Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Real Exchange Rate and Export Growth: Are Services Different?

NIPFP Working Paper 112

Barry Eichengreen and Poonam Gupta
December 2012


We consider the determinants of exports of services, distinguishing between modern and traditional services. We consider both the growth of export volumes and so-called export surges – periods of rapid sustained export growth. We ask whether the determinants of export growth rates and surges differ between merchandise, traditional services and modern services and whether developing countries are different. Our findings confirm the importance of the real exchange rate for export growth. We find that the effect of the real exchange rate is even stronger for exports of services than exports of goods; it is especially strong for exports of modern services. While the evidence of differential effects between advanced and developing countries is weaker, our results nonetheless suggest that as developing countries shift from exporting primarily commodities and merchandise to exporting traditional and modern services in the course of their development, appropriate policies toward the real exchange rate become even more important.