We analyse the time series properties of the S&P500 dividend–price ratio in the light of long-memory, structural breaks and rational bubbles. We find an increase in the long-memory parameter in the early 1990s by applying a test recently proposed by Sibbertsen and Kruse [J. Time Series Anal., 2009, 30, 263–285]. An application of the unit root test against long memory of Demetrescu et al. [Econometr. Theory, 2008, 24, 176–215] suggests that the pre-break data can be characterized by long memory, while the post-break sample contains a unit root. These results reconcile two empirical findings that are seen as contradictory: on the one hand, they confirm the existence of fractional integration in the S&P500 log-dividend–price ratio and, on the other, they are consistent with the existence of a rational bubble. The result of a changing memory parameter in the dividend–price ratio has an important implication for the literature on return predictability: the shift from a stationary dividend–price ratio to a unit root process in 1991 is likely to have caused the well-documented failure of conventional return prediction models since the 1990s.
The choice of an exchange rate arrangement affects the volatility of the exchange rate: higher flexibility goes ahead with increasing volatility and vice versa (Flood and Rose 1995, 1999). We investigate the exchange rate volatility of six Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) between 1994 and 2004. The analysis merges two approaches, the GARCH-model (Bollerslev 1986) and the Markov Switching Model (Hamilton 1989). We discover switches between high and low volatility regimes which are consistent with policy settings for Hungary, Poland and, less pronounced, the Czech Republic, whereas Romania and Slovakia do not show a clear picture. Slovenia, finally, shows some kind of anticipation of the wide fluctuation margins in ERM2.
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