The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Dark matter accounts for 83 percent of the matter in the universe and plays a central role in cosmology modeling. This paper argues that an analogous form of dark matter plays a similarly important role in international macroeconomics. Exchange-rate dark matter is invisible, but its existence can be inferred from observations on real exchange rates and interest rates. I first show that dark matter is the dominant driver of short- and medium-term changes in real exchange rates for the G-7 countries; accounting for more than 90 percent of the variance at the five-year horizon. I then develop a model in which risk shocks account for dark matter's role as a driver of exchange-rate dynamics and other macro variables.