nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2008‒01‒19
six papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Supermarkets, Smallholders and Livelihoods Prospects in Selected Asian Countries By Ganesh Thapa
  2. Managing post-disaster reconstruction finance -- international experience in public financial management By Kaiser, Kai; Ihsan, Ahya; Fengler, Wolfgang
  3. Indigenous and colonial origins of comparative economic development : the case of colonial India and Africa By Bayly, C. A.
  4. On SARS type economic effects during infectious disease outbreaks By Dutta, Arindam; Brahmbhatt, Milan
  5. Interethnic Marriage Decisions: A Choice between Ethnic and Educational Similarities By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
  6. A Framework for Analyzing Tariffs and Subsidies in Water Provision to Urban Households in Developing Countries By David le Blanc

  1. By: Ganesh Thapa
    Abstract: Recent literature has drawn attention to the speedy rise of supermarkets in different regions of the developing world and forecast their rapid spread. The emergence of supermarkets has transformed agri-food markets, but at different rates and to a different extent across regions and countries. This transformation is a challenge for smallholders. While the risk of their exclusion is real, it is argued that there are opportunities as well. Indeed, contrary to assertions, the demise of smallholders as a consequence of the growth of supermarkets and dramatic changes in the food supply chain is neither likely nor unavoidable.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Kaiser, Kai; Ihsan, Ahya; Fengler, Wolfgang
    Abstract: In recent years, natural and man-made disasters have confronted the international community with its most demanding reconstruction challenges since the aftermath of World War II. Managing the inflow of resources and spending those resources well have proven to be two of the main difficulties in such reconstruction projects, particularly after large-scale disasters. A central dilemma of the public financial management of reconstruction is the need for very high levels of accountability to demonstrate fiduciary credibility, while at the same time ensuring the rapid implementation of recovery programs. This paper identifies options and lessons for managing post-disaster reconstruction finance in three key areas: (i) the establishment of special institutions to manage the reconstruction process; (ii) the selection of public financial management systems with respect to the application of country systems, special fiduciary arrangements, or donor/NGO execution; and (iii) monitoring and evaluation systems. The authors synthesize the phasing of assistance and approaches in eight recent post-natural disaster reconstruction efforts (Aceh-Indonesia, Yogyakarta-Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Colombia, Grenada, and Honduras) to help guide the priorities and options for future instances of public financial management for disaster reconstruction. The paper also compares the challenges posed by post-conflict versus post-natural disaster public financial management.
    Keywords: Natural Disasters,Disaster Management,Post Conflict Reconstruction,Social Accountability,Post Conflict Reintegration
    Date: 2008–01–01
  3. By: Bayly, C. A.
    Abstract: This paper concerns the institutional origins of economic development, emphasizing the cases of nineteenth-century India and Africa. Colonial institutions-the law, western style property rights, newspapers and statistical analysis-played an important part in the emergence of Indian public and commercial life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These institutions existed in the context of a state that was extractive and yet dependent on indigenous cooperation in many areas, especially in the case of the business class. In such conditions, Indian elites were critical in creating informal systems of peer-group education, enhancing aspiration through the use of historicist and religious themes and in creating a " benign sociology " of India as a prelude to development. Indigenous ideologies and practices were as significant in this slow enhancement of Indian capabilities as transplanted colonial ones. Contemporary development specialists would do well to consider the merits of indigenous forms of association and public debate, religious movements and entrepreneurial classes. Over much of Asia and Africa, the most successful enhancement of people ' s capabilities has come through the action of hybrid institutions of this type.
    Keywords: Cultural Policy,Economic Theory & Research,Corporate Law,,Anthropology
    Date: 2008–01–01
  4. By: Dutta, Arindam; Brahmbhatt, Milan
    Abstract: Infectious disease outbreaks can exact a high human and economic cost through illness and death. But, as with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in East Asia in 2003, or the plague outbreak in Surat, India, in 1994, they can also create severe economic disruptions even when there is, ultimately, relatively little illness or death. Such disruptions are commonly the result of uncoordinated and panicky efforts by individuals to avoid becoming infected, of preventive activity. This paper places these " SARS type " effects in the context of research on economic epidemiology, in which behavioral responses to disease risk have both economic and epidemiological consequences. The paper looks in particular at how people form subjective probability judgments about disease risk. Public opinion surveys during the SARS outbreak provide suggestive evidence that people did indeed at times hold excessively high perceptions of the risk of becoming infected, or, if infected, of dying from the disease. The paper discusses research in behavioral economics and the theory of information cascades that may shed light on the origin of such biases. The authors consider whether public information strategies can help reduce unwarranted panic. A preliminary question is why governments often seem to have strong incentives to conceal information about infectious disease outbreaks. The paper reviews recent game-theoretic analysis that clarifies government incentives. An important finding is that government incentives to conceal decline the more numerous are non-official sources of information about a possible disease outbreak. The findings suggest that honesty may indeed be the best public policy under modern conditions of easy mass global communications.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation,Disease Control & Prevention,Population Policies,Hazard Risk Management,Gender and Health
    Date: 2008–01–01
  5. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut); Nikolaos Theodoropoulos (University of Cyprus)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of education on intermarriage and specifically, whether the mechanisms through which education affects intermarriage differ by immigrant generation and race. We consider three main paths through which education affects marriage choice. First, educated people may be better able to adapt to different customs and cultures making them more likely to marry outside of their ethnicity. Second, because the educated are less likely to reside in ethnic enclaves, meeting potential spouses of the same ethnicity may involve higher search costs. Lastly, if spouse-searchers value similarities in education as well as ethnicity, then they may be willing to substitute similarities in education for ethnicity when evaluating spouses. Thus, the effect of education will depend on the availability of same-ethnicity potential spouses with a similar level of education. Using U.S. Census data, we find evidence for all three effects for the population in general. However, assortative matching on education seems to be relatively more important for the native born, for the foreign born that arrived at a fairly young age, and for Asians. We conclude by providing additional pieces of evidence suggestive of our hypotheses.
    Keywords: Ethnic intermarriage, Education, Immigration
    JEL: J12 I21 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  6. By: David le Blanc
    Abstract: This paper aims to present a basic conceptual framework for understanding the main practical issues and challenges relating to tariffs and subsidies in the water sector in developing countries. The paper introduces the basic economic notions relevant to the water sector; presents an analytical framework for assessing the need for and evaluating subsidies; and discusses the recent evidence on the features and performance of water tariffs and subsidies in various regions, with a special focus on Africa. The discussion is limited to the provision of drinking water to urban households in developing countries.
    Keywords: water, access to water, tariffs, subsidies, urban development
    JEL: D42 D61 H71 L95
    Date: 2008–01

This nep-sea issue is ©2008 by Kavita Iyengar. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.