NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Exchange Value of the Renminbi and China's Balance of Trade: An Emp irical Study

Zhaoyong Zhang

NBER Working Paper No. 5771
Issued in September 1996

This paper aims at assessing the relationship between the exchange value of the Chinese Renminbi (RMG) and China's trade balance by means of some recent econometric techniques designed to evaluate the existence and the direction of causality. We find strong evidence suggesting that changes in the trade balance and each of its components Granger-cause changes in the exchange rate but no evidence indicating a causal link running from the exchange rate to the trade balance. Our results seem to be rather supportive of the accommodative role of the exchange rate proposed by the modern theory of the trade balance determination and not supportive of the existence of a J-curve in China's trade balance. Our finding of a bidirectional causal relationship between the real exchange rate and the price variables confirms the presence of a vicious circle hypothesis following currency devaluation. This has important implications for the discussions of impacts of the RMB devaluation on China's trade balance.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5771

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