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Author:Bacchetta, Philippe 

Conference Paper
Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle
The uncovered interest rate parity equation is the cornerstone of most models in international macro. However, this equation does not hold empirically since the forward discount, or interest rate differential, is negatively related to the subsequent change in the exchange rate. This forward discount puzzle implies that excess returns on foreign currency investments are predictable. In this paper we investigate to what extent incomplete information processing can explain this puzzle. We consider two types of incompleteness: infrequent and partial information processing. We calibrate a two-country general equilibrium model to the data and show that incomplete information processing can fully match the empirical evidence. It can also account for several related empirical phenomena, including that of ?delayed overshooting?. We show that incomplete information processing is consistent both with evidence that little capital is devoted to actively managing short-term currency positions and with a small welfare gain from active portfolio management. The gain is small because exchange rate changes are very hard to predict. The welfare gain is easily outweighed by a small cost of active portfolio management.
AUTHORS: Van Wincoop, Eric; Bacchetta, Philippe
DATE: 2006-06

Working Paper
Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle
The uncovered interest rate parity equation is the cornerstone of most models in international macro. However, this equation does not hold empirically since the forward discount, or interest rate differential, is negatively related to the subsequent change in the exchange rate. This forward discount puzzle implies that excess returns on foreign currency investments are predictable. In this paper we investigate to what extent incomplete information processing can explain this puzzle. We consider two types of incompleteness: infrequent and partial information processing. We calibrate a two-country general equilibrium model to the data and show that incomplete information processing can fully match the empirical evidence. It can also account for several related empirical phenomena, including that of "delayed overshooting." We show that incomplete information processing is consistent both with evidence that little capital is devoted to actively managing short-term currency positions and with a small welfare gain from active portfolio management. The gain is small because exchange rate changes are very hard to predict. The welfare gain is easily outweighed by a small cost of active portfolio management.
AUTHORS: Bacchetta, Philippe; Van Wincoop, Eric
DATE: 2006

Working Paper
A theory of the currency denomination of international trade
Nominal rigidities due to menu costs have become a standard element in closed economy macroeconomic modeling. The "New Open Economy Macroeconomics" literature has investigated the implications of nominal rigidities in an open economy context and found that the currency in which prices are set has significant macroeconomic and policy implications. In this paper we solve for the optimal invoicing choice by integrating this microeconomic decision at the firm level into a general equilibrium open economy model. Strategic interactions between firms play a critical role in the analysis. We find that the less competition firms face in foreign markets, as reflected in market share and product differentiation, the more likely they will price in their own currency. We also show that when a set of countries forms a monetary union, the new currency is likely to be used more extensively in trade than the sum of the currencies it replaces.
AUTHORS: Bacchetta, Philippe; Van Wincoop, Eric
DATE: 2002

Report
Does exchange rate stability increase trade and capital flows?
On the eve of a major change in the world monetary system, the adoption of a single currency in Europe, our theoretical understanding of the implications of the exchange rate regime for trade and capital flows is still limited. We argue that two key model ingredients are essential to address this question: a general equilibrium setup and deviations from purchasing power parity. By developing a simple benchmark monetary model that contains these two ingredients, we find the following main results. First, the level of trade is not necessarily higher under a fixed exchange rate regime. Second, the level of net capital flows tends to be higher under a fixed exchange rate regime when there is a preference for domestic bonds, which is the case when the rate of relative risk-aversion is larger than one. Third, the asset market structure, including the presence of a forward market, does not qualitatively affect the results.
AUTHORS: Van Wincoop, Eric; Bacchetta, Philippe
DATE: 1998

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