Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Matthieu Bussière, Pauline Wibaux, 16 August 2018

Recent events on the international stage have reignited the debate on trade and currency wars. This column compares two forms of non-cooperative policies – import tariffs and currency devaluations – within a single framework. The results show that tariffs and devaluations do not have equivalent effects on trade flows. A 1% depreciation of the importer's currency reduces imports by around 0.5% in current dollars, whereas an increase in import tariffs by 1 percentage point reduces imports by around 1.4%.

Michael Lamla, Jan-Egbert Sturm, 09 November 2012

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is again the focus of much debate, accused as it is of currency manipulation. This column outlines the effects of the SNB’s minimum exchange rate. On balance, the authors argue that the move is a boon, effectively enacting a much-needed relaxation of monetary policy within the Eurozone.

Shaun Breslin, 16 April 2010

The global crisis has intensified calls for Western governments to pressure China to liberalise its economy – particular its exchange-rate policy. This column argues that the power of China’s policymakers should not be overestimated – just like elsewhere, they must bow to public sentiment. An outside call for the country to change its policies might actually make the change more difficult.

Helmut Reisen, 16 April 2010

Many economists cite the undervalued renminbi as a major cause of global imbalances and a contributing factor to the global crisis. This column says the undervaluation results mainly from the Balassa-Samuelson effect and that a rebalancing of the world economy will need reforms in China’s social, pension and family policies rather than currency appreciation.

Mohamed Ariff, 19 February 2010

China’s exchange rate policy has implications for global trade and particularly other East Asian nations. This column argues that, given China’s fixation on the dollar peg, countries such as Thailand and Malaysia may have no choice but to peg their currencies to China’s yuan.

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