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Problem Set 2

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Problem Set 2

International Finance

Shrikhande
Fall 2006

SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS TO CHAPTER 4 PROBLEMS

1. From base price levels of 100 in 1987, West German and U.S. price levels in 1988 stood at 102 and 106, respectively. If the 1987 $/DM exchange rate was $0.54, what should the exchange rate be in 1988? In fact, the exchange rate in 1988 was DM 1 = $0.56. What might account for the discrepancy? (Price levels were measured using the consumer price index.)

Answer. If e1981 is the dollar value of the German mark in 1988, then according to purchasing power parity e1988/.54 = 106/102 or e1988 = $.5612. The discrepancy between the predicted rate of $.5612 and the actual rate of $.56 is insignificant and hence needs no explaining. Historically, however, discrepancies betweenthe PPP rate and the actual rate have frequently occurred. These discrepancies could be due to mismeasurement of the relevant price indices. Estimates based on narrower price indices reflecting only traded goods prices would probably be closer to the mark, so to speak. Alternatively, it could be due to a switch in investors' preferences from dollar to non-dollar assets.

3. In early 1996, the short-term interest rate in France was 3.7%, and forecast French inflation was 1.8%. At the same time, the short-term German interest rate was 2.6% and forecast German inflation was 1.6%.

a. Based on these figures, what were the real interest rates in France and Germany?

Answer. The French real interest rate was 1.037/1.018 - 1 = 1.87%. The corresponding real rate in Germany was 1.026/1.016 - 1 = 0.98%.

b. To what would you attribute any discrepancy in real rates between France and Germany?

Answer. The most likely reason for the discrepancy is the inclusion of a higher inflation risk component in the French real interest rate than in the German real rate. Other possibilities are the…...

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