Standard unit root tests are not very powerful in drawing conclusions regarding the validity of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Rather than asking whether PPP holds throughout the whole sample period, we examine, in this study, if PPP holds sometimes by employing Hamilton-type (1989)
Markov regime switching models. When at least one of multiple regimes is stationary, PPP holds locally within the regime. There are indeed various reasons that we should expect that the persistence of real exchange rates changes over time. Employing five real exchange rates spanning more than
100 years, we find herein strong evidence that the strength of PPP varies during the sample periods and that there exist stationary regimes in which PPP holds. Throughout the article, we also make comparisons to previous Markov regime switching estimation results by Kanas (2006) on the same
data series. The new Markov switching model selection criterion of Smith et al. (2006), which is devised especially for discriminating Markov regime switching models, unambiguously indicates a preference for the Hamilton-type Markov regime switching model employed in this study.
We also find that the evidence for PPP is not much different across different nominal exchange rate arrangements.