J. Schinasi & P.A.V.B. Swamy, 1987. "The out-of-sample forecasting performance of exchange rate models when coefficients are allowed to change," International Finance Discussion Papers 301, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1994. "Evidence on structural instability in macroeconomic times series relations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Inoue, Atsushi & Kilian, Lutz, 2003. "On the selection of forecasting models," Working Paper Series 0214, European Central Bank.
  5. Timmermann, Allan G, 2005. "Forecast Combinations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2000. "Tests of Equal Forecast Accuracy and Encompassing for Nested Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0319, Econometric Society.
  7. Richard Meese & Kenneth Rogoff, 1982. "The out-of-sample failure of empirical exchange rate models: sampling error or misspecification?," International Finance Discussion Papers 204, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
  10. Norman R. Swanson, 2000. "An Out of Sample Test for Granger Causality," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0362, Econometric Society.
  11. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2005. "The power of tests of predictive ability in the presence of structural breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 1-31, January.
  12. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64 Elsevier.
  13. Graham Elliott & Allan Timmermann, 2008. "Economic Forecasting," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 3-56, March.
  14. Meese, Richard, 1990. "Currency Fluctuations in the Post-Bretton Woods Era," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 117-34, Winter.
  15. Wolff, Christian C P, 1987. "Time-Varying Parameters and the Out-of-Sample Forecasting Performance of Structural Exchange Rate Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(1), pages 87-97, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Rossi, Barbara, 2002. "Optimal Tests for Nested Model Selection with Underlying Parameter Instability," Working Papers 02-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  18. Corradi, Valentina & Swanson, Norman R., 2006. "Bootstrap conditional distribution tests in the presence of dynamic misspecification," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(2), pages 779-806, August.
  19. repec:att:wimass:9417 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1995. "Empirical research on nominal exchange rates," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 1689-1729 Elsevier.
  21. Corradi, Valentina & Swanson, Norman R., 2004. "Some recent developments in predictive accuracy testing with nested models and (generic) nonlinear alternatives," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 185-199.
  22. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-84, September.
  23. James H. Stock & Mark W.Watson, 2003. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 788-829, September.
  24. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  25. McCracken, Michael W., 2007. "Asymptotics for out of sample tests of Granger causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 719-752, October.
  26. Charles Engel, 1992. "Can the Markov Switching Model Forecast Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 4210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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