Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Ali M. Parhizgari

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Gauri Ghai

Third Advisor's Name

Suchismita Mishra

Fourth Advisor's Name

Arun J. Prakash

Keywords

foreign exchange market, efficiency, price discovery, financial crisis

Date of Defense

3-29-2012

Abstract

Foreign exchange market is the most active market in today’s global financial domains. While the consensus on several aspects of this market is fairly established, the informational efficiency in this market is still unsettled, particularly during unexpected interruptions and unusual or unstable periods. The financial crisis of 2008 is the most recent example of such a period.

This dissertation focuses on the efficiency of the foreign exchange market during a unique, turbulent period using the six most actively traded currencies: the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Euro, British pound, and Japanese yen. Considering nine months before the peak of the financial crisis to nine months thereafter, the entire sample is divided into three sub-samples: full-, non-crisis-, and crisis-periods. Both daily and minute-by-minute data are used. A variety of instruments are analyzed, including spot, forward, and exchange traded funds on the currencies. The methodologies that are employed range from standard econometric tests of efficiency to estimation of vector error correction models to identify price discovery, or leadership positions, in each of the currency markets.

The findings indicate behavioral similarities and differences. The patterns of the volatility of the currencies are mixed: two-humped for the AUD, CAD, and EUR; W-shaped for the CHF; three-humped for the GBP, and flat U-shaped for the JPY. The daily results from several methodologies provide mixed evidence on market efficiency. Over the entire sample period, the estimated forward premium coefficients from the GARCH (1, 1) model are not significant for all currencies, while the null hypotheses of zero and one cointegrating vectors cannot be rejected for all currencies, except for the AUD. These findings are consistent with some of the previous studies, concluding that the efficiency tests in the foreign exchange market would depend on the methodology and the time period of the study.

The high frequency data results show different degrees of price discovery between pair-wise instruments. Specifically, the spot exchange market shows a greater contribution to price discovery than the corresponding exchange traded funds. A possible explanation is the current size of the market and its increased transparency through the use of electronic trading.

Identifier

FI12050246

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