nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2010‒01‒10
eight papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Asian Sovereign Debt and Country Risk By Johansson, Anders C.
  2. "Identifying Shocks in Regionally Integrated East Asian Economies with Structural VAR and Block Exogeneity" By Kiyotaka Sato; Zhaoyong Zhang; Michael McAleer
  3. The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Rural and Microfinance in Asia By Llanto, Gilberto M.; Badiola, Jocelyn Alma R.
  4. Contract Farming in Thailand: A View from the Farm By Isabelle Delforge
  5. Private Contributions Towards the Provision of Public Goods: The Conservation of Thailand's Endangered Species By Orapan Nabangchang
  6. How Much Will People Pay for Wildlife Conservation? - A Study from Thailand By Orapan Nabangchang
  7. Investment and Capital Flows: Implications of the ASEAN Economic Community By Aldaba, Rafaelita Mercado; Yap, Josef T.
  8. Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities: the Case of the Philippines By Philippine Institute for Development Studies

  1. By: Johansson, Anders C. (China Economic Research Center)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes systematic risk of sovereign bonds in four East Asian countries: China, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. A bivariate stochastic volatility model that allows for time-varying correlation is estimated with Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation. The volatilities and correlation are then used to calculate the time-varying betas. The results show that country-specific systematic risk in Asian sovereign bonds varies over time. When adjusting for inherent exchange rate risk, the pattern of systematic risk is similar, even though the level is generally lower. The findings have important implications for international portfolio managers that invest in emerging sovereign bonds and those who need benchmark instruments to analyze risk in assets such as corporate bonds in the emerging Asian financial markets.
    Keywords: Asia; sovereign bonds; systematic risk; stochastic volatility; Markov Chain Monte Carlo
    JEL: C32 F31 G12 G15
    Date: 2009–12–01
  2. By: Kiyotaka Sato (Faculty of Economics, Yokohama National University); Zhaoyong Zhang (School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Edith Cowan University); Michael McAleer (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute)
    Abstract: In this paper we use a structural VAR model with block exogeneity to investigate if external shocks originating from the USA played a dominant role in influencing the macroeconomic fluctuations in East Asia during the period 1978-2007. The empirical results show a dynamic effect of external shocks, implying that, even though regional integration appears to be deepening and accelerating, especially after the recent global financial crisis, the influence of US shocks on real output fluctuations in the East Asian region is still very strong. The effects of Chinese shocks show an increasing trend over time, but the impacts are still small and not comparable with those of US shocks. The world oil price shock has become increasingly important in influencing the stability of real output growth in the region. The results from variance decomposition and impulse response analysis confirm the findings. Even though Japanese firms have established production networks in East Asia through trade and investment, and China has also grown rapidly and become a key regional country, the results suggest that US influence in the region is still asymmetric and strong. Therefore, it is difficult to conclude that shocks to the East Asian economies have become more regionally oriented.
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Llanto, Gilberto M.; Badiola, Jocelyn Alma R.
    Abstract: Using data from a quick survey of various rural (RFIs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) in East Asia, the paper tries to find out how those institutions and their clientele have been affected by the global financial crisis, how they have coped with the ongoing crisis, and what they plan to do in the future to ensure the stability of the rural financial system and the continuing access of clients to financial services. The microfinance sector in Asia continues to evolve with emphasis on efficiency and strong growth in outreach. The limited data from the quick survey validate the growth in loan portfolios and increase in the number of clients, with growth varying significantly by country depending on internal and external factors during the period before the global financial crisis. Impacts vary depending on external and internal factors faced by RFIs and MFIs. However, they continue to maintain a positive attitude and expect that business will pick up as a result of an increase in demand for loans to finance livelihood projects and various microenterprises. They are aware of the threats and opportunities brought about by the global financial crisis. The analysis leads to some lessons for policymakers, bank regulators, rural financial institutions, and microfinance institutions that are committed to provide inclusive financial services to member clients.
    Keywords: regulatory framework, global financial crisis, loan portfolio quality, credit crunch, inclusive financial service
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Isabelle Delforge
    Abstract: The study presents an initial assessment of the situation and to raise the main issues in terms of farmers’ and workers’ rights. It is part of a long term process involving farmer movements, trade unions, NGOs and international organisations aimed at developing strategies by which both contract and independent farmers can improve their bargaining power and living conditions. [FGS OP No. 2].
    Keywords: farmers, worker's right, NGO, developing strategies, living conditions, farming, thailand, contract farming, farms, asia,
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Orapan Nabangchang (Sukhothai Thammatirat Open University)
    Abstract: This paper looks at why people in Bangkok give money to wildlife charities, estimates how much people would be willing to pay for the conservation of some of Thailand's endangered animals and assesses what would be the best way to collect money for wildlife protection. The study used the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) to determine the economic value of a group of Thailand's endangered animal species. Information was gathered through 955 face-to-face interviews conducted in Bangkok. The study finds that the majority of the respondents would vote to pass a referendum to impose a 250 Baht income tax surcharge to generate funds for conservation of a selected group of Thailand's endangered species. If this surcharge were imposed on the whole of Bangkok's population, it would raise significantly more money than is allocated to the current budget of Thailand's National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department. This potential income would allow the implementation of a comprehensive, integrated conservation programme across the country. The study therefore recommends that all policy-makers and organizations involved in wildlife conservation in Thailand seriously consider its findings and incorporate them in future plans to raise funds to save the country's endangered wildlife.
    Keywords: Endangered species, Thailand
    Date: 2009–05
  6. By: Orapan Nabangchang (Sukhothai Thammatirat Open University)
    Abstract: If politicians are to make informed decisions about funding wildlife conservation, it is important that they know what the general public thinks about the issues involved, the factors that shape people's perceptions and how much individuals would be willing to pay to help wildlife. This study has looked into these issues and has found out what people in Bangkok think about wildlife conservation in the country and how much they would be willing to pay to support it.
    Keywords: Wildlive conservation, Thailand
    Date: 2009–05
  7. By: Aldaba, Rafaelita Mercado; Yap, Josef T.
    Abstract: <p>One of the objectives of the evolving ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is to promote free investment flows and freer capital flows. By deepening economic integration among them, ASEAN member countries can establish a region-wide production base that will attract more foreign direct investment and strengthen the existing FDI-trade nexus in East Asia. This will increase the opportunities for domestic firms to participate in regional and global production networks. The principal investment cooperation program of the AEC has been the ASEAN Investment Area which is being expanded to the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA).</p> <p>The chapter delineates measures to make the ACIA more effective, examples of which are adoption of a collective approach and common timeframe of trade and investment liberalization; and transferring mode 3 of services (commercial presence) from the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services to the ACIA. Meanwhile, because of the risks that underlie movement of capital flows, it is recommended that regional financial integration give way to regional financial cooperation. The latter can be an important mechanism to accelerate the development of national financial systems, particularly through a more effective policy dialogue and surveillance process. Since greater global financial integration is a desirable long-term goal, regional financial cooperation can also be geared toward advocating for reform of the international financial architecture and crafting region-wide tools to manage capital flows. These will reduce the risks associated with financial integration. With regard to the issue of optimal sequencing in the process of capital account liberalization, the development of national financial systems remains to be an important component and prerequisite.</p>
    Keywords: foreign direct investment, capital flows, ASEAN economic community
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Philippine Institute for Development Studies
    Abstract: <p>In a country where poverty is prevalent, a significant number of children are likely to be illiterate, malnourished, and prone to abuse and physical violence. The Philippines is no different. Using known indicators on education, social protection, poverty, and health, this report summarizes the Filipino children's welfare and living conditions taking account the disparities in gender, income, and geographic location.</p> <p>This report shows that poverty incidence among children living in rural areas is more than twice that of children living in the urban areas. Looking at the regional patterns, some regions are consistently ranked as being 'worse off' compared to other regions. All these suggest wide disparities in poverty incidence across regions and between urban and rural areas. Chapter 2 of the report describes the many facets of deprivation that could either be severe or less severe. In 2006, 18.6 percent of children or 5.4 million children were deprived of at least one of the three dimensions of well-being covered by the study, namely, shelter, sanitation, and water. The report finds some remarkable improvements in the plight of the children based on recent data and indicator estimates.</p> <p>The five pillars of child well-being are examined more closely in Chapter 3. The first section deals with child nutrition and highlights the fact that malnutrition is one of the underlying causes of child mortality. The section on child health, meanwhile, analyzes trends and issues on infant mortality and child immunization. Compared to its close neighbors in Asia, the Philippines posted a drastic decline in immunization rates in 2003. The section on child protection, on the other hand, cites the Philippine government’s efforts to protect the rights of families and children which began as early as 1935. Another section is devoted to education and highlights various basic education indicators and trends. It narrates how the 2007 level of elementary participation rate became at par with 1990 level, thus, requiring that the 25-year millennium development target be achieved in eight years. Disparities in education outcomes were also observed in different socioeconomic dimensions. In the section for social protection, policies and programs that aim to prevent, manage, and overcome the risks that confront the poor and vulnerable people were presented. The section also suggests critical areas that should be considered in assessing social safety net programs.</p> <p>In conclusion, the report proposes different strategies for action using the rights-based approach. Some specific recommendations include pursuing an effective population management program; stabilizing macroeconomic fundamentals; building up data and giving due consideration to regional disparities in aid of planning, and policy and program formulation; and allocating more financial and rational manpower resources for health, education, and child protection.</p> <p>As regards other government programs, the report finds that it is not sufficient that budget is allocated adequately. What is crucial is proper targeting and making sure that resources are given to that segment of population where interventions are needed the most. Moreover, research works should continue to look for reasons why gaps persist, to analyze the correlation between interventions and outcomes, and to examine the interrelated forces and relationship that would strengthen the pillars of child well-being. The report ends with a view on how the role and active participation of public institutions, private organizations, communities, and individuals must be upheld and coordinated to promote the welfare of the Filipino children.</p>
    Keywords: child labor, millennium development goal (MDG), social protection, child health, child poverty/deprivation, child development/wellbeing, child protection, maternal and child wellbeing, children in conflict, social protection programs, antipoverty program
    Date: 2009

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