nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2009‒04‒05
nine papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Re-considering Asian Financial Regionalism in the 1990s By Hamanaka, Shintaro
  2. When Wetland Conservation Works - an Assessment from Lao PDR By Phouphet Kyophilavong
  3. Private Saving in India and Malaysia Compared: The Role of Financial Liberalization and Expected Pension Benefits By Ang, James; Sen, Kumal
  4. Terrorism and the Regional and Religious Risk Perception of Foreigners: The Case of German Tourists By Gabriel Ahlfeldt; Bastian Franke; Wolfgang Maennig
  5. Assessing the vulnerability of emerging Asia to external demand shocks: the role of China By Daniela Marconi; Laura Painelli
  6. Indagine esplorativa dell'atteggiamento dei consumatori europei verso riso e tapioca biologici importati dalla Thailandia By Canavari, Maurizio; Lombardi, Pamela; Riedel, Bettina; Spadoni, Roberta
  7. La competitività del comparto florovivaistico delle regioni del mezzogiorno sul mercato internazionale By Schimmenti, Emanuele; Asciuto, Antonio; Galati, Antonino; Carapezza, Rosario
  8. The Impact of Irrigation on Aquatic Wetland Resources - A Case Study of That Luang Marsh, Lao PDR By Phouphet Kyophilavong
  9. Dynamic Treatment Effect Analysis of TV Effects on Child Cognitive Development By Fali Huang; Myoung-jae Lee

  1. By: Hamanaka, Shintaro (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: A common view holds that the trend toward Asian financial regionalism is a relatively new phenomenon that became significant after the Asian financial crisis of 1997/98. This paper challenges this view by exploring and analyzing financial regionalist projects in Asia throughout the 1990s. As they demonstrate, Asian countries, especially Japan, have held a strong desire to establish an Asia-only regional cooperation framework at least since the early 1990s. The basic policy stance of the United States (US), in contrast, was to participate in Asian forums and/or itself to propose and establish regional groupings with itself as a member. This competition is crucial to understanding the rise and fall of various regionalist projects. The analysis of Asian financial regionalism from the standpoint of the membership sheds new light on studies of regionalism. Among the important theoretical implications of this empirical study is that by exercising "blocking power" over a regionalist project, an outside power is not simply killing the proposal, but is participating in the proposed regional framework and seeking to influence it. Regionalism can be best understood as a project under which a relatively minor power seeks to establish a framework that excludes more influential states in order to increase its influence within the group.
    Keywords: Regionalism; regional cooperation; Asian Monetary Fund (AMF); Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI); membership; blocking power
    JEL: F15 F36
    Date: 2009–03–01
  2. By: Phouphet Kyophilavong (Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos)
    Abstract: Wetlands are among the most important habitats for wildlife in the world. However, across Southeast Asia many wetland areas are under threat from water extraction and a range of other development pressures. This study finds that conserving wetlands can provide significant economic benefits.
    Keywords: wetland, conservation, Lao PDR
    JEL: Q50 Q51 Q56 Q57
    Date: 2009–03
  3. By: Ang, James; Sen, Kumal
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide a comparative account of the evolution of private saving in India and Malaysia, and analyze how policy changes in the financial sectors and pension systems help explain differences in their saving performance. Using the ARDL bounds estimation procedure, we find a fairly robust long-run relationship between private saving and its determinants in both countries. Consistent with the predictions made in the life cycle model, our results indicate that higher income growth stimulates private saving and an increase in age dependency retards private saving. The results provide some support for the hypothesis that financial liberalization results in lower private saving in both countries. The evidence also indicates that expected pension benefits tend to stimulate private saving in India, but that the reverse is found in Malaysia.
    Keywords: private savings; pension saving; financial liberalization; India; Malaysia
    JEL: Q16 Q53
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Gabriel Ahlfeldt (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg); Bastian Franke; Wolfgang Maennig (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This paper analyses how German tourists react to unanticipated shocks that alter their risk perception of selected tourism destinations. Using a difference-in-difference strategy which flexibly accounts for macroeconomic conditions and also addresses potential problems of serial correlation, we isolate significant effects of the 9/11 (2001) terrorist attacks, as well as for the attacks in Egypt (1997), Tunisia (2002), Morocco (2003) and Indonesia (2003). These terror attacks impacted especially on Islamic countries all over the world, indicating a transmission mechanism driven by ethnic and religious proximity. At the same time, tourism into Islamic countries was temporarily substituted by tourism to (south) European countries.
    Keywords: Keywords: Terrorism; 9/11; Islamic Countries; Tourism Demand
    JEL: R19 D89
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Daniela Marconi (Bank of Italy); Laura Painelli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper assesses the vulnerability of China to external shocks via the indirect negative effect of a slow-down in exports on domestic demand for investment. In the last decade China has increased its dependence on external demand, particularly from the advanced countries; at the same time it has become a primary destination market for goods produced in the rest of emerging Asia. Since 2001 investment expenditures have represented a key driver of Chinese GDP growth; as a very large share of activity in the manufacturing sector is export oriented, we expect fixed capital investment in this sector to be highly related to exports. Overcoming serious shortcomings in available data, we estimate an investment equation for the period 1993-2006 and find an elasticity of investment to exports in the manufacturing sector in the range between 0.9 and 1. Taking into account the dominant contribution of capital accumulation to Chinese GDP growth, we conclude that the growth effects of an external demand shock could become significant when taking into account the domestic investment channel.
    Keywords: exports, investment, elasticity
    JEL: F14 E22 N6
    Date: 2009–02
  6. By: Canavari, Maurizio; Lombardi, Pamela; Riedel, Bettina; Spadoni, Roberta
    Abstract: The research field is marketing of quality food products for the introduction and promotion of innovative and differentiating products in distribution places far and culturally different by the country of origin/production. In an international trade context, environmental elements (e.g. the introduction of organic agriculture) and the role of the country of origin/production could influence the consumers’ perception of the distribution places. This study is aimed at deepening the knowledge about European consumer attitudes towards Thai organic rice and tapioca. In particular, the purpose was to explore relevant attributes for the quality product perception, motivations for purchasing, limiting factors, reasonable price brackets, trust elements. In this first phase of research, a qualitative approach was used. Four focus groups were administered (in Germany, in Greece, in Italy and in Scotland) by one or two investigators and the participants were recruited using a convenience sampling method (6-8 persons each). The discussions were recorded, transcribed and analysed through a qualitative approach. Finally, an exhaustive list of semantic categories was created, explained and supported by parts of the discussions. Participants still do not know much about these products, especially about tapioca. They tend to favour the product’s nutritional aspects, followed by its taste and smell, which in any case were not deemed satisfactory; however, they want also that a series of social and environmental benefits are satisfied. In general, Thai organic rice is perceived as a “different type†of rice and tapioca as a “new productâ€Â. The most important critical issues affecting participant’s opinions include: the lack of trust in the certification process by foreign countries and the low attitude towards trying food novelties seemed due to a sense of loyalty to (or affection for) local food traditions. One of the most important trust elements is represented by the brand of the distributor, the producer and the EU and national certification bodies; in particular, participants associate some parameters of guarantee and safety to brand’s name. The information obtained could be useful in further exploring of this topic and it needs to be tested with a quantitative approach.
    Keywords: Marketing of Quality Food Products, Differentiating Elements, International Trade Context, Focus Group, Semantic Categories, Q13,
    Date: 2009–03–16
  7. By: Schimmenti, Emanuele; Asciuto, Antonio; Galati, Antonino; Carapezza, Rosario
    Abstract: In the last few years the Italian flower and ornamental plant sector has been characterized by a significant dynamicity, becoming one of the most important sectors of the Italian agricultural system. In terms of competitiveness, however, the above sector has faced several market crises due to the globalization process which has produced has brought about an increasing supply of flower and ornamentals in the world market. In a national context, Mezzogiorno is an important area in terms of production source for flowers and ornamental plants, in relation to both extremely favorable climatic conditions and specific economic situations which positively affect profitability of firms operating in some productive sub-sectors (e.g., the ornamental plant sector). The paper points out the apparent growth signs of the Mezzogiorno flower and ornamental plant sector, though its contribution to the specialization of agrofood products is still marginal. Within the single items belonging to chapter 6 “Living trees and flowersâ€Â, the analysis carried out shows a specialization in the category of live plants as a consequence of a growing demand of such products from foreign markets. The competitiveness analysis has pointed out that these Italian regions are characterized by a strong comparative advantage mainly with some countries of the Balkans area (Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Erzegovina and Croatia), and with some EU countries (Romania, Greece, Malta and France). A heavy competitive disadvantage comes up with the Netherlands and, less important, with Thailand, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. Among the main factors which affect the competitive performance of Mezzogiorno regions, it is clear that a crucial role is played both by farm pulverisation, which limits the development and the implementation of new productive technologies, and by an inefficiency of the distributive system. A strategy which certainly needs to be carried out is the adoption of high qualitative standards in order to reach new and important markets, particularly those characterized by high presence of rich consumption segments.
    Keywords: Competitiveness, Flowers and Ornamental Plants Sector, International Trade, Mezzogiorno, F140, Q170,
    Date: 2009–03–16
  8. By: Phouphet Kyophilavong (Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos)
    Abstract: This study assesses the impact of irrigation on That Luang Marsh (TLM) in Vientiane, the capital city of the People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) of Laos. The study finds that the economic benefits provided by the marsh (particularly in terms of the fish it supplies to local people) far outweigh the benefits provided by the extraction of water for irrigation. As extraction of water for irrigation is threatening the ecology of the marsh and its ability to maintain a viable stock of fish, it is clear that the amount of water extracted for irrigation should be reduced. The report recommends that a minimum level for the water in TLM should be set to ensure the conservation of its precious wetland ecosystem. The report finds that, on balance, this would have a positive impact on the livelihoods of local people. This means that the conservation of the marsh makes good economic sense. To help the farmers who would be negatively affected by these measures, the report shows how they could be trained to use irrigation water more effectively, grow alternative crops that require less water than rice, catch fish and collect vegetables.
    Keywords: wetland, conservation, Lao PDR
    JEL: Q50 Q51 Q56 Q57
    Date: 2009–03
  9. By: Fali Huang (School of Economics, Singapore Management University); Myoung-jae Lee (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea)
    Keywords: TV watching, treatment effect, panel data, dynamic model with feedback
    JEL: C33 I20 J13 E60
    Date: 2009

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