Long Swings in the Exchange Rate: are They in the Data and Do Markets Know it?
56 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2004 Last revised: 27 Aug 2010
Date Written: November 1989
The value of the dollar appears to move in one direction for long periods of time. We develop a new statistical model of exchange rate dynamics as a sequence of stochastic, segmented time trends. The paper implements new techniques for parameter estimation and hypothesis testing for this framework. We reject the null hypothesis that exchange rates follow a random walk in favor of our model of long swings. Our model also generates better forecasts than a random walk. We conclude that persistent movement in the value of the dollar is a fact that calls for greater attention in the theory of exchange rate behavior. The model is a natural framework for assessing the importance of the "peso problem" for the dollar. It allows for the expectation of future exchange rates to be influenced by the probability of a change in regime. We nonetheless reject uncovered interest parity. The forward premium appears frequently to put too high a probability on a change in regime.
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