Are China and Germany both responsible for the global imbalances? Using four decades of current-account data, this column argues that the role of the US should not be overlooked. A rise in the US’ current-account deficit is matched one for one with a rise in China and Germany’s surpluses. But this relationship – and the global imbalances with it – may well be coming to an end.
Joshua Aizenman, Rajeswari Sengupta, 05 October 2010
Daniel Gros, 08 October 2010
With the US threatening to label China a “currency manipulator”, this column presents a plan to address global imbalances without risking a trade war. It proposes a “reciprocity” requirement – if the US can’t buy Chinese government bonds, then China can’t buy US bonds either.
Yiping Huang, 29 September 2010
How should policymakers deal with global imbalances? This column argues that a return to the Plaza Accord of the 1980s with an exclusive focus on the exchange rate could well dilute the G20’s other agendas and may not even work in practice. The best solution is instead to focus on structural reforms.
Jesus Felipe, Utsav Kumar, Arnelyn Abdon, 26 August 2010
Why have China and India been able to grow so quickly? This column argues that while the industrial policies pursued by both countries up until the 1980s led to gross mistakes and inefficiencies, China and India would not be where they are now without them. Their export baskets are far more sophisticated and diversified than expected given their income per capita.
Luis Servén, Ha Nguyen, 29 July 2010
Global imbalances have taken centre stage in the debate on the global economic outlook. This column surveys the debate over the roots of global imbalances and argues that asymmetries in the supply and demand for assets, rather than goods, are responsible. With this interpretation, global imbalances are unlikely to go away any time soon.
Joseph Gyourko, Yongheng Deng, Jing Wu, 28 July 2010
Reinhart and Rogoff’s recent influential study of financial crises finds a recurring root – the country’s property markets. This column argues that a similar housing bubble may be developing in China. Urgent research is needed to determine the risk of a full blown crisis.
Harry Wu, 28 July 2010
In this column in memory of Angus Maddison, Harry Wu pays tribute to a mentor, friend, and pioneer who mapped economic performance across the world, and nurtured a passion for Japan and China.
John Whalley, Xueyi Zheng , Yaguang Zhang, 20 July 2010
While many commentators focus on China’s future, this column draws economic theory insights from its past. It argues that Chinese monetary theory preceded Western thought and influenced the likes of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Moreover, it says the Eastern emphasis on the pursuit of wisdom, as opposed to knowledge, has a role to play in today’s economic debate.
Lucian Cernat, Kay Parplies, 16 July 2010
While China is recognised as one of the world's leading destinations for inward foreign direct investment, outward investment by Chinese companies has also taken off in recent years. This column presents survey data suggesting that, similar to western firms, Chinese companies tend to invest in well-developed countries with a large market size and a favourable institutional environment.
Mona Haddad , Cosimo Pancaro, 08 July 2010
Current discussions over the value of China’s currency demonstrate the controversy that exchange-rate policy is capable of igniting. This column suggests that while a managed real undervaluation can enhance domestic competitiveness, it is difficult to sustain in the post-crisis environment – both economically and politically. It says that a real undervaluation works only for low-income countries, and only in the medium term.
Willem Thorbecke, 06 July 2010
Will China’s decision to ditch the dollar peg help rebalance the global economy? This column argues that China’s action may facilitate a concerted appreciation in Factory Asia, helping the region redirect production away from western markets and towards domestic consumers.
Robert Lawrence, Gary Hufbauer, 06 July 2010
Originally scheduled to end in 2005, Doha negotiations have dragged into their ninth year. This column argues that, while many observers assign blame to the complexity of 153 members reaching a consensus, the heart of the matter is far simpler. It says that if the US and China come up with new offers, the momentum for a speedy agreement will be unstoppable.
Simon Evenett, 11 June 2010
Simon Evenett of the University of St Gallen talks to Viv Davies about his recent Vox e-book on the US-Sino currency dispute, which brings together the latest research on the behaviour of the renminbi, the role it has played in global imbalances and the potential responses of China and its trading partners to the dispute over balances and exchange rate policies. Evenett discusses the key policy messages for the US and China - and the implications for the EU. The interview was recorded in June 2010.
Richard Zeckhauser, Karen Eggleston, John Rizzo, Hai Fang, 05 June 2010
Understanding the relationship between female employment and fertility is a vital ingredient for effective population policy. This column presents new findings from China based on well over 2000 women between 20 and 52 years old. It finds that non-agricultural jobs for women reduce the number of children per woman by 0.64 and the probability of having more than one child by 54.8%.
Pranab Bardhan, 28 May 2010
Pranab Bardhan of the University of California, Berkeley, talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his new book ‘Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India’. He argues that significant poverty reduction in both countries is mainly due to domestic factors – not global integration, as most would believe. The interview was recorded at the London School of Economics in May 2010.
Ambrogio Cesa-Bianchi, Hashem Pesaran, Alessandro Rebucci, Cesar Tamayo, TengTeng Xu, 20 May 2010
What would a Chinese currency revaluation mean for Latin America? This column argues that a revaluation is no silver bullet. It will not solve Latin America’s problems with excessive capital inflows, exchange-rate appreciation, and loss of competitiveness. In fact it poses serious risks. A 10% revaluation of the renminbi could reduce growth in Latin America by 0.3%.
Kati Suominen, 16 April 2010
Should the US take action over China’s exchange-rate policy? This column argues “yes”. But while China would be momentarily hurt by the imposition of tariffs, US companies, workers, and consumers would suffer in the long run. The US should instead follow Fred Bergsten’s three-stage plan of engaging the IMF and WTO. The column also suggests that a long-run solution should be worked out within the G20.
Alicia García-Herrero, Tuuli Koivu, 16 April 2010
If China’s currency does appreciate, what impact will it have? This column argues that while Chinese exports will fall, so will Chinese imports, because China imports components from other East Asian countries that are then processed before being exported to western markets. A 10% rise in the renminbi would reduce imports of components by 6%.
Joseph Francois, 16 April 2010
Will an appreciation of the Chinese currency create more US jobs? This column argues quite the opposite. A 10% appreciation would lead to a rise in the US price level by approximately 0.16%, meaning that in total the US would experience a mix of falling real wages and falling employment.
Andrew Small, 16 April 2010
The approaching US decision over China’s exchange-rate policy is as much about politics as economics. This column argues that the coming months will define broader Sino-US relations. The good news is that Beijing stepped back this month, avoiding an outright confrontation. The bad news is that this is only round one.