IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A monetary model of China–US trade relations


  • Cheng, Wenli
  • Zhang, Dingsheng


This paper develops a general equilibrium monetary model to study China–US trade relations. The model captures two main features of China–US trade: China's fixed exchange rate regime and the use of the US dollar as the international medium of exchange. The main conclusions of this paper are threefold. First, an improvement in the productivity of China's tradable sector would benefit both China and the US. Second, a RMB appreciation would reduce consumption in the US and increase consumption in China, and would likely reduce China's trade surplus. It would also lead to a contraction in China's tradable sector and an expansion in US's tradable sector. Third, a monetary expansion in the US would hurt China because it would lead to a transfer of wealth from China to the US, a fall in China's relative wage rate and terms of trade, and an artificial expansion in China's tradable sector. A US monetary expansion would also increase China's trade surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheng, Wenli & Zhang, Dingsheng, 2012. "A monetary model of China–US trade relations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 233-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:233-238 DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2011.10.002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ronald I. McKinnon, 2001. "The International Dollar Standard and the Sustainability of the U.S. Current Account Deficit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 227-241.
    2. Anthony J. Makin, 2007. "Does China's Huge External Surplus Imply an Undervalued Renminbi?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 15(3), pages 89-102.
    3. Goldberg, Linda S. & Tille, Cédric, 2008. "Vehicle currency use in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 177-192, December.
    4. Stockman, Alan C, 1980. "A Theory of Exchange Rate Determination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 673-698, August.
    5. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 331-360, August.
    6. Kravis, Irving B & Lipsey, Robert E, 1988. "National Price Levels and the Prices of Tradables and Nontradables," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 474-478, May.
    7. De Gregorio, Jose & Giovannini, Alberto & Wolf, Holger C., 1994. "International evidence on tradables and nontradables inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1225-1244, June.
    8. Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "The Chinese Approach to Capital Inflows: Patterns and Possible Explanations," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 421-480 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Hueng, C. James, 1999. "Money demand in an open-economy shopping-time model: an out-of-sample-prediction application to Canada," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 489-503.
    10. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Assessing China's exchange rate regime," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 575-627, July.
    11. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
    12. Guidotti, Pablo E, 1993. "Currency Substitution and Financial Innovation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(1), pages 109-124, February.
    13. Robert Z. Lawrence & Lawrence Edward, 2010. "US Trade and Wages: The Misleading Implications of Conventional Trade Theory," Working Paper Series WP10-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
    15. Paul A. Samuelson, 2004. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 135-146, Summer.
    16. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2004. "On the Renminbi: The Choice between Adjustment under a Fixed Exchange Rate and Adustment under a Flexible Rate," Working Paper Series rwp04-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    17. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    18. Ronald McKinnon, 2001. "The International Dollar Standard and Sustainability of the U.S. Current Account Deficit," Working Papers 01013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    19. John B. Taylor, 1995. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism: An Empirical Framework," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 11-26, Fall.
    20. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The Revived Bretton Woods System: The Effects of Periphery Intervention and Reserve Management on Interest Rates & Exchange Rates in Center Countries," NBER Working Papers 10332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Wen-li Cheng & Ding-sheng Zhang, 2007. "Can Productivity Progress In China Hurt The Usa? Samuelson'S Example Extended," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 101-115, February.
    22. Allan H. Meltzer, 1995. "Monetary, Credit and (Other) Transmission Processes: A Monetarist Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 49-72, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Vespignani, Joaquin L. & Ratti, Ronald A., 2016. "Not all international monetary shocks are alike for the Japanese economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 822-837.

    More about this item


    China–US trade; Productivity improvement; RMB appreciation; Monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:233-238. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.