The impact of real exchange rate movements on firm performance: A case study of Taiwanese manufacturing firms
Taiwan experienced large depreciations of its currency, the New Taiwan (NT) dollar, in the late 1990s. The largest real depreciation, 13 per cent, occurred during the East Asian Financial Crisis. Since Taiwan was subjected neither to the economic turmoil of the crisis itself nor to the subsequent reforms, its experience provides a good opportunity for studying the effects of exchange rate changes on firm performance. This paper empirically examines the exchange rate effects on firm exports, domestic sales, total sales, value-added and productivity, by using data on firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange merged with customs trade data covering the period of 1992-2000. Our findings indicate that the real depreciation of the NT dollar led to an increase in exports, domestic sales, total sales, value-added, and productivity. In addition, we find that the productivity improvement induced by real currency depreciation may be a result of firm scale expansion.
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