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Reserve accumulation and exchange rate policy in China: The authoritarian elite's aim of political survival

Elena Seghezza (), Pierluigi Morelli and Giovanni B. Pittaluga

European Journal of Political Economy, 2017, vol. 46, issue C, 40-51

Abstract: Since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–1998, China has significantly increased its foreign exchange reserves. We argue that the resulting abnormal levels of currency reserves accumulated by Chinese authorities are not intended to maximize the citizenry’s economic welfare, as in a mercantilist or a precautionary account, but rather to forestall the elite’s own political demise. This goal has been pursued mainly by generating large current account surpluses through manipulation of the renminbi exchange rate. The Chinese elite has sought to promote the acceptance of this policy by influencing the costs of collective action taken by winners and losers.

Keywords: China; Foreign reserves; Exchange rate policy; Authoritarina regimes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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