nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2009‒01‒31
eleven papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Yen Bloc or Yuan Bloc: An Analysis of Currency Arrangements in East Asia By Kazuko Shirono
  2. Explaining Differences in Education between Foster Children and Biological Children: a Sibling Rivalry Approach. Some Evidence from Indonesia By Karine Marazyan
  3. Total Factor Productivity and Economic Growth in Indonesia By Pierre van der Eng
  4. Commodity Prices and Monetary Policy in Emerging East Asia By Tang, Hsiao Chink
  5. India's Bond Market-Developments and Challenges Ahead By Schou-Zibell, Lotte; Wells, Stephen
  6. The Margins of U.S. Trade (Long Version) By Andrew B. Bernard; J. Bradford Jensen; Stephen J. Redding; Peter K. Schott
  7. Does Organic Agriculture Lead to Better Health among Organic and Conventional Farmers in Thailand? An Investigation of Health Expenditure among Organic and Conventional Farmers in Thailand By Sunantar Setboonsarng
  8. Does Trade Integration Contribute to Peace? By Lee, Jong-Wha; Pyun, Ju Hyun
  9. Market access, organic farming and productivity: the determinants of creation of economic value on a sample of Fair Trade affiliated Thai farmers By Leonardo Becchetti; Pierluigi Conzo; Giuseppina Gianfreda
  10. Workers Without Borders? Culture, Migration and the Political Limits to Globalization By Sanjay Jain; Sumon Majumdar; Sharun Mukand
  11. Do Countries Exporting More Manufactured Products Grow Faster? By Takuji Kinkyo

  1. By: Kazuko Shirono
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of Japan against that of China in the exchange rate regime in East Asia in light of growing interest in forming a currency union in the region. The analysis suggests that currency unions with China tend to generate higher average welfare gains for East Asian countries than currency unions with Japan or the United States. Overall, Japan does not appear to be a dominant player in forming a currency union in East Asia, and this trend is likely to continue if China's relative presence continues to rise in the regional trade.
    Keywords: Exchange rate regimes , East Asia , Japan , China, People's Republic of , Currencies , Monetary unions , Trade , Economic cooperation , Economic models , Trade models , Data analysis ,
    Date: 2009–01–14
  2. By: Karine Marazyan (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper aims at explaining differences in education between foster-children and the biological children of their new household by differences in return to education as suggested by the human capital investment model. Defining this return by the amount of the old-age support the care-givers expect to receive, we assume that foster-children have a lower return to education than biological children, as the former might provide old-age support for both their host and biological parents while the latter to their biological parents only. Given this assumption and if the credit constraints are binding, the model suggests that foster-children will receive less human capital investment if there are in presence of host children than if they are not.In contrast, if parents have aversion against inequality, the prediction reverses: foster-children will receive more human capital investment if there are in presence of host children than if they are not.Using data from Indonesia, we provide some evidence in favor of the credit constraints hypothesis.This suggests that financial support to families who care for both biological and foster-children will enhance the latter education as it would reduce the credit constraints and thus, the induced sibling rivalry.
    Keywords: Foster-Children, Sibling Rivalry, Asia, Indonesia
    Date: 2008–06–25
  3. By: Pierre van der Eng
    Abstract: This paper revisits the discussion about the contribution of Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth to Indonesia’s economic growth during 1970-2007. It re-estimates the contribution of TFP to economic growth during this period on the basis of new estimates of GDP, capital stock, education-adjusted employment, and factor income shares. After accounting for the growth of capital stock and education-adjusted employment, the residual TFP growth was on average -0.2% per year during 1971- 2007. Capital stock growth and education-augmented employment growth explained 70% and 34%, respectively, and TFP growth -4%. Only during 2000-07 was TFP growth 1.7% per year, explaining 33% of GDP growth. The paper doubts that these results imply that the Indonesian economy did not experience the impact of technological change, as much of it may be embodied in the capital stock estimates.
    Keywords: economic growth, Indonesia, productivity
    JEL: N15 O11 O47 O53
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Tang, Hsiao Chink (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: In the first-half of the global financial turmoil, rising inflation was a major concern for emerging East Asian central banks. Coupled with a slowing US economy, regional central banks faced an inevitable monetary policy choice of either addressing higher inflation or supporting moderate growth. Higher food and fuel prices were the major drivers of headline inflation. Their causes, however, were a confluence of factors--whether cyclical or structural, domestic or global, supply or demand--all reinforcing each other and contributing to widespread price escalations in all classes of commodities. In response, a raft of fiscal and administrative measures of questionable effectiveness was widely implemented. Understandably, different economies faced different balance of risks between price stability and growth, but to attribute the causes of inflation to supply shocks alone was misleading and probably explained why many central banks were reluctant and/or slow to raise interest rates. This was all the more puzzling given that inflation and inflation expectations were on the rise, and central bank credibility was not in abundance. Without much credibility, inflation expectations cannot be well-anchored. To gain credibility, a central bank must "walk-the-talk" and this is only possible if it has the autonomy to do so.
    Keywords: Commodity prices; inflation; monetary policy; emerging East Asia
    JEL: E31 E52 E58
    Date: 2008–12–01
  5. By: Schou-Zibell, Lotte (Asian Development Bank); Wells, Stephen (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)
    Abstract: While India boasts a world-class equity market and increasingly important bank assets, its bond market has not kept up. The government bond market remains illiquid. The corporate bond market, in addition, remains restrictive to participants and largely arbitrage-driven. Securitization, which once had the jump on other Asian markets, has failed to take off. To meet the needs of its firms and investors, the bond market must therefore evolve. This will mean creating new market sectors such as exchange-traded interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives contracts. It will mean relaxing exchange restrictions, easing investment mandates on contractual savings institutions, reforming the stamp duty tax, and revamping disclosure requirements for corporate public offers. This paper reviews the development and outlook of the Indian bond market. It looks at the market participants-including life insurance, pension funds, mutual funds and foreign investors-and it discusses the importance to development of learning from the innovations and experiences of others.
    Keywords: India; emerging East Asia; bond market; securitization; collateralized borrowing and lending obligations (CBLO)
    JEL: F34 G28 K22 O53
    Date: 2008–12–01
  6. By: Andrew B. Bernard; J. Bradford Jensen; Stephen J. Redding; Peter K. Schott
    Abstract: Recent research in international trade emphasizes the importance of firms' extensive margins for understanding overall patterns of trade as well as how firms respond to specific events such as trade liberalization. In this paper, we use detailed U.S. trade statistics to provide a broad overview of how the margins of trade contribute to variation in U.S. imports and exports across trading partners, types of trade (i.e., arm's-length versus related-party) and both short and long time horizons. Among other results, we highlight the differential behavior of related-party and arm's-length trade in response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
    JEL: F1 F23 F43
    Date: 2009–01
  7. By: Sunantar Setboonsarng
    Abstract: The study attempts to empirically examine whether the adoption of organic farming practices leads to better health. As a proxy for health status, a comparison of the health expenditure patterns of organic and conventional rice-farming households in North and Northeast Thailand is done. Using data from a 2006 household survey covering 626 households in eight provinces, we calculate catastrophic health expenditures as out-of-pocket (OOP) medical expenditures exceeding a specified percentage of the household budget. [ADBI WP 129].
    Keywords: income, organic farming, health, rice, farming, expenditure, Thailand, households, medical, budget, organic, conventional
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Lee, Jong-Wha (Asian Development Bank); Pyun, Ju Hyun (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of trade integration on military conflict. Our empirical analysis,based on a large panel data set of 290,040 country-pair observations from 1950 to 2000, confirms that an increase in bilateral trade interdependence and global trade openness significantly promotes peace. It also suggests that the effect of trade openness varies depending on the geographical proximity of countries. The peace-promotion effect of bilateral trade integration is significantly higher for contiguous countries that are likely to experience more conflicts. The analysis shows, however, that an increase in global trade openness reduces the probability of conflict more for countries far apart from each other than it does for countries sharing borders. The results also show that military conflict between countries significantly reduces not only bilateral trade interdependence but also multilateral trade integration. The main finding of the peace-promotion effect of bilateral and global trade integration holds robust when controlling for the natural and geopolitical characteristics of dyads of states that may influence the probability of military conflict and for the simultaneous determination of trade and peace.
    Keywords: Trade; Globalization; Military conflict; Peace
    JEL: D74 F15 F51
    Date: 2009–01–01
  9. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Pierluigi Conzo (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Giuseppina Gianfreda (University of Tuscia)
    Abstract: We analyse the impact of Fair Trade and organic farming on a sample of Fair Trade organic rice producers in Thailand. We find that per capita income from agriculture is positively and significantly affected by organic certification and FT affiliation years. Such effect does not translate into higher productivity due to a concurring increase in worked hours. FT and organic certification contributions are however downward biased if we do not take into account the relatively higher share of self- consumption of affiliated farmers. Our main findings are robust when we control for selection bias and endogeneity with instrumental variables, propensity score matching and by restricting the sample to affiliated producers only. We also test which of the two (organic and FT) effects is stronger and find that the latter prevails.
    Keywords: organic production, Fair Trade, productivity
    JEL: O18 O19 O22
    Date: 2009–01
  10. By: Sanjay Jain (University of Virginia); Sumon Majumdar (Queen's University); Sharun Mukand (Tufts University)
    Abstract: Despite potentially large welfare gains, the barriers to the international mobility of workers are high and persistent. We develop a simple framework that throws light on why the globalization of labor differs from that of goods and capital. In doing so we ask whether a government will ever spurn the large welfare increase from freer labor mobility, even if such a policy had no distributional impact on native workers, was desired by the host country's citizens and if the repatriation of overstaying workers could be costlessly enforced. In addressing these questions we examine the role of culture in driving the political economy of migration policy. The paper shows that there exists a broad political failure that results in inefficiently high barriers restricting the import of foreign workers. We examine the conditions under which a country is best positioned to reap the economic gains from the globalization of temporary (or permanent) labor migration. We show that culturally homogeneous countries that are poor at cultural assimilation may be better positioned to take advantage of short term foreign worker programs than more culturally diverse and tolerant countries. Our framework suggests that simple alteration of existing policy measures can help encourage international labor mobility. In particular, restrictions on the mobility of the foreign worker across firms (e.g. the H-1B program in the U.S. or the Employment R in Singapore) might work to the detriment of the host country, and make it more difficult to sustain a credible temporary worker migration program. Therefore, any policy measure that improves the mobility (and bargaining power) of the foreign worker helps not only the worker, but more surprisingly, also boosts host country welfare.
    Keywords: international migration, political economy, cultural heterogeneity, temporary workers
    JEL: D72 F22 J61
    Date: 2008–12
  11. By: Takuji Kinkyo (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper empirically examines the hypothesis that countries exporting a larger share of manufactured products in total exports grows faster. Both cross-country and panel data analyses find evidence in support of the hypothesis for developing countries. The results are robust to the inclusion of a range of growth determinants. It is also shown that Asiafs superior performance up to the mid-1990s can be explained largely by a rise in manufacturing export share, as well as human capital accumulation and lower inflation rates. The paperfs findings support the view that not only trade openness but also export composite matters for growth.
    Date: 2008–11

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