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How Would an Appreciation of the Renminbi and Other East Asian Currencies Affect China's Exports?

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  • Willem Thorbecke
  • Gordon Smith

Abstract

China's global current account surplus equaled 9% of Chinese GDP in 2006 and 11% of GDP in 2007. Many argue that a renminbi appreciation would help to rebalance China's trade. Using a panel dataset including China's exports to 33 countries we find that a 10% renminbi (RMB) appreciation would reduce ordinary exports by 12% and processed exports by less than 4%. A 10% appreciation of all other East Asian currencies would reduce processed exports by 6%. A 10% appreciation throughout the region would reduce processed exports by 10%. Since ordinary exports tend to be simple, labor-intensive goods while processed exports are sophisticated, capital-intensive goods, a generalized appreciation in East Asia would generate more expenditure-switching towards US and European goods and contribute more to resolving global imbalances than an appreciation of the RMB or of other Asian currencies alone. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Willem Thorbecke & Gordon Smith, 2010. "How Would an Appreciation of the Renminbi and Other East Asian Currencies Affect China's Exports?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 95-108, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:18:y:2010:i:1:p:95-108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rose, Andrew K. & Yellen, Janet L., 1989. "Is there a J-curve?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 53-68, July.
    2. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
    3. Fukao, Kyoji & Ishido, Hikari & Ito, Keiko, 2003. "Vertical intra-industry trade and foreign direct investment in East Asia," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 468-506, December.
    4. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    5. Thorbecke Willem, 2006. "How Would an Appreciation of the Renminbi Affect the U.S. Trade Deficit with China?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-17, December.
    6. Marquez, Jaime, 1999. "Long-Period Trade Elasticities for Canada, Japan, and the United States," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 102-116, February.
    7. Mizanur RAHMAN & Willem THORBECKE, 2007. "How Would China's Exports be Affected by a Unilateral Appreciation of the RMB and a Joint Appreciation of Countries Supplying Intermediate Imports?," Discussion papers 07012, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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