nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2008‒10‒21
seven papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Pricing and Hedging Asian Basket Spread Options By Griselda Deelstra; Alexandre Petkovic; Michèle Vanmaele
  2. Import Price Dynamics in Major Advanced Economies and Heterogeneity in Exchange Rate Pass-Through By Stephane Dees; Matthias Burgert; Nicolas Parent
  3. The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education and Employment on Economic Growth in Developing Countries: Updates and Extensions By Stephan Klasen; Francesca Lamanna
  4. From parastatals to private trade: Lessons from Asian agriculture By Rashid, Shahidur; Gulati, Ashok; Cummings, Ralph Jr.
  5. Is there Complete, Partial, or No Recovery from Childhood Malnutrition? Empirical Evidence from Indonesia By Subha Mani
  6. Public expenditures, growth, and poverty in developing countries: Lessons from developing countries By Fan, Shenggen
  7. Economic transformation in theory and practice: What are the messages for Africa? By Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen

  1. By: Griselda Deelstra; Alexandre Petkovic; Michèle Vanmaele
    Abstract: In this paper we consider the problem of pricing a general Asian basket spread option. We develop approximations formulae based on comonotonicity theory and moment matching methods. We compare their relative performances and explain how to choose the best approximation technique as a function of the Asian basket spread characteristics. We also give the Greeks for our proposed methods. In the last section we extend our results to options denominated in foreign currency.
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Stephane Dees; Matthias Burgert; Nicolas Parent
    Abstract: This paper aims at showing heterogeneity in the degree of exchange rate pass-through to import prices in major advanced economies at three different levels: 1) across destination markets; 2) across types of exporters (distinguishing developed economy from emerging economy exporters); and 3) over time. Based on monthly data over the period 1991–2007, the results show first that large destination markets exhibit the lowest degrees of pass-through. The degree of pass-through for goods imported from emerging economies is also significantly lower than for those from developed economies. Regarding the evolution over time, no clear change in pricing behaviours can be identified and particular events, like large exchange rates depreciations during the Asian crisis, seem to influence the degree of pass-through related to imports from emerging economies.
    Keywords: Exchange rates; Inflation and prices
    JEL: E31 F3 F41
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen / Germany); Francesca Lamanna
    Abstract: Using cross-country and panel regressions, we investigate to what extent gender gaps in education and employment (proxied using gender gaps in labor force participation) reduce economic growth. Using most recent data and investigating a long time period (1960-2000), we update the results of previous studies on education gaps on growth and extend the analysis to employment gaps using panel data. We find that gender gaps in education and employment significantly reduce economic growth. The combined ‘costs’ of education and employment gaps in Middle East and North Africa and South Asia amount respectively to 0.9-1.7 and 0.1- 1.6 percentage point differences in growth compared to East Asia. Gender gaps in employment appear to have an increasing effect on economic growth differences between regions, with the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia suffering from slower growth in female employment.
    Keywords: gender inequality, growth, education, employment, discrimination
    JEL: J7 J16 O4
    Date: 2008–09–10
  4. By: Rashid, Shahidur; Gulati, Ashok; Cummings, Ralph Jr.
    Abstract: "Governments in Asia used grain price stabilization as a major policy instrument when they began to promote the Green Revolution in the 1960s. In the process, they created parastatal agencies, which were quasi-governmental in nature, to undertake public marketing activities in basic staples such as rice and wheat. These operations often meant providing a support price to farmers, procuring staples on government account, holding public stocks, and distributing these stocks through public distribution systems or open market operations to hold the price line for consumers. This led to a sizeable degree of government intervention in most of these countries' grain markets, which continues to a large extent today." from Text
    Keywords: Price stabilization, Green Revolution, Parastatals, Agricultural policies, Production risk, Consumer vulnerability, Government commitment, Incentives, Institutions, Investments, Private sector,
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Subha Mani (Fordham University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In Indonesia, more than 30% of children under the age of 5 years suffer from chronic malnourishment. The long-term consequences of childhood malnutrition are well established in the literature. Yet, little is known about the extent to which these children are able to recover from some of the long-term deficits in health outcomes caused by childhood undernourishment. To capture the association between nutritional deficiency at young ages and subsequent health status, a panel data is constructed using observations on children between the age of 3 and 59 months in 1993 who are followed through the 1997 and 2000 waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey. A dynamic conditional health demand function is estimated, where the coefficient on the one-period lagged health status captures the extent of recovery, if any, from childhood malnutrition. This coefficient is also known as the ‘catch-up’ term. Variants of the IV/GMM estimation strategy are used here to obtain an unbiased and consistent coefficient estimate on the lagged dependent variable. While the OLS coefficient estimate on the one-period lagged health status is 0.53, it is only 0.23 in a first-difference GMM framework, indicating an upward bias in the OLS parameter estimate. A coefficient of 0.23 on the one-period lagged health status indicates that poor nutrition at young ages will cause some, but not severe, retardation in the growth of future height indicating partial catch-up effects. In the absence of any catch-up, by adolescence, a malnourished child will grow to be 4.15 cm shorter than a well-nourished child. However, a coefficient of 0.23 as estimated here indicates that by adolescence, a malnourished child will grow to be only 0.95 cm shorter than a well-nourished child. The first-difference GMM estimation strategy used here is especially attractive as it relies on much weaker stochastic assumptions than earlier papers and addresses both omitted variables bias and measurement error bias in data.
    Keywords: Child health, Lagged dependent variable, First-difference, Indonesia
    JEL: I10 R20 D10
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Fan, Shenggen
    Abstract: "During the past several decades, developing countries have had mixed results in reducing poverty. While East Asia (particularly China) has achieved astonishing progress in eradicating severe poverty through strong agricultural and overall economic growth, many African countries have experienced an increase in the number of poor. Today, more than 1 billion people still live on less than US$1 per day, and the recent surge in food prices has caused another 100 million people in developing countries to fall into poverty. It is obvious, therefore, that a "business as usual" approach is wholly inadequate. In recognition of the fact that persistent poverty and malnutrition result in irreversible costs to human and economic development, developing countries and the international development community have been intensifying their efforts to increase and redirect resources in order to achieve specific development objectives such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, public resources are limited, so prioritization is clearly critical. Policymakers want to know what public spending programs have the largest impact on the poor and how the resources should be allocated among different sectors, such as agriculture, infrastructure, health, and education. In recent years, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has conducted numerous studies related to public spending and its impact on growth and poverty reduction. The findings from those studies have been brought together in a new book, Public Expenditures, Growth, and Poverty: Lessons from Developing Countries (published for IFPRI by the Johns Hopkins University Press and, in South Asia, by Oxford University Press). The approach used in the book differs from previous work in that it considers multiple types of government spending, including investments in agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, and social safety nets; recognizes that investments have a direct impact on poverty reduction through multiple channels; and links the effects of public investment to its overall social benefits and cost, using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) framework." from Text
    Keywords: Poverty Developing countries, Poverty Developing countries Prevention, Expenditures, Public Developing countries, Developing countries Economic conditions 20th century, Developing countries Economic policy 2000, Economic development Developing countries,
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen
    Abstract: "Encouraging signs of growth acceleration in Africa may herald a new development era of rapid transformation. In an effort to promote the future success of African transformation, we herein provide an extensive literature review on development economics and empirical observations from successfully transformed countries, along with analytic narratives on the transformations of Thailand and Mexico. To conclude, we derive six key messages for African transformation. We find that the traditional development economics theory is consistent with the transformation practice of successful countries. However, this theory needs to be broadened in light of rising inequalities during transformation. Success vitally depends on agricultural development; early withdrawal of public support away from agriculture slows down transformation, and the resulting inequalities are recognized as a persistent development challenge. Transformation also depends on industrialization strategies, but we find that winner-picking industrialization negatively affects other aspects of development, whereas home-grown, export-oriented industrialization led by private entrepreneurs opens up broader opportunities for sustainable growth. Finally, government support will be required to create a business-promoting environment and to offer incentives for African entrepreneurs to lead growth." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Economic transformation, Agricultural growth, structural change, Development strategies,
    Date: 2008

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