Policy Research Domains (Major Policy Research Domains) III. Formulating Japan's Strategy in Response to Globalization and Deepening Economic Interdependence in Asia

Promoting East Asian Production Networks, the Unwinding of Global Imbalances, and the Resolution of the Economic Crisis

Project Leader/Sub-Leader


THORBECKE Willem, Consulting Fellow



2008 - 2009

This year's research seeks to understand Asian production networks and Asia's trade with the rest of the world. It also considers policy measures to promote recovery and bring stability to East Asia. Some of the work involves presenting an analytical description of production networks and investigating how exchange rate changes and changes in income in the rest of the world affect Asian trade. For example, one policy implication is that exchange rate stability in East Asia would be desirable because exchange rate volatility would interfere with the slicing up of the value-added chain. Another policy implication is that East Asian countries should stimulate demand domestically to reduce their exposure to a slowdown outside of the region. Some of the work looks at previous agreements between world leaders to resolve global imbalances and to promote recovery. Other work considers how Federal Reserve monetary policy can be effective in the face of changes in inflation. Finally, the work considers a new development model for China and East Asia. The question is whether East Asia can be an engine of growth for the world economy, given that demand in Western economies has collapsed. The evidence indicates that if East Asia shifts to a domestic demand-led growth model, it could contribute significantly to growth in the rest of the world.


The work this year has sought to understand the relationship between East Asian Production Networks, Exchange Rate Changes, and Global Imbalances. The paper "How Would an Appreciation of the RMB and Other East Asian Currencies Affect China's Exports?" looks at how appreciations in China and other supply chain countries would affect China's exports. The paper "The Effects of Exchange Rate Changes on Fragmentation in East Asia: Evidence from the Electronics Industry" presents evidence that exchange rate volatility decreases the flow of electronic components within East Asia. The paper "Trade Interdependence and Exchange Rate Coordination in East Asia" presents an analytical description of these production networks and examines empirical evidence concerning the factors that affect triangular trading patterns. The paper "Production Sharing, Exchange Rate Changes, and the Trade Balance: Evidence from the East Asian Electronics Industry" reports that exchange rates appreciations in countries supplying intermediate electronics goods inputs would decrease final electronic goods exports from East Asia but appreciations in assembly economies would not.

December 27, 2007 - June 17, 2009

Major Research Results