nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2008‒03‒15
seven papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. The End of Urban Involution and the Cultural Construction of Urbanism in Indonesia By Evers, Hans-Dieter
  2. China’s New Development Strategy: Environment and Energy Security By Khan, Haider
  3. Integration of markets vs. integration by agreements By Ng, Francis; Fung, K.C.; Aminian, Nathalie
  4. Building an Innovative Economy through Managed Creative Destruction: A Theory with Applications to South Korea By Khan, Haider
  5. Network analysis of exchange data: Interdependence drives crisis contagion By Matesanz, David; Ortega , Guillermo J.
  6. Political Accountability, Fiscal Conditions, and Local Government Performance – Cross-Sectional Evidence from Indonesia By Sebastian Eckardt
  7. The Relationship between Crude and Refined Product Market: The Case of Singapore Gasoline Market using MOPS Data By Rao, Gyaneshwar

  1. By: Evers, Hans-Dieter
    Abstract: Urban involution has ended and a new urbanism has spread in Indonesia. The impact on the urban economy is investigated.
    Keywords: urabs economy; involution; Indonesia
    JEL: O18 N9
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Khan, Haider
    Abstract: This paper analyzes China's development strategy by focusing on both global and regional approaches to solving problems of energy security and ecological imbalance by addressing specifically the problems of China’s energy security. PRC’s growing energy dependence has become a major concern for both economic and national security policymakers in that country. The ambitious goal of modernization of the economy along the lines of the other newly industrialized economies(NIEs) of Asia has succeeded only too well, and it is difficult to reorient economic priorities. If examined rigorously, such an economic strategic assumption can be seen to entail the goal of creating further technological capabilities. In particular, China seems to be firmly committed to the creation of a largely self-sustaining innovation system as part of a knowledge-based economy of the future . Such innovation systems, called positive feedback loop innovation systems or POLIS have been created by advanced countries, and NIEs such as South Korea and Taiwan are proceeding to create these as well. But this will add to its energy burden and further dependence on the US as the power which controls the key sea lanes. Only a strategic reorientation to building a self-sustaining POLIS and appropriate regional cooperation institutions can lead to the way out of the current dilemma for China. Fortunately, such a model of POLIS which is distributionally and ecologically sensitive can be built for China and applied strategically to lead towards a sustainable development trajectory. However, time is of the essence. Given the path dependence of development unless strategic disengagement from the existing path followed by a strategic engagement with the alternative strategy is begun within the next five years, it may well be too late. The stakes are indeed very high. A more detailed strategy paper based on the key ideas from the alternative strategy outlined here with concrete quantitative scenarios and feasibility studies along the lines of models sketched in the appendix ( and other, more detailed models) will go some distance towards giving the appropriate analytical foundations for the policy makers. The preliminary results confirm the predictions regarding fossil fuel-based energy shortage and lead towards a serious consideration of alternative energy sources. Achieving the twin goals of energy security and ecological balance are challenging but not impossible for China. Serious policy research can be used effectively if there is the political will to do so. The goal of regional cooperation is also achievable if patient negotiations in good faith can start in earnest. In particular, cooperation with other Asian economies, particularly Japan, Indonesia, Viet Nam and India will be crucial.This paper has sketched out the complexities of cooperation and conflict between China and Japan. Future work will address the problems of Regional cooperation for China in the East, South and South Asian context as well as in the context of Africa and Latin America.
    Keywords: China; Development Strategy; Energy; Environment; POLIS; Innovation System; Regional Cooperation
    JEL: Q32 D62 C68 O53 O13
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Ng, Francis; Fung, K.C.; Aminian, Nathalie
    Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the two channels of regional integration: integration via markets and integration via agreements. Given that East Asia and Latin America are two fertile regions where both forms of integrations have taken place, the authors examine the experiences of these two areas. There are four related results. First, East Asia had been integrating via markets long before formal agreements were in vogue in the region. Latin America, by contrast, has primarily used formal regional trade treaties as the main channel of integration. Second, despite the relative lack of formal regional trade treaties until recently, East Asia is more integrated among itself than Latin America. Third, from a purely economic and trade standpoint, the proper sequence of integrations seems to be first integrating via markets and subsequently via formal regional trade agreements. Fourth, regional trade agreements often serve multiple constituents. The reason why integrating via markets first can be helpful is because this can give stronger political bargaining power to the outward-looking economic-oriented forces within the country.
    Keywords: Trade Law,Free Trade,Trade and Regional Integration,Trade Policy,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2008–03–01
  4. By: Khan, Haider
    Abstract: This paper presents a somewhat novel theory of innovation in the economy wide setting. The starting point for this theory is the creative destruction process at the firm and industry level. However, an extension to an economy wide setting requires the explicit theorization of the role of the state as well as an interacting nonlinear market process. The direction in which the theory leads is a complex interaction between state policies and market processes that influence the decisions taken by specific firms in particular areas of innovative activities. The key concept that is developed in this context can be called a Managed Creative Destruction(MCD) process. In a national (or regional) MCD, the creative destruction process characterizing innovation is structured more consciously by the state (or the states in a particular region). It can be argued that China is now going through this process. In this paper the particular case studied is South Korea's recent historical experience. Following Schumpeter we assume that innovation in specific firms can have economy-wide effects. Models based on this idea can be shown to have multiple equilibria. The idea of a positive feedback loop innovation system or POLIS is formalized by picking an appropriate sequence of equilibria over time. It is shown that POLIS has empirical relevance by applying the formal model to an actual economy. Recent financial crisis in many Asian countries, most notably South Korea, seems to have reversed the conventional wisdom regarding the East Asian “miracle”. This paper applies the concept of a POLIS to show that neither the current view that the miracle was a mirage nor the earlier contrarian view that the growth was a result of factor accumulation only is correct. Ultimately technological transformation — in particular the creation of a positive feedback loop innovation system is what makes the difference between sustained growth and gradual or sudden decline. Although various problems remain in both the real and the financial sectors, it will be premature to dismiss the impressive achievements and the future possibilities of the South Korean economy
    Keywords: technological transformation; multiple equilibria; POLIS (positive feedback loop innovation system); Korea;South Korean POLIS; Managed Creative Destruction(MCD)
    JEL: O38 O30 B52 O43 O32 D58 O33 O31
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Matesanz, David; Ortega , Guillermo J.
    Abstract: In this paper we detect the linear and nonlinear co-movements presented on the real exchange rate in a group of 28 developed and developing countries that have suffered currency and financial crises during 15 years. We have used the matrix of Pearson correlation and Phase Synchronous (PS) coefficients and an appropriate metric distance between pairs of countries in order to construct a topology and hierarchies by using the Minimum Spanning Tree (MST). In addition, we have calculated the MST cost and global correlation coefficients to observe the co-movements dynamics along the time sample. By comparing Pearson and phase synchronous information we address a new methodology that can uncover meaningful information on the contagion economic issue and, more generally, in the debate around interdependence and/or contagion among financial time series. Our results suggest some evidence of contagion in the Asian currency crises but this crisis contagion is due to previous and stable interdependence.
    Keywords: econophysics; linear co-movements; phase synchronous co-movements; MST; interdependence and contagion
    JEL: F40 C82 F31
    Date: 2008–03–12
  6. By: Sebastian Eckardt
    Abstract: What makes governments tick? Why are some public institutions more successful than others in managing resources and delivering services? And even more vitally, how can malfunctioning institutions be reformed so that they perform their responsibilities more effectively? This paper contributes to our understanding of theses overarching questions by exploring the interactions between political institutions and public sector performance in the context of decentralization and local governance. It shows -both theoretically and empirically- that performance outcomes are determined by the extent to which people can hold their governments accountable through political institutions. The basic hypothesis underlying this research is that political accountability, either by encouraging sanctions upon non-compliant public agents or simply by reducing the informational gap regarding government activities, will create forceful incentives for elected officials and civil servants to reduce opportunistic behavior and improve performance. Using a cross-sectional regression the hypothesis is empirically tested against evidence from newly empowered local governments in Indonesia. The empirical findings broadly support our hypotheses. Improved public services on the ground, both in terms of quantity and quality, require informed and well functioning decision making processes that allocate resources to priority areas that meet the demand of the broader community.
    Keywords: governance, public services, fiscal decentralization
    JEL: D2 D7 H2 H7 O1
    Date: 2007–02
  7. By: Rao, Gyaneshwar
    Abstract: Economic theory suggests that refined and crude oil prices should be interrelated as the refined products are a derivative of the crude product and hence the prices of the two categories must have a long run relationship. However any short term feedbacks between the two markets are also of interest. Any feedbacks which are significant between the markets will greatly improve our understanding of how the complex oil markets work and that the workings of both the markets are not as independent as some would want to believe. The Johansen and Julius VCEM technique and Granger causality tests using co-integrating methodology show there is a basis to conclude that there is a uni-directional causality running from crude market to the refined product market, confirming a long run relationship between the markets.
    Keywords: Crude Prices; Refined Prices; Long Run Relationship; Granger causality; Mean of Platts (MOPS)
    JEL: Q40 Q49 C22
    Date: 2008–03–09

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