nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2006‒02‒19
thirteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Trade Bloc Formation in Interwar Japan --Gravity Model Analysis-- (forthcoming in Journal of the Japanese and International Economies) By Toshihiro Okubo
  2. Air Quality and Infant Mortality During Indonesia's Massive Wildfires in 1997 By Seema Jayachandran
  3. Overview of the Chinese Electricity Industry and Its Current Issues By Hongliang Yang
  4. Differentiated management of GM diffusion in China: Further hampering the self-sufficiency in cereal production? By Michel Fok; Weili Liang; Guiyan Wang; Yuhong Wu
  5. Supply-Chain Culture Clashes in Europe. Pitfalls in Japanese Service Operations By Koster, M.B.M. de; Shinohara, M.
  6. Effectiveness of Credit Guarantees in the Japanese Loan Market By Iichiro Uesugi; Koji Sakai; Guy M. Yamashiro
  7. Institution Building and Change in China By Krug, B.; Hendrischke, H.
  8. Rural Credit in Vietnam By Mikkel Barslund; Finn Tarp
  9. Intra-industry Trade and Production Networks By Toshihiro Okubo
  10. India's Public Finances: Excessive Budget Deficits, a Government-Abused Financial System and Fiscal Rules By Buiter, Willem H; Patel, Urjit R.
  11. Poverty, politics, and preferences: Field Experiments and survey data from Vietnam By Tomomi Tanaka; Colin F Camerer; Quang Nguyen
  12. Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates (March 2005, joint with Arijit Mukherji, Minnesota, and Aleh Tsyvinski, UCLA) By Christian Hellwig
  13. The Impact of 9/11 and Other Terrible Global Events on Tourism in the U.S. and Hawaii By Carl Bonham; Christopher Edmunds; James Mak

  1. By: Toshihiro Okubo (IUHEI, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the trading system in the interwar period concerning the Japanese Empire by means of border effect analysis in the gravity model. The results show sizeable and steadily increasing trading bloc border effects from the 1910s through the 1930s. This sizeable border effect might have resulted from many possible factors: trade diversion and creation due to increased protectionism and industrialisation in Korea and Formosa, certain political factors, and Japanese migration to Korea and Formosa, which contributed to a 52% increase of bloc border effects in mainland Japan.
    Keywords: Trade Blocs; Gravity Model; Bloc Border Effect; Trade Diversion and Creation, Migration.
  2. By: Seema Jayachandran
    Date: 2005–05–11
  3. By: Hongliang Yang
    Abstract: In China, many ongoing problems in the electricity sector can be traced back to the old ‘centrally planned’ economy. Since the start of liberalization in the 1980s, the clash between a liberalized economy (excluding a few so-called strategic industries) and a centrally controlled electricity industry has gradually become more and more apparent. The Chinese electricity industry is in need of constructive restructuring. In the absence of a universal agreement on optimal industry design, the Chinese government should have a firm and clear understanding of the implications of electricity restructuring for long-term social welfare. Otherwise the electricity industry might, again, be locked into an inferior industry design which would be very costly to change.
    Keywords: Chinese electricity industry, reform, electricity policy
    JEL: L22 L52 Q48
    Date: 2006–02
  4. By: Michel Fok (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - - CIRAD); Weili Liang (HEBAU-DA - Department of Agronomy of HEBAU - Hebei Agricultural University); Guiyan Wang (HEBAU-DA - Department of Agronomy of HEBAU - Hebei Agricultural University); Yuhong Wu (HEBAU-DA - Department of Agronomy of HEBAU - Hebei Agricultural University)
    Abstract: China is a big country in terms of biotech achievements. It is also a rare country demonstrating crop-differentiated policies in the dissemination of the GMOs. While the release of GMOs is authorized notably for cotton in 1998, it is still prohibited for food crops. In spite of the positive outcomes on cotton, at least in the short run, and of the persisting decrease of the cereal production, the hesitation to release GMO on food crops should keep on prevailing. This seems to be founded when the qualitative dimension of the food production is taken into consideration.
    Keywords: China; GMO; food security; cotton; foodcrops; productivity; biotechnology
    Date: 2006–02–08
  5. By: Koster, M.B.M. de; Shinohara, M. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Japanese companies value service and quality highly and they put much effort in realising this. However, survey research carried out in 2001 among senior managers of Japanese logistics companies in the Netherlands, indicated that these efforts do not result in significant performance differences compared to western companies. In this exploratory paper, we report of company visits and interviews with managers of Japanese logistics companies in Western Europe. They described a clash of cultures underlying their operations, prohibiting them from achieving performance excellence. The causes focus around two key factors: the unique concept of Japanese service, based on future rewards which are absent in Western Europe; different employment circumstances in Western Europe, which make Japanese human resource management ineffective, and the Japanese career development system which makes that Japanese managers do not always have the right focus in their job abroad. We conclude that Japanese subsidiaries in Western Europe should keep on nourishing their unequalled service standards, while simultaneously adapting to efficiency standards of Western business practices in order to become more successful in the future.
    Keywords: Logistics;Service Operation;Quality;Japanese Culture;Europe;
    Date: 2006–02–06
  6. By: Iichiro Uesugi; Koji Sakai; Guy M. Yamashiro
    Abstract: From 1998-2001, the Japanese government, in an effort to stimulate the flow of funds to the small business sector, implemented a massive credit guarantee program that was unprecedented in both scale and scope. Because the program was accessible by nearly every small firm we are able to clearly identify the policy effect. The program, therefore, presents a unique opportunity to determine if government intervention can improve the efficiency of credit allocation among bank-dependent small businesses. Utilizing a new panel data set of Japanese firms, which covers the implementation period of the program, we empirically test the theoretical predictions of Mankiw's (1986) adverse selection model. The model of credit markets under asymmetric information allows us to investigate whether government credit programs do more to stimulate small business investment, or serve to worsen the adverse selection problems prevalent in credit markets. We find evidence consistent with the former hypothesis. Specifically, we find that (1) program participants significantly increase their leverage, especially their use of long-term loans, and (2) with the exception of high-risk firms, become more efficient.
    Date: 2006–04
  7. By: Krug, B.; Hendrischke, H. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: We advance a conceptual frame for explaining economic transformation in China that combines a dynamic and a comparative perspective by taking the analysis of Fiscal Federalism one step further. Using insights from the comparative business systems literature we show that devolution of power at the beginning of the reform process introduced local autonomy, which stimulated a diversity of local regulatory regimes. As the central political leadership is no longer the sole supplier of institutional change, local governments become equal contributors to the formation of local business systems. Yet, local governments only partially define emerging local business systems. Local governance at the enterprise level is defined by the interaction between political and economic entrepreneurship, or, phrased in institutional terms, local business systems emerge from the interplay between the formal architecture of local autonomy and the informal institution of networking. In a comparative perspective this interaction, and its underlying driving forces for co-operation, namely: procedural uncertainty, relational risk and institutional change, will lead to diversity in outcomes. In a dynamic perspective both market competition and networking will ensure further competition between business systems, while political unification, imitation or scale economies will ask for convergence of local business systems beyond the local nexus.
    Keywords: Institution Building;Institutional Change;Transition Economy;China;
    Date: 2006–02–06
  8. By: Mikkel Barslund (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Finn Tarp (Department of Economics, University of Auckland)
    Abstract: This paper uses a survey of 932 rural households to uncover how the rural credit market operates in four provinces of Vietnam. Households obtain credit through formal and informal lenders, but formal loans are almost entirely for production and asset accumulation. Interest rates fell from 1997 to 2002, reflecting increased market integration; but the determinants of formal and informal credit demand are distinct. Credit rationing depends on education and credit history, but we find no evidence of a bias against women. Regional differences are striking, and a ‘one size fits all’ approach to credit policy is clearly inappropriate.
    Keywords: rural credit; household survey; Vietnam
    JEL: O12 O16 O17 O1
  9. By: Toshihiro Okubo (IUHEI)
    Abstract: This paper examines alternative determinants of intra-industry trade (IIT). Technology transfer via vertical FDI can be an alternative determinant to distance and country-specific factors in gravity equations. Vertical FDI is likely to be made in neighbouring countries in the presence of large gaps in wages and technology. These large gaps lead to foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote technology transfer from headquarters to overseas affiliates. The technology transfer through vertical FDI promotes activities in the overseas affiliates and thus increases re-imports, which can increase IIT.
    Keywords: FDI; Technology Transfer; Wage Gap; Comparative Advantage; Firm Heterogeneity.
    Date: 2004–12
  10. By: Buiter, Willem H; Patel, Urjit R.
    Abstract: Capital formation is a key driver of the growth of potential output. With continuing widespread capital controls and persistently small inward FDI the volume of capital formation in India is constrained by domestic saving. The national saving rate in India (the sum of the saving rates of households, enterprises and the state) is depressed by the continuing large public sector deficits (and much below the near 40% of GDP saving rates achieved by China). Even this saving rate should be able to support a higher growth rate than has been achieved thus far. The reason it does not is that the intermediation of this saving into domestic capital formation is inefficient. Since the middle of the 1990s, India's public debt has risen steadily as a share of GDP, but remains below the levels achieved at the time of the 1991 currency crisis. The composition of this debt is, however, significantly different from that in 1991: external public debt is modest and international gold and foreign exchange reserves stand at historically high levels. The domestic debt is rupee-denominated. For all these reasons, government solvency may not be a pressing issue at this stage. Globally, risk-free rates at all maturities and all imaginable credit risk spreads are extraordinarily and unsustainably low. Continuation of the pattern of recent years - a steady increase in the debt-GDP ratio - will sooner or later raise the public debt to unsustainable levels. The fiscal rules adopted by the Indian Central Government under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act do not address the key distortions imposed by the authorities on the private sector through financial repression, misguided regulations and inefficient ownership and incentive structures. Nor do they address the underlying fiscal sustainability problem faced by the Indian state. In addition, they create a mechanism for macroeconomic volatility-enhancing, pro-cyclical fiscal policy.
    Keywords: financial intermediation; financial repression; fiscal sustainability; Indian public finance
    JEL: E5 E6 G1 G2 H6 O5
    Date: 2006–02
  11. By: Tomomi Tanaka; Colin F Camerer; Quang Nguyen
    Date: 2006–02–08
  12. By: Christian Hellwig
    Date: 2004–12–09
  13. By: Carl Bonham (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Christopher Edmunds (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Research Department, East-West Center, Honolulu, HI); James Mak (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: This paper reviews recent trends in travel and tourism in the U.S. and Hawaii to ascertain how the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and subsequent terrible global events affected their tourism flows and the manner and pace of their recovery. We note that tourism in the U.S. has not fully recovered from 9/11 and other international shocks; indeed recovery of international travel to the U.S. may be a long way off. By contrast, Hawaii tourism is enjoying robust growth in the aftermath of 9/11 as growth in tourist arrivals from the U.S. mainland has more than offset declines in Japanese and other international visitors. We suggest that Hawaiis current tourism boom is in part explained by the diversion of U.S. travel from foreign travel. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of vector error correction models to generate dynamic visitor forecasts which we use to ascertain whether tourism in Hawaii has fully recovered from 9/11 and other terrible international events. The paper considers policy options for facilitating the recovery of international tourism to the U.S.
    Keywords: Tourism, Terrorism, Impact, Recovery
    Date: 2006

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