Finance and Financial Management


Using data for 1820-2001 for the US, the UK and France, we test for the presence of real effects on the equilibrium real exchange rate (the Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson, HBS effect) in an explicitly nonlinear framework and allowing for shifts in real exchange rate volatility. A statistically significant HBS effect for sterling-dollar captures its long-run trend and explains some 40% of its variation. For both real exchange rates there is significant evidence of nonlinear mean reversion towards long-run equilibrium and downwards shifts in volatility corresponding closely to the classical gold standard and Bretton Woods periods.