Center for Pacific Basin Studies

The Center for Pacific Basin Studies promotes cooperation among central banks in the Pacific Basin and provide insight into and analysis of economic policy issues affecting the region.

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Pacific Basin Notes

Occasional series of the FRBSF Economic Letter

Inflationary Effects of Trade Disputes with China


Galina Hale, Bart Hobijn, Fernanda Nechio, and Doris Wilson | February 25, 2019

Imports from China are an important part of overall U.S. imports of consumer and investment goods. Thus, tariffs on these imports are likely to have sizable effects on consumer, producer, and investment prices in this country. Tariffs implemented thus far may have contributed an estimated 0.1 percentage point to consumer price inflation and 0.4 percentage point to price inflation for business investment goods. If implemented, an across-the-board 25% tariff on all Chinese imports would raise consumer prices an additional 0.3 percentage point and investment prices an additional 1.0 percentage point.

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Working Papers

Optimal Capital Account Liberalization in China

Working Paper 2018-10

Liu • Spiegel • Zhang | August 2018

China maintains tight controls over its capital account. Its prevailing regime also features financial repression, under which banks are often required to extend a fraction of funds to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at below-market interest rates. We incorporate these features into a general equilibrium model. We find that capital account liberalization under financial repression incurs a tradeoff between aggregate productivity and intertemporal allocative efficiency. Along a transition path with a declining SOE share, the second-best policy calls for a rapid removal of financial repression, but gradual liberalization of the capital account.

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