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The Exchange Value of the Renminbi and China's Balance of Trade: An Emp irical Study

  • Zhaoyong Zhang

This paper aims at assessing the relationship between the exchange value of the Chinese Renminbi (RMG) and China's trade balance by means of some recent econometric techniques designed to evaluate the existence and the direction of causality. We find strong evidence suggesting that changes in the trade balance and each of its components Granger-cause changes in the exchange rate but no evidence indicating a causal link running from the exchange rate to the trade balance. Our results seem to be rather supportive of the accommodative role of the exchange rate proposed by the modern theory of the trade balance determination and not supportive of the existence of a J-curve in China's trade balance. Our finding of a bidirectional causal relationship between the real exchange rate and the price variables confirms the presence of a vicious circle hypothesis following currency devaluation. This has important implications for the discussions of impacts of the RMB devaluation on China's trade balance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5771.

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Date of creation: Sep 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5771
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  1. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
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  8. David W.R. Gruen & Jenny Wilkinson, 1991. "Australia’s Real Exchange Rate – Is it Explained by the Terms of Trade or by Real Interest Differentials?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9108, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  9. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
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  11. Michael W. Bell & Kalpana Kochhar & Hoe Ee Khor, 1993. "China at the Threshold of a Market Economy," IMF Occasional Papers 107, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Granger, Clive W J, 1986. "Developments in the Study of Cointegrated Economic Variables," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 213-28, August.
  13. Rose, Andrew K. & Yellen, Janet L., 1989. "Is there a J-curve?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 53-68, July.
  14. Himarios, Daniel, 1989. "Do Devaluations Improve the Trade Balance? The Evidence Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 143-68, January.
  15. Brada, Josef C & Kutan, Ali M & Zhou, Su, 1993. " China's Exchange Rate and the Balance of Trade," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 229-42.
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