The Forward Rate Unbiasedness Hypothesis Revisited
Delcoure, Natalya, John Barkoulas, Christopher Baum, and Atreya Chakraborty. “The Forward Rate Unbiasedness Hypothesis Revisited”. Boston College Working Papers in Economics 464, 2000.
Under conditions of risk neutrality and rational expectations in the foreign exchange market, there should be a one-to-one relationship between the forward rate and the corresponding future spot rate. However, cointegration-based tests of the unbiasedness hypothesis of the forward rate have produced mixed findings. In order to exploit significant cross-sectional dependencies, we test the unbiasedness hypothesis using a new multivariate (panel) unit-root test, the Johansen likelihood ratio (JLR) test, which offers important methodological advantages over alternative standard panel unit-root tests. When applied to a data set of eight major currencies in the post-Bretton Woods era, the JLR test provides strong and robust evidence in support of a unitary cointegrating vector between forward and corresponding future spot rates. However, the orthogonality condition is satisfied only for three major currencies.