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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.

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  • Obstfeld, Maurice, 2006. "The Renminbi's Dollar Peg at the Crossroads," CEPR Discussion Papers 5771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5771
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip R. Lane & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2006. "The international financial integration of China and India," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    2. Barry Eichengreen, 2008. "Should there be a coordinated response to the problem of global imbalances? Can there be one?," Working Papers 69, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    3. Kyung-Soo Kim, 2006. "An Optimal Commitment Model of Exchange Rate Stabilization," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 22, pages 249-265.
    4. Robert Lafrance, 2008. "China's Exchange Rate Policy: A Survey of the Literature," Discussion Papers 08-5, Bank of Canada.
    5. Tian, Lei & Chen, Langnan, 2013. "A reinvestigation of the new RMB exchange rate regime," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 16-25.
    6. Meixing Dai, 2013. "In search of an optimal strategy for yuan’s real revaluation," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 29-46, February.
    7. XU, Yingfeng, 2009. "Relevant international experience of real exchange rate adjustment for China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 440-451, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China balance of payments; China currency; fixed exchange rate exit strategy; renminbi;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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