School of Economics and Finance

No. 629: Getting PPP Right: Identifying Mean-Reverting Real Exchange Rates in Panels

Georgios Chortareas , University of Athens
George Kapetanios , Queen Mary, University of London

July 1, 2008

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Recent advances in testing for the validity of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) focus on the time series properties of real exchange rates in panel frameworks. One weakness of such tests, however, is that they fail to inform the researcher as to which cross-section units are stationary. As a consequence, a reservation for PPP analyses based on such tests is that a small number of real exchange rates in a given panel may drive the results. In this paper we examine the PPP hypothesis focusing on the stationarity of the real exchange rates in up to 25 OECD countries. We introduce a methodology that when applied to a set of established panel-unit-root tests, allows the identification of the real exchange rates that are stationary. We apply procedures that account for cross-sectional dependence. Our results reveal evidence of mean-reversion that is significantly stronger as compared to that obtained by the existing literature, strengthening the case for PPP. Moreover, our approach can be used to provide half-lives estimates for the mean-reverting real exchange rates. We find that the half-lives are shorter than the literature consensus and therefore that the PPP puzzle is less pronounced than initially thought.

J.E.L classification codes: C12, C15, C23, F31

Keywords:PPP, Panel unit root tests, Real exchange rates, Half-lives, PPP puzzle