nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2010‒08‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Chinese Mercantilism: Currency Wars and How the East was Lost By Surjit S. Bhalla
  2. Asian Tigers' Choices: An Overview By Chow, Hwee Kwan
  3. Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Changing Trade Patterns on the Poor By Kalirajan, Kaliappa; Anbumozhi, Venkatachalam; Singh, Kanhaiya
  4. Appropriate Economic Space for Transnational Infrastructural Projects: Gateways, Multimodal Corridors, and Special Economic Zones By Rimmer, Peter J.; Dick, Howard
  5. The determinants of health expenditure in Malaysia: A time series analysis By Tang, Chor Foon
  6. Cost Effectiveness of VCT and PITC in a Hospital Based Clinic in Indonesia A Preliminary Results By Adiatma Y.M Siregar; Dindin Komarudin; Pipit Pitriyan
  7. A note on the nonlinear wages-productivity nexus for Malaysia By Tang, Chor Foon
  8. Relationship quality as the predictor of long term relationship in the Malaysian dairy industry By Boniface, Bonaventure; Gyau, Amos; Stringer, Randy
  9. Emergence of Rating Agencies: Implications for Establishing a Regional Rating Agency in Asia By Tsai, Ying Yi; Liu, Li-Gang
  10. An Analysis of Energy Intensity in Indonesian Manufacturing By Tony Irawan; Djoni Hartono; Noer Azam Achsani
  11. Ethno-diversity and bio-diversity: Methods and measurement By Evers, Hans-Dieter; Yusoff, Anis; Shamsul, A.BB.

  1. By: Surjit S. Bhalla
    Abstract: The world changed on July 2, 1997 when Thailand floated the baht. Explanations abound on the origins of the crisis - indeed it is a growth industry. This study is part of that explosion. It has several objectives. Identification of the causes of the crisis is the most important goal. Why did it happen ? Why did the contagion happen ? What went wrong ? Was the East Asian miracle a mirage ? If causes are correctly identified, the correct policy response is expected to follow. If not, then developing countries may embark on another lost decade. A large part of the analysis centers around the proposition that the regime of fixed, quasi-fixed, managed exchange rates was at the core of the problem. In addition to managed exchange rates, the paper offers an additional contributory cause of the crisis - China’s mercantilist policy. [Working Paper No. 45]
    Keywords: Thailand, floated, crisis, important goal, East Asian
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Chow, Hwee Kwan (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper considers the choices facing the Asian tiger economies regarding growth strategies that foster trans-Pacific rebalancing. A review of historical data spanning 2000 to 2008 reveals only a slight widening of the overall current account surplus but that there is considerable variation across the countries, with Hong Kong, China exhibiting the biggest increase in the saving and investment (S-I) balance. Meanwhile, cross-correlation coefficient estimates tentatively suggest that changes in the real effective exchange rate do not seem to exhibit a consistent negative lead over changes in the S-I gap in the short run over the past decade. High import leakage, particularly for the ultra small, open economies of Hong Kong and Singapore, calls into question the scope for recalibrating growth drivers towards domestic demand. Nonetheless, the implementation of structural policies such as those aimed at raising the productivity and wages of workers in the services industry as well as the introduction of financial products that alleviates the need for precautionary saving can induce domestic consumer demand, especially for the larger economies of Korea and Taipei,China. Moreover, the rising affluence and living standards in fast growing regional economies such as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) offers the Asian tigers the potential of gearing their trade structure in final goods towards markets in the region, thereby aiding the reduction in trans-Pacific imbalances.
    Keywords: asian tiger economies; trans-pacific rebalancing
    JEL: F32 F41 F43
    Date: 2010–08–09
  3. By: Kalirajan, Kaliappa (Asian Development Bank Institute); Anbumozhi, Venkatachalam (Asian Development Bank Institute); Singh, Kanhaiya (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: <p>It is an empirical fact that it is very difficult to balance economic growth, poverty reduction, and environment protection, particularly for developing and transitional economies. While the economic environment of a country is influenced by conditions within the country, it is also influenced by external shocks such as the recent global financial crisis depending on how integrated the country is with the rest of the world. Thus, it poses a continuing challenge for policy makers in developing and transitional countries to readjust the economic environment in a way that leads to better and more effective targeting of the chronic issue of poverty reduction without causing damage to the natural environment. It is in this context that this paper attempts to measure the environmental impact of changing trade patterns on the poor. <p>The recent financial crisis has discouraged United States (US) private consumption, which in turn has significantly reduced exports from Asia. However, Asia’s private consumption is at a very low level even when compared with the current reduced US private consumption. Therefore, it is possible for Asian countries to focus more on improving regional trade and domestic consumption to compensate for the revenue losses that resulted from the reduction in global demand. This paper argues that energy-efficient production methods and service-led growth, particularly trade in environmental goods and services, provide good opportunities for Asian countries to enjoy “inclusive growth” without damaging the natural environment.
    Keywords: asia economic growth; asia trade and environment; asia poverty reduction
    JEL: E20 Q43 Q56
    Date: 2010–08–11
  4. By: Rimmer, Peter J. (Asian Development Bank Institute); Dick, Howard (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This study addresses three questions that arise in Asia when formulating, financing, implementing, and maintaining transnational linkages versus purely domestic connections. Firstly, how is optimal economic space to be defined as a useful starting point? Secondly, how can relevant criteria be developed to define the emerging spatial economy and identify efficient transnational transport networks? Thirdly, what are the main investment opportunities in physical infrastructure that would result in more efficient and effective regional cooperation and integration (making special reference to the potential role of cross-border special economic zones (SEZs) or their equivalents)?
    Keywords: asia transnational infrastructure; asia regional cooperation
    JEL: R00 R10 R30 R40 R50
    Date: 2010–08–09
  5. By: Tang, Chor Foon
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of health expenditure in Malaysia within the time series framework from 1967 to 2007. This study employed the Johansen-Juselius cointegration test to examine the cointegration relationship. The results showed that health expenditure and its determinants are cointegrated. Consistent with economic theory, the TYDL and variance decomposition analysis reveals that the key explanatory variables in Malaysia’s health expenditure model are income, health care price and the proportion of population aged more than 65 years old. Moreover, the TYDL causality indicates that health expenditure and income is bi-directional in nature, thus policies initiative to promote health expenditure should be implemented to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.
    Keywords: Cointegration; Health; Income; Malaysia; TYDL
    JEL: H51 I18 C22 C01
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Adiatma Y.M Siregar (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University); Dindin Komarudin (Integrated Management for Prevention and Control and Treatment of HIV/AIDS(IMPACT)); Pipit Pitriyan
    Abstract: Background: The HIV epidemic in Indonesia is among the fastest growing in Asia and call for interventions scaling up. Two current adapted interventions are Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and Provider Initiated Counselling and Testing (PICT). Scaling up these two interventions, however, must be analysed using economic evaluation given the limited existing budget. Two concerns prevail: 1) the economic evaluation studies on both interventions are limited, and 2) there is a question on extending the coverage of VCT through PICT which has not been economically analysed. Methods: The cost estimation is based on a previous study on the costs of delivering VCT which is adapted to estimate the cost of delivering hospital based VCT and PICT. The effectiveness study is also adapted from a previous study on the natural decline of CD 4 cell count on HIV (+) clients for intravenous drug user (IDU) and non IDU, related to the life years gained. Results: Most clients are on their productive age. The unit cost per HIV (+) detected differ by US$37. The time gain of performing VCT compared to PICT for IDU is shorter than that of the non-IDU. The Incremental Cost Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) of performing VCT compared to PICT for unit cost per HIV (+) case is higher for non IDU compared to IDU. Discussion: VCT has the benefit of early detection compared to PICT. The unit costs of VCT and PICT per HIV (+) cases for each service shows higher costs for PICT than VCT. The ICER based on unit costs per HIV (+) case for both IDU and non – IDU shows that providing VCT will result in less cost in gaining more life years. Although the results show that VCT seems to be more cost effective than PICT, the unique characteristics of PICT should also be considered. We recommend that PICT should not be made as the scaling up measure of VCT, but should stay as a complementary.
    Keywords: HIV, Cost Effectiveness, Economic Evaluation, IDU, VCT, PICT
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2010–08
  7. By: Tang, Chor Foon
    Abstract: This study is to empirically investigate the effect of real wages on productivity in Malaysia using monthly data from January 1983 to November 2009. The Johansen’s test suggests that wages and productivity are cointegrated. Moreover, productivity and real wages have a quadratic relationship in the long run (i.e., inverse-U shape curve) instead of linear relationship. Hence, the effect of real wages on productivity is not monotonic. Furthermore, the Granger causality test indicates that real wages and productivity is bilateral causality in nature.
    Keywords: Causality; Cointegration; Malaysia; Wages-Productivity
    JEL: J24 C22 J30
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Boniface, Bonaventure; Gyau, Amos; Stringer, Randy
    Abstract: Dairy market in Malaysia has been increasing due to high income and population growth in the region. In response to the increasing demand, milk processors need to obtain constant milk supplies from the dairy farmers. One way of doing this is when the buyers and the sellers build and maintain quality relationships in order to enhance long term sustainability of the milk supply. This paper examines the determinants of relationship quality and its role in enhancing long term relationship between the Malaysian milk processors and dairy farmers. The study revealed that where as mutuality and price satisfaction influence the perceived relationship quality of the farmers positively; dependency and price flexibility do not. Furthermore, the perceived relationship quality of the farmers has a positive influence on long term orientation of the relationship.
    Keywords: Long term relationships; Relationship Quality; Dairy Industry; Malaysia
    JEL: L14
    Date: 2009–12–17
  9. By: Tsai, Ying Yi (Asian Development Bank Institute); Liu, Li-Gang (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The present analysis sheds light on the setting up a regional rating agency in Asia in the wake of recent financial crisis. We investigate the policy facing a financial regulator while evaluating whether or not to admit new entrant into the credit rating market. In an incomplete contracting framework, we show that an impartial financial regulatory body (represented by a benevolent supranational organization) can facilitate credit ratings of high quality by allowing for the entry of new rating agencies on a non-single basis than it does for a mere single entry. This finding is caused by increased competition among the rating agencies, which induces higher quality of rating services even should rating agencies still exert below their maximum level of efforts.
    Keywords: credit rating agencies; moral hazard; incomplete contracting
    JEL: D43 D82 G24 L15
    Date: 2010–08–13
  10. By: Tony Irawan (Department of Economics,Faculty of Economics and Management, Bogor Agricultural University;InterCAFE-LPPM, IPB); Djoni Hartono (Graduate Program in Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia); Noer Azam Achsani (Department of Economics,Faculty of Economics and Management, Bogor Agricultural University;InterCAFE-LPPM, IPB)
    Abstract: Many countries utilize their resources at optimal capacity in fostering countries’ economic growth without any concern on environmental impact. Even though the importance of environmental issue as one of the important aspects in sustainable development is fully understood, the economic growth still remained as the priority target. In Indonesia, industry is one of the important sectors both in term of its contribution to national output and national energy consumption. Based on Indonesian Statistic Bureau, industry is always at the top list of contributor of national energy consumption since 2000. This paper employs the decomposition analysis to calculate what factors contribute to the change in energy intensity. We also conduct a panel data analysis to investigate the determinants of energy intensity using firm level data. The result suggests that, even though the industrial sector’s energy intensity is higher than national level, it varied across sub sectors within the industry. Meanwhile, the econometric analysis suggests that wage, age, capital intensity and share of capital owned by private sector have positive impact on energy intensity, whereas size of firms, labor productivity and technology intensity has negative impact on energy intensity.
    Keywords: energy intensity, industry, firm, decomposition, panel data
    JEL: Q40
    Date: 2010–08
  11. By: Evers, Hans-Dieter; Yusoff, Anis; Shamsul, A.BB.
    Abstract: Biology and Anthropology/Sociology have dealt with issues of diversity for a long time, developing different concepts, theories and methods. In recent years there has been, if not a convergence, but at least a recognition that problems in nature and in society are interrelated. This paper attempts to use concepts and methods of biodiversity research and test their applicability for a study of ethnic relations. It is noted that the preservation of biodiversity ranks high on the agenda of researchers and politicians, whereas ethnic diversity is often associated with unrest, conflict and economic decline. We try to reverse this tendency by emphasizing social cohesion and the social and economic value of ethnic diversity. An “ethnic diversity index” is proposed and used in the analysis of Malaysia’s plural society. This index is based on Simpson’s diversity index, commonly used in biodiversity research. Further research on the interrelation of bio- and ethnic diversity is advocated.
    Keywords: Biodiversity; ethnic diversity; research methods; pluralism; ethnic conflict; cohesion; ethnoscape; Malaysia
    JEL: C10 D63 C43 C88 J15 A14
    Date: 2010–08–14

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