nep-ifn New Economics Papers
on International Finance
Issue of 2011‒06‒04
two papers chosen by
Ajay Shah
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy

  1. Towards an Expanded Role for Asian Currencies: Issues and Prospects By Chow, Hwee Kwan
  2. Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Co-Movement, Long-Run Relationships and Short-run Dynamics By Stelios Bekiros

  1. By: Chow, Hwee Kwan (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Notwithstanding incumbency advantages and network effects enjoyed by the United States (US) dollar, considerations about the stability of its value have led Asian countries to fear they are holding their foreign exchange reserves in a depreciating currency. At the same time, it pays for the regional countries to adjust their reserve currency composition to match the point of reference of their exchange rate policy. This paper examines empirically which regional currency or currencies seem to matter for exchange rate determination in Asia beyond the very short term. To this end, we employ country-specific Vector Autoregressive (VAR) models to compare the relative impact which fluctuations in the Asian Currency Unit (ACU), yuan and yen separately have on movements of Asian currencies. Contrary to recent evidence based on daily data, we found monthly exchange rates variations in the region are more heavily influenced by the cumulative effect of key Asian currencies than by the yuan or the yen individually within the sample period we used. To the extent that exchange rates in the region shift over time from benchmarking the US dollar towards a broad range of Asian currencies, Asian central banks will find it more attractive to cross-hold Asian bonds. This calls for the development of deep private markets in such assets, as well as institutional prerequisites for internationalizing key regional currencies.
    Keywords: asian currency unit; asian currencies; foreign exchange reserves; exchange rate policy; asian central banks
    JEL: F31 F33
    Date: 2011–05–27
  2. By: Stelios Bekiros
    Abstract: The present study builds upon the seminal work of Engel and West [2005, Journal of Political Economy 113, 485-517] and in particular on the relationship between exchange rates and fundamentals. The paper discusses the well-known puzzle that fundamental variables such as money supplies, interest rates, outputs etc. provide help in predicting changes in floating exchange rates. It also tests the theoretical result of Engel and West (2005) that in a rational expectations present-value model, the asset price manifests near-random walk behaviour if the fundamentals are I(1) and the factor for discounting future fundamentals is near one. The study explores the direction and nature of causal interdependencies and cross-correlations among the most widely traded currencies in the world, their country-specific fundamentals and their US-differentials. A new VAR/VECM-GARCH multivariate filtering approach is implemented, whilst linear and nonlinear non-causality is tested on the time series. In addition to pairwise causality testing, several different groupings of variables are explored. The methodology is extensively tested and validated on simulated and empirical data. The implication is that although exchange rates and fundamentals appear to be linked in a way that is broadly consistent with asset-pricing models, there is no indication of a prevailing causal behaviour from fundamentals to exchange rates or vice-versa. When nonlinear effects are accounted for, the evidence implies that the pattern of leads and lags changes over time. These results may influence the greater predictability of currency markets. Overall, fundamentals may be important determinants of FX rates, however there may be some other unobservable variables driving the currency rates that current asset-pricing models have not yet captured.
    Keywords: simulation-based inference; causality; random walk; filtering; nonlinearity; asset-pricing
    JEL: F31 F37 C52 C53
    Date: 2011

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