Media bias and central bank response. Evidence from the nominal exchange rate behavior in Colombia
Since 1991 Colombia has had a market-determined Peso - US Dollar Nominal Exchange Rate (NER), after more than 20 years of controlled and multiple exchange rates. The behavior (revaluation / devaluation) of the NER is constantly reported in news, editorials and op-eds of major newspapers of the nation with particular attention to revaluation. The uneven reporting of revaluation episodes can be explained by the existence of an interest group particulary affected by revaluation, looking to increase awareness and sympathy for help from public institutions. Using the number of news and op-eds from a major Colombian newspaper, it is shown that there is an over-reporting of revaluation episodes in contrast to devaluation ones. Secondly, using text analysis upon the content of the news, it is also shown that the words devaluation and revaluation are far apart in the distribution of words within the news; and revaluation is highly correlated with words related to: public institutions, exporters and the need of assistance. Finally it is also shown that the probability of the central bank buying US dollars to lessen revaluation effects increases with the number of news; even though the central bank allegedly intervenes in the exchange rate market only to tame volatility or accumulate international reserves.