Infrequent Large Nominal Devaluations and their Impacton the Futures Prices for Foreign Exchange in Brazil


International Monetary Fund

Publication Date:

May 1, 1996

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper discusses the behavior of futures prices for foreign exchange in Brazil during a period of high inflation and successive stabilization attempts (1989-92). After testing for futures prices unbiasedness and predicability by applying the Generalized Method of Moments, the paper argues that the finding of excess returns may be viewed as a rational response to the frequent and unpredictable changes in the exchange rate policy during that period. This response could reflect (i) an informational problem where the exchange rate policy is assumed to be unknown; or, (ii) a “peso” problem of rational (under) overprediction where the futures bias is the market response to the known policy of infrequent large nominal devaluations. The second line of explanation is suggested by conditioning the probability distribution of the excess return of futures contracts on the event of a major devaluation.


Working Paper No. 96/49



Publication Date:

May 1, 1996



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