NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Steven Symansky

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Working Papers

March 1997Economic Growth and Real Exchange Rate: An Overview of the Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis in Asia
with Takatoshi Ito, Peter Isard: w5979
The paper tests the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis (rapid economic growth is accompanied by real exchange rate appreciation because of differential productivity growth between tradable and nontradable sectors) using data of the APEC economies. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and, to a lesser extent, Hong Kong and Singapore, were proved to follow the Balassa-Samuelson path. These countries follow a similar industrialization pattern, increasing the weight of high value-added exports. Although Hong Kong and Singapore grew fast, their real exchange rates appreciated only moderately. High productivity growth in service sectors might have been the reason for this. Other fast-growing ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia did not experience real appreciation. Closer examinations of va...

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