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Trade Invoicing in the Major Currencies in the 1970s-1990s: Lessons for renminbi internationalization

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  • ITO Hiroyuki
  • KAWAI Masahiro

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate how much a major national currency is used for trade invoicing by focusing primarily on the experiences of the U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, and Deutsche mark (DM) in the 1970s through the 1990s. We then attempt to draw lessons for China's renminbi (RMB) internationalization. Our data on the shares of the three major currencies in export invoicing show that the dollar has unequivocally been a global invoicing currency, the DM was a major regional currency in Europe, while the yen has neither been a global nor regional currency. DM invoicing was driven by European countries' trade ties with Germany. In contrast, the yen was not and is still not widely used for trade invoicing by Asia-Oceania countries, even including Japan itself, despite the region's strong trade ties with Japan. Our regression analysis on the determinants of the major currency share for trade invoicing (also including UK pound, French franc, Italian lira, and Swiss franc) in the 1970-1998 period suggests that the invoicing share of a major currency tends to be positively affected by the degree of other economies' trade ties with the major currency country and negatively affected by the degree of their financial development or openness. Also, the major currency share for trade invoicing is affected by both the weight of the major currencies in the implicit currency baskets of other economies or these economies' trade shares with major-currency zone countries. Economies belonging to the U.S. dollar zone tend to invoice their trade more in the dollar and less in the DM, while the opposite is observed for economies in the DM zone. The use of yen for trade invoicing is not much affected by its currency weight or the trade share with currency zones. European countries largely belonged to the DM zone, thereby contributing to higher DM use for trade invoicing, whereas Asia-Oceania countries belonged mainly to the U.S. dollar zone, leading to a lower degree of yen use. We also find that major currency countries tend to invoice their trade in their own currencies when they have a large presence in international trade and high levels of per capita income, and when their financial markets are more developed and at the same time are sufficiently open. Furthermore, major currency countries with high trade shares with U.S. dollar zone countries tend to invoice their exports less in their own currencies. For China, its low level of per capita income and limited financial openness as well as the presence of the U.S. dollar bloc in Asia stand as a big challenge to the nation's ambition to promote the RMB as a major regional or global trade-invoicing currency.

Suggested Citation

  • ITO Hiroyuki & KAWAI Masahiro, 2016. "Trade Invoicing in the Major Currencies in the 1970s-1990s: Lessons for renminbi internationalization," Discussion papers 16005, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:16005
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    2. Ito, Hiro & McCauley, Robert N., 2019. "A key currency view of global imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 97-115.
    3. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2017. "Balance sheet effects on monetary and financial spillovers: The East Asian crisis plus 20," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 258-282.
    4. Liu, Tao & Lu, Dong & Zhang, Ruifeng, 2017. "Currency choice in international trade: a new monetarist approach and firm-level evidence," MPRA Paper 79149, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Liu, Tao & Lu, Dong, 2019. "Trade, finance and endogenous invoicing currency: Theory and firm-level evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 21-44.
    6. Liu, Tao & Wang, Xiaosong, 2016. "The Road to International Currency: Global Perspective and Chinese Experience," MPRA Paper 72877, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ahmed, Rashad, 2020. "Monetary Policy Spillovers under Intermediate Exchange Rate Regimes," MPRA Paper 98852, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Ito, Hiro & McCauley, Robert N., 2020. "Currency composition of foreign exchange reserves," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    9. farhi, emmanuel & Maggiori, Matteo, 2019. "China vs. U.S.: IMS Meets IPS," CEPR Discussion Papers 13453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Joshua Aizenman & Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2020. "Financial Spillovers and Macroprudential Policies," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 529-563, July.
    11. Liu, Tao & Wang, Xiaosong & Woo, Wing Thye, 2019. "The road to currency internationalization: Global perspectives and chinese experience," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 73-101.
    12. Matteo Maggiori & Brent Neiman & Jesse Schreger, 2019. "The Rise of the Dollar and Fall of the Euro as International Currencies," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 521-526, May.

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    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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