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The ‘compensation’ thesis, as exemplified by the case of the Chinese central bank


  • Marc Lavoie
  • Peng Wang


This paper extends the theory of demand-led money supply endogeneity to the case of an open economy with a fixed exchange rate. This theory is contrasted to the standard Mundell-Fleming view. In the compensation approach advocated here, central banks are able to set interest rates, even in a fixed exchange rate regime, either because there are automatic market mechanisms that will induce the private sector to act in such a way that changes in foreign reserves will be compensated by opposite changes in central bank claims over the domestic economy, or because the central bank will engage in endogenous sterilization operations in its efforts to enforce its benchmark interest rate. Analyzing the balance sheet of the Chinese central bank, we find that the large rise in foreign reserves on the asset side is compensated by large positive changes in items of the liability side, mainly bonds issued by the central bank. Foreign reserves are not cointegrated with the monetary base, meaning that there is no long-run relationship between foreign exchange reserves and the supply of base money. We also find no long-run relation between foreign exchange reserves and the consumer price index.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Lavoie & Peng Wang, 2012. "The ‘compensation’ thesis, as exemplified by the case of the Chinese central bank," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(3), pages 287-301, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:287-301
    DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2011.587108

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    Cited by:

    1. Samih Antoine Azar, 2014. "Foreign Reserve Accretion and Money Supply Creation: Lebanon¡¯s Experience under an Adjustable Peg," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 5(3), pages 86-95, July.
    2. Körner, Finn Marten & Ehnts, Dirk H., 2013. "Chinese monetary policy – from theory to practice," MPRA Paper 44264, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fabrício Pitombo Leite, 2015. "Taking Godley's Ratios Seriously," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 508-533, July.

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