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China's Exchange Rate Policy: The Case for Greater Flexibility

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Since the Asian crisis, the merit of the Chinese government's de facto peg to the US Dollar has been the subject of widening debate. This paper reviews the issues surrounding China's currency regime choice and assesses the case for greater fiexibility. Reform era exchange rate policies are examined along with the performance of the economy during and since the Asian crisis. In the Chinese context, the arguments for and against fixed exchange rates are then explained and assessed. Finally, an elemental comparative static macroeconomic model is used to examine the implications of domestic and external shocks under different exchange rate regimes and with differing degrees of capital mobility. The results support the view that more fiexibility would be beneficial to China and that this benefit can be expected to increase as capital mobility increases.
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Keywords: China; exchange rates; macroeconomic policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Reserve Bank of Australia 2: Australian National University

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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