nep-ifn New Economics Papers
on International Finance
Issue of 2007‒07‒07
five papers chosen by
Yi-Nung Yang
Chung Yuan Christian University

  1. Random Walk Expectations and the Forward Discount Puzzle By Philippe Bacchetta; Eric van Wincoop
  2. Purchasing Power Parity for Developing and Developed Countries: What Can We Learn from Non-Stationary Panel Data Models? By Imed Drine; Christophe Rault
  3. Patterns of current account adjustment - insights from past experience By Bernardina Algieri; Thierry Bracke
  4. External imbalances and the US current account - how supply-side changes affect an exchange rate adjustment By Philipp Engler; Michael Fidora; Christian Thimann
  5. Exchange Rate Regimes and the Transition Process in the Western Balkans By Ansgar Belke; Albina Zenkic

  1. By: Philippe Bacchetta; Eric van Wincoop
    Abstract: Two well-known, but seemingly contradictory, features of exchange rates are that they are close to a random walk while at the same time exchange rate changes are predictable by interest rate differentials. In this paper we investigate whether these two features of the data may in fact be related. In particular, we ask whether the predictability of exchange rates by interest differentials naturally results when participants in the FX market adopt random walk expectations. We find that random walk expectations can explain the forward discount puzzle, but only if FX portfolio positions are revised infrequently. In contrast, with frequent portfolio adjustment and random walk expectations, we find that high interest rate currencies depreciate much more than what UIP would predict.
    JEL: F3 F31 F41
    Date: 2007–06
  2. By: Imed Drine (IHEC Sousse and EUREQua, Sorbonne University); Christophe Rault (LEO, University of Orleans and IZA)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to apply recently developed panel cointegration techniques proposed by Pedroni (1999, 2004) and generalized by Banerjee and Carrion-i-Silvestre (2006) to examine the robustness of the PPP concept for a sample of 80 developed and developing countries. We find that strong PPP is verified for OECD countries and weak PPP for MENA countries. However in African, Asian, Latin American and Central and Eastern European countries, PPP does not seem relevant to characterize the long-run behavior of the real exchange rate. Further investigations indicate that the nature of the exchange rate regime doesn’t condition the validity of PPP which is more easily accepted in countries with high than low inflation.
    Keywords: purchasing power parity, real exchange rate, developed country, developing country, panel unit-root and cointegration tests
    JEL: E31 F0 F31 C15
    Date: 2007–06
  3. By: Bernardina Algieri (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Calabria, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy.); Thierry Bracke (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: The paper examines over seventy episodes of current account adjustment in industrial and major emerging market economies. It argues that these episodes were characterised by strongly divergent economic developments. To reduce this divergence, the paper classifies episodes with similar characteristics in three groups, using cluster analysis. A majority of cases was characterised by internal adjustment through a slowdown of domestic demand and did not involve significant exchange rate movements. In some cases, the adjustment was mainly external, facilitated by a relatively modest exchange rate depreciation and without economic slowdown. Finally, some cases involved a crisis-like combination of a severe slowdown and a significant currency depreciation. Using a multinomial logit, we find that this classification of episodes helps improve the predictability of current account adjustment. JEL Classification: F32, C14, C25.
    Keywords: External imbalances, current account adjustment, cluster analysis, multinomial logit.
    Date: 2007–06
  4. By: Philipp Engler (Freie Universität Berlin, D-10785 Berlin, Germany.); Michael Fidora (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Christian Thimann (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: The influential work of Obstfeld and Rogoff argues that a closing-up of the US current account deficit involves a large exchange rate adjustment. However, the Obstfeld-Rogoff model works exclusively via demand-side channels and abstracts from possible supply-side changes. We extend the framework to allow for endogenous supply-side changes and show that this fundamentally alters the mechanism of the adjustment process. Allowing for such an extension attenuates quite significantly the implied exchange rate adjustment. The paper also provides some empirical evidence of variations in the supply-side structure and correlations with the exchange rate and the current account. The policy implications are that measures to foster a supply-side reaction would facilitate the external adjustment by alleviating an exclusive reliance on demand and exchange rate changes, with the latter being potentially destabilising for the global financial system. JEL Classification: E2, F32, F41.
    Keywords: Global imbalances, US current account deficit, dollar adjustment, sectoral adjustment.
    Date: 2007–06
  5. By: Ansgar Belke; Albina Zenkic
    Abstract: In the academic literature some criteria have been identified which could have an impact on the success of the transition process, such as macroeconomic stability, microeconomic restructuring and implementation of legal and institutional reforms. The role of the exchange rate system in general is to foster the stability of the monetary environment characterized by low inflation rates and a stable domestic currency. Although the importance of a sustainable price-level oriented monetary policy for the transition-success has been stressed in the academic literature, there are still further questions to be answered related to the choice of the exchange rate system throughout the different phases of the transition process. This paper intends to contribute to close this gap in the literature. The guiding research question is how the choice of an exchange rate system influences the economic success of a country in transition and its gradual integration within the European Union (EU) and the European Monetary Union (EMU). For this purpose, the study focuses on the transition process of South-eastern Europe (SEE). In particular and for the first time in a joint study, we will take a look at the following South-eastern European Countries (SEECs), often referred to as the “West Balkans”: Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM), Serbia and Montenegro, as these five countries share certain common characteristics: they were part of the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR); they are countries in transition; they are members of the Stability Pact for South-eastern Europe and they are all potential EU-accession candidates.
    Keywords: Balkans, exchange rate mechanism, optimum currency areas, economic transition, trade integration
    JEL: E44 F33 P21
    Date: 2007

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