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  • Author: Adam S. Posen, Nicolas Veron
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Given no generally accepted framework for financial stability, policymakers in developing Asia need to manage, not avoid, financial deepening. This paper supports Asian policymakers' judgment through analysis of the recent events in the United States and Europe and of earlier crisis episodes, including Asia during the 1990s. There is no simple linear relationship between financial repression and stability—financial repression not only has costs but, so doing can itself undermine stability. Bank-centric financial systems are not inherently safer than systems that include meaningful roles for securities and capital markets. Domestic financial systems should be steadily diversified in terms of both number of domestic competitors and types of savings and lending instruments available (and thus probably types of institutions). Financial repression should be focused on regulating the activities of financial intermediaries, not on compressing interest rates for domestic savers. Cross-border lending should primarily involve creation of multinational banks' subsidiaries in the local economy—and local currency lending and bond issuance should be encouraged. Macroprudential tools can be useful, and, if anything, are more effective in less open or less financially deep economies than in more advanced financial centers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Tomas Hellebrandt, Paolo Mauro
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the next two decades the structure of world population and income will undergo profound changes. Global income inequality is projected to decline further in 2035, largely owing to rapid economic growth in the emerging-market economies. The potential pool of consumers worldwide will expand significantly, with the largest net gains in the developing and emerging-market economies. The number of people earning between US$1,144 and US$3,252 per year in 2013 prices in purchasing power parity terms will increase by around 500 million, with the largest gains in Sub-Saharan Africa and India; those earning between US$3,252 and US$8,874 per year in 2013 prices will increase by almost 1 billion, with the largest gains in India and Sub-Saharan Africa; and those earning more than US$8,874 per year will increase by 1.2 billion, with the largest gains in China and the advanced economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Ajai Chopra
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Growth in developing Asia will need to rely more on improvements in productivity growth and less on capital deepening. Although there is no single reform path to spur productivity growth, financial system deepening is central to a more efficient allocation of capital across sectors and can facilitate innovation and technology transfer. But malfunctioning financial systems can also result in the misallocation of resources, making it important that policymakers focus less on increasing the size of the financial sector and more on improving its intermediation function. Chopra discusses the steps to mobilize Asia's ample private savings for long-term financing, especially to tackle the region's infrastructure deficit and improve access to financing for small and medium enterprises, which can help raise productivity. As many countries in Asia shift from a development model based on technology absorption to one that promotes innovation, specialized finance and investors can play a critical role in allowing innovative firms to conduct research, adopt technologies necessary for inventions, and ultimately commercialize innovations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The financial sectors in Asian emerging-market economies are now relatively unlikely to provoke new financial crises, either because of reforms after the East Asian financial crisis in the later 1990s or because of the dominance of state-owned banks not subject to bank runs. Financial intermediation is surprisingly high and is consistent with higher rates of saving and investment and hence growth in the main economies of the region (as compared to, say, counterparts in Latin America). Nonetheless, there are sharply diverging patterns (e.g., high foreign ownership of banks in Korea versus minimal presence in China) and differing national structures (bank dominated, portfolio oriented, and diversified) within Asia. Cline recommends establishing long-term plans to improve efficiency in state-owned banks or reduce their dominance and pursuing bank capitalization targets at least as ambitious as those of Basel III. Cline also calls for ensuring adequate regulation of growing nonbank intermediaries, reversing a recent trend toward national barriers to foreign banks in some economies, and improving the legal security of bank regulators.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global fi nancial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global fi nancial crises and fi nd that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also fi nd that higher private credit, more fi nancial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confi rms that eff ective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Economics, Global Recession, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Martin Kessler
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper describes seven salient features of trade integration in the 21st century: Trade integration has been more rapid than ever (hyperglobalization); it is dematerialized, with the growing importance of services trade; it is democratic, because openness has been embraced widely; it is criss-crossing because similar goods and investment flows now go from South to North as well as the reverse; it has witnessed the emergence of a mega-trader (China), the first since Imperial Britain; it has involved the proliferation of regional and preferential trade agreements and is on the cusp of mega-regionalism as the world's largest traders pursue such agreements with each other; and it is impeded by the continued existence of high barriers to trade in services. Going forward, the trading system will have to tackle three fundamental challenges: In developed countries, the domestic support for globalization needs to be sustained in the face of economic weakness and the reduced ability to maintain social insurance mechanisms. Second, China has become the world's largest trader and a major beneficiary of the current rules of the game. It will be called upon to shoulder more of the responsibilities of maintaining an open system. The third challenge will be to prevent the rise of mega-regionalism from leading to discrimination and becoming a source of trade conflicts. We suggest a way forward—including new areas of cooperation such as taxes—to maintain the open multilateral trading system and ensure that it benefits all countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The European and Asian financial crises are the two most recent major regional crises. This paper compares their origins and evolution. The origins of the two sets of crises were different in some respects, but broadly similar. The two sets of crises also shared similarities in their evolution, but here the differences were more significant. The European crisis countries received more external financial support, despite the fact that they involved more solvency issues while the Asian crises involved more liquidity issues. On balance, the reform programs in the European crises were less demanding and rigorous than in the Asian crises. Partly as a consequence, the negative impacts on the global economy have been larger. I draw three lessons from this analysis: First, history will repeat itself; there will be other external financial crises. Second, other countries have a stake in appropriate crisis management. Third, the IMF and other countries were mistaken in treating the European crises as individual country crises rather than as a crisis for the euro area as a whole that demanded policy conditionality on all members of the euro area.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In Latin America, inadequate transportation infrastructure has been identified as an increasingly important impediment to the region's further integration in global trade and a significant factor preventing countries from properly taking advantage of the multitude of regional, plurilateral, and bilateral trade agreements signed in the past decade and a half. This paper examines transport and communications infrastructure initiatives in Latin American and Asian regional trade arrangements and finds several lessons Asia can teach Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper argues that developing Asia is overlooking an opportunity for increased growth and development through trade in business services. Developing Asia would benefit from liberalizing services trade as it has benefited from liberalizing goods trade. This argument rests on these key findings: business services are important for growth, developing Asia is relatively under-endowed with business services, many business services are tradable, and developing Asia has relatively high barriers to services trade.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Donghyun Park, Kwanho Shin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The underdeveloped services sector in Asia has the potential to become a new engine of economic growth in developing Asia, which has traditionally relied on export-oriented manufacturing to power its growth. In this paper, Park and Shin empirically analyze the prospects for the services sector in Asia. Their analysis of 12 Asian countries indicates that the services sector has already contributed substantially to the region's growth in the past. Somewhat surprisingly, in light of the difficulty of achieving productivity gains in services, they also find that services labor productivity grew at a healthy pace in much of the region. Overall their analysis provides substantial cause for optimism about the role of the services sector as an engine of growth in Asia. However, they caution that some Asian countries where the services sector is currently struggling, such as Korea and Thailand, will find it more challenging to develop the sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Martin Kessler
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A country's rise to economic dominance tends to be accompanied by its currency becoming a reference point, with other currencies tracking it implicitly or explicitly. For a sample comprising emerging market economies, we show that in the last two years, the renminbi has increasingly become a reference currency which we define as one which exhibits a high degree of co-movement (CMC) with other currencies. In East Asia, there is already a renminbi bloc, because the renminbi has become the dominant reference currency, eclipsing the dollar, which is a historic development. In this region, 7 currencies out of 10 co-move more closely with the renminbi than with the dollar, with the average value of the CMC relative to the renminbi being 40 percent greater than that for the dollar. We find that co-movements with a reference currency, especially for the renminbi, are associated with trade integration. We draw some lessons for the prospects for the renminbi bloc to move beyond Asia based on a comparison of the renminbi's situation today and that of the Japanese yen in the early 1990s. If trade were the sole driver, a more global renminbi bloc could emerge by the mid-2030s but complementary reforms of the financial and external sector could considerably expedite the process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Donghyun Park
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The maturing of the manufacturing sector in many Asian countries, combined with the relative backwardness of its services sector, has made services sector development a top priority for developing Asia. The authors' central objective is to broadly survey and analyze the current landscape of the region's services sector so as to assess its potential to serve as an engine for inclusive economic growth. Their analysis indicates that services are already an important source of output, growth, and jobs in the region. However, its productivity greatly lags that of the advanced economies, which implies ample room for further growth. The impact of the services sector on poverty reduction is less clear but the authors do find some limited evidence of a poverty reduction effect. One key challenge for all Asian countries is to improve the quality of services sector data. Overall, while services sector development is a long and challenging process, creating more competitive services markets by removing a wide range of internal and external policy distortions is vital for improving services sector productivity. As important as such policy reforms are, complementary investments in physical infrastructure and human capital will also be necessary to achieve a strong services sector.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott, Julia Muir, Minsoo Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Trade and investment in services are difficult to measure, and the regulatory barriers that inhibit the free flow of services are hard to quantify. As a result, very little attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to services trade and investment. Rather, free trade negotiations tend to focus on liberalizing merchandise trade. This paper examines what has been achieved in both regional and multilateral compacts by surveying international precedents involving Asian countries in which services reforms have been included in bilateral and regional trade pacts. The authors then assess the prospects for services trade negotiations and explore how services trade negotiations could be pursued over the next decade through two distinct channels: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a plurilateral approach among groups of WTO countries. The authors find that in the case of developing Asia, free trade agreements have largely excluded services or have only committed to "lock in" current practices in a narrow subset of service sectors. This is also the case in agreements negotiated between developing countries, which have produced less substantial commitments to liberalize services than those negotiated between developing and developed countries. Multilateral negotiations on services have also underperformed, as substantive negotiations on services in the Doha Round never really got underway. To that end, the authors advocate a stronger effort by developing Asian countries to prioritize services negotiations in their regional arrangements and to expand coverage of services in those pacts to a broad range of infrastructure services that are included in other FTAs in force or under construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In this paper Kirkegaard presents new micro-level data consisting of individual greenfield investment projects and mergers and acquisitions as a source for detailed analysis of services sector cross-border investment flows among the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional membership in Asia. The new transactional foreign direct investment (FDI) data are methodologically distinct from traditional BPM5-compliant FDI data but found to yield generally comparable aggregates, when compared with the latest available International Monetary Fund (IMF) data from the Comprehensive Direct Investment Survey for the ADB regional membership. The services sectors are found to receive considerably larger amounts of foreign investment, when compared with the Asian region's manufacturing and raw materials sectors. OECD countries account for roughly three-quarters of total recorded inward services sector FDI of about $2 trillion, relatively evenly split between the United States, the EU-27, and regional OECD-level-income countries. The presence of sizable regional "upward flowing" services sector investments into OECD-level-income economies is verified. Kirkegaard draws preliminary policy conclusions based on the new transactional FDI data results concerning prospects for regional services sector liberalization, threshold income levels for inward services sector FDI, upward-flowing regional services FDI, and preferred modes of services sector investments.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the exchange rate regimes of East Asian countries since the initial shift by China to a controlled appreciation in July 2005, testing econometrically the weights of key currencies in the implicit baskets that appear to be targeted by East Asian monetary authorities. It finds, first, that Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines have formed a loose but effective “renminbi bloc” with China, and that South Korea has participated tentatively since the global financial crisis. Second, the emergence of the renminbi bloc in terms of the exchange rate has been facilitated by the continued dominance of the US dollar as a trade, investment, and reserve currency. Third, exchange rate stabilization is explained by the economic strategies of these countries, which rely heavily on export development and financial repression, and the economic rise of China. Fourth, analysts should specify the exchange rate preferences of these emerging market countries carefully before drawing inferences about Chinese influence within the region.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Asia, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have become a prominent feature of the international financial landscape. They are sufficiently diverse in their origins, structures, and objectives that generalizations are perilous. However, legitimate concerns have been raised in home and host countries about the management, behavior, and interactions of these funds. Many of those concerns can be addressed via increased accountability and transparency. The Santiago Principles are a good start in doing so, but Edwin M. Truman's SWF scoreboard points to areas where these principles can be improved. Meanwhile, SWF compliance must be further increased. At the same time, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) effort to address concerns from the host-country side has not resulted in the erection of new barriers to that form of cross-border investment, but the OECD failed to reverse the creeping financial protectionism of the past decade. Because of their size and the source of their funding, some Asian funds are different. As a result, they will be held to a higher standard of accountability and transparency even as their government owners press for more openness to cross-border investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper addresses two central questions for Asia and the world: (1) What is the purpose of Asian regional policy coordination going forward? (2) Will Asian regional policy coordination substitute or complement global policy coordination? The paper examines the potential coverage and content of such policy coordination, what is meant by Asia in this context, and how Asia fits in with global policy coordination processes. Truman addresses three related aspects of Asian regional policy coordination: macroeconomic policies, reserve management, and crisis management. He concludes that while the countries in the Asian region have not completely exploited the scope for regional policy coordination, more ambitious efforts focused on close integration are not likely to bear fruit, in particular, if they are conceived and promoted under the banner of Asian exceptionalism. These conclusions are based on two main considerations: First, Asian economies differ, and will continue to differ, sufficiently in size and stage of development such that it is difficult to conceive of a successful voluntary blending of their interests. Second, the central lesson of the global financial crisis and its current European coda is that global economic and financial integration has advanced sufficiently that countries can run but they cannot hide individually or in sub-global groups of countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning, Mohsin S. Khan
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Currently, Asia's influence in global financial governance is not consistent with its weight in the world economy. This paper examines the role of Asia in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Group of Twenty (G-20). It looks in particular at how the relationship between East Asian countries and the IMF has evolved since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 and outlines how Asian regional arrangements for crisis financing and economic surveillance could constructively interact with the IMF in the future. It also considers ways to enhance the effectiveness of Asian countries in the G-20 process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the agenda for the Group of Twenty (G-20) leaders' meeting in Seoul, Korea in November 2010. This is an opportunity and challenge for Asian leaders in particular. Their test will be, first, to demonstrate that they can responsibly advance economic recovery. They must also deliver on institutional reform, in particular of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I advocate a substantial expansion of the IMF's role as lender of last resort that is integrated with the surveillance role of the IMF in the form of comprehensive prequalification for IMF assistance and policy advice and a substantial increase in the IMF's financial resources. I also propose an approach to meaningful reform of the distribution of IMF quotas along with limiting European seats on the IMF executive board.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Morris Goldstein, Daniel Xie
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes how the global financial crisis has affected emerging Asia and identifies key characteristics that have made these economies more or less vulnerable to a transmission of crises from the advanced economies. After reviewing how economic outcomes in emerging Asia have evolved since the crisis began in the summer of 2007, we review several studies of the effect of financial stress and/or growth slowdown in advanced economies on emerging Asia. We then discuss how emerging Asia is “different” in ways that matter for the contagion of crises, with the emphasis on currency and maturity mismatches, the nature of the region's foreign trade links (product composition, the geographic pattern of trade, and the degree of net export-led growth), financial market integration with the advanced economies, and the scope for implementing countercyclical monetary and fiscal stimulus.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Erik Weeks
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In recent years, academic economists have come to appreciate the centrality of public institutions in contributing to economic performance. Yet Korea, arguably the premier success story of the last half-century, has sometimes been described as a First World economy with Third World institutions. Although Korea modestly underachieves on most of the 52 institutional indicators examined in this paper, it is not an outlier, and on most indicators it is converging on global norms from below.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland, Yoonok Chang
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Chronic food shortages, political repression, and poverty have driven tens of thousands of North Koreans into China. This paper reports results from a large-scale survey of this population. The survey provides insight not only into the material circumstances of the refugees but also into their psychological state and aspirations. One key finding is that many North Korean refugees suffer severe psychological stress akin to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This distress is caused in part by experiences in China. However, we demonstrate that it is also a result of the long shadow cast by the North Korean famine and abuses suffered at the hands of the North Korean political regime. These traumas, in turn, affect the ability of the refugees to hold jobs in China and accumulate resources for on-migration to third countries. Most of the refugees want to permanently resettle in South Korea, though younger, better-educated refugees have a greater inclination to prefer the United States as a final destination.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This study finds that North Korea's nuclear test and the imposition of UN Security Council sanctions have had no perceptible effect on North Korea's trade with its two largest partners, China and South Korea. Before North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test, it was widely believed that such an event would have cataclysmic diplomatic ramifications. However, beginning with visual inspection of data and ending with time-series models, no evidence is found to support the notion that these events have had any effect on North Korea's trade with its two principal partners.
  • Topic: United Nations, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: North Korea's international transactions have grown since the 1990s famine period. Illicit transactions appear to account for a declining share of trade. Direct investment is rising, but the county remains significantly dependent on aid to finance imports. Interdependence with South Korea and China is rising, but the nature of integration with these two partners is very different: China's interaction with North Korea appears to be increasingly on market-oriented terms, while South Korea's involvement has a growing noncommercial or aid component. These patterns have implications for North Korea's development, the effectiveness of UN sanctions, and its bargaining behavior in nuclear negotiations.
  • Topic: Markets, United Nations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Anna Wong
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes international reserve diversification by examining changes in quantity shares of currencies held in foreign exchange reserves. It discusses alternative methodologies for constructing quantity shares and applies the preferred methodology to three sets of data on the currency composition of foreign exchange reserves: quarterly aggregate International Monetary Fund's Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves (IMF COFER) data, quarterly IMF COFER data for industrial- and developing-country groups, and annual data for 23 individual countries that disclose the currency composition of their foreign exchange reserve holdings. What can one infer from available data about the diversification of foreign exchange reserves since 1999? The analysis suggests four conclusions: (1) The behavior of the quantity shares of the US dollar and the euro in total reserves is consistent with net stabilizing intervention; their quantity shares tend to rise when these currencies are declining and vice versa. (2) The principal driver of this stabilizing diversification over the period 1999Q1–2005Q4 is Japan. (3) The industrial countries as a group but excluding Japan do not indicate stabilizing diversification. (4) The nonindustrial countries as a group display stabilizing diversification over short periods of only a few quarters. In summary, the aggregate data conceal much diversity in the practices of individual countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia
  • Author: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This working paper assesses the progress made in improving China's exchange rate policies over the past five years (that is, since 2002). I first discuss four indicators of progress on China's external imbalance and its exchange rate policies—namely, the change in (and level of) China's global current account position, movements in the real effective exchange rate of the renminbi (RMB), the role of market forces in the determination of the RMB, and China's compliance with its obligations on exchange rate policy as a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I then discuss why the lack of progress in improving China's exchange rate policies matters for the economies of the China and the United States and for the international monetary and trading system. I also argue that several popular arguments and excuses for why more cannot be accomplished on removing the large undervaluation of the RMB are unpersuasive. Finally, I consider what can and should be done by China, the United States, and the IMF to accelerate progress over the next year or two.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Japan faces significant challenges in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Attempts to formally model past industrial policy interventions uniformly uncover little, if any, positive impact on productivity, growth, or welfare. The evidence indicates that most resource flows went to large, politically influential “backward” sectors, suggesting that political economy considerations may be central to the apparent ineffectiveness of Japanese industrial policy.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Exchange, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This working paper evaluates the validity of available data on and the extent of the impact of offshoring on service-sector labor markets in the United States, EU-15, and Japan. A three-tier data validity hierarchy is identified. The impact of offshoring on employment in the three regions is found to be limited. Correspondingly, developing Asia is unlikely to experience large employment gains as a destination region. The paper highlights the case of the Indian IT industry, where the majority of job creation has been in local Indian companies rather than foreign multinationals. Domestic entrepreneurs have played a crucial role in the growth of the Indian IT-related service industry. However, increased tradability of services and associated skill bias in favor of higher skilled workers could have an uneven employment impact on developing Asia. Some high-skilled groups are benefiting and will continue to benefit dramatically from new employment opportunities and rising wage levels. Meanwhile, the same skill bias may eliminate many employment opportunities for unskilled or low-skilled groups in the region. Developing Asian countries therefore face a double educational challenge in the coming years: the need to simultaneously improve both primary and higher education.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Yee Wong
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Frustrated with lackluster momentum in the WTO Doha Round and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and mindful of free trade agreement (FTA) networks centered on the United States and Europe, Asian countries have joined the FTA game. By 2005, Asian countries (excluding China) had ratified 14 bilateral and regional FTAs and had negotiated but not implemented another seven. Asian nations are also actively negotiating some 23 bilateral and regional FTAs, many with non-Asian partners, including Australia, Canada, Chile, the European Union, India, and Qatar. China has been particularly active since 2000. It has completed three bilateral FTAs—Thailand in 2003 and Hong Kong and Macao in 2004—and is initiating another 17 bilateral and regional FTAs. However, a regional Asian economic bloc led by China seems distant, even though China accounts for about 30 percent of regional GDP. As in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, many Asian countries are pursuing FTAs with countries outside the region. On present evidence, the FTA process embraced with some enthusiasm in Asia, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere more closely resembles fingers reaching idiosycratically around the globe rather than politico-economic blocs centered respectively on Beijing, Brussels, and Washington.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Washington, Canada, India, Beijing, Asia, Australia, Qatar, Chile, Hong Kong, Brussels, Macao
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: South Korea's experience is unparalleled in its combination of sustained prosperity, capital controls, and financial crisis. Over several decades South Korea experienced rapid sustained growth in the presence of capital controls. These controls and the delinking of domestic and international financial markets were an essential component of the country's state-led development strategy. As the country developed, opportunities for easy technological catch-up eroded, requiring more sophisticated corporate and financial sector decision making. But decades of financial repression had bequeathed a bureaucratized financial system and a formidable constellation of incumbent stakeholders opposed to transition to a more market-oriented development model. Liberalization undertaken in the 1990s was less a product of textbook economic analysis than of parochial politicking. The capital account liberalization program affected the timing, magnitude, and particulars of the 1997-98 crisis. Despite considerable reforms undertaken since the crisis, concerns remain about both South Korea's lending culture and its authorities' capacity to successfully regulate the more complex financial system. The main lesson of the South Korean case appears to be that while the state-led model may deliver impressive initial gains, transitioning out of this approach presents an exceedingly complex political-economy challenge.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: It is an honor to be invited to testify before this committee. We would like to begin our testimony by restating a simple yet compelling point: The absence of human, civil, and political rights in North Korea and the humanitarian disaster that afflicts its population are inextricably linked.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Martin Wolf
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Ours is not the first age of globalization. The decades before the First World War were remarkably similar to our own era. Under the aegis of the United Kingdom and stimulated by a host of technological advances, the world enjoyed an era of liberal trade, remarkably free movement of people, and almost entirely free movement of capital. The world also enjoyed an unprecedented rise in prosperity. According to the economic historian, Angus Maddison, real GDP per head rose at a rate of 1.3 percent a year in the world as a whole between 1870 and 1913. This is not far short of the improvement of the past three decades. As table 1 shows, only Asia and Africa, both victims of colonialism, failed to share in the rising prosperity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy, Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: According to a popular argument put forward by three Deutsche Bank economists (Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber, here after DFG), one needn't worry about the sustainability of either the large US current account deficit or the undervalued exchange rates of a group of Asian economies (Dooley, Folkerts-Landau, and Garber 2003, 2004a, 2004b, 2004c; Folkerts-Landau 2004). In their view, the United States and the Asian economies have entered into an implicit contract—the so-called revived Bretton Woods system (hereafter BW2)—that can comfortably carry on for another decade or two, with significant net benefits to both parties.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) has proposed that the APEC Leaders at Santiago on November 20-21 “agree to further examine the feasibility and potential scope and features of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).” President Ricardo Lagos of Chile, the host of the APEC summit, has endorsed the concept. I believe that APEC should actively pursue the FTAAP idea. It offers the best prospects of any available strategy for catalyzing a successful outcome of the Doha Round and thus revitalizing the World Trade Organization (WTO). By forging a new transpacific initiative, it can counter the very real risk of disintegration of the Asia-Pacific region that is evident in the progress of Asia-only cooperation on one side of the ocean and a Free Trade Area of the Americas on the other side. It is the best possible device to reenergize APEC's progress toward its own signature trade liberalization goals and thus those of APEC as an institution. It offers a unique win-win-win opportunity that should be seized, beginning at Santiago and then at Pusan a year from now.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: America, Asia
  • Author: Richard B. Freeman
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 1985, the global economic world (N. America, S. America, Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers, Africa) consisted of 2.5 billion people. In 2000 as a result of the collapse of communism, India's turn from autarky, China's shift to market capitalism, global economy encompassed 6 billion people. Had China, India, and the former Soviet empire stayed outside, global economy would have had 3.3 billion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, China, America, India, Asia, Western Europe
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Japan's recovery is strong. Real GDP growth will exceed 4 percent this year and likely be 3 percent or higher in 2005 and perhaps even 2006. The Japanese economy has been growing solidly for the last five quarters (average real 3.2 percent annualized rate), and the pace is sustainable, given Japan's underlying potential growth rate (which has risen to 2 to 2.5 percent per year) and the combination of catch-up growth closing the current output gap and some reforms that will raise the growth rate for quarters to come (though not permanently). Indicators of domestic demand beyond capital investment are increasingly positive, including housing starts bottoming out, inventories drawing down, and diminished deflation. Moreover, on the external side, while China was the main source of export growth in 2003, the composition of exports has become more balanced this year and is widening beyond that seen in other recoveries. Just as in the United States and other developed economies, a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth and a sustained further increase in energy prices represent the primary risks to the outlook.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: During the past year, there has been considerable debate about, and much international criticism of, China's exchange rate and its currency regime. Yes, criticism of China in the United States would likely be more muted if the ongoing recovery were not so “jobless,” if employment in the US manufacturing sector had not (mainly for other reasons) declined so much in the three-year run-up to this presidential elect ion year, if so much attention were not focused on the very large bilateral US trade deficit with China instead of China's economically—more meaningful overall balance-of-payments position, and if the United States had not done such a poor job of improving its saving-investment imbalance—particularly in the public sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Adam S. Posen, Kenneth N. Kuttner
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Observers have relied increasingly on simple reaction functions, such as the Taylor rule, to assess the conduct of monetary policy. Applying this approach to deflationary or near-zero inflation environments is problematic, however, and this paper examines two shortcomings of particular relevance to the Japanese case of the last decade. One is the unusually high degree of uncertainty associated with potential output in an environment of prolonged stagnation and deflation. Consequently, reaction function-based assessments of Japanese monetary policy are so sensitive to the chosen gauge of potential output as to be unreliable. The second shortcoming is the neglect of policy expectations, which become critically important as nominal interest rates approach zero. Using long-term bond yields, we identify five episodes since 1996 characterized by abrupt declines in Japanese inflation expectations. Policies undertaken by the Bank of Japan during this period did little to stabilize expectations, and the August 2000 interest rate increase appears to have intensified deflationary concerns.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Edward M. Graham, Erika Wada
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: By almost all accounts, foreign direct investment (FDI) in China has been one of the major success stories of the past 10 years. Starting from a base of less than $19 billion in 1990, the stock of FDI in China rose to over $300 billion at the end of 1999. Ranked by the stock of inward FDI, China thus has become the leader among all developing nations and second among the APEC nations (only the United States holds a larger stock of inward FDI). China's FDI consists largely of greenfield investment, while inward FDI in the United States by contrast has been generated more by takeover of existing enterprises than by new establishment, a point developed later in this paper. The majority of FDI in China has originated from elsewhere in developing Asia (i.e., not including Japan). Hong Kong, now a largely self-governing “special autonomous region” of China itself, has been the largest source of record. The dominance of Hong Kong, however, is somewhat illusory in that much FDI nominally from Hong Kong in reality is from elsewhere. Some of what is listed as Hong Kong-source FDI in China is, in fact, investment by domestic Chinese that is “round-tripped” through Hong Kong. Other FDI in China listed as Hong Kong in origin is in reality from various western nations and Taiwan that is placed into China via Hong Kong intermediaries. Alas, no published records exist to indicate exactly how much FDI in China that is nominally from Hong Kong is in fact attributable to other nations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: It's not easy to get senior economic officials worked up about the functioning of the international monetary system. Usually, they are preoccupied with the more immediate issues surrounding the national and global economic outlook. But the Mexican peso crisis of 1994-95 and, even more so, the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 made crisis management important for the economic outlook and pushed many of the otherwise arcane issues in the so-called “international financial architecture” (hereafter, IFA) to the front burner of economic policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Asia, Mexico
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The initial postwar challenge from East Asia was economic. Japan crashed back into global markets in the 1960s, became the largest surplus and creditor country in the 1980s, and was viewed by many as the world's dominant economy by 1990. The newly industrialized countries (Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore) followed suit on a smaller but still substantial scale shortly thereafter. China only re-entered world commerce in the 1980s but has now become the second largest economy (in purchasing power terms), the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment inflows, and the second largest holder of monetary reserves. Indonesia and most of Southeast Asia grew at 7 percent for two or more decades. The oil crises of the 1970s and the financial crises of the late 1990s injected temporary setbacks but East Asia has clearly become a third major pole of the world economy, along with North America and Western Europe.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Israel, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia, North America, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Erika Wada
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In the wake of financial crises in Mexico (1994-95), Asia (1997-98), Russia (1998) and Brazil (1998-99), respected observers have questioned the benefits of wide-open international capital markets (Bhagwati, 1998; Krugman, 1998; Rodrik, 1998; Eichengreen, 1999). Our purpose is to identify true hazards and suggest appropriate precautions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia, Brazil, Mexico