×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Devaluing to Prosperity: Misaligned Currencies and Their Growth Consequences
     

Devaluing to Prosperity: Misaligned Currencies and Their Growth Consequences

by Surjit S. Bhalla
 

See All Formats & Editions

Experts have long questioned the effect of currency undervaluation on overall GDP growth. They have viewed the underlying basis for this policy—intervention in currency markets to keep the price of the home currency cheap—as doomed to failure on both theoretical and empirical grounds. Moreover, the view has been that overvalued currencies hurt economic

Overview

Experts have long questioned the effect of currency undervaluation on overall GDP growth. They have viewed the underlying basis for this policy—intervention in currency markets to keep the price of the home currency cheap—as doomed to failure on both theoretical and empirical grounds. Moreover, the view has been that overvalued currencies hurt economic growth but undervalued currencies cannot help in growth acceleration. A parallel belief has been that the real exchange rate—that is, a country's competitive ranking—cannot be affected by merely changing the nominal exchange rate. This view is grounded in the belief, and expectation, that inflation follows any devaluation of currency. Hence, the conclusion that the real exchange rate cannot be affected by policy.


However, given China's remarkable performance in recent decades, this traditional view is being reexamined. China devalued its currency by large amounts in the 1980s and early 1990s; instead of inflation, it achieved high growth. Today, there is near-universal demand for China to significantly revalue its currency.


This book examines the veracity of various propositions relating to currency misalignments, and their effect on various items of policy interest. The author subjects more than a century of global exchange rate management and growth outcomes to rigorous empirical analysis and demonstrates convincingly that a country can systematically devalue and yet prosper.


The analysis helps in interpreting several phenomena, especially for the last three decades, which have witnessed high economic growth in developing countries, a widening of global imbalances, and a sharp increase in reserve accumulation, particularly among high-growth Asian economies. The book shows that these events are strongly linked via a consistent policy of currency undervaluation in Asian economies.


Editorial Reviews

Alan S. Blinder
Hardly anyone on earth could have or would have written this fascinating book. Its combination of scholarly erudition, technical economics, and horse sense is rare enough. Throw in Bhalla's talent with prose and his flair for being an agent provocateur, and you have something truly unique. Read it and learn. Read it and think. Read it and be provoked.

Lawrence H. Summers
Surjit Bhalla makes a profound and important argument about the growth process and the international monetary system. The issues he raises go back to the founding of economics as a discipline, but are immediately relevant to pressing policy issues all over the world. Everyone concerned with the future of the global economy will need to consider Bhalla's extensive arguments. Whether you agree or disagree, this is a very important book.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Surjit Bhalla presents a highly readable, topical, and provocative analysis of the role of currency misalignments buttressed by extensive empirical analysis. He argues that keeping the currency undervalued helps growth, and the effect is stronger than that of well-functioning institutions, but he also argues that misalignment creates vulnerability in the international system. The IMF must obviously look more closely into these issues in its multilateral surveillance and also in the analysis it does for the G-20.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881326512
Publisher:
Peterson Institute for International Economics
Publication date:
08/29/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
13 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Surjit S. Bhalla is managing director of Oxus Research and Investments, a New Delhi-based economic research, asset management, and emerging-markets advisory firm. He taught at the Delhi School of Economics and worked at the Rand Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and at both the research and treasury departments of the World Bank. He has also worked at Goldman Sachs (1992-94) and Deutsche Bank (1994-96). He is author of Imagine There's No Country: Poverty, Inequality, and Growth in the Era of Globalization (2002). His research interests are fiscal policy (flat tax?), economic history (do institutions cause growth?), and macroeconomic policy (the role of exchange rates in economic development). He has been a member of several government of India committees on economic policy, most recently the committee on capital account convertibility. He is on the board of India's largest think tank and is an appointed member of the National Statistical Commission of India. He is also a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines on economics, politics, and cricket. His first book, Between the Wickets: The Who and Why of the Best in Cricket (1987), developed a model for evaluating performance in sports.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews