NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

International Interest-Rate and Price-Level Linkages Under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence

Robert E. Cumby, Maurice Obstfeld

NBER Working Paper No. 921 (Also Reprint No. r0567)
Issued in February 1985
NBER Program(s):   ITI   IFM

In an open economy, the scope for activist stabilization policy depends on the nature of the lincages between domestic and international markets for goods and assets. Tgoimportant relationships--purchasing power parity and uncovered interest-rate parity--have received extensive empirical atpention in recent years and are fundamental building blocks of several eipirical ex- change rate models. This paper reviews and extends recent econometric findings on these two classical parity relationships and on their corollary, the international equality of expected real interest rates. Econometric tests assuming rationality of expectations are on the whole unfavorable to the classical parity relationships: with few exceptions, they are strongly rejected. A central theme in the review of empirical work is the conditional heteroskedasticity of inflation and exchange rate forecast errors and the bias this statistical problem may impart to tests of inter- national parity relationships. The paper proposes and implements a test for conditional heteroskedasticity which in many cases produces strong evidence that the problem is indeed important.

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