Yuan Real Exchange Rate Undervaluation, 1997-2006. How Much, How Often? Not Much, Not Often
Yuan real effective exchange rate misalignment is esitimated in a behavioral equilibrium exchange rate (BEER) model for the period 1997 to third quarter 2007. Using the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition a vector error correction model (VECM) of the exchange rate as a function of macroeconomic fundamentals, including government expenditures, economic openness, the balance of trade surplus, and net foreign assets, is estimated. We find that the Chinese Yuan has been fluctuating moderately around its long run equilibrium value with undervaluation up to 4% and overvaluation up to 6% at various points in time since 1997. This result is consistent with findings of many of the most recent studies employing alternative econometric methodologies to determine the equilibrium exchange rate. While the Yuan real effective exchange rate has deviated from equilibrium, and it is sticky, taking over five years to correct 50% of the short run misalignment, it does not appear to have been consistently undervalued as has been widely argued.
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