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Trade Integration and the Trade Balance in China

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  • George Alessandria

    () (University of Rochester and NBER)

  • Horag Choi

    () (Monash University)

  • Dan Lu

    () (University of Rochester)

Abstract

We study China’s growth and integration (trade and financial) in a two-country DSGE model with a dynamic exporting decision, pricing-to-market, incomplete financial markets, and aggregate shocks to trade barriers, productivity, and preferences. We estimate the changes in technology, trade costs, and preferences accounting for the dynamics of China’s gross and net trade flows, export participation, real exchange rate, and growth from 1990 to 2014. We find a large unanticipated decline in bilateral trade barriers with persistent, but not permanent, innovations that include an important gradual, phased-in component. Since the Great Recession, average bilateral barriers have stabilized at low levels even as barriers on Chinese imports have risen substantially relative to exports. Trade stagnation since 2011 largely reflects the completed transition to past trade reforms rather than an increase in trade barriers or reversal in the expected pace of future integration. Trade is forecast to decline almost 1 percent per year starting in 2017. Changes in trade barriers are an important determinant of China’s trade balance and its accumulation of foreign assets, accounting for as much as 70 percent of the foreign assets accumulated by 2014. Shocks to trade barriers and in China are found to have increased ROW consumption by 11.9 percent and employment by 0.6 percent but lowered ROW output by less than 1 percent relative to 1990.

Suggested Citation

  • George Alessandria & Horag Choi & Dan Lu, 2017. "Trade Integration and the Trade Balance in China," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 65(3), pages 633-674, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:65:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41308-017-0036-2
    DOI: 10.1057/s41308-017-0036-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandria, George & Avila, Oscar, 2020. "Trade Integration in Colombia: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Study with New Exporter Dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    2. Steinberg, Joseph B., 2019. "Brexit and the macroeconomic impact of trade policy uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 175-195.
    3. Beshkar, Mostafa & Shourideh, Ali, 2020. "Optimal trade policy with trade imbalances," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 65-82.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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