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The End of Chimerica

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  • Niall Ferguson

    () (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)

  • Moritz Schularick

    () (Freie Universität Berlin)

Abstract

For the better part of the past decade, the world economy has been dominated by a world economic order that combined Chinese export-led development with US over-consumption. The financial crisis of 2007-2009 likely marks the beginning of the end of the Chimerican relationship. In this paper we look at this era as economic historians, trying to set events in a longer-term perspective. In some ways China's economic model in the decade 1998-2007 was similar to the one adopted by West Germany and Japan after World War II. Trade surpluses with the U.S. played a major role in propelling growth. But there were two key differences. First, the scale of Chinese currency intervention was without precedent, as were the resulting distortions of the world economy. Second, the Chinese have so far resisted the kind of currency appreciation to which West Germany and Japan consented. We conclude that Chimerica cannot persist for much longer in its present form. As in the 1970s, sizeable changes in exchange rates are needed to rebalance the world economy. A continuation of Chimerica at a time of dollar devaluation would give rise to new and dangerous distortions in the global economy.

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  • Niall Ferguson & Moritz Schularick, 2009. "The End of Chimerica," Harvard Business School Working Papers 10-037, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-037
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    Cited by:

    1. Kappler, Marcus & Reisen, Helmut & Schularick, Moritz & Turkisch, Edouard, 2013. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Large Exchange Rate Appreciations," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 471-494.
    2. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Reserve accumulation and financial crises: From individual protection to systemic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 126-144.
    3. Dai, Meixing, 2011. "Motivations and strategies for a real revaluation of the Yuan," MPRA Paper 30440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Florian Brugger, 2015. "Asia’s Reserve Accumulation: Part of a New Paradigm," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2015-03, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    5. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2013. "Regime switches in the Sino-American co-dependency: Growth and structural change in China," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-32.
    6. Körner, Finn Marten, 2011. "An equilibrium model of 'global imbalances' revisited," Violette Reihe: Schriftenreihe des Promotionsschwerpunkts "Globalisierung und Beschäftigung" 33/2011, University of Hohenheim, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Evangelisches Studienwerk.
    7. Stephen Devadoss & Amy Hilland & Ron Mittelhammer & John Foltz, 2014. "The effects of the Yuan-dollar exchange rate on agricultural commodity trade between the United States, China, and their competitors," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(S1), pages 23-37, November.
    8. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Current account balance and dollar standard: Exploring the linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 65-94.
    9. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2011. "Chinese reserves accumulation and US monetary policy: Will China go on buying US financial assets?," Department of Economics Working Papers 1105, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    10. Florian Brugger, 2016. "Asias Reserve Accumulation: Part of a New Paradigm," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(8), pages 457-476, August.
    11. Shaar, Karam & Baharumshah, Ahmad Zubaidi, 2016. "US-China trade and exchange rate dilemma: The role of trade data discrepancy," Working Paper Series 5145, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    12. Lin, Justin Yifu & Treichel, Volker, 2012. "The unexpected global financial crisis : researching its root cause," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5937, The World Bank.
    13. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2010. "Global Rebalancing and the Future of the Sino-US Codependency," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 18(s1), pages 70-87.

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