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China'S Real Exchange Rate Puzzle

  • Rod Tyers

    ()

  • Jane Golley

    ()

  • Iain Bain

    ()

International pressure to revalue China's currency stems in part from the expectation that rapid economic growth should be associated with a real exchange rate appreciation. This hinges on the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis under which economic growth, stemming from improvements in traded sector productivity, causes non-traded prices to rise. The puzzle is that, while evidence on China's productivity and prices supports this hypothesis, its real exchange rate has shown no long run tendency to appreciate. Resolution requires extension of the hypothesis to allow for effects on the real exchange rate due to non-traded productivity improvements or, in association with failures of the law of one price for traded goods, labour supply growth and growth-related demand switches due to changes in financial capital flows and trade distortions. The sensitivity of China's real exchange rate to these determinants is reviewed with the results confirming that financial and capital outflows are dominant depreciating forces in the short run. Along with WTO accession trade reforms, it is shown that the heretofore rising surplus of Chinese domestic saving over its investment has restrained the real exchange rate from appreciating since the late 1990s.

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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2007-14.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2007-14
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  1. Liu, Jing & Nico van Leeuwen & Tri Thanh Vo & Rod Tyers & Thomas W. Hertel, 1998. "Disaggregating Labor Payments by Skill Level in GTAP," GTAP Technical Papers 314, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  2. Imed Drine & Christophe Rault, 2005. "Can the Balassa-Samuelson theory explain long-run real exchange rate movements in OECD countries?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(8), pages 519-530.
  3. Mario J. Crucini & Chris I. Telmer & Marios Zachariadis, 2001. "Understanding European Real Exchange Rates," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0120, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  4. Carsten A. Holz, 2005. "New Capital Estimates for China," Development and Comp Systems 0504011, EconWPA.
  5. Paul Bergin & Reuven Glick & Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Productivity, Tradability, and the Long-Run Price Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 10569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain & Jahnvi Vedi, 2007. "The Global Economic Implications of Freer Skilled Migration," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_028, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  8. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley & Bu Yongxiang & Iain Bain, 2007. "China's Economic Growth and its Real Exchange Rate," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_014, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. Rees, Lucy & Tyers, Rod, 2004. "Trade reform in the short run: China's WTO accession," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, February.
  10. Ianchovichina, Elena & Robert McDougall, 2000. "Theoretical Structure of Dynamic GTAP," GTAP Technical Papers 480, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  11. Virginie Coudert & Cécile Couharde, 2005. "Real Equilibrium Exchange Rate in China," Working Papers 2005-01, CEPII research center.
  12. Rod Tyers & Yongxiang Bu & Ian Bain, 2006. "China’s Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate: A Counterfactual Analysis," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-466, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  13. Ken Miyajima, 2005. "Real Exchange Rates in Growing Economies; How Strong is the Role of the Nontradables Sector?," IMF Working Papers 05/233, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley, 2006. "China's Growth to 2030: Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," PGDA Working Papers 1106, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
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