nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2005‒03‒20
fourteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. China's Innovation System Reform and Growing Industry and Science Linkages By Kazuyuki Motohashi; Xiao Yun
  2. The Role of Multinational Firms in International Trade: The Case of Japan By Kozo Kiyota; Shujiro Urata
  3. Are Vietnamese Farmers Concerned with their Relative Position in Society? By Carlsson, Fredrik; Nam, Pham Khanh; Linde-Rahr, Martin; Martinsson, Peter
  4. Nonprofit/For-Profit Status and Earning Differentials in the Japanese At-home Elderly Care Industry: Evidence from Micro-level Data on Home Helpers and Staff Nurses By Haruko Noguchi; Satoshi Shimizutani
  5. Is Learning by Migrating in Megalopolis Really Important? By Tomohiro Machikita
  6. Career Crisis? The Impacts of Financial Shock on Entry-Level Labour Market: Experimental Evidences from Thailand in 1997 By Tomohiro Machikita
  7. Financial Sector Returns and Creditor Moral Hazard: Evidence from Indonesia, Korea, and Thailand By Jian Tong; Chenggang Xu
  8. Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and State Ownership in China: Evidence from New Panel Data* By Takao Kato; Cheryl Long
  9. The Unanticipated Effects of Insider Trading Regulation By Art Durnev; Amrita S. Nain
  10. Firm Ownership and Internal Labor Practices in a Transition Economy: An Exploration of Worker Skill Acquisition in Vietnam By Jed Friedman
  11. Returns to Schooling in China Under Planning and Reform By Belton M. Fleisher; Xiaojun Wang
  12. Economic Reform in Tanzania and Vietnam: A Comparative Commentary By Brian Van Arkadie; Do Duc Dinh
  13. Determinants of Employment Growth at MNEs: Evidence from Egypt, India, South Africa and Vietnam By Sumon Kumar Bhaumik; Klaus Meyer; Saul Estrin
  14. Equality of opportunity and other equity principles in the context of developing countries By Denis Cogneau

  1. By: Kazuyuki Motohashi; Xiao Yun
    Abstract: In this paper, linkages of S&T activities between industry and science are investigated in the context of innovation system reforms. A firm level dataset from S&T survey at National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of PRC for about 22,000 manufacturing firms is used for econometrics analysis of firm's S&T outsourcing activities. In transition period of China's innovation system from 1996 to 2002, firm's S&T outsourcing activities have been increased significantly. In addition, positive association between basic research oriented firms and collaboration with science sector can be found. China's innovation system was suffered from Russian model, where S&T activities at public research institutes and production activities at state owned enterprises are completely separated. However, in transition period of innovation system reform toward network type one, we can find that some firms have gained their technological capability to collaborate with universities and PRIs.
    Date: 2005–03
  2. By: Kozo Kiyota; Shujiro Urata
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of multinational firms in international trade, using firm-level panel data for Japanese firms between 1994 and 2000. Our results indicate that multinational firms dominate Japanese trade. In 2000, only 13.8 percent of Japanese firms were multinationals but they accounted for 95.1 and 85.4 percent of Japanese exports and imports, respectively. Multinational firms are found to have emerged from being exporters/importers. These results imply that firms do not make the choice of either exports or FDI, unlike the findings of previous studies. Rather, exporters make a decision on whether or not to undertake FDI.
    Date: 2005–03
  3. By: Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University); Nam, Pham Khanh (Faculty of Development Economics, University of Economics); Linde-Rahr, Martin (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University); Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the attitude towards relative position or status among rural households in Vietnam. On average, the respondents show weaker preferences for relative position than in comparable studies in Western countries. Possible explanations are the emphasis on the importance of equality and that villagers are very concerned with how the local community perceives their actions. We also investigate what influences the concern for relative position and find, among other things, that if anyone from the household is a member of the Peoples Committee then the respondent is more concerned with the relative position. <p>
    Keywords: Relative income; positionality; experiments; Vietnam; Asia
    JEL: C91 D63
    Date: 2005–03–16
  4. By: Haruko Noguchi; Satoshi Shimizutani
    Abstract: In April 2000, Japan embarked on a reform of its health care market. Along with the introduction of the long-term care insurance scheme, the government for the first time allowed for-profit operators to compete head-on with non-profit operators in the provision of at-home care services. Taking advantage of a unique and rich micro-level survey, this study is the first to examine wage differentials between the nonprofit and the for-profit sector in Japan's nursing care industry, concentrating on home helpers and staff nurses. Controlling for nonrandom unobserved selection biases, our results show that a nonprofit wage premium exists. This finding supports the hypothesis that nonprofit providers operate under non-distributional constraints.
    Keywords: Japanese long-term care insurance, long-term care, nursing home, home helpers, staff nurses, nonprofit wage premium, quality of care, Heckman's two-stage approach
    JEL: I11
    Date: 2005–02
  5. By: Tomohiro Machikita
    Abstract: This paper examines learning by migrating effects on the productivity of migrants who move to the "megalopolis" from rural areas utilizing the Thailand Labor Force Survey Data. The main contribution of this paper is to develop a simple framework to empirically test for self-selection on the migration decision and learning by migrating. The role of the characteristics of the urban labour market is also examined. In conclusion, we find self-selection effects test (1) positive among new migrants from rural area (i.e. "new entrants" to the urban labour market); and (2) negative among new migrants who move to rural areas (i.e. "new exits" from the urban labour market). These results suggest a natural selection (survival of the fittest) mechanism exists in the urban labour market.
    Keywords: Self-selection, Learning by migrating, Survival of the fittest, Natural Experiment
    JEL: D83 J61 R23
    Date: 2005–02
  6. By: Tomohiro Machikita
    Abstract: Identifying the conditions of entry-level labour market on employment and wages is difficult because there is non-separability of match qualities from firm specific demand shock at the period of transition from school to work. We utilize Thailand's financial crisis in 1997 as a natural experiment which exogenously shifts labour demand temporally. This model provides three testable hypotheses: (1) entry-level labour market tightens after crisis; (2) disadvantage of newly entrants at the period after crisis decreases overtime; (3) senior or highly educated worker's job and wages are secured. Convincing evidences from Thailand Labor Force Survey support our empirical predictions.
    Keywords: Crisis, Entry-Level Labour market, Treatment Effects
    JEL: C21 D83 J63 J64 R23
    Date: 2005–02
  7. By: Jian Tong; Chenggang Xu
    Abstract: This paper introduces a framework of investor behavior in which investors form their expectations regarding the credibility of a prospective IMF program in reforming the financial sector characterized by domestic implicit guarantees. We examine the changes in financial sector returns in response to IMF-related news such as announcements of program negotiations and approval to infer investor perception regarding the Fund support associated with the program. We test the implications of our framework based on the East Asian crisis of the late 1990s. Using daily financial sector returns from Indonesia, Korea, and Thailand, we find that news of program negotiations and approval increases financial sector returns in Indonesia and Korea. The findings are consistent with investor perception that negotiated IMF programs are non-credible due to expected continuation of domestic implicit guarantees during the future Fund
    Keywords: Moral Hazard, the IMF, Asian crisis, Financial markets
    JEL: F32 F33 F34 G15
    Date: 2004–05–01
  8. By: Takao Kato; Cheryl Long
    Abstract: This paper provides the first systematic evidence on compensation for executives of firms listed in China’s emerging stock market (currently the eighth largest of the world with market capitalization of over $550 billion). Specifically, using comprehensive financial and accounting data on China’s listed firms from 1998 to 2002 (data modeled after Compustat and CRSP in the U.S.), augmented by unique data on executive compensation, we find for the first time statistically significant sensitivities and elasticities of annual cash compensation (salary and bonus) for top executives with respect to shareholder value in China. The size of the estimated sensitivities imply that a 1000 RMB increase in shareholder value yields a 0.020 RMB to 0.053 RMB increase in annual cash compensation, whereas the size of the estimated elasticities suggest that a 10 percent increase in shareholder value results in 3.7 to 4.0 percent increase in annual cash compensation for top executives. The estimated sensitivities and elasticities of cash compensation for top executives in China’s listed firms are greater than what has been reported for Japan and the U.S. However, we also find that state ownership of China’s listed firms is weakening executive pay-performance link and thus possibly making China’s listed firms less effective in solving the agency problem. As such, ownership restructuring may be needed for the “shareholding experiment” to fully succeed in transforming China’s emerging listed firms to efficient modernized corporations and for the overall successful economic transition of China. Finally, we find that sales growth is significantly linked to executive compensation and that Chinese executives are penalized for making negative profit although they are neither penalized for declining profit nor rewarded for rising profit insofar as it is positive.
    Keywords: transition economies, China, executive compensation, firm performance, corporate governance, and ownership structure.
    JEL: P31 P34 M52 M12 G30 G15 J33 O53
    Date: 2004–05–01
  9. By: Art Durnev; Amrita S. Nain
    Abstract: Using a sample of 2,827 firms from 21 countries we examine whether insider trading laws achieve the primary objective for which they are introduced – protecting uninformed investors from private information-based trading. We find that when control is concentrated in the hands of a large shareholder, insider trading regulation is less effective in reducing private information-based trading if investor protection is poor. We suggest that controlling shareholders who are banned from trading may resort to covert expropriation of firm resources, creating more information asymmetry and thereby encouraging private information trading by informed outsiders. Consistent with this, we find evidence that when the rights of controlling shareholders are high, insider trading restrictions are associated with greater earnings opacity.
    Keywords: Insider Trading Regulation, Ownership, Private Information Trading, Earnings Opacity
    JEL: G15 G14 G38
    Date: 2004–05–01
  10. By: Jed Friedman
    Abstract: One feature common to many post-socialist transition economies is a relatively compressed wage structure in the state owned sector. We conjecture that this compressed wage structure creates weak incentives for work effort and worker skill acquisition and thus presents adverse consequences for the entire transition economy if a substantial portion of the labor force works in the state sector. We explore firm wage incentives and worker training, as well as other labor practices and outcomes, in a transition setting with matched firm and worker data collected in one of the largest provinces of Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese state sector exhibits a compressed wage distribution in relation to foreign invested privately owned firms. State wage practices stress tenure over worker productivity and their wage policies result in flatter wage – experience profiles and lower returns to education. The state work force is in greater need for formal training, a need that is, in part, met through direct government financing. In spite of the opportunities for government financed training and at least partly due to inefficient worker incentives, state firms, by certain measures, exhibit lower levels of labor productivity. The private sector comparison group to state firms for all of these findings is foreign owned firms. The internal labor practices of foreign firms are more consistent with a view of profit-maximizing firms operating with no political constraints. This is not the case for Vietnamese de novo private firms that exhibit much more idiosyncratic behavior and whose labor practices are often indistinguishable from state firms. The exact reasons for this remain a topic of ongoing research yet we conjecture that various private sector constraints, including limited access to formal capital, play an important role.
    Keywords: Vietnam, within-firm incentives, labor productivity, transition
    JEL: P31 J31
    Date: 2004–05–01
  11. By: Belton M. Fleisher; Xiaojun Wang
    Abstract: We estimate returns to schooling using a retrospective work history survey covering more than 4,000 workers over the period 1950 to 1994, with particular emphasis to the returns to schooling for workers who attended institutes of higher education and who graduated from college. We find evidence that schooling returns declined throughout the period leading up to the Cultural Revolution (CR), with returns for workers who did not attend college becoming negligible. Returns to those with some college education remained positive, but low compared to other countries. Consistent with other studies, we find that returns to schooling did not recover from their CR low until the 1990s. Increases in the return to schooling during the transition following the CR were not associated directly with workers changing jobs or with taking “new-economy” jobs but appear to have occurred for most workers across all ownership categories. Workers most likely to leave jobs in the traditional ownership sector for jobs in the private or jointventure categories were those who entered the labor force prior to 1967. We do not find evidence supporting other studies’ finding that schooling returns for college graduates increased more than for workers with lower levels of schooling attainment.
    Keywords: returns to schooling, skills, China
    JEL: J31 J24 O15
    Date: 2004–06–01
  12. By: Brian Van Arkadie; Do Duc Dinh
    Abstract: The economic reforms in Tanzania and Vietnam represent the two typical cases of transition economies in Asia and Africa, particularrly the transformation of the two developing economies from the planned to the market mechanism. In this paper, the two authors, Brian - a British economist and Dinh - a Vietnamese economist, have, basing on a comparative approach, enquired into various economic and social aspects of the economic reforms in the two countries, including the demographic transition, the change in population growth, the investment in human capital, the growth of GDP, the structural sransformation, the linkage between gricultural growth, rural development, food production and poverty alleviation, the reform in the industrial sector and the state enterprises, the change of ownership , the role of the State, the capital formation, the role of the domestic savings, foreign aid, investment and trade, the gains and losses from globalisation, with an aim to find the answer to the question why in the two cases, Tanzania seemed to follow the donors’ guidance better than Vietnam, but achieved smaller successes?
    Keywords: Reform vesus Renovation; Fast Liberalisation vs Step-by-Step Transformation; Privatisation vs Equitisation; Multi-Sector Ownership vs Private Ownership Bias; Industrialisation vs Agriculture-Driven Growth; Active State vs Passive State.
    JEL: E6 F41 F43 H11 N10 N15 N17 O11 O53 O55 O57 P52
    Date: 2004–06–01
  13. By: Sumon Kumar Bhaumik; Klaus Meyer; Saul Estrin
    Abstract: Foreign investors are expected to contribute to economic development through a variety of channels. However, many foreign investment operations are small, and almost insignificant in their impact on the local environment. An important indication of the potential contribution of foreign investors is thus their employment growth. Employees working for, and trained by, a multinational enterprise may become carriers of new technology and business practices. The more employees receive access to new knowledge, the more they in turn may spread the knowledge across the economy, for instance by setting up their own businesses. In this paper, we make a first step in investigating the determinants of this important mediating variable, employment growth. For a dataset covering four diverse emerging economies, we find that wholly-owned FDI operations have higher employment growth, while local industry characteristics moderate the growth effect.
    Keywords: MNE, employment growth, control, institutions, FDI policy
    JEL: O13 O33 J21 F23
    Date: 2004–07–01
  14. By: Denis Cogneau (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: I propose a personal reading of some theories of social justice at a moment when the issue of equality or equity appears to be back on the ‘development agenda’. Nowadays the term equity tends to be most often associated with the equality of opportunity principle. After having briefly summarized the equality of opportunity standpoint, I review the two main criticisms that have been addressed to it inside the economic literature: the right-wing meritocratic criticism on the one hand, and the left-wing egalitarian criticism on the other. I supplement these internal criticisms with a sociological or anthropological standpoint that advocates for a more pluralist definition of justice and gives a central role to the competition between elites for legitimacy. I argue that despite its indubitable potency (even for issues like international inequalities between countries), the equality of opportunity principle is incomplete and that some meritocratic principles and some equalization of outcomes should enter into play when thinking about social justice in a given real society. Moreover, a socially relevant conception of justice should take into account cultural variations in the definition of fairness. A universalist definition of justice is better preserved when the issue of tyranny and separation of powers is considered at both the social and political levels. _________________________________ Je propose une lecture personnelle de quelques théories de la justice sociale au moment où la question de l’égalité ou de l’équité semble être revenue sur l’agenda du développement. De nos jours le terme équité semble être le plus souvent associé au principe d’égalité des chances. Après un court résumé du point de vue de l’égalité des chances, je passe en revue les deux critiques principales qui lui ont été adressées au sein de la littérature économique : la critique méritocratique de droite d’un côté, et la critique égalitariste de gauche de l’autre. J’ajoute à ces deux critiques internes un point de vue historique et sociologique qui prone une définition pluraliste de la justice et fait jouer un rôle central à la compétition des élites pour la légitimité. J’argumente que malgré son indubitable puissance (même dans le domaine des inégalités internationales entre pays), le principe d’égalité des chances est incomplet et que des principes méritocratiques et d’égalisation des résultats doivent entrer en jeu lorsqu’on réfléchit à la justice sociale dans une société réellement existante. De plus, une conception de la justice socialement pertinente doit prendre en compte les variations culturelles dans la définition du juste. Une définition universaliste de la justice est mieux préservée lorsque la question de la tyrannie et de la séparation des pouvoirs est considérée, à la fois sur le plan social et sur le plan politique.
    Keywords: Distributive Justice, Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, Meritocracy, Political Economy, Development, Equity, Separation of Powers, Justice distributive, Inégalité, Egalité des chances, Méritocratie, Economie politique, Développement, Equité, Séparation des pouvoirs.
    JEL: A13 D63 O15 P50
    Date: 2005–01

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