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Flying geese or sitting ducks: China’s impact on the trading fortunes of other Asian economies

  • Alan G. Ahearne
  • John G. Fernald
  • Prakash Loungani
  • John W. Schindler

This paper updates our earlier work (Ahearne, Fernald, Loungani and Schindler, 2003) on whether China, with its huge pool of labor and an allegedly undervalued exchange rate, is hurting the export performance of other emerging market economies in Asia. We continue to find that while exchange rates matter for export performance, the income growth of trading partners matters far more. This suggests the potential for exports of all Asian economies to grow in harmony as long as global growth is strong. We also examine changes in export shares of Asian economies to the U.S. market and find evidence that dramatic changes in shares are taking place. Many of these changes are consistent with a 'flying geese' pattern in which China moves into the product space vacated by the Asian NIEs or with greater integration of trade across Asia in the production of final goods. Nevertheless, China’s dramatic gains in recent years do increase the pressure on Asian economies, particularly in ASEAN and South Asia, to seek areas of comparative advantage.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 887.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:887
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  1. Diwan, Ishac & Hoekman, Bernard, 1999. "Competition, Complementarity and Contagion in East Asia," CEPR Discussion Papers 2112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. John Fernald & Prakash Loungani, 2004. "Comrades or competitors? on trade relationships between China and emerging Asia," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Mar.
  3. Maria Socorro Gochoco-Bautista, 1995. "ASEAN-China Economic Relations into the 21st Century," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 32(2), pages 159-170, December.
  4. Anuradha Dayal-Gulati & Valerie Cerra, 1999. "China's Trade Flows: Changing Price Sensitivies and the Reform Process," IMF Working Papers 99/1, International Monetary Fund.
  5. C. H. Kwan, 2002. "The Rise of China and Asia's Flying-Geese Pattern of Economic Development: An Empirical Analysis Based on US Import Statistics," Discussion papers 02009, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  6. Carolan, Terrie & Singh, Nirvikar & Talati, Cyrus, 1998. "The composition of U.S.-East Asia trade and changing comparative advantage," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 361-389.
  7. Alan Ahearne & John Fernald & Prakash Loungani & John Schindler, 2003. "China and emerging Asia: comrades or competitors?," Working Paper Series WP-03-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. John Fernald & Hali Edison & Prakash Loungani, 1998. "Was China the first domino? assessing links between China and the rest of emerging Asia," International Finance Discussion Papers 604, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Mico Loretan, 2005. "Indexes of the foreign exchange value of the dollar," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Win, pages 1-8.
  10. Harm Zebregs, 2004. "Intraregional Trade in Emerging Asia," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 04/1, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Abeysinghe, Tilak & Lu, Ding, 2003. "China as an economic powerhouse: Implications on its neighbors," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 164-185.
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