Lecciones japonesas para la moneda china

SHANGHAI – La cuestión de cuánto debería apreciarse la moneda de China para reequilibrar su comercio se ha vuelto una cuestión candente a nivel global. Pero las respuestas han sido múltiples, desde algunos que sostienen que el yuan no está en absoluto subvaluado, hasta quienes piensan que debería apreciarse frente al dólar en más del 30%.

Claramente, debe de haber diferencias importantes en los modelos macroeconómicos utilizados para producir este rango tan variado de estimaciones. Pero lo único en lo que todos parecen coincidir es en la presunción teórica y empíricamente injustificada de que en realidad existe un tipo de cambio de equilibrio.

El problema teórico es simple: la balanza comercial de un país depende de muchas más cosas que del valor de su moneda en los mercados de moneda extranjera. También inciden las tasas de interés, el empleo, la demanda agregada y la innovación tecnológica e institucional. Como seńaló la economista Joan Robinson en 1947, cualquier tipo de cambio será el valor de equilibrio para alguna combinación de estas otras variables. El tipo de cambio de equilibrio, al decir de la economista, es una quimera.

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