Robert Lafrance


June 19, 2008

China's Integration into the Global Financial System

Despite having the world's largest GDP when measured in terms of purchasing-power parities, the third-largest share in world exports, and the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, China has only a minor role in the global financial system. Its banks have a modest international presence; China's currency, the renminbi, is virtually not used outside the country; and Chinese capital markets are not a significant source of financing for foreign borrowers. China's modest level of integration into the global financial system is explained by the emphasis given to domestic policy priorities. As the Chinese economy matures, and as reforms strengthen the domestic financial system, China will become more important in global financial markets. Changes are already occurring as China's financial might is being channeled towards overseas investments, and the authorities have committed to greater exchange rate flexibility. These changes will facilitate integration into the global financial system. In this article, the authors describe the current situation and speculate on the future evolution of Chinese financial institutions and markets.

China's Exchange Rate Policy: A Survey of the Literature

Staff Discussion Paper 2008-5 Robert Lafrance
China's integration into the world economy has benefited its people by reducing poverty and raising living standards, and it has benefited the industrialized world by producing manufactured goods at lower cost. It has also raised geopolitical concerns as China's power grows, economic concerns as the manufacturing base in many industrialized countries erodes, and polemics as proposals of protectionist measures to counter China's export growth are put forward.
Content Type(s): Staff Research, Staff Discussion Papers Topic(s): Exchange rate regimes JEL Code(s): F, F3, F33, F36

The Turning Black Tide: Energy Prices and the Canadian Dollar

Staff Working Paper 2006-29 Ramzi Issa, Robert Lafrance, John Murray
The authors revisit the relationship between energy prices and the Canadian dollar in the Amano and van Norden (1995) equation, which shows a negative relationship such that higher real energy prices lead to a depreciation of the Canadian dollar.
June 16, 2006

Global Imbalances—Just How Dangerous?

The combination of rising current account surpluses in Asia and a growing current account deficit in the United States has raised concerns that the resulting imbalances pose a threat to the world economy, especially if they are reversed in a disorderly manner. Some experts believe that normal market forces will resolve these imbalances over time; others argue that policy-makers should facilitate the adjustment with policies that curb domestic demand in deficit countries and stimulate it in surplus countries. Little and Lafrance provide a guide to the major issues and controversies involved in the debate.
November 21, 2004

Summary of the G-20 Workshop on Developing Strong Domestic Financial Markets, 26-27 April 2004

G-20 representatives, academics, market participants, and members of international financial institutions were brought together in Ottawa to explore the connection between robust financial markets and economic growth and development, share experiences, and to develop policy recommendations, where possible. Participants identified several areas they deemed critical for fostering strong domestic financial markets and reducing external vulnerability: sound macroeconomics policies, strengthened financial infrastructures and banking systems, and exchange rate flexibility for countries with widely open capital accounts. Papers presented in the six sessions and keynote address highlighted a number of issues, including currency mismatches, the sequence of financial liberalization and supervisory reforms, the development of local financial markets, infrastructure building and governance, and appropriate incentives.

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