The Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis: Real Exchange Rates and their Long-Run Equilibrium

Yanping Chong, Òscar Jordà, Alan M. Taylor

NBER Working Paper No. 15868
Issued in April 2010
NBER Program(s):   IFM

Frictionless, perfectly competitive traded-goods markets justify thinking of purchasing power parity (PPP) as the main driver of exchange rates in the long-run. But differences in the traded/non-traded sectors of economies tend to be persistent and affect movements in local price levels in ways that upset the PPP balance (the underpinning of the Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis, HBS). This paper uses panel-data techniques on a broad collection of countries to investigate the long-run properties of the PPP/HBS equilibrium using novel local projection methods for cointegrated systems. These semi-parametric methods isolate the long-run behavior of the data from contaminating factors such as frictions not explicitly modelled and thought to have effects only in the short-run. Absent the short-run effects, we find that the estimated speed of reversion to long-run equilibrium is much higher. In addition, the HBS effects means that the real exchange rate is converging not to a steady mean, but to a slowly to a moving target. The common failure to properly model this effect also biases the estimated speed of reversion downwards. Thus, the so-called "PPP puzzle" is not as bad as we thought.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15868

Published: Yanping Chong & Òscar Jordà & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "The Harrod–Balassa–Samuelson Hypothesis: Real Exchange Rates And Their Long‐Run Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 609-634, 05. citation courtesy of

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