nep-inv New Economics Papers
on Investment
Issue of 2023‒10‒02
ten papers chosen by
Daniela Cialfi, Università degli Studi di Teramo

  1. A Study of Business Transition Directions Based on Patent Data: Focusing on the Display and Automotive Industries By Nam, Sanguk; Oh, Seunghwan
  2. Exploring Disparate Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Containment Measures on Food Security within Ethiopia By Debalke, Negash Mulatu
  3. The Gold of Industry and the Core of the Military: China's Rare Earths Strategy and its Implications for Korea By Park, Sohee
  4. Building for Babies: Impacts of childcare expansion on fertility rates and marriage (Japanese) By UNAYAMA Takashi
  5. Immigration and Nationalism in the Long Run By Valentin Lang; Stephan A. Schneider
  6. Estimating the Output Gap After COVID: How to Address Unprecedented Macroeconomic Variations By Camilo Granados; Daniel Parra-Amado
  7. Monitoring the SDGs in Western Macedonia region, Greece By KOUTSOMARKOS Nikos
  8. Mekong Subregion-RoK Cooperation to Build Stable Supply Chains in Southeast Asia By Yun, Jeonghwan; CHEONG, Jaewan; SHIN, Mingeum; KIM, Jegook
  9. Dual Effects of the US-China Trade War and COVID-19 on United States Imports: Transfer of China's industrial chain? By Wei Luo; Siyuan Kang; Sheng Hu; Lixian Su; Rui Dai
  10. Ending Pay for PBM Performance: Consequences for Prescription Drug Prices, Utilization, and Government Spending By Casey B. Mulligan

  1. By: Nam, Sanguk (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade); Oh, Seunghwan (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade)
    Abstract: When firms anticipate a major change in the business environment or some kind of crisis, they often pursue some kind of business transition in an effort to overcome the challenge and discover new growth momentum. Rapid changes to the industrial environment such as COVID-19, carbon neutrality, and the digital transformation have made business transformation increasingly urgent. However, Korean small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not adequately prepared to meet this challenge. According to a survey by the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency (KOSME), 85.4 percent of SMEs reported that management felt a need to change the structure of the business. Yet only 26.9 percent of firms were found to be making active preparations to do so. The industrial environment of the display and automobile industries in particular is undergoing a rapid change. Display industry manufacturers are switching to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays as the competitiveness of liquid-crystal displays (LCD) declines due to increased competition from China, and the automobile industry is rapidly shifting from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) due to the promotion of carbon neutrality policies. Domestically, both industries possess world-class technologies thanks to long-term R&D and investment, but they are in danger of losing demand for these technologies due to changes in the industrial environment. It is against backdrop which this study is set. In it, we examine the direction of business transformation based on technological capacity through an analysis of patent data. The dataset in question consists of information on SMEs’ patents in the display and automotive industries.
    Keywords: business transition; restructuring; carbon neutrality; digital transformation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; SME growth; SME policy; display industry; automotive industry; industrial structure; SME technology; SME capacity; Korea
    JEL: D20 D23 D25 E22 L16 L21 L25 L29 L52 L62 L63 L68
    Date: 2023–08–30
  2. By: Debalke, Negash Mulatu
    Abstract: Covid-19 affects food security of households through different pathways. Several studies from many developing countries, including Africa, show that the pandemic has had heterogeneous impacts on food security across various groups of households, livelihood options and sectors in the economy. This study aims to examine the trajectory of and potentially differential impacts of the early days of the pandemic on food security, outcome variable, in Ethiopia along households’ location or sectors, ownership of assets and varying livelihoods and income sources. Also, the government’s containment measures such as movement restrictions with-in the country, curfew or lockdown, and closure of non-essential businesses, are the key explanatory and indicator variables in the estimation. Using the World Bank’s nationally representative harmonized panel data on households drawn from the high frequency phone survey (HFPS), the study undertakes fixed effects regression. The results indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic had a statistically significant impact on overall food insecurity in Ethiopia and households have experienced a declining trend in food insecurity along the survey rounds. Within country travel restriction has a statistically significant and heterogeneous impact on the outcome variable, i.e. probability of households’ being moderately/severely food insecure. Households who had rental income sources were significantly exposed to food insecurity due to the pandemic. Moreover, the results identified the significant heterogeneity of the impacts between households with and without receiving remittance and assistance. The finding suggests the important role of social protection in guarding households from deteriorating trajectory of food insecurity during the pandemic in the short term. Overall, the paper determined that mobility restriction, ownership of land, rental income, remittance, and assistance are statistically significant indicators of heterogeneity of the pandemic’s impacts on food security. Finally, it points that the findings of can be used to informing short term and medium-term policy responses and interventions by the government of Ethiopia and international donor organizations.
    Keywords: Covid-19; pandemic; probability; impacts; food insecurity; heterogeneity; livelihood
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2023–02
  3. By: Park, Sohee (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade)
    Abstract: The rare earth elements (REE) refer to 17 metallic elements, including 15 lanthanides and two non-lanthanides. REEs are classified into two broad categories based atomic weight: light rare earth elements (LREEs) and heavy rare earth elements (HREEs). There are seven LREEs, with low atomic numbers and small masses, and 10 HREEs, with high atomic numbers and large masses. Rare earths are strategic materials (core minerals) directly related to resource security, defense, and industrial security. They are used in various industries, including defense, aerospace, information and communications technologies (ICT), artificial intelligence (AI), medical care, new energy, energy conservation, and environmental protection. Deposits of rare earths are concentrated in a handful of countries and regions, and this arrangement has made securing a stable supply of rare earths a key component of national economic competitiveness in the era of economic security. Currently, China is the only country on Earth in which all 17 REEs can be found. Not only does it have the largest proven deposits of rare earths in the world, it is also the largest miner and consumer of rare earths globally. Over the past 60 years, the Chinese government has been pushing the development of the rare earths industry. Two sayings illustrate the importance the government assigns to rare earths: they are “gold of industry” and the “core of the military” (HREEs are used in high-tech weapons manufacturing). China has designated rare earths as national strategic resources and has emphasized the importance of rare earths security. At the same, China has leveraged its rare earths in dealings with major export destinations such as Japan and the United States. In this context, this study aims to understand the development status of the rare earths industry in China. It focuses on the Chinese government’s major rare earths policies, and the implications these measures carry for Korean policy.
    Keywords: rare earths; rare earths policy; rare earths industry; strategic resources; economic security; national security; resource security; weapons manufacturing; export controls; trade policy; economic nationalism; China; US; Korea
    JEL: F13 F51 F52 L72 L78 O13 Q34 Q37 Q38 Q56
    Date: 2023–08–30
  4. By: UNAYAMA Takashi
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of the development of daycare centers on fertility. Since the 2000s, daycare centers have been rapidly developed as a measure to cope with the declining birthrate. The capacity of daycare centers, which remained at around 2 million children until the early 2000s, expanded to about 3 million by 2020. The increased availability of daycare centers will make it easier for women to continue working after childbirth, and more women will choose to marry and have children. However, the effects of this rapid development of daycare centers in recent years have yet to be analyzed. This is because the decision to give birth is a life-course choice that is made over the course of a woman's lifetime, and it is not possible to observe whether a change in behavior has occurred until after a woman has completed her lifetime. This paper analyzed the decision to "marry" as a proxy variable for life course choices related to birth and quantified the effect of daycare center development. Using census data by prefecture and year of birth, the results indicate that the development of daycare centers since 2005 has had the effect of lowering the lifetime unmarried rate by approximately 5.5 percentage points and raising the total fertility rate by 0.1.
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Valentin Lang; Stephan A. Schneider
    Abstract: During recent waves of immigration, support for nationalist parties has increased in many countries, but the political backlash against immigration differs strongly across regions. We identify an underlying cause for these differences by studying how local experience with immigration shapes nationalist sentiment and electoral reactions to current immigration in the long run. Our analysis draws on a natural experiment in post-war Germany, where a short-term demarcation of occupation zones led to a discontinuous and quasi-exogenous distribution of forced migrants. Across this border, the population share of migrants differed by 12 percentage points. Applying a spatial regression discontinuity design, we combine historical migration records with panel data at the municipality level for the 1925-2021 period. The results reveal a substantially weaker backlash against contemporary immigration in regions where more migrants settled in the late 1940s. This historical experience reduces the nationalist backlash by about 20 percent. High levels of immigration activate this effect over a period of at least 70 years. To study the mechanisms, we conduct a geocoded survey with a randomized experiment and open-ended questions in the study region. We find that both family history and local collective memory of successful immigrant integration contribute to these effects. The results of the randomized experiment are consistent with the natural experiment, revealing how experience with immigration can curb nationalism.
    Keywords: migration, nationalism, persistence, voting behavior
    JEL: D72 O15
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Camilo Granados; Daniel Parra-Amado
    Abstract: This study examines whether and how important it is to adjust output gap frameworks during the COVID-19 pandemic and similar unprecedentedly large-scale episodes. Our proposed modelling framework comprises a Bayesian Structural Vector Autoregressions with an identification setup based on a permanent-transitory decomposition that exploits the long-run relationship of consumption with output and whose residuals are scaled up around the COVID-19 period. Our results indicate that (i) a single structural error is usually sufficient to explain the permanent component of the gross domestic product (GDP); (ii) the adjusted method allows for the incorporation of the COVID-19 period without assuming sudden changes in the modelling setup after the pandemic; and (iii) the proposed adjustment generates approximation improvements relative to standard filters or similar models with no adjustments or alternative ones, but where the specific rare observations are not known. Importantly, abstracting from any adjustment may lead to over or underestimating the gap, to too-quick gap recoveries after downturns, or too-large volatility around the median potential output estimations. **** RESUMEN: Esta investigación examina si y cómo es importante ajustar la estimación de la brecha de producto (PIB) durante la pandemia de COVID-19. Para ello, proponemos dentro de un enfoque bayesiano un modelo de Vectores Autoregresivos estructurales (BSVAR) con un esquema de identificación basado en la descomposición de choques permanentes y transitorios que explota la relación de largo plazo entre el consumo y el PIB, y cuyos residuales se escalan alrededor del periodo de COVID-19. Nuestros resultados indican que (i) Con un sólo choque estructural es suficiente para explicar la componente permanente del PIB; (ii) el método ajustado permite la incorporación del período de COVID-19 sin asumir cambios bruscos en la configuración de modelización después de la pandemia; y (iii) el ajuste propuesto genera mejoras en la aproximación en comparación con filtros estándar u otros modelos similares sin ajustes o alternativos, pero donde las observaciones específicas poco comunes no son conocidas. Es importante destacar que prescindir de cualquier ajuste puede llevar a sobreestimar o subestimar la brecha de PIB, a una recuperación de la brecha demasiado rápida después de las caídas o a una volatilidad demasiado grande alrededor de la mediana de dichas estimaciones.
    Keywords: Bayesian methods, business cycles, potential output, output gaps, structural estimation, Métodos Bayesianos, Ciclos económicos, Producto potencial, Brecha de producto, Estimación estructural
    JEL: C11 C53 E3 E32 E37
    Date: 2023–09
    Abstract: In the framework of the ‘REGIONS2030 monitoring the SDGs in the EU regions - filling the data gaps’ project supported by the European Parliament and implemented by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with DG REGIO and ESTAT, an analysis of a dataset to measure the SDGs at regional (NUTS2) level was performed for Western Macedonia, Greece. The work included checking data availability, fit between the indicators and the regional priorities, and the formulation of suggestions for new indicators. After the analysis of the dataset, 77 indicators were suggested for monitoring the SDGs in the region, while certain challenges emerged; general and indicator-specific issues were analysed; and recommendations of new perspectives and indicators to be considered were provided.
    Date: 2023–07
    Abstract: The Mekong subregion has emerged as a key hub in the global value chain (GVC), driven by a surge in foreign direct invest-ment (FDI). This development is rooted in the Mekong subregion's robust economic growth, positioning it strategically amid the ongoing competition between the United States and China for global hegemony. The RoK recognizes the strategic significance of the Mekong subregion and has embarked on cooperative efforts in this context. We delve into the potential of harnessing the Mekong subregion to enhance RoK's supply chain diversity. While it may pose challenges for the Mekong subregion to promptly function as a target for RoK's supply chain diversifi-cation due to its developmental and infra-structural status, we proactively explore po-tential avenues of RoK-Mekong cooperation to determine feasibility.
    Keywords: Mekong; Supply Chains
    Date: 2023–08–11
  9. By: Wei Luo; Siyuan Kang; Sheng Hu; Lixian Su; Rui Dai
    Abstract: The trade tension between the U.S. and China since 2018 has caused a steady decoupling of the world's two largest economies. The pandemic outbreak in 2020 complicated this process and had numerous unanticipated repercussions. This paper investigates how U.S. importers reacted to the trade war and worldwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We examine the effects of the two incidents on U.S. imports separately and collectively, with various economic scopes. Our findings uncover intricate trading dynamics among the U.S., China, and Southeast Asia, through which businesses relocated portions of their global supply chain away from China to avoid high tariffs. Our analysis indicates that increased tariffs cause the U.S. to import less from China. Meanwhile, Southeast Asian exporters have integrated more into value chains centered on Chinese suppliers by participating more in assembling and completing products. However, the worldwide lockdowns over pandemic have reversed this trend as, over this period, the U.S. effectively imported more goods directly from China and indirectly through Southeast Asian exporters that imported from China.
    Date: 2023–09
  10. By: Casey B. Mulligan
    Abstract: Proposed “delinking” legislation would prohibit Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) from being remunerated based on the rebates and discounts they negotiate for drug insurance plans serving Medicare beneficiaries. This policy would significantly change drug pricing and utilization and shift billions of dollars annually from patients and taxpayers to drug manufacturers and retail pharmacy companies. Annual federal spending on Medicare Part D premiums would increase $3 billion to $10 billion plus any concomitant increase in Medicare subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses. All of these consequences stem from the fact that PBMs are hired to obtain rebates and discounts but would no longer be compensated based on their results. The quantitative estimates utilize a large body of economic research showing how much “pay for performance” matters for economic outcomes. The price-theoretic models also account for various market frictions and imperfections including market power, coordination costs, tax distortions, and incomplete innovation incentives.
    JEL: D43 D71 I13 J24 L14 L51
    Date: 2023–09

This nep-inv issue is ©2023 by Daniela Cialfi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.