Monetary and Economic Studies Vol.22, No.1 / March 2004

The Choice of Invoice Currency in International Trade: Implications for the Internationalization of the Yen

Hiroyuki Oi, Akira Otani, Toyoichiro Shirota

In this paper, we present an overview of theoretical research on the choice of an invoice currency for exports from the perspective of expected profit maximization. We then use this theory as a basis to offer a current assessment and future outlook regarding the use of the yen in trade transactions, which is one aspect of the internationalization of the yen. Our analysis demonstrates that the current use of the yen to price exports is largely consistent with levels that can be explained by theory. This suggests that the current measures for improving Japanese financial markets are, by themselves, likely to have only a limited impact on expanding the use of the yen as a denomination for trade transactions, given the current international competitiveness and market share of Japan's manufacturing industry and the current exchange rate regimes. Moreover, the currency-basket regime that has been proposed for East Asia from the perspective of the internationalization of the yen is not necessarily theoretically desirable for the region, nor is expanded use of the yen in trade transactions necessarily a free lunch for Japan, in that it may very well bring with it new problems for implementing economic policies.

Keywords: Invoice currency; Local currency pricing (LCP); Producer's currency pricing (PCP); Internationalization of the yen; New open-economy macroeconomics; Currency-basket regime

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 2004 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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