nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2008‒12‒01
seven papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Demand For International Reserves in ASEAN-5 Economies By Eliza, Nor; M., Azali; Law, Siong-Hook; Lee, Chin
  2. Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia By David E. Bloom; David Canning; Jocelyn E. Finlay
  3. Financial crisis in Asia and the Pacific Region: Its genesis, severity and impact on poverty and hunger By Katsushi Imai; Raghav Gaiha; Ganesh Thapa
  4. Aid Allocation across Sectors: Does aid fit well with recipients' development priorities? By KASUGA Hidefumi
  5. Population Aging and Economic Growth in Asia By David E. Bloom; David Canning; Jocelyn Finlay
  6. Alternative Approaches to the Development of Early Childhood Education in Singapore By Yong Yik Wei; Aekapol Chongvilaivan; Chew Jing Yang
  7. Can an Islamic Model of Housing Finance Cooperative Elevate the Economic Status of the Underprivileged?. By M. Shahid Ebrahim

  1. By: Eliza, Nor; M., Azali; Law, Siong-Hook; Lee, Chin
    Abstract: The ASEAN-5 economies were observed to increase their demand for international reserves after the 1997 Asian financial crisis. This was coincided with their consistent current account surplus during the same period. Thus, this study attempts to investigate the existence of long-run relationship between reserve demand and current account for the period of 1997-2005. The Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds test approach as proposed by Pesaran, Shin, and Smith (2001) was employed, and the empirical results revealed that current account surplus leads to the rise in the demand for international reserves in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.
    Keywords: Bound Test; ARDL Approach; International Reserves; ASEAN-5
    JEL: F3 C22
    Date: 2008
  2. By: David E. Bloom (Harvard School of Public Health); David Canning (Harvard School of Public Health); Jocelyn E. Finlay (Harvard School of Public Health)
    Abstract: In 1994 the World Bank called East Asia's strong economic growth performance a "miracle". Trade openness, high savings rates, human capital accumulation, and macroeconomic policy only explained part of this growth performance; the remainder was left unexplained. Research in the ensuing years has shown that when demographic change in East Asia is taken into account, the miracle is explained. These earlier studies used the 1960-1990 sample period, but since 1990 Asia has undergone major economic reforms in response to financial crises and other factors. Moreover, rapid demographic change has continued in East Asia, and in Asia more generally, with fertility rates falling below replacement in many of these countries. In this paper, we re-examine the role of the demographic transition in explaining cross-country differences in economic growth, with a particular focus on East Asia. With the working-age share beginning to decline in many Asian countries, innovation and flexibility in the labor market will be required for them to continue to enjoy the high rates of economic growth they have experienced to date.
    Keywords: Global health, fertility, Asia, labor, Aging, Economics, Demography.
    Date: 2008–11
  3. By: Katsushi Imai; Raghav Gaiha; Ganesh Thapa
    Date: 2008
  4. By: KASUGA Hidefumi
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether aid flows to developing countries fit well with their development priorities. In particular, we examine aid allocation across sectors in a given recipient country by using sectoral data on aid and indicators that measure the recipient's need for aid in each sector. The data show that inter-recipient aid allocation reflects the recipient's need. However, we found no evidence that inter-sectoral allocation fits with national priorities except in high- and middle-income East Asian countries. Our evidence shows that the quality of bureaucracy and corruption in recipient countries impede efficient inter-sectoral allocation.
    Date: 2008–11
  5. By: David E. Bloom (Harvard School of Public Health); David Canning (Harvard School of Public Health); Jocelyn Finlay (Harvard School of Public Health)
    Abstract: The decline in the total fertility rate between 1960 and 2005, coupled with an increase in life expectancy and the dynamic evolution of past variation in birth and death rates, is producing a significant shift in age structure in Asia. The age distribution has shifted from one with a high youth-age population share to one with a high old-age population share. We illustrate the role of these separate forces in shaping the age distribution. We also argue that the economic consequences of population aging depend on behavioral responses to the shift in age structure: the female labor force participation response to the decline in fertility, child quality/quantity trade-off in the face of the fertility decline, savings adjustments to an increase in life expectancy, and social security distortions insofar as the pace of life expectancy improvements is faster than the pace of policy adjustments. We estimate the association between old- and youth-age population shares and economic growth. The results suggest that population aging may not significantly impede economic performance in Asia in the long run.
    Keywords: Global health, fertility, Asia, labor, Aging.
    Date: 2008–11
  6. By: Yong Yik Wei; Aekapol Chongvilaivan; Chew Jing Yang
    Abstract: A knowledge-intensive, innovation-driven economy needs innovative and creative individuals in business, government, and the various professions. Singapore’s education system has an important role to play in equipping the young with the right qualities. This could be better achieved by moving away from an overly rigid education system that places undue emphasis on rote learning and examination scores, to an education system that develops students’ creativity and critical thinking abilities, and encourages their innate curiosity and willingness to experiment. We examine, as a backdrop, various economic theories of entrepreneurship and, believing that it is important to begin with a good educational foundation, the features of some alternative approaches to pre-school education. We also examine Singapore’s attempts to promote independent thinking and creativity among Singaporean students, and other countries’ experiences, in particular those of Finland and the Netherlands. Among other issues, emphasis is placed on play and the fostering of students’ love of learning, in less structured settings, as the media of learning during early childhood education.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Pre-school Education; Play-based Learning; Reggio Emilia approach; Montessori Method; Teach Less, Learn More (TLLM) initiative
    JEL: I21 I28 I29
    Date: 2008–11
  7. By: M. Shahid Ebrahim (Nottingham University Business School)
    Abstract: This paper was refined during my sabbatical study at James Madison University (JMU). I appreciate the hospitality of JMU particularly that of Ehsan Ahmed. I have benefited from the critical comments of the participants of the seminars at James Madison University; University of Birmingham; University of Glasgow; the 2006 Conference on Computing in Economics and Finance (in Cyprus); the 2007 IIUM International Conference (in Malaysia); at the 2007 Workshop on Default Risk and Financial Distress (in Rennes, France), the 2007 Product Development and Management Association Conference (in Bangalore, India); the 2008 International Conference on Business and Finance (in Hyderabad, India); the 2008 International AREUEA Conference (in Istanbul, Turkey); the 2008 Workshop of European Network of the Economics of Religion (in Edinburgh, UK); and the 2008 Symposium on Religion, Markets and Society (in Nottingham, UK) on earlier drafts of the paper. I am also grateful to the following individuals for their helpful suggestions: Bruce Brunton, Humayon Dar, Mohammad Omar Farooq, Diana Mitlin, Kelly Morris, Peter Oliver, Barkley Rosser, Peer Smets, Ghulam Sorwar, Rafal Wojakowski and Robert Young. All remaining errors are mine.
    Keywords: ASCRA, Asset Bubble, Mutual Bank, Inflation, Mortgage Design,and ROSCA.
    JEL: C63 G21 G32 N25 O17 P13 R22
    Date: 2008–10–24

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