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The Renminbi’s Dollar Peg at the Crossroads

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  • Obstfeld, Maurice

Abstract

In the face of huge balance of payments surpluses and internal inflationary pressures, China has been in a classic conflict between internal and external balance under its dollar currency peg. Over the longer term, China’s large, modernizing, and diverse economy will need exchange rate flexibility and, eventually, convertibility with open capital markets. A feasible and attractive exit strategy from the essentially fixed RMB exchange rate would be a two-stage approach, consistent with the steps already taken since July 2005, but going beyond them. First, establish a limited trading band for the RMB relative to a basket of major trading partner currencies. Set the band so that it allows some initial revaluation of the RMB against the dollar, manage the basket rate within the band if necessary, and widen the band over time as domestic foreign exchange markets develop. Second, put on hold ad hoc measures of financial account liberalization. They will be less helpful for relieving exchange rate pressures once the RMB/basket rate is allowed to move flexibly within a band, and they are best postponed until domestic foreign exchange markets develop further, the exchange rate is fully flexible, and the domestic financial system has been strengthened and placed on a market-oriented basis.

Suggested Citation

  • Obstfeld, Maurice, 2006. "The Renminbi’s Dollar Peg at the Crossroads," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7tw4142j, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ciders:qt7tw4142j
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin Cowan & José De Gregorio, 2007. "International Borrowing, Capital Controls, and the Exchange Rate: Lessons from Chile," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 241-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Guonan Ma & Corrinne Ho & Robert N McCauley, 2004. "The markets for non-deliverable forwards in Asian currencies," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, June.
    3. Obstfeld,Maurice & Taylor,Alan M., 2005. "Global Capital Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671798.
    4. John Williamson, 1996. "Crawling Band as an Exchange Rate Regime: Lessons from Chile, Colombia and Israel, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 14.
    5. Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "The Chinese Approach to Capital Inflows: Patterns and Possible Explanations," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 421-480 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2004. "On the Renminbi: The Choice between Adjustment under a Fixed Exchange Rate and Adustment under a Flexible Rate," Working Paper Series rwp04-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    7. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226065878 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Morris Goldstein & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2004. "What Kind of Landing for the Chinese Economy?," Policy Briefs PB04-07, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    9. Marvin Goodfriend & Eswar Prasad, 2009. "A Framework for Independent Monetary Policy in China," Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Frameworks for Emerging Markets, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Morris Goldstein & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2005. "China's Role in the Revived Bretton Woods System: A Case of Mistaken Identity," Working Paper Series WP05-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tian, Lei & Chen, Langnan, 2013. "A reinvestigation of the new RMB exchange rate regime," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 16-25.
    2. Kyung-Soo Kim, 2006. "An Optimal Commitment Model of Exchange Rate Stabilization," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 22, pages 249-265.

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