Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #362

Gold as an Inflation Hedge in a Time-Varying Coefficient Framework

by Joscha Beckmann and Robert Czudaj

University of Duisburg-Essen, 08/2012, 29 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-416-7 DOI: 10.4419/86788416

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Abstract

This study analyzes the question whether gold provides the ability of hedging against inflation from a new perspective. Using data for four major economies, namely the USA, the UK, the Euro Area, and Japan, we allow for nonlinearity and discriminate between long-run and time-varying short-run dynamics. Thus, we conduct a Markov-switching vector error correction model (MS-VECM) approach for a sample period ranging from January 1970 to December 2011. Our main findings are threefold: First, we show that gold is partially able to hedge future inflation in the long-run and this ability is stronger for the USA and the UK compared to Japan and the Euro Area. In addition, the adjustment of the general price level is characterized by regime-dependence, implying that the usefulness of gold as an inflation hedge for investors crucially depends on the time horizon. Finally, one regime approximately accounts for times of turbulences while the other roughly corresponds to 'normal times'.

JEL-Classification: C32, E31, E44

Keywords: Cointegration; gold price; inflation hedge; Markov-switching error correction

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