When should China start cutting its emissions?
Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti 25 April 2012
In 2006 China became the world’s largest carbon dioxide polluter. This column argues that China is not rich enough to start reducing emissions immediately, but it is far too big not to do anything. The question is when and at what rate it is reasonable to call on China to start cutting back.
China’s economy has grown at a record-breaking pace for almost two decades. This growth was fuelled by a rapid industrial expansion and it causes an ever-growing appetite for natural resources in general and energy in particular, with worldwide implications on commodity markets and on the environment (Moran 2010). China became the world leading carbon dioxide emitter in 2006, five to nine years earlier than what was forecasted as recently as in 2004.
China, climate change
China: No longer the villain
Marco Annunziata 21 April 2012
According to its latest projections, the IMF no longer sees China as the main source of imbalances in the global economy. This column argues that fears of a stalling Chinese economy are exaggerated, and that sustained and more balanced Chinese growth will actually be a rare nugget of good news for the global economy.
While concerns about Spain and, to a lesser extent, Italy have again taken centre-stage, a number of experts and market participants are almost as worried and sceptical about China as they are about the Eurozone. The China bears have been predicting a crash within the next one to two years for the last several years. As China’s growth is unbalanced, there is no shortage of concerns:
global imbalances, China
Can China’s growth lower welfare in developed countries? A refutation of the Samuelson conjecture
Julian di Giovanni, Andrei Levchenko, Jing Zhang 02 April 2012
The late Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson argued that if China’s productivity growth accelerates in areas where it does not currently have a comparative advantage – notably the service sector – developed countries may suffer. This column presents a multi-country, multi-sector model, and reaches the opposite conclusion: the world, including developed countries, is far better off when China’s growth favours its current comparative disadvantage sectors.
Global economy International trade
China, comparative advantage
Beggar-thy-neighbours? Spillover effects of exchange rates
Aaditya Mattoo, Arvind Subramanian, Prachi Mishra 23 March 2012
Do exchange rate movements in one country affect its competitors? This column suggests that a 10% appreciation of the renminbi increases other developing countries’ exports by about 2%. Where competition with China is especially intense, the increase could be as large as 6%. The results imply that an appreciation of the renminbi could provide a boost to developing country exports.
Nearly all of the empirical research on exchange rates is focused on the impact of their changes on the country experiencing or undertaking them. This is true of the older, voluminous literature on the trade consequences of exchange rates (surveyed in Goldstein and Khan 1985), as well as more recent contributions like Rodrik (2008) and Berman et al. (2012). There is less evidence quantifying the effect of exchange rate movements on the exports of competitor countries, a classic case of spillover that, in its adverse manifestation, is dubbed the “beggar-thy-neighbour” effect.
China, spillovers, beggar-thy-neighbour
China’s economic rebalancing is already underway
Yiping Huang 17 February 2012
The international community, and particularly policymakers in the US, put great expectations on the contribution that China can make to a global economic recovery by rebalancing its economy through promoting consumption growth. This column, drawing on both official and unofficial data, argues that China’s long-awaited economic rebalancing is already well under way.
The international community, and particularly policymakers in the US, put great expectations on the contribution that China can make to a global economic recovery by rebalancing its economy through promoting consumption growth (see, for example, O’Neill 2010 on this site).
The Chinese authorities broadly accept this priority and have put in place a number of policy measures that aim to achieve it.
China, consumption, rebalancing
The renminbi’s prospects as a global reserve currency
Eswar Prasad, Lei (Sandy) Ye 16 February 2012
Is China’s currency destined to become the dominant global reserve currency? This column argues that despite not yet having a flexible exchange rate or open capital account, China’s government is pursuing ‘liberalisation with Chinese characteristics’. It argues that the renminbi will become a reserve currency within the next decade, eroding but not displacing the dollar’s dominance.
Popular discussions about the prospects of China’s currency – the renminbi – range from the view that it is on the threshold of becoming the dominant global reserve currency to the concern that rapid capital-account opening poses serious risks for China.
International finance International trade
China, globalisation, renminbi, exchange-rate policy
Does the renminbi matter? Evidence from China’s disaggregated processed exports
Willem Thorbecke 29 January 2012
Understanding China’s economy is becoming as difficult as it is important. This is particularly the case for China’s exports and its exchange rate, which have been the source of controversy and intense debate in recent years. Shedding light on the issue, this column disaggregates China’s processing trade, with some surprising implications for policy in the region and elsewhere.
China’s surging exports and its exchange rate have elicited consternation from economists, politicians, and pundits. How would a stronger renminbi affect China’s exports and its trade surplus? China’s entire surplus is in a customs regime called processing trade. Imports for processing are intermediate inputs that are imported duty-free to produce final goods for re-export.
Exchange rates International trade
China, exports, exchange-rate policy
Rogue aid? On the importance of political institutions and natural resources for China’s allocation of foreign aid
Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs 27 January 2012
China is often accused of providing ‘rogue aid’. China is said to be more interested in securing natural resources, export markets, and political alliances than concerned about the development of needy countries This column looks at the data on China’s aid allocations between 1996 and 2005. It finds that China is in fact no more self-serving than most Western donors.
In an obvious reference to China, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently warned during her visit to Burma to “[b]e wary of donors who are more interested in extracting your resources than in building your capacity” (quoted in FT 2011). China’s allocation of foreign aid not only receives widespread attention, but is also a major source of concern for Western policymakers. Recent examples include China’s massive support for Belarus – ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ – and the recurrent provision of aid to North Korea, China’s Communist neighbour.
Development Politics and economics
China, natural resources, development aid, rogue aid
Are China and India converging?
Ejaz Ghani 23 January 2012
Mention China and India to economists and their first thought will be rapid growth. Their second thought might be how differently the two economies are achieving this: China through manufacturing, India through services. This column asks whether that stereotype may be changing.
Both China and India have attracted global attention for rapid growth, but their growth patterns are very different (Rajan 2006, Pack 2008, Bosworth and Maertens 2010). China took the conventional route of manufacturing-led growth and is recognised as a global leader in manufactured exports. India followed the unconventional route of service-led growth and has acquired a global reputation for service exports. Are their growth patterns converging? Is China catching up in services? Is India catching up in manufacturing? Or has hysteresis kept their growth patterns different?
Development International trade
China, India, manufacturing, services
Global value chains are not all born identical: Policymakers beware
Carlo Altomonte, Filippo di Mauro, Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, Vincent Vicard, Armando Rungi 04 January 2012
Trade in today’s global economy is not a simple game of exchange-rate muddling. The complex web of global value chains ensures that products marked “Made in China” are often in fact made all over the world. This column looks at firm-level data from French firms between 2007 and 2009 and explores how their structure affects their behaviour, with insights for policymakers the world over.
Global value chains are increasingly important in international trade. The breakup of goods and services production between different companies often operating in different parts of the world (creating a ‘global’ value chain) can be seen all around us. (Take, for instance, the omnipresent iPhone from Apple; see Xing (2011) on this site).
Global crisis International trade
US, China, exchange-rate policy, global value chains