Should we teach exchange rate theories?

Should we teach exchange rate theories?

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Guidelines for Exchange-rate Paper
• The power of persuasion stems from subordinating the
arguments to the question at hand.
• The question is not whether there is some redeemable
feature of some model.
• The question is whether exchange-rate modeling
should be taught.
• To teach or not to teach – that is the question

To teach
• How relevant is the failure of X-rate models for an
education? Why is it that you are here?
• Is prediction the only, or main, criterion for assessing a
theory?
• Suppose you argue no.
• Then,
– Are we going to lower the theory-adequacy “bar”?
– So teach me anything because I do not care about
predictive accuracy?
– Why should a student take comfort in learning that
there is a formulation that explains the past well but
cannot predict the future?
– Would the future not become the past? Would the
model be able to explain the upcoming past?

Not to Teach
• How relevant is the failure of X-rate models for an economics education? Why is it that you are here?
• Is prediction the only, or main, criterion for assessing a
theory?
• Suppose answer is yes.
– Then what is so unique about exchange-rate
modeling that deserves to be expunged
while preserving other theories?
– Are we going to ditch all the IR courses, HecksherOhlin & Co., perfect competition?
– Where do we draw the line? At the alphabet?
– Should we then treat the exchange-rate as given
the same way we treat government purchases as
given?

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