Abstract

The scapegoat theory of exchange rates (Bacchetta and van Wincoop 2004, 2013) suggests that market participants may attach excessive weight to individual economic fundamentals, which are picked as \scapegoats" to rationalize observed currency uctuations at times when exchange rates are driven by unobservable shocks. Using novel survey data that directly measure foreign exchange scapegoats for 12 exchange rates, we nd empirical evidence that supports the scapegoat theory. The resulting models explain a large fraction of the variation and directional changes in exchange rates in sample, although their out-of-sample forecasting performance is mixed.

Fratzscher, Marcel et al. 2015. "The scapegoat theory of exchange rates: the first tests.” Journal of Monetary Economics, 70:1-21

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