Do presidential approval ratings affect exchange rates? The empirical purview of the vast literature on this topic has been confined to the run-up to elections. The importance of approval ratings in non-election periods has therefore been under-studied. Examining daily data on the exchange rate of the Korean won during the presidency of Park Geun Hye, we find that the won weakened (1) when Park’s ratings were low and (2) when they bounced back unexpectedly from a low level. This finding explains why Park’s impeachment did not lead to a serious panic in the won market. It seems that well before the impeachment, the exchange rate already reflected the market’s concerns about the uncertainty in the government.

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