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Real Exchange Rate in China : A Long-run Perspective


  • Haihong Gao

    (Institute of World Economics and Politics)


This paper investigates the RMB exchange rate from a long-run viewpoint. Whether Chinas rapid economic growth brought about real exchange rate appreciation between 1975 and 2002 is empirically examined, based on a supply-side model, the BalassaSemuelson Hypothesis (BSH). The same test is conducted on Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and India. Our result indicates that the BSH only exists where the industrial structure has been upgraded and the economy has been successfully transformed from an agricultural economy to a manufacturing economy. Interestingly, China, among those where the BSH does not present, appears to be upgrading its industrial and trade structure. We then try to answer the question of why past rapid growth has no significant relationship with the RMB real exchange rate and what factors are underlying the trend of the RMB real exchange rate. We expect an appreciating trend of RMB real exchange rate in the foreseeable future, presuming that Chinas industrial upgrading process continues and the factors pertaining to the BSHs prediction, such as rise of wage rates in both tradables and nontradables, become more significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Haihong Gao, 2006. "Real Exchange Rate in China : A Long-run Perspective," Macroeconomics Working Papers 21969, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:21969

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ronald I. McKinnon, 2006. "Exchange Rate or Wage Changes in International Adjustment? Japan and China versus the United States," Chapters,in: Recent Financial Crises, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. XU, Yingfeng, 2009. "Relevant international experience of real exchange rate adjustment for China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 440-451, September.

    More about this item


    RMB real exchange rate; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies


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