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The evolution of the Sino-American Co-dependency: modelling a regime switch in a growth setting

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  • Luigi Bonatti

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  • Andrea Fracasso

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Abstract

This work presents a two-country two-stage growth model capturing the special relationship that has emerged in recent years between the US and China (the so-called BWII regime described by Dooley et al., 2003). The Chinese authorities maintain a competitive (i.e., undervalued) exchange rate in order to sustain the high-productive exporting sectors, foster growth and absorb the large amount of rural workers into the industrial sector. Thus, China runs current account surpluses against the US and accumulates US assets in the form of foreign reserves. The US policy-makers are supposedly more concerned with keeping high the consumption possibilities of the population and exploit the Chinese willingness to finance the US external deficits. We consider three scenarios for the future state of the Sino-American co-dependency. All the scenarios share phase 1, resembling what has actually occurred in recent years, but differ in accordance with what fiscal policy the Chinese authorities adopt, and whether and when China fully liberalizes its capital account and floats the currency (thus starting phase 2). Scenario A is quite optimistic because the Chinese fiscal policy is effective in partially substituting the mercantilist policy undertaken in phase 1 as a fundamental source of demand for tradables and as an engine of growth. Scenario B emphasizes the risks for China of abandoning too early the peg of the exchange rate. Finally, Scenario C shows that a Chinese continuation of the current export-led growth strategy can be economically feasible and lead to the mobilization of the Chinese manpower into the advanced sectors of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2009. "The evolution of the Sino-American Co-dependency: modelling a regime switch in a growth setting," Department of Economics Working Papers 0905, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpde:0905
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2013. "Hoarding of international reserves in China: Mercantilism, domestic consumption and US monetary policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1044-1078.
    2. 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.
    3. Elisabetta De Antoni, 2009. "Money and finance: the heterodox views of R. Clower, A. Leijonhufvud and H. Minsky," Department of Economics Working Papers 0908, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bretton Woods II; growth; global imbalances; regime switch;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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