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Why has the yen failed to become a dominant invoicing currency in Asia? A firm-level analysis of Japanese Exporters' invoicing behavior


  • Takatoshi Ito
  • Satoshi Koibuchi
  • Kiyotaka Sato
  • Junko Shimizu


It has been a well-known puzzle why the yen has not been used more in trade invoicing among Japanese exporters. Despite the yen's status as an only fully convertible currency in Asia, two patterns stand out as puzzling features of an excessively small share of yen invoicing: First, a strong tendency of Japanese exporters to choose importer's currency in their exports to advanced countries, and second, the prevalence of US dollar invoicing in Japanese exports to East Asia even though Japanese firms have built a regional production network in the last two decades. New possible determinants of currency invoicing at a firm-level are found through interviews with Japanese representative exporting firms. Invoicing behavior is examined by probit estimation using the unique data set on the firms' currency invoicing choice by destination. Our novel findings suggest that a surprisingly low share of yen invoicing among Japanese exports even in the 2000s can be attributable to (1) a scale-economy in concentrating currency risk at the headquarter as intra-firm trades with overseas operations of Japanese firms grew; and (2) the production/trade structure of Japanese electronics companies in Asia in which final products tend to be exported to the United States or Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Takatoshi Ito & Satoshi Koibuchi & Kiyotaka Sato & Junko Shimizu, 2010. "Why has the yen failed to become a dominant invoicing currency in Asia? A firm-level analysis of Japanese Exporters' invoicing behavior," NBER Working Papers 16231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16231
    Note: IFM ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Japan’s rising yen and the decline of the US dollar
      by Masaya Sakuragawa in East Asia Forum on 2011-10-01 17:00:26


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    Cited by:

    1. Ligthart, Jenny E. & Werner, Sebastian E.V., 2012. "Has the euro affected the choice of invoicing currency?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1551-1573.
    2. Xiaoli Chen & Yin‐Wong Cheung, 2011. "Renminbi Going Global," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 19(2), pages 1-18, March.
    3. Barry Eichengreen & Livia Chiu & Arnaud Mehl, 2016. "Network effects, homogeneous goods and international currency choice: New evidence on oil markets from an older era," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(1), pages 173-206, February.
    4. ITO Takatoshi & KOIBUCHI Satoshi & SATO Kiyotaka & SHIMIZU Junko, 2013. "Exchange Rate Exposure and Exchange Rate Risk Management: The case of Japanese exporting firms," Discussion papers 13025, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Chung, Wanyu, 2016. "Imported inputs and invoicing currency choice: Theory and evidence from UK transaction data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 237-250.
    6. Samar Maziad & Joong S Kang, 2012. "RMB Internationalization; O+L5022nshore/Offshore Links," IMF Working Papers 12/133, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Yuming Cui, 2013. "The internationalization of the RMB: where does the RMB currently stand in the process of internationalization," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(2), pages 68-85, November.
    8. ITO Hiroyuki & Cesar RODRIGUEZ, 2015. "Clamoring for Greenbacks: Explaining the resurgence of the U.S. dollar in international debt," Discussion papers 15119, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    9. Straume, Hans-Martin, 2013. "Currency invoicing in Norwegian salmon export," Working Papers in Economics 11/13, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    10. Linda S. Goldberg, 2011. "The international role of the dollar: Does it matter if this changes?," Staff Reports 522, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    11. Ito, Hiro & Chinn, Menzie, 2014. "The Rise of the “Redback” and the People’s Republic of China’s Capital Account Liberalization: An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Invoicing Currencies," ADBI Working Papers 473, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    12. Goldberg, Linda S. & Tille, Cédric, 2016. "Micro, macro, and strategic forces in international trade invoicing: Synthesis and novel patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 173-187.
    13. World Bank, 2011. "Global Development Horizons 2011 : Multipolarity - The New Global Economy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2313.
    14. Subacchi, Paola, 2013. "Expanding Beyond Borders: The Yen and the Yuan," ADBI Working Papers 450, Asian Development Bank Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions


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