Exchange Rate Models Are Not as Bad as You Think
Standard models of exchange rates, based on macroeconomic variables such as prices, interest rates, output, and so forth, are thought by many researchers to have failed empirically. We present evidence to the contrary. First, we emphasize the point that "beating a random walk" in forecasting is too strong a criterion for accepting an exchange rate model. Typically models should have low forecasting power of this type. We propose a number of alternative ways to evaluate models. We examine in-sample fit, but emphasize the importance of the monetary policy rule and its effects on expectations in determining exchange rates. Next we present evidence that exchange rates incorporate news about future macroeconomic fundamentals, as the models imply. We demonstrate that the models may well be able to account for observed exchange rate volatility. We discuss studies that examine the response of exchange rates to announcements of economic data, and then present estimates of exchange rate models in which expected present values of fundamentals are calculated from survey forecasts. Finally, we show that out-of-sample forecasting power of models can be increased by focusing on panel estimation and long-horizon forecasts.