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Dispersion of Beliefs in the Foreign Exchange Market

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the sources of the differential beliefs of market participants in the foreign exchange market and their relative role in forming exchange rate expectations. We find that there are distinct periods of high and low dispersion and document that dispersion arises because of a combined effect of market participants holding individual information and attach different weights to some elements of the common information set. In addition to these two effects, we also document evidence of the existence of different types of agents and find that chartist rules are predominantly used at the shorter spectrum of the forecast horizon and fundamentalist rules are predominantly used at the longer spectrum of the forecast horizon. Finally, our evidence suggests that the relationship between market volatility and trader dispersion tends to be significant and positive for different measures of both trader heterogeneity and market volatility.

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