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Historical Precedents for Internationalization of the RMB

A CGS/IIGG Working Paper

Author: , James Harpel Chair for Capital Formation & Growth, Harvard University

Historical Precedents for Internationalization of the RMB - historical-precedents-for-internationalization-of-the-rmb

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date November 2011

34 pages


The twentieth century saw the rise of the U.S. dollar, the German mark, and the Japanese yen as international currencies. Now the Chinese renminbi is on a similar course toward reserve currency status, but its path is deviating from those of its predecessors in both aim and intent. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Working Paper, produced in association with CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program, Professor Jeffrey Frankel explains how the renminbi’s ascent is without historical precedent and why China might be pursuing such an unorthodox strategy.

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Jeffrey A. Frankel is the James W. Harpel professor of capital formation and growth at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He directs the program in international finance and macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is also a member of the business cycle dating committee, which officially declares recessions.

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