Exchange Rates and the Trade Balance for Dynamic Asian Economies—Does the J-Curve Exist for Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea?
The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between the real trade balance and the real exchange rate for bilateral trade in merchandise goods between Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia and the USA and Japan on a quarterly basis over the period 1970 to 1996 using the partial reduced form model of Rose and Yellen (1989) derived from the two-country imperfect substitutes model. With the exception of Korean trade with the USA, and in line with recent work using a similar methodology, our findings suggest that the real exchange rate does not have a significant impact on the real trade balance, and for Singapore and Malaysia we can find no persuasive evidence for J-curves. For Korea, however, the data were consistent with some J-curve effects with respect to both Japan and the USA. Moreover, it is possible that for Korea these effects were being masked or muted by “small” country pricing of exports in foreign currency, but there was no evidence that imports subsequently fell as the lag length on the real exchange rate increased, which would be required to support a strict interpretation of the J-curve. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001
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