Programs: International Macroeconomics

East Asian Production Networks, Trade, Exchange Rates, and Global Imbalances

Project Leader/Sub-Leader


THORBECKE, Willem (Senior Fellow)



Intricate value chains have emerged centered in East Asia. This project investigates the roles that Japan, China, South Korea, ASEAN countries, United States, and other countries play within these networks.
Specific questions that it tackles include: 1) how Japan's export structure has evolved over time and how it has changed since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis in 2007; 2) how exchange rate changes, economic activity in the rest of the world, political considerations, and other factors affect exports from Asian countries and elsewhere; 3) how a slowdown in China would affect the rest of Asia and the rest of the world; 4) what lessons Japan can learn from policies in other industrialized economies; 5) to what extent East and Southeast Asian are country comrades, working together within production networks, and to what extent they are competitors, exporting similar products to third markets; 6) how sophisticated exports from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and ASEAN are, how close the goods they produce are to the technological frontier, and how they are progressing at moving up the ladder of comparative advantage; 7) what types of policies would promote growth and stability in Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world.

October 14, 2015 - September 30, 2017

Major Research Results


RIETI Discussion Papers


RIETI Discussion Papers