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Economic Growth and Real Exchange Rate: An Overview of the Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis in Asia

In: Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7)

Author

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  • Takatoshi Ito
  • Peter Isard
  • Steven Symansky

Abstract

The paper tests the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis (rapid economic growth is accompanied by real exchange rate appreciation because of differential productivity growth between tradable and nontradable sectors) using data of the APEC economies. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and, to a lesser extent, Hong Kong and Singapore, were proved to follow the Balassa-Samuelson path. These countries follow a similar industrialization pattern, increasing the weight of high value-added exports. Although Hong Kong and Singapore grew fast, their real exchange rates appreciated only moderately. High productivity growth in service sectors might have been the reason for this. Other fast-growing ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia did not experience real appreciation. Closer examinations of various components of the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis revealed that key assumptions are not uniformly supported: There is no uniform pattern for the movement of nontradable prices relative to tradable prices; and tradable prices (measured by common currency) do not show the international arbitrage.
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Suggested Citation

  • Takatoshi Ito & Peter Isard & Steven Symansky, 1999. "Economic Growth and Real Exchange Rate: An Overview of the Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis in Asia," NBER Chapters,in: Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7), pages 109-132 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8616
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Isard,Peter, 1995. "Exchange Rate Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521466004, April.
    2. Asea, Patrick K & Mendoza, Enrique G, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: A General-Equilibrium Appraisal," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 244-267, October.
    3. De Gregorio, Jose & Giovannini, Alberto & Wolf, Holger C., 1994. "International evidence on tradables and nontradables inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1225-1244, June.
    4. Jose De Gregorio & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Terms of Trade, Productivity, and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 4807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. W. M. Corden, 1960. "The Geometric Representation of Policies to Attain Internal and External Balance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22.
    6. Patrick K. Asea, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: A General Equilibrium Appraisal," UCLA Economics Working Papers 709, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Takatotshi Ito, 1996. "Japan and the Asian Economies: A 'Miracle' in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 205-272.
    8. Alwyn Young, 1992. "A Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 13-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    10. Isard,Peter, 1995. "Exchange Rate Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521460477, April.
    11. Marston, Richard C., 1990. "Systematic movements in real exchange rates in the G-5 : Evidence on the integration of internal and external markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 1023-1044, November.
    12. Takatoshi Ito & Tamim Bayoumi & Peter Isard & Steven A. Symansky, 1996. "Exchange Rate Movements and Their Impact on Trade and Investment in the APEC Region," IMF Occasional Papers 145, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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