nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2006‒12‒22
four papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. China and the Multilateral Trading System By Robert Z. Lawrence
  2. The Return to Capital in China By Chong-En Bai; Chang-Tai Hsieh; Yingyi Qian
  3. Lowering Child Mortality in Poor Countries: The Power of Knowledgeable Parents By P Boone; Zhaoguo Zhan
  4. The CEP-OECD Institutions Data Set (1960-2004) By William Nickell

  1. By: Robert Z. Lawrence
    Abstract: This paper reviews China's multilateral and preferential trade policies. It reviews the demanding terms of China's WTO accession, its current tariff and trade regime and its participation in the Doha Round negotiations and the institution's regular activities. The analysis concludes that China's trade policies are broadly supportive of a rules based multilateral trading order and its behavior at the WTO is that of a status quo power rather than one seeking major systemic changes. The discussion then turns to China's regional trade initiatives. China has been extremely active in negotiating these and their implications remain uncertain. Concerns about an East Asian fortress, though, appear misplaced. Directly, and through their impact in inducing others to respond, these FTAs could provide a powerful impetus to the process of competitive global liberalization. Countries that do implement agreements with China will find it relatively easy to open their markets to other developing countries. There is also a risk however that the proliferation of FTAs will lead to web of overlapping agreements that could make the trading system unnecessarily complex
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Chong-En Bai; Chang-Tai Hsieh; Yingyi Qian
    Abstract: China's investment rate is one of the highest in the world, which naturally leads one to suspect that the return to capital in China must be quite low. Using the data from China's national accounts, we estimate the rate of return to capital in China. We find that the aggregate rate of return to capital averaged 25% during 1978-1993, fell during 1993-1998, and has become flat at roughly 20% since 1998. This evidence suggests that the aggregate return to capital in China does not appear to be significantly lower than the return to capital in the rest of the world. We also find that the standard deviation of the rate of return to capital across Chinese provinces has fallen since 1978.
    JEL: E01 E22 E23 O11 O16 O53
    Date: 2006–12
  3. By: P Boone; Zhaoguo Zhan
    Abstract: Why do over 20% of children die in some poor countries, while in others only 2% die? Weexamine this question using survey data covering 278,000 children in 45 low-income countries.We find that parents' education and a mother's propensity to seek out modern healthcare areempirically important when explaining child survival, while the prevalence of common diseases,along with infrastructure such as improved water and sanitation, are not. Using a GINIcoefficient we construct for treatment services, we find that public and private health systems are"equally unequal", that is, both tend to favor children in relatively well-off households, andneither appears superior at improving outcomes in very poor communities. These facts contrastwith a common view that a much-expanded public health sector is necessary to reduce childmortality. Instead, we believe the empirical evidence points to the essential role of parents asadvocates for their child's health. If we can provide better health knowledge and generaleducation to parents, a private healthcare sector can arise to meet demand. We provide evidencethat this alternative route to low mortality is indeed a reason behind the current success of manycountries with low child mortality, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Egypt, and the Indian state ofKerala. Finally, we calculate a realistic package of interventions that target education, healthknowledge and treatment seeking could reduce child mortality by 32%.
    JEL: I00 I1 I12 I18
    Date: 2006–10
  4. By: William Nickell
    Abstract: This dataset contains information about the evolution of labour market institutions in twenty OECD countries from 1960 to 2004.The countries in the sample are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States Where possible the data refers to West Germany throughout. Note that the temporal coverage of these data differs from series to series and country to country. The accompanying data can be downloaded at the link above
    Keywords: OECD Institutions, Data
    Date: 2006–11

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