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One Currency, Two Markets
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This book is for anyone who is interested in the economic analysis of the future of the international monetary system and the USD, and the rising importance of the RMB. It points out the unsustainability of the dollar standard in the long run, that China has unique incentives to internationalize its currency, and how Hong Kong plays an important role. It explains the real reasons for China to internationalize its currency, including using external commitments to force financial sector reforms ('daobi' in Chinese). It applies economic theories accessible to laymen to establish that financial development and openness are crucial for RMB internationalization to succeed, and that greater exchange rate volatility is inevitable due to the 'open-economy trilemma'. Employing the 'gravity model', the book predicts quantitatively that the RMB is likely to be a distant third payment currency after the USD and the euro, but surpassing the Japanese yen in the next decade.


‘Is the renminbi poised to overtake the US dollar as the leading international and reserve currency? The answer, as with many things economic is: it's complicated. Here Edwin L. -C. Lai sifts through the complexities and provides a balanced view of the prospects. This is far and away the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of renminbi internationalization. Highly recommended.'

Barry Eichengreen - George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee, Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

‘There is something in this book for both optimists and pessimists of renminbi internationalization. Given the high rates of growth of Chinese real GDP and international trade, continuing renminbi internationalization appears inevitable, certainly as a medium of exchange, and potentially as a store of value, but perhaps not as a ‘safe haven’ currency.’

Lawrence J. Lau - Landau Professor of Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Li Professor in Economic Development, Emeritus, Stanford University

‘The Chinese RMB has risen in importance in both cross-border business transactions and official-sector financial operations. While China’s economic growth will help RMBs’ further rise, Edwin Lai’s book explains why additional reforms are also crucial. For anyone who wishes to understand more about the causes, consequences, and future prospect, this is a very useful reference.’

Shang-Jin Wei - Professor, Columbia Business School, and former Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank

‘Edwin Lai’s One Currency, Two Markets presents a balanced qualitative and quantitative analysis of the origin, current status, and prospects of RMB internationalization. It provides insightful discussions on both policy measures and the underlying economic reasoning. It brings readers beyond the headlines and will interest both academics and policymakers.’

Yin-Wong Cheung - Hung Hing Ying Chair Professor of International Economics, City University of Hong Kong

‘Professor Lai’s book is, to date, the most comprehensive study on the internationalization of China’s currency. It includes detailed institutional details and empirical data about China’s attempt in internationalizing RMB, and examines its future prospect both from a historical perspective and through the lens of economic theory. I have no doubt that it will become a standard reference; anyone who is interested in China’s role in international finance and trade should read the book.’

Xiaodong Zhu - Professor, Department of Economics, University of Toronto

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