Econometric analysis of exchange rates in East Asia
This study is concerned with the behaviour of exchange rate movements focusing specifically on purchasing power parity (PPP) and the non-stationarity of real exchange rates, for a number of East Asian currencies during their recent floating periods. As one of the most important building blocks in international economies, PPP forms a core component of several models of exchange rate determination, and it is the most intensively tested hypothesis in open-economy macroeconomics. Nevertheless, in contrast to the relative abundance of research on the currencies of industrialised countries, very few studies on East Asian currencies have been carried out, leaving an important gap in the literature. Using recent advances in time series analysis, the results reveal for the East Asian countries that there existed long-run comovement between the nominal exchange rate and domestic and foreign price levels, but that the strict PPP condition claimed by the theory did not hold. This implied that any deviation from the PPP equilibrium was permanent and that there was little tendency for the real exchange rate to be mean reverting. Further investigation suggested that the real exchange rate was cointegrated with fundamentals, with most of the variables entering the cointegration vector significantly, suggesting that the movements of real exchange rate were driven by these factors. Investigating the dynamic paths of the real exchange rate and the long-run relationship (cointegrating relationship) in response to exogenous shocks also revealed that the real exchange rates did not revert to their pre-shock equilibrium, but that the long-run relationship did. It took, normally three to five years, for the real exchange rate to reach and settle down to a new equilibrium and even if the effect of shocks on the long-run relationship was transitory, the speed of convergence to the equilibrium was slow. The results also showed that the effects of shocks vary from one country to another. This meant that there was no universal panacea to deal with fluctuations in real exchange rates, as they were influenced by a country's natural endowment, stage in industrialisation, as well as monetary and exchange policies.