Exchange rates, global imbalances, and interdependence in East Asia
The paper analyzes East Asian interdependence in the face of global imbalances. A macro-econometric multinational model is used, describing Korea, Japan, China and the rest of East Asia in their respective relations with the United States as well as with the rest of the world. US imbalances and their expected consequences, notably a depreciation of the dollar and the slowdown of US demand, have rather contrasted effects on East Asian economies, depending on relative magnitudes of the two components. Korea is more affected by the dollar depreciation while China is more exposed to the US slowdown. Japan, less open and less dependent on the US market, is less touched. The correction of East Asian exchange-rate misalignments, which have prevailed since the beginning of the 2000s, would badly affect East Asian economies if undertaken too abruptly. Lastly, the perspective of creating an area of stabilised exchange rates between won, yen and other currencies, organized either as a common currencies basket system or in a regime based on the ACU, is explored preliminarily. Sets of simulations comparing adjustment mechanisms between East Asian countries, with or without the possibility of monetary adjustment, illustrate the cost of precluding exchange-rate adjustments in the case of asymmetric demand shocks.
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