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Can the Chinese trade surplus be reduced through exchange rate policy?

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  • Garcia-Herrero, Alicia

    (BOFIT)

  • Koivu, Tuuli

    ()
    (http://www.bof.fi/bofit)

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    Abstract

    This paper shows empirically that China’s trade balance is sensitive to fluctuations in the real effective exchange rate of the renminbi, although the size of the surplus is such that exchange rate policy alone will be unable to address the imbalance. One of the main reasons why the reduction in the trade surplus is limited is that Chinese imports are reduced with a real appreciation of the renminbi. By estimating bilateral import equations, we find that it is imports from other Southeast Asian countries which fall. This result reflects the vertical integration of Southeast Asia with China through the 'Asian production network'. We find, in turn, that imports from Germany – which serve China’s domestic demand – behave as one would expect, ie they increase with renminbi real appreciation. All in all, our results raise concerns on the impact of renminbi appreciation on Southeast Asia even if regional currencies do not follow the renminbi’s upward trajectory.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 6/2007.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: 19 Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2007_006

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    Keywords: China; trade; exports; real exchange rate;

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    1. Phillips, Peter C B & Loretan, Mico, 1991. "Estimating Long-run Economic Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 407-36, May.
    2. Willem Thorbecke, 2011. "The Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Trade in East Asia," Finance Working Papers 23274, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    4. Bayoumi, Tamim & Jayanthi, Sarma & Lee, Jaewoo, 2006. "New Rates from New Weights," CEPR Discussion Papers 5860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Cerra, Valerie & Saxena, Sweta Chaman, 2003. "How responsive is Chinese export supply to market signals?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 350-370.
    6. Jaime Marquez & John W. Schindler, 2006. "Exchange-rate effects on China's trade: an interim report," Working Paper Series 2006-41, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    7. Anuradha Dayal-Gulati & Valerie Cerra, 1999. "China's Trade Flows," IMF Working Papers 99/1, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Peter Hooper & Karen Johnson & Jaime Marquez, 1998. "Trade elasticities for G-7 countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 609, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Amina Lahrèche-Revil, 2003. "Trade Linkages and Exchange Rates in Asia: The Role of China," Working Papers 2003-21, CEPII research center.
    10. Yue, Changjun & Hua, Ping, 2002. "Does comparative advantage explains export patterns in China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 276-296.
    11. Koichiro Kamada & Izumi Takagawa, 2005. "Policy coordination in East Asia and across the Pacific," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 275-306, December.
    12. Richard H. Clarida, 1991. "The Real Exchange Rate, Exports, and Manufacturing Profits: A Theoreti- cal Framework With Some Empirical Support," NBER Working Papers 3811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jaime Marquez & John W. Schindler, 2006. "Exchange-rate effects on China's trade: an interim report," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
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    Cited by:
    1. Straub, Roland & Thimann, Christian, 2010. "The external and domestic side of macroeconomic adjustment in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 425-444, October.
    2. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Qian, XingWang, 2012. "Are Chinese trade flows different?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2127-2146.
    3. Soyoung Kim & Yoonbai Kim, 2012. "The RMB Debate: Empirical Analysis on the Effects of Exchange Rate Shocks in China and Japan," Working Papers 132012, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    4. Yin-Wong Cheung & Menzie D. Chinn & Eiji Fujii, 2009. "China's Current Account and Exchange Rate," CESifo Working Paper Series 2587, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. THORBECKE, Willem, 2009. "Can East Asia be an Engine of Growth for the World Economy?," Discussion papers 09006, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Thorbecke, Willem, 2011. "Investigating the effect of exchange rate changes on china's processed exports," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 33-46, June.
    7. Chiu, Yi-Bin & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Sun, Chia-Hung, 2010. "The U.S. trade imbalance and real exchange rate: An application of the heterogeneous panel cointegration method," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 705-716, May.
    8. Willem THORBECKE, 2012. "Investigating China's Disaggregated Processed Exports: Evidence that the RMB matters," Discussion papers 12003, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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