Devaluing to Prosperity: Misaligned Currencies and Their Growth Consequence

Peterson Institute
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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.

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About 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).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Peterson Institute
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Published on
Dec 31, 2012
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Pages
263
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ISBN
9780881326512
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Money & Monetary Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The emerging world was poor and illiterate just forty years ago. Today, over 70 per cent of the world’s middle class resides in the erstwhile poor countries; world income inequality is down to levels last observed in 1870; and there has been a large reduction in absolute poverty. What accounts for such rapid development and catch-up? Distinguished economist Surjit S. Bhalla’s The New Wealth of Nations offers a short answer—the spread of education.
    The very large increase in college graduates in the non-Western world, the growing educational achievements of women, and the radical change in gender roles is critical to the understanding of current-day mega-trends. Indeed, this unprecedented development—which creates competition globally and lowers employment costs—is also why world inflation has been low, and declining, for nearly twenty years.
    Here is a book that breaks new ground. Besides identifying the fallacies in anti-globalization rhetoric—voiced by Brexit and Trump supporters—it points out a major lacuna in current attempts to measure wealth inequality. Through a series of compelling arguments, anecdotes, studies, calculations, tables, and charts, Bhalla emphatically reminds us that education is the new wealth, and is, in fact, currently of a greater magnitude than financial wealth, and much more equally distributed.
    Even while acknowledging the giant strides made by the developing world, The New Wealth of Nations investigates the downsides to the explosion of education and technology, and why countries, rich and emerging, will have to explore options like basic income and negative income tax, so that a new welfare order, appropriate for the changed—and changing—21st century can emerge.

* Surjit S. Bhalla has been recently appointed as a member of PM Modi’s Economic Advisory Council, and his new work is a ground-breaking achievement that argues for a new welfare order across nations which is better suited for the constantly transforming time we live in.
* Through a series of compelling arguments, anecdotes, studies, calculations, tables, and charts, noted economist Surjit S. Bhalla establishes in his latest book that education is the new wealth of nations.
* This book offers insights into the definitions of the poor, the middle class, and the rich, while relating each of these to advances in schooling attainment. It explores the economic reasons behind the political success of globalization in the Western world till the early 2000s, and now its fall from grace in these same countries as notably evidenced by Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump.
 * Releasing for authors UK visit in February 2018.
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From the Hardcover edition.
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The emerging world was poor and illiterate just forty years ago. Today, over 70 per cent of the world’s middle class resides in the erstwhile poor countries; world income inequality is down to levels last observed in 1870; and there has been a large reduction in absolute poverty. What accounts for such rapid development and catch-up? Distinguished economist Surjit S. Bhalla’s The New Wealth of Nations offers a short answer—the spread of education.
    The very large increase in college graduates in the non-Western world, the growing educational achievements of women, and the radical change in gender roles is critical to the understanding of current-day mega-trends. Indeed, this unprecedented development—which creates competition globally and lowers employment costs—is also why world inflation has been low, and declining, for nearly twenty years.
    Here is a book that breaks new ground. Besides identifying the fallacies in anti-globalization rhetoric—voiced by Brexit and Trump supporters—it points out a major lacuna in current attempts to measure wealth inequality. Through a series of compelling arguments, anecdotes, studies, calculations, tables, and charts, Bhalla emphatically reminds us that education is the new wealth, and is, in fact, currently of a greater magnitude than financial wealth, and much more equally distributed.
    Even while acknowledging the giant strides made by the developing world, The New Wealth of Nations investigates the downsides to the explosion of education and technology, and why countries, rich and emerging, will have to explore options like basic income and negative income tax, so that a new welfare order, appropriate for the changed—and changing—21st century can emerge.

* Surjit S. Bhalla has been recently appointed as a member of PM Modi’s Economic Advisory Council, and his new work is a ground-breaking achievement that argues for a new welfare order across nations which is better suited for the constantly transforming time we live in.
* Through a series of compelling arguments, anecdotes, studies, calculations, tables, and charts, noted economist Surjit S. Bhalla establishes in his latest book that education is the new wealth of nations.
* This book offers insights into the definitions of the poor, the middle class, and the rich, while relating each of these to advances in schooling attainment. It explores the economic reasons behind the political success of globalization in the Western world till the early 2000s, and now its fall from grace in these same countries as notably evidenced by Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump.
 * Releasing for authors UK visit in February 2018.
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