August 1991

A Re-Assessment of the Relationship between Real Exchange Rates and Real Interest Rates: 1974-1990

Hali J. Edison and B. Dianne Pauls


The general view of the economics profession is that we can not explain exchange rate movements. However, some researchers still contend that the relationship between real interest rates and the real exchange rate is a useful framework for thinking about exchange rate movements. This paper asks whether there is such a systematic relationship and whether it is revealed by the data. In our attempt to find such a relationship we investigate whether the empirical results are conditional on: (1) the time period selected, (2) the choice of interest rate, (3) the measure of expected inflation, and (4) the choice of exchange rate. The results show that exchange rates and interest rates, both nominal and real are nonstationary; however, they are not cointegrated with each other. On the other hand, the dynamic models indicate that there might be a long-run relationship between these variables, but cannot corroborate this. Consequently, the final conclusion is that the empirical results do not confirm the relationship and this result is robust across exchange rates, time periods, interest rates, and inflation measures.

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: March 05, 2021