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China's Exchange Rate and International Adjustment in Wages, Prices and Interest Rates: Japan Déjà Vu?

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  • Ronald McKinnon
  • Gunther Schnabl

Abstract

China's fixed its exchange rate at 8.28 yuan to the dollar from 1994 to July 2005, and has only allowed for a small appreciation since then. China's productivity growth has been very high relative to most other countries: its trade surplus has been rising and it continues to accumulate large dollar exchange reserves. Many observers, including high officials in the US government, take this as per se evidence that the renminbi is undervalued. To balance China's international competitiveness and reduce its trade surplus, they want the renminbi to appreciate much more. This common presumption of renminbi undervaluation is wrong, and its appreciation need not reduce China's trade surplus but would cause serious deflation in China. To show this, we consider international adjustment between China and the US from both an asset market and a labor market perspective, and compare this to Japan's unsuccessful appreciation of the yen from 1971 to 1995. During a time of economic catch-up and rapid financial transformation, fixing the exchange rate is the preferred way of anchoring the domestic price level. (JEL codes: F15, F31, F33) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2006. "China's Exchange Rate and International Adjustment in Wages, Prices and Interest Rates: Japan Déjà Vu?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(2), pages 276-303, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:52:y:2006:i:2:p:276-303
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifl007
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnabl, Gunther & Ziegler, Christina, 2011. "Exchange rate and wage policies in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 347-360, May.
    2. repec:bla:chinae:v:25:y:2017:i:1:p:32-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gunther Schnabl & Andreas Hoffmann, 2008. "Monetary Policy, Vagabonding Liquidity and Bursting Bubbles in New and Emerging Markets: An Overinvestment View," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1226-1252, September.
    4. Mizanur Rahman, 2009. "The Impact of Real Exchange Rate Flexibility on East Asian Exports," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(7), pages 1075-1090, July.
    5. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2012. "China and Its Dollar Exchange Rate: A Worldwide Stabilising Influence?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(6), pages 667-693, June.
    6. Douglas L. Campbell, 2013. "Relative Prices, Hysteresis, and the Decline of American Manufacturing," 2013 Papers pca584, Job Market Papers.
    7. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:52:y:2007:i:03:n:s0217590807002749 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Straub, Roland & Thimann, Christian, 2010. "The external and domestic side of macroeconomic adjustment in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 425-444, October.
    9. Jakub Borowski & Adam Czerniak & Krystian Jaworski, 2014. "The quest for determinants of Chinese exchange rate policy," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 45(5), pages 407-432.
    10. Gunther Schnabl, 2017. "Exchange Rate Regime, Financial Market Bubbles and Long-term Growth in China: Lessons from Japan," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 25(1), pages 32-57, January.
    11. Frenkel, Roberto, 2007. "The sustainability of monetary sterilization policies," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    12. Zhang, Zhibai, 2010. "A comparison of the BEER and Penn effect models via their applications on the valuation of the Renminbi," MPRA Paper 40649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Gunther Schnabl & Christina Ziegler, 2008. "Exchange Rate Regime and Wage Determination in Central and Eastern Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 2471, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Ronald Ian McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2014. "China's Exchange Rate and Financial Repression: The Conflicted Emergence of the Renminbi as an International Currency," CESifo Working Paper Series 4649, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Andrea Fracasso, 2015. "Economic Rebalancing and Growth: the Japanese experience and China’s prospects," DEM Discussion Papers 2015/07, Department of Economics and Management.
    16. Schnabl, Gunther, 2008. "Exchange rate volatility and growth in small open economies at the EMU periphery," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 70-91, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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