Great expectations? evidence from Colombia’s exchange rate survey

In this paper written by Juan Jose Echavarria and Mauricio Villamizar-Villegas, we use the largest exchange rate survey in Colombia to test for the rational expectations hypothesis, the presence of a time-varying risk premium and the accuracy of exchange rate forecasts. Our findings indicate that episodes of exchange rate appreciation preceded expectations of further appreciation in the short run, but were marked by depreciations in the long run. This reversal largely explains the stabilizing pattern of expectations. Additionally, we find that the forward discount differed from future exchange rate changes due to the rejection of the unbiasedness condition and to the presence of a time-varying risk premium. Finally, we find that only short run expectations were able to outperform a random walk process as well as models of extrapolative, adaptive, and regressive expectations. Long-run expectations, on the other hand, behaved poorly in terms of forecasting accuracy.

JEL Codes: C23 , C53 , C83 , F31 , F37

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Latin American Economic Review aims to be the leading general interest journal on topics relevant to Latin America. The journal welcomes high-quality theoretical and quantitative papers on economic, social and political-economy issues with a regional focus. Articles presenting new data bases or describing structural reforms within a rigorous theoretical framework will also be considered. A few (illustrative) examples of topics that may be of special interest to this journal include: inflation, informal sector, corruption, crime, drug policy, unions, social exclusion, price controls, energy and environmental policy, natural resources, and technology transfer.