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The sustainability of China's exchange rate policy and capital account liberalisation

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  • Cappiello, Lorenzo
  • Ferrucci, Gianluigi

Abstract

This paper deals with two related issues: the sustainability of China's exchange rate regime and the opening up of its capital account. The exchange rate discussion deliberately passes over the issue of the “equilibrium” value of the renminbi and its alleged undervaluation - typically at the heart of the current policy debate - and focuses instead on the domestic costs of the current regime and the potential risks to domestic financial stability in the long run. The paper argues that the renminbi exchange rate should be increasingly determined by market forces and that administrative controls should be progressively relinquished. The exchange rate is obviously linked to well-functioning and efficient capital markets, which require no barriers to capital flows. Thus, exchange rate reform has to be correctly sequenced with reform of the capital account to avoid disruptive capital flows. The paper discusses China's twin surpluses of the current and capital accounts and attempts to identify the drivers of this “anomalous” external position. The pragmatic strategy pursued by the Chinese authorities in the aftermath of the Asian crisis encouraged FDI inflows and favoured the accumulation of a large stock of foreign exchange reserves. Combined with a relatively weak institutional setting, these factors have been important determinants of the pattern and composition of the country's capital flows and international investment position. Finally, the paper speculates on the outlook for Chinese capital flows should barriers to capital movements be lifted. It argues that whether China continues to supply capital to the rest of the world or eventually becomes a net borrower in international capital markets - as was the case for most of its recent history - will depend on the evolution of its institutions. JEL Classification: F10, F21, F31, F32, P48

Suggested Citation

  • Cappiello, Lorenzo & Ferrucci, Gianluigi, 2008. "The sustainability of China's exchange rate policy and capital account liberalisation," Occasional Paper Series 82, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:200882
    Note: 234084
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    28. De Santis, Roberto A. & Cappiello, Lorenzo & Baltzer, Markus & Manganelli, Simone, 2008. "Measuring financial integration in new EU Member States," Occasional Paper Series 81, European Central Bank.
    29. Mariagnese Branchi & Christian Dieden & Wim Haine & Csaba Horwáth & Andrew Kanutin & Linda Kezbere, 2007. "Analysis of revisions to general economic statistics," Occasional Paper Series 74, European Central Bank.
    30. Beck, Roland & Kamps, Annette & Mileva, Elitza, 2007. "Long-term growth prospects for the Russian economy," Occasional Paper Series 58, European Central Bank.
    31. Sturm, Michael & Gurtner, François, 2007. "Fiscal policy in Mediterranean countries: developments, structures and implications for monetary policy," Occasional Paper Series 69, European Central Bank.
    32. Philipp Hartmann & Florian Heider & Elias Papaioannou & Marco Lo Duca, 2007. "The role of financial markets and innovation in productivity and growth in Europe," Occasional Paper Series 72, European Central Bank.
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    3. di Mauro, Filippo & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Karadeloglou, Pavlos, 2008. "Will oil prices decline over the long run?," Occasional Paper Series 98, European Central Bank.
    4. Poloni, Paolo & Agresti, Anna Maria & Baudino, Patrizia, 2008. "The ECB and IMF indicators for the macro-prudential analysis of the banking sector: a comparison of the two approaches," Occasional Paper Series 99, European Central Bank.
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    7. Filippo Di Mauro & Katrin Forster, "undated". "Globalisation and the competitiveness of the Euro area," Working Papers 5, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    8. Irina Bunda, 2007. "The Changing Role of the Exchange Rate in a Globalised Economy," Post-Print halshs-00372820, HAL.
    9. Kennickell, Arthur & Fitzpatrick, Trevor & Ehrmann, Michael & Bonci, Riccardo & Museux, Jean-Marc & Honkkila, Juha & Vilmunen, Jouko & Herrala, Risto & Komprej, Irena & Jeran, Matjaž & Geršak, Uroš & , 2009. "Survey data on household finance and consumption: research summary and policy use," Occasional Paper Series 100, European Central Bank.
    10. Roland Beck & Michael Fidora, 2008. "The impact of sovereign wealth funds on global financial markets," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 43(6), pages 349-358, November.
    11. Ritter, Raymond, 2009. "Transnational governance in global finance: the principles for stable capital flows and fair debt restructuring in emerging markets," Occasional Paper Series 103, European Central Bank.
    12. Gómez-Salvador, Ramón & Leiner-Killinger, Nadine, 2008. "An analysis of youth unemployment in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 89, European Central Bank.
    13. Hongyi Chen & Lars Jonung & Olaf Unteroberdoerster, 2014. "Lessons for China from Financial Liberalization in Scandinavia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-44, Winter.
    14. Dorrucci, Ettore & Meyer-Cirkel, Alexis & Santabárbara, Daniel, 2009. "Domestic financial development in emerging economies: evidence and implications," Occasional Paper Series 102, European Central Bank.
    15. Matthieu Bussière & Emilia Pérez‐Barreiro & Roland Straub & Daria Taglioni, 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Global Trends and Implications," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34, pages 826-852, May.
    16. Sturm, Michael & Adolf, Petra & Peschel, Dominik & Stráský, Jan, 2008. "The Gulf Cooperation Council countries: economic structures, recent developments and role in the global economy," Occasional Paper Series 92, European Central Bank.
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    18. Mayerlen, Frank & Sola, Pierre & Be Duc, Louis, 2008. "The monetary presentation of the euro area balance of payments," Occasional Paper Series 96, European Central Bank.
    19. Morgese Borys, Magdalena & Polgár, Éva Katalin & Zlate, Andrei, 2008. "Real convergence and the determinants of growth in EU candidate and potential candidate countries: a panel data approach," Occasional Paper Series 86, European Central Bank.
    20. Sturm, Michael & Gurtner, François & González Alegre, Juan, 2009. "Fiscal policy challenges in oil-exporting countries: a review of key issues," Occasional Paper Series 104, European Central Bank.
    21. Winkler, Adalbert & Schokker, Hubert & Cocozza, Emidio & Herzberg, Valerie & Móré, Csaba & de Lannoy, Anthony & Gardó, Sándor & Chmielewski, Tomasz & Polgár, Éva Katalin & Habib, Maurizio Michael & Br, 2008. "Financial stability challenges in candidate countries managing the transition to deeper and more market-oriented financial systems," Occasional Paper Series 95, European Central Bank.
    22. Hubrich, Kirstin & Karlsson, Tohmas, 2010. "Trade consistency in the context of the Eurosystem projection exercises - an overview," Occasional Paper Series 108, European Central Bank.
    23. Le Breton, Gwenaël & Be Duc, Louis, 2009. "Flow-of-funds analysis at the ECB: framework and applications," Occasional Paper Series 105, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital account liberalisation; China; exchange rate policy; institutions; international investment position;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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