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Appreciating the Renminbi

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  • Rod Tyers
  • Ying Zhang

Abstract

International pressure to revalue China’s currency stems in part from the expectation that rapid economic growth should be associated with a real exchange rate appreciation. This hinges on the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis under which growth stems from improvements in traded sector productivity that cause wages and non-traded prices to rise. Yet, while evidence on China’s productivity and prices supports this hypothesis, its real exchange rate has as yet shown no long run tendency to appreciate. The use of a global numerical model allows extensions of the hypothesis, including failures of the law of one price for tradable goods, which point to WTO accession trade reforms and China’s high saving rate as key depreciating forces since the late 1990s. The same model is then applied to the implications of premature RMB appreciation. It is shown that, unless this is achieved in association with the repatriation of foreign reserves, which would require thus far unavailable financial depth in the Chinese economy, unilateral RMB appreciation would be destructive of both Chinese and global interests.
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Suggested Citation

  • Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2011. "Appreciating the Renminbi," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 265-297, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:34:y:2011:i:2:p:265-297
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • F47 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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