nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2006‒10‒21
eight papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Globalization and Wage Inequality in South and East Asia, and Latin America: A Gender Approach By Enriqueta Camps; Maria Camou; Silvana Maubrigades; Natalia Mora-Sitja
  2. Testing the Theory of Trade Policy: Evidence from the Abrupt End of the Multifibre Arrangement By James Harrigan; Geoffrey Barrows
  3. Financial Liberalisation and Breaks in Stock Market Volatility: Evidence from East Asia By Panicos Demetriades; Michail Karoglou; Siong Hook Law
  4. Singapore and ASEAN in the New Regional Division of Labour By Prema-chandra Athukorala
  5. La Chine et le Japon : concurrents pour un "hégémon régional" ? Premiers jalons pour une approche en EPI de l'Asie Orientale By Catherine Figuière; Laëtitia Guilhot
  6. Ageing, interest rates, and financial flows By Saarenheimo , Tuomas
  7. Estimating the returns to education : accounting for heterogeneity in ability By Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Ridao-Cano, Cris; Sakellariou, Chris

  1. By: Enriqueta Camps; Maria Camou; Silvana Maubrigades; Natalia Mora-Sitja
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the reasons behind the evolution of the gender gap and wage inequality in South and East Asian and Latin American countries. Health human capital improvements, the exposure to free market openness and equal treatment enforcement laws seem to be the main exogenous variables affecting women’s economic condition. During the second globalization era (in the years 1975-2000) different combinations of these variables in South East Asian and Latin American countries have had as a result the diminution of the gender gap. The main exception to this rule according to our data is China where economic reforms have been simultaneous to the increase of gender differences and inequality between men and women. This result has further normative consequences for the measure of economic inequality. The improvement of women’s condition has as a result the diminution of the dispersion of wages. Therefore in most of the countries analysed the consequence of the diminution of the gender gapduring the second global era is the decrease of wage inequality both measured with Gini and Theil indexes.
    Keywords: Wage inequality, gender gap, market openness, human capital
    JEL: J22 J13 J16
    Date: 2006–07
  2. By: James Harrigan; Geoffrey Barrows
    Abstract: Quota restrictions on United States imports of apparel and textiles under the multifibre arrangement (MFA) ended abruptly in January 2005. This change in policy was large, predetermined, and fully anticipated, making it an ideal natural experiment for testing the theory of trade policy. We focus on simple and robust theory predictions about the effects of binding quotas, and also compute nonparametric estimates of the cost of the MFA. We find that prices of quota constrained categories from China fell by 38% in 2005, while prices in unconstrained categories from China and from other countries changed little. We also find substantial quality downgrading in imports from China in previously constrained categories, as predicted by theory. The annual cost of the MFA to U.S. consumers was about $100 per household.
    JEL: F1 F13 F14
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: Panicos Demetriades; Michail Karoglou; Siong Hook Law
    Abstract: This paper employs several newly proposed techniques to identify the number and timing of structural breaks in the variance dynamics of stock market returns. These techniques are applied to five East Asian emerging markets, all of which liberalised their financial markets during the period under consideration. It is shown that the detected breakdates in the volatility of stock market returns do not correspond to official liberalisation dates; as a result the use of official liberalisation dates as breakdates is likely to result in inaccurate inference. By using data driven techniques to detect multiple structural changes a richer - and inevitably more accurate - pattern of volatility dynamics emerges in comparison to focussing on official liberalisation dates.
    Date: 2006–10
  4. By: Prema-chandra Athukorala
    Abstract: This paper examines the implications of international fragmentation of production for trade patterns of Singapore and the other ASEAN economies, with emphasis on their regional and global economic integration. The analysis reveals that the degree of dependence of these countries on this new global division labour is much larger compared to the other countries East Asia, Europe and North America. Network-related trade in parts and components has certainly strengthened economic interdependence among ASEAN countries and between ASEAN and other major economies in East Asia, but this has not lessoned the dependence of growth dynamism of these countries on the global economy. The operation of cross-border production networks depends inexorably on trade in final goods with North America and the European Union.
    Keywords: production fragmentation, multinational enterprises, trade patterns, ASEAN
    JEL: F15 F23 O53
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Catherine Figuière (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Economie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - [CNRS : FRE2664] - [Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II]); Laëtitia Guilhot (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Economie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - [CNRS : FRE2664] - [Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II])
    Abstract: L'objet de cette communication est d'analyser l'évolution du rôle du Japon dans le processus de régionalisation asiatique parallèlement à l'émergence de la Chine comme "l'économie incontournable" de la zone. Alors que le Japon focalisait l'attention des économistes tout au long des années 80 jusqu'au milieu des années 90, c'est aujourd'hui la Chine qui suscite le plus grand nombre de publications. Pour autant peut-on comparer le Japon d'hier à la Chine d'aujourd'hui, en particulier dans leur rôle respectif dans la région ? Dans un premier temps, il convient de préciser le périmètre du processus économique en cours. En effet, le périmètre de la seule institution existante, l'ASEAN, n'englobant ni la Chine ni le Japon, ne peut par conséquent être considéré comme la zone pertinente. Dans un second temps, les concepts proposés par l'approche en Economie Politique Internationale dans le domaine des relations inter-étatiques seront déclinés à l'échelon régional. Hégémon, économie motrice et effets d'entraînement sont des outils qui permettent de montrer que ni la Chine ni le Japon ne peuvent prétendre jouer seul le rôle du leader régional. Dans un troisième temps, l'examen rapide de la complémentarité entre les deux économies permettra d'esquisser les modalités d'une éventuelle véritable construction régionale dans cette zone du monde.
    Keywords: régionalisation ; développement économique ; économie internationale ; relations internationales ; relations commerciales ; économie politique ; économie politique internationale ; hégémonie ; Chine ; ASEAN ; Japon
    Date: 2006–10–09
  6. By: Saarenheimo , Tuomas (Bank of Finland Research)
    Abstract: The median age of the global population is presently increasing by nearly three months every year. Over the next couple of decades, almost every country in the world is set to experience an unprecedented increase in the share of elderly population. This development has the potential to fundamentally affect the functioning of economic and financial systems globally. This study concentrates on the effects of ageing on the evolution of global interest rates and financial flows. The study uses a 73-cohort general equilibrium overlapping generations model of five major economic areas (USA, EU-15, Japan, China, and India). Utilising actual population data and UN population projections, the model yields predictions for major economic and financial variables up to 2050. The model predicts a decline in global equilibrium real interest rates over the next two decades, but the size of the decline depends crucially on the future evolution of public pension benefits. If the present generosity of pension systems is maintained – leading to a steep increase in the cost of the pension systems – the maximum decline of interest rates is projected to be about 70 basis points from present levels. If pension benefits are reduced to offset the increasing cost pressures, the decline in global equilibrium interest rates can be much larger, while increases in the retirement age work in the opposite direction. The results do not anticipate a ‘financial market meltdown’ – a collapse in asset prices associated with the retirement of the baby-boomers – predicted by some. On the contrary, bond prices should fare fairly well over the next three decades. The main reason for this is that increasing life expectancy at retirement creates a need for higher retirement saving – in the future, people will want to retire wealthier than they do today. This trend more than offsets the negative effect of the retirement of baby-boomers on asset demand.
    Keywords: ageing; real interest rates; financial flows; public pension systems
    JEL: E44 J11
    Date: 2005–02–13
  7. By: Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Ridao-Cano, Cris; Sakellariou, Chris
    Abstract: Typically estimates of the benefits of education investments show average private rates of return for the average individual. The average may not be useful for policy. An examination of the distribution of the returns across individuals is needed. The few studies that have examined these patterns focus on high-income countries, showing investments to be more profitable at the top of the income distribution. The implication is that investments may increase inequality. Extending the analysis to 16 East Asian and Latin American countries the authors observe mixed evidence in middle-income countries and decreasing returns in low-income countries. Such differences between countries could be due to more job mobility in industrial countries, scarcity of skills, or differential exposure to market forces.
    Keywords: Access & Equity in Basic Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Primary Education,Education and Society
    Date: 2006–10–01
  8. By: Hsiao Chink Tang
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relative strength of four monetary policy transmission channels (exchange rate, asset price, interest rate and credit) in Malaysia using a 12-variable open economy VAR model. By comparing the baseline impulse response with the constrained impulse response where a particular channel is being switched off, the interest rate channel is found to be the most important in influencing output and inflation in the horizon of about two years, and the credit channel beyond that. The asset price channel is also relevant in the shorter-horizon, more so than the exchange rate channel, particularly in influencing output. For inflation, the exchange rate channel is more relevant than the asset price channel.
    Date: 2006–08

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