nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2006‒03‒11
seventeen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Evolving Dairy Markets in Asia: Recent Findings and Implications By Beghin, John C.
  2. An Analysis of Option Pricing in the Japanese Market By Satoru Kanoh; Asuka Takeuchi
  3. The Contribution of Business Ownership in Bringing Down Unemployment in Japan By Andre van Stel; Lendert Baljeu; Roy Thurik; Ingrid Verheul
  4. Hot money inflows in China : How the people's bank of China took up the challenge. By Vincent Bouvatier
  5. "A Comparison of the Japanese and U.S. Business Cycles" By R. Anton Braun; Julen Esteban-Pretel; Toshihiro Okada; Nao Sudou
  6. International Intrafirm Transfer of Management Technology by Japanese Multinational Corporations By Shujiro Urata; Toshiyuki Matsuura; Yuhong Wei
  7. "Effects of a bank consolidation promotion policy: Evaluating Bank Law in 1927 Japan" By Tetsuji Okazaki; Michiru Sawada
  8. "Micro-aspects of Monetary Policy in Pre-war Japan: Lender of Last Resort and Selection of Banks" By Tetsuji Okazaki
  9. "The Shift from Belt Conveyor Line to Work-cell Based Assembly Systems to Cope with Increasing Demand Variation and Fluctuation in The Japanese Electronics Industries" By Dario Ikuo Miyake
  10. The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy By Fumio Hayashi; Edward C. Prescott
  11. R&D of Multinationals in China: Structure, Motivations and Regional Difference By Kazuyuki Motohashi
  12. "Globalization and Pollution Industries in East Asia" By Toru Iwami
  13. Consumption of Cigarettes, Nicotine, and Tar under Anti-smoking Policies: Japan as a Case Study By Junmin Wan
  14. "All Types of Inequality are Not Created Equal: Divergent Impacts of Inequality on Economic Growth" By Stephanie Seguino
  16. Testing for Racial Differences in the Mental Ability of Young Children By Roland G. Fryer; Steven D. Levitt
  17. SME Development in Malaysia: Domestic and Global Challenges By Saleh, Ali Salman; Ndubisi, Nelson Oly

  1. By: Beghin, John C.
    Abstract: This paper is an overview of important findings regarding the ongoing evolution of Asian dairy markets based on a series of new economic investigations. These investigations provide systematic empirical foundations for assessing Asian dairy markets with their new consumption patterns, changing industries, and trade prospects under different domestic and trade policy regimes. The findings are drawn from four case studies (China, India, Japan, and Korea), as well as a prospective analysis of future regional patterns of consumption and a policy analysis of trade liberalization of Asian dairy markets. The overview distills the findings of these new investigations and integrates them in the earlier economic literature; it draws policy implications and identifies lessons for countries outside of Asia, especially for emerging exporters in Latin America.
    Keywords: Asia, China, dairy, India, Japan, Korea, liberalization, trade integration.
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2006–03–03
  2. By: Satoru Kanoh; Asuka Takeuchi
    Date: 2006–03
  3. By: Andre van Stel; Lendert Baljeu; Roy Thurik; Ingrid Verheul
    Abstract: The relationship between entrepreneurship, measured by fluctuations in the business ownership rate, and unemployment in Japan is examined for the period 1972-2002. We conclude that, although Japan's unemployment rate has been influenced by different exogenous shocks as compared to other OECD countries, the effects of entrepreneurship on unemployment are not distinct. In the past small firms in Japan benefited from the protective environment of the keiretsu structure. This secure environment no longer exists, and a new market environment conducive to new venture creation and growth is not yet established. We argue that the Japanese government should actively stimulate an entrepreneurial culture.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, business ownership, unemployment, Japan
    JEL: L11 M13 O53
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Vincent Bouvatier (CES-TEAM)
    Abstract: This paper investigates hot money inflows in China. The financial liberalization comes into effect and the effectiveness of capital controls tends to diminish over time. As a result, China is fuelled by hot money inflows. The US interest rate cut since 2001 and expectations of exchange rate adjustments are the main factors explaining these capital inflows. This study use the Bernanke and Blinder (1988) model extended to an open economy to examine implications of hot money inflows for the Chinese economy. A Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) on monthly data from March 1995 to March 2005 is estimated to investigate the recent upsurge in foreign reserves and shows that the interaction between domestic credit and foreign reserves was stable and consistent with monetary stability. Granger causality tests are implemented to show how the People's Bank of China (PBC) achieved this result.
    Keywords: Hot money inflows, domestic credit, VECM, Granger causality.
    JEL: C32 E5 F32 F33
    Date: 2006–02
  5. By: R. Anton Braun (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Julen Esteban-Pretel (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Toshihiro Okada (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University); Nao Sudou (Bank of Japan and Boston University)
    Abstract: The paper constructs a consistent set of quarterly Japanese data for the 1960-2002 sample period and compares properties of the Japanese and U.S. business cycles. We document some important differences in the adjustment of labor input between the two countries. In Japan most most of the adjustment is in hours per worker of males and females and also in employment of female. In the U.S. most of the adjustment is in employment of both males and females. We formulate, estimate and analyze a model that makes distinction between the intensive and extensive margin and allows for gender differences in labor supply. A weak empirical correlation between hours per worker and employment in Japanese data is a puzzle for our theory.
    Date: 2005–12
  6. By: Shujiro Urata; Toshiyuki Matsuura; Yuhong Wei
    Abstract: Authors analyze the pattern of intrafirm transfer of management technology from Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) to their overseas affiliates by using firm-level micro data and discern the determinants of the extent of technology transfer achieved. Defining intrafirm transfer of technology achieved as the case where responsibility of the task such as top management, sales, and labor management is given to local staff rather than Japanese staff, authors found that top management has been transferred at a limited number of affiliates, while the task of labor management has been transferred at many affiliates. Among the affiliates in different regions, technology transfer has been relatively more extensively achieved at affiliates in Europe, while it has been relatively limited at affiliates in ASEAN countries. An examination of the determinants of technology transfer revealed that the length of operation of the affiliates, and the quality of labor in the host countries have significantly positive impacts for the affiliates in Asia. These observations indicate the importance of providing an FDI friendly environment, under which MNCs are likely to stay for a long period, and the importance of improving the quality of human resources through education and training, in order to promote intrafirm transfer of management technology.
    Date: 2006–02
  7. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Michiru Sawada (Faculty of Economics, Nagoyagakuin University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of bank consolidations promoted by government policy, using data from pre-war Japan when the Ministry of Finance promoted bank consolidations by dint of the Bank Law of 1927. It is found that policy-promoted consolidation had a positive effect on deposit growth, especially in the period when the financial system was unstable. On the other hand, it had a negative effect on profitability, particularly when there was no dominant bank among the participants or when more than two banks participated in the consolidation. Policy-promoted consolidation in such cases was likely to be accompanied by large organizational cost.
    Date: 2006–02
  8. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: The central bank as the Lender of Last Resort (LLR) is faced with a trade off between the stability of the financial system and the "moral hazard" of banks. In this paper we explore how this trade off was dealt with by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) in the pre-war period, and how LLR lending by the BOJ affected the financial system. In particular, this paper focuses on the following two stylized facts of Japanese financial history. First, the BOJ actively intervened in the market as the LLR under the unstable financial system in the 1920s. Second, in this period, the financial market worked well to sort out inefficient banks through failures. In providing an LLR loan, the BOJ adopted the policy of favoring those banks that had an already established transaction relationship with the BOJ. At the same time, the BOJ was selective about which banks it would enter into a transaction relationship with. That is, the BOJ chose the banks it would conduct transactions with based on criteria that included profitability, liquidity, quality of assets, and the personal assets of directors. Furthermore, the BOJ did not hesitate to suspend transaction relationships with those banks whose performance declined. This policy enabled the BOJ to act as the LLR without impairing the function of the market to sort out inefficient banks. Whereas the transaction relationship with the BOJ affected a bank's survivability, the effect was not across the board. That is, the transaction relationship did not increase the survivability of a bank directly, but it increased the influence of profitability and liquidity on survivability, especially in a period of financial crisis. This implies that the BOJ bailed out only those transaction counterparts that were profitable and prudent when the financial system was especially unstable. It is suggested that through concentrating LLR lending on its transaction counterparts, the BOJ could successfully bail out only those banks which were illiquid but solvent, and thereby avoided the moral hazard that the LLR policy might otherwise have incurred.
    Date: 2006–01
  9. By: Dario Ikuo Miyake (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
    Abstract: As consumption patterns become increasingly sophisticated and manufacturers strive to improve their competitiveness, not only offering higher quality at competitive costs, but also by providing broader mix of products, and keeping it attractive by launching successively new products, the turbulence in the markets has intensified. This has impelled leading manufacturers to search the development of alternative production systems supposed to enable them operate more responsively. This paper discusses the trend of abandoning the strategy of relying on factory automation technologies and conveyor-based assembly lines, and shifting towards more human-centered production systems based on autonomous work-cells, observed in some industries in Japan (e.g. consumer electronics, computers, printers) since mid-1990s. The purpose of this study is to investigate this trend which is seemingly uneconomic to manufacturers established in a country where labor costs are among the highest in the world, so as to contribute in the elucidation of its background and rationality. This work starts with a theoretical review linking the need to cope with nowadays' market turbulence with the issue of nurturing more agile organizations. Then, a general view of the diffusion trend of work-cell based assembly systems in Japanese electronics industries is presented, and some empirical facts gathered in field studies conducted in Japan are discussed. It is worthy mentioning that the abandonment of short cycle-time tasks performed along conveyor lines and the organization of workforce around work-cells do not imply a rejection of the lean production paradigm and its distinctive process improvement approach. High man-hour productivity is realized as a key goal to justify the implementation of work-cells usually devised to run in longer cycle-time, and the moves towards this direction has been strikingly influenced by the kaizen philosophy and techniques that underline typical initiatives of lean production system implementation. Finally, it speculates that even though the subject trend is finding wide diffusion in the considered industries, it should not be regarded as a panacea. In industries such as manufacturing of autoparts, despite the notable product diversification observed in the automobile market, its circumstances have still allowed the firms to rely on capital-intensive process, and this has sustained the development of advanced manufacturing technologies that enable the agile implementation and re-configuration of highly automated assembly lines.
    Date: 2006–01
  10. By: Fumio Hayashi; Edward C. Prescott
    Abstract: The question we address in this paper is why the Japanese miracle didn't take place until after World War II. For much of the pre-WWII period, Japan's real GNP per worker was not much more than a third of that of the U.S., with falling capital intensity. We argue that its major cause is a barrier that kept agricultural employment constant at about 14 million throughout the prewar period. In our two-sector neoclassical growth model, the barrier-induced sectoral mis-allocation of labor and a resulting disincentive for capital accumulation account well for the depressed output level. Were it not for the barrier, Japan's prewar GNP per worker would have been close to a half of the U.S. The labor barrier existed because, we argue, the prewar patriarchy, armed with paternalistic clauses in the prewar Civil Code, forced the son designated as heir to stay in agriculture.
    JEL: E1 O1 O4 N3
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: Kazuyuki Motohashi
    Abstract: In this paper, the motivations of R&D by multinationals are investigated by using a large firm level dataset from Chinese official statistics on science and technology activities. Growing intensity of R&D activities is found both for foreign owned and domestic firms. But, it is also found that the R&D intensity at foreign owned firms is relatively smaller. This may be due to the fact that foreign owned firms are operating by relying of technological capabilities at home. Statistical analysis confirms that the major motivation of foreign R&D in China is "market driven" instead of "technological driven" or "human resource driven". However, there is a great variation of foreign R&D strategy across regions. Market driven R&D is found mainly in Guangdong, which is called a world IT factory, and does not have strong universities or PRIs. In contrast, R&D strategy in Beijing is oriented toward technology driven approach, because we can find a cluster of scientific institutions there. Shanghai, with both a large industrial base as well as strong science sector, is in-between.
    Date: 2006–02
  12. By: Toru Iwami (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate what the East Asian data tell us about the "pollution haven hypothesis." In the region, pollution goods are not traded so much directly, and their production is not clearly correlated with inward FDI and openness of the country in question. Although production of pollution goods is indirectly related to manufacturing exports as materials and intermediate goods, domestic consumption exerts larger impact on the production than exports. These facts imply that pollution industries are not so much influenced by the "globalization," suggesting indirectly also that a gap in environmental regulations do not lead to an increased scale of foreign trade and FDI. To the question of how FDI inflows and openness contribute to energy efficiency and labor productivity, we find a positive effect of FDI on the labor productivity in low and middle-income countries, although its effect on energy efficiency is rather vague.
    Date: 2006–01
  13. By: Junmin Wan (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Japan has implemented a number of anti-smoking policies; these include information disclosures, taxation, and smoking bans. These measures have increased the information available to consumers, as well as tax rates on tobacco products. First, this paper shows, theoretically, the association between a lack of information and over-consumption of cigarettes, and then examines the effects of smoking policies using monthly data from 1951 to 1999. Long-term policies have had greater effects than short-term policies. Taxation has reduced consumption, but income differences have had no significant effect. Following health disclosures in 1964 and 1967, many consumers switched to filtered cigarettes and low-nicotine and low-tar products, respectively. The move to lower tar and nicotine products was further accelerated by the "harmful to health" label applied to cigarettes in 1972, although many smokers then raised the number of cigarettes they smoked to keep up their intake of nicotine. Other policies have decreased cigarette, nicotine, and tar consumption since 1972.
    Keywords: anti-smoking, health information, nicotine-tar, compensative behavior, rational addiction
    JEL: I18 D11 D12
    Date: 2004–06
  14. By: Stephanie Seguino
    Abstract: Evidence of an increase in various forms of inequality since the 1970s has motivated research on its relationship to growth and development. The findings of that research are contradictory and inconclusive. One source of these divergent results is that researchers rely on different group measures of inequality. Inequality by gender, household, class, and ethnicity may produce divergent effects on growth since they operate on macroeconomic outcomes via alternative pathways. Further, even within groups, the effect of inequality on growth depends on the measure used. For example, inequalities in capabilities (such as education and health status) may operate differently on growth than inequality in wages and income. This paper explores the different conceptual approaches to measuring between-group and within-group inequality and delineates the sometimes contradictory pathways by which these measures affect economic growth and development. The typology is applied to the cases of East Asia and Latin America.
    Date: 2005–12
  15. By: Dirk Baur; Renee Fry
    Abstract: This paper poses a multivariate test for contagion that distinguishes between vulnerability, positive and negative contagion. The model proides a time series of contagion with which the existence, severity and significance of crisis periods can be endogenously determined. Eleven stock markets from the Asian regions are analyzed during the Asian crisis, and contagion is significant in four periods. These episodes are split equally between positive and negative movements. Anecdotal evidence is matched to significant contagion, with events surrounding Hong Kong and the key drivers.
    JEL: C10 C51 F36 G14
    Date: 2006–01
  16. By: Roland G. Fryer; Steven D. Levitt
    Abstract: On tests of intelligence, Blacks systematically score worse than Whites, whereas Asians frequently outperform Whites. Some have argued that genetic differences across races account for the gap. Using a newly available nationally representative data set that includes a test of mental function for children aged eight to twelve months, we find only minor racial differences in test outcomes (0.06 standard deviation units in the raw data) between Blacks and Whites that disappear with the inclusion of a limited set of controls. The only statistically significant racial difference is that Asian children score slightly worse than those of other races. To the extent that there are any genetically-driven racial differences in intelligence, these gaps must either emerge after the age of one, or operate along dimensions not captured by this early test of mental cognition.
    JEL: J15 I20
    Date: 2006–03
  17. By: Saleh, Ali Salman (Monash University Malaysia); Ndubisi, Nelson Oly (Monash University Malaysia)
    Abstract: The primary objectives of this paper are to analyze and discuss the development of Malaysian SMEs and their role, as well as various contributions, in the national economy. The paper goes further by reviewing extant literature to identify the major challenges facing this sector in Malaysia as well as government policies aimed at the development of SMEs. We find that, while the government has implemented many programs to strengthen the performance of SMEs in the economy, Malaysian SMEs still face many challenges, both domestic and external, which could hinder their resilience and competitiveness. A number of strategies which could assist them to access new markets, increase their revenues and expand their customer bases are identified.
    Keywords: Malaysian economy, Malaysian SMEs, government assistance programs
    Date: 2006

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