nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2010‒10‒23
28 papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Trade and Investment Policies and Regional Economic Integration in East Asia By Siow Yue Chia
  2. Foreign Bond Markets and Financial Market Development: International Perspectives By Jonathan A. Batten; Peter G Szilagyi; Warren P. Hogan
  3. Regional Monitoring of Capital Flows and Coordination of Financial Regulation: Stakes and Options for Asia By Michael G. Plummer
  4. Applying the Lessons of Asia: The IMF’s Crisis Management Strategy in 2008 By Shinji Takagi
  5. The Role of State Intervention in the Financial Sector: Crisis Prevention, Containment, and Resolution By Yoon Je Cho
  6. The Global Economic Crisis: An Opportunity for Strengthening Asia’s Social Protection Systems? By Mukul G. Asher
  7. Green Services and Emergence and Recovery from the Global Economic Slowdown in Developing Asian Economies By Mark Stoughton; Anbumozhi Venkatachalam
  8. Governance, Institutions, and Regional Infrastructure in Asia By Prabir De
  9. The Financial Crisis: A Wake-Up Call for Strengthening Regional Monitoring of Financial Markets and Regional Coordination of Financial Sector Policies? By Adalbert Winkler
  10. Determinants of Outcomes of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in Infrastructure in Asia By Renato E. Reside, Jr.; Amado M. Mendoza, Jr.
  11. Asian Property Markets: No Significant Bubbles-Yet! By Steffen Dyck; Tobias Just
  12. The Impact of Free Trade Agreements on Business Activity: A Survey of Firms in the People's Republic of China By Zhang, Yunling
  13. Priority Setting for Agricultural Biotechnology Research in Thailand By Orachos Napasintuwong Artachinda; Pongthep Akratanakkul
  14. Knowledge cluster formation in Peninsular Malaysia: The emergence of an epistemic landscape By Evers, Hans-Dieter; Nordin, Ramli; Nienkemper, Pamela
  15. The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Poverty in the Philippines By Celia Reyes; Alellie Sobreviñas; Jeremy de Jesus
  16. Economic Growth and Transition in Vietnam and China and its Consequences for their Agricultural Sectors: Policy and Agricultural Adjustment Issues By Tisdell, Clem
  17. Spotlighting on High Economic Growth, Employment of the Poor, and Poverty Reduction: A Three-Pronged Strategy By Gerardo P. Sicat
  18. The Philippine Economy and Poverty During the Global Economic Crisis By Arsenio M. Balisacan; Sharon Piza; Dennis Mapa; Carlos Abad Santos; Donna Odra
  19. Change in Social Capital – a Case Study of Collective Rice Farming Practice in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam By Le, Anh Tuan
  20. How Are Government Hospitals Performing? A Study of Resource Management in DOH-retained Hospitals By Rouselle F. Lavado; Abigail Barbara Sanglay-Dunleavy; Jeanette Jimenez; Yasuhiko Matsuda
  21. Spatial development and the law of one price: Evidence of convergence of land values By Joseph J. Capuno
  22. Poverty and inequality maps for rural Vietnam: an application of small area estimation By Cuong, Nguyen Viet; Truong, Tran Ngoc; van der Weide, Roy
  23. Food Prices in Six Developing Countries and the Grains Price Spike By Christopher L. Gilbert
  24. The Impact of the Global Commodity and Financial Crises on Poverty in Vietnam By Thurlow, James; Tarp, Finn; McCoy, Simon; Hai, Ngugyen Manh; Breisinger, Clemens; Arndt, Channing
  25. The Case of the Missing Remittances in the FIES : Could it be causing us to mismeasure welfare changes? By Geoffrey Ducanes
  26. Gatekeeper Versus Auctioneer : A Non-Tatonnement Result By Emmanuel S. de Dios; Grace T. Ong
  27. Firm Characteristics as Determinants of Views on the Minimum Wage Policy By Gerardo P. Sicat
  28. Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in the Philippines By Rana Hasan; Karl Robert L. Jandoc

  1. By: Siow Yue Chia
    Abstract: The global economic crisis has affected the East Asian economies via trade and investment. The export-led model which had been responsible for the “East Asian Miracle†now must redirect the basis of growth from exports sent to the US and Europe to regional and domestic demand. Regional trade integration has been market-led through production networks and foreign direct investment (FDI). Since the proliferation of bilateral and plurilateral free trade agreements (FTA) and economic partnership agreements (EPA) has not resulted in an integrated regional market, it is important that East Asia seek an arrangement for a region-wide FTA/EPA. Currently, there are proposals for an ASEAN+3, an ASEAN+6, Pan-Asia, and Asia Pacific initiatives. While proponents of a region-wide FTA/EPA highlight its benefits, skeptics and critics point to the difficulties of reaching consensus in a region with widely varying political, economic, and social systems. Ultimately it will depend on a political-economic decision based on a cost-benefit analysis of liberalization, facilitation, and cooperation in a region-wide FTA. [ADBI Working Paper No. 210]
    Keywords: global, economic crisis, East Asian, political-economic, benefits
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Jonathan A. Batten; Peter G Szilagyi; Warren P. Hogan
    Abstract: The domestic bond markets of the Asia and Pacific region have grown considerably since the Asian financial crisis of 1997, although they remain undeveloped relative to the region’s weight in the world economy. This paper proposes that in order to encourage further development of these markets, regulators should make them more accessible to foreign borrowers. [ADBI Working Paper 173]
    Keywords: domestic, bond markets, Asia, Pacific, economy, markets
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Michael G. Plummer
    Abstract: The ongoing global economic crisis has punished Asian economies severely, despite the fact that its origins derive from outside the region. The global economic crisis was transmitted through real and financial channels, underscoring how vulnerable the region is to external shocks. This paper explores the microeconomic origins of the financial crisis and endeavors to ascertain how crises might be mitigated in the future through better regulation, supervision, and institution-building. Moreover, it makes the case for closer economic cooperation in order to internalize key externalities associated with modern global finance. This cooperation, in turn, should take place at the appropriate level, with incentives for cooperation at the global, regional, and subregional levels. It explores the potential for the creation of an Asian Financial Stability Board and deepening other initiatives in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+3 and ASEAN forums. However, it stresses that the most important financial reforms in Asia will need to take place at the national level. [ADBI Working Paper 201]
    Keywords: global economic crisis, financial channels, underscoring, microeconomic, regulation, supervision,
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Shinji Takagi
    Abstract: The paper examines the recent European crisis management programs of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to see how the lessons of Asia were applied. Compared to the Asian programs of 1997, the European programs of 2008 were better funded and their structural conditionality more focused. Other than these, the overall thrust of the programs was similar: fiscal and monetary tightening, coupled with banking reforms. [ADBI Working Paper 206]
    Keywords: European crisis, International Monetary Fund, Asian, structural, fiscal, monetary
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Yoon Je Cho
    Abstract: This paper discusses the role of state intervention for prevention, containment, and resolution of financial crises based mainly on the Korean experience during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Crises in emerging market and developing economies tend to be more complicated than those faced by advanced economies because they are twin crises: financial and currency crises. Such crises require the development of a comprehensive strategy covering the stabilization of the domestic financial market and the foreign exchange market, closely coordinated responses by different government bodies, an extraordinary effort for financial restructuring, and the introduction of a new regulatory framework. [ADBI Working Paper 196]
    Keywords: state intervention, prevention, containment, Asian, financial. currency, stabilization, framework
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Mukul G. Asher
    Abstract: The current global economic crisis has led to greater prominence for the issue of strengthening social protection systems in Asia. This paper analyzes the key factors determining and the possible avenues for strengthening social protection systems in Asia. The choice of an appropriate combination of avenues depends on the initial starting point, public policy objectives, institutional, fiscal, and other capabilities. [ADBI Working Paper 198]
    Keywords: global economic crisis, greater prominence, starting point, public policy objectives, institutional, fiscal, capabilities
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Mark Stoughton; Anbumozhi Venkatachalam
    Abstract: The global economic slowdown has again highlighted the vulnerability of export-led development models and economies to downturns in export markets. Economic deepening or “rebalancing†with an emphasis on service-sector development should be—and is becoming—one long-term response to the crisis by Asia’s emerging economies. In the long run, sustainable economic development will depend in part on achieving a “green†trajectory of service sector development, in which services help green the “product economy.†[ADBI Working Paper 209]
    Keywords: global, economic slowdown, vulnerability, sustainable, economic development, green, product economy
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Prabir De
    Abstract: This study is a comprehensive, empirical analysis of the linkages between governance, institutions, and regional infrastructure. The empirical results indicate that governance and institutions are crucial for regional infrastructure development: every one point improvement in governance results in a 1 to 1.5 point rise in regional infrastructure. Countries (and regions) with higher income, stronger institutions, better governance, and more open economies are likely to have higher levels of regional infrastructure. The findings of this paper suggest that our efforts to promote regional infrastructure must not be limited to traditional policy measures aimed at attracting investment in infrastructure, but must also address policy reform across a number of areas. Thus, institutions and governance must play an important complementary role in strengthening Asia’s regional infrastructure. [ADBI Working Paper 183]
    Keywords: comprehensive, governance, institutions, development, traditional, policy measures
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Adalbert Winkler
    Abstract: How much can regional monitoring of financial markets and coordination of financial sector policies contribute to preventing and mitigating financial crises? This paper reviews and compares the experiences of Europe and Asia, which have taken different routes and have achieved different levels of regional financial integration. The analysis suggests that the harmonization and coordination of regulation and supervision, with a strong focus on maturity and currency mismatch problems, would constitute an important step toward mitigating the risk of crisis. However, regional monitoring and coordination will remain difficult as long as lender-of-last-resort activities and fiscal support packages are organized on a national level. Against this background, the crisis is a wake-up call for further progress on monetary integration in Asia along the lines of the reformed Chiang Mai Initiative. In Europe, the crisis reveals the need to establish a sustainable regulatory and supervisory structure that properly defines and reflects the responsibilities of regional and national authorities in crisis management, including its fiscal dimension. [ADBI Working Paper 199]
    Keywords: monitoring, financial markets, coordination, maturity, currency, responsibilities, national
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Renato E. Reside, Jr. (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Amado M. Mendoza, Jr.
    Abstract: This study analyzes cross-country data extracted from a large global database to identify the major risks affecting Asian PPP into six major factors : (1) macroeconomic environment; openness of economy; (2) incentive issues during planning, design and contracting phases; (3) political risk; (4) fiscal capacity of government; (5) firm-embodied traits : level of technical efficiency and capacity of proponents in construction and operations; and (6) other reasons-- regulation, credit risk of buyers of output, etc. Policy recommendations are made.
    Date: 2010–03
  11. By: Steffen Dyck; Tobias Just
    Abstract: After house price bubbles burst in many OECD countries, investors are keeping a very watchful eye for price developments on asset markets that signal a bubble.
    Keywords: asian property markets, house prices, OECD, countries, inestors, asset markets, Beijing, Shanghai, macro economic, price
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Zhang, Yunling (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has emerged as a major player in the global economy and considers free trade agreements (FTAs) an important part of its global trading strategy. The PRC’s export industries are embedded in existing regional and global production networks and are reliant on foreign direct investment flows and external supplies of material and intermediate goods. Immediately after its accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001, the PRC adopted a regional approach to trade and began negotiating and implementing FTAs. This paper analyzes the results of a survey undertaken across 232 Chinese firms with regard to FTA-related issues such as utilization, perceived costs and benefits, perceptions of multiple rules of origin, and policy and institutional support mechanisms. It was found that, of the firms surveyed, 45% were using FTAs to some extent. While this utilization rate appears relatively high, and reflects the assertive stance of Chinese firms when it comes to exploring market opportunities, the actual coverage of export value by FTAs is variable. In general, Chinese firms view FTAs as a way to increase their access to partner markets. Nevertheless, there remains an orientation toward the United States and other traditional markets. However, over time, as rebalancing of growth takes place, there may be a shift in market orientation toward the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and regional markets and the use of FTAs may intensify. This study offers several proposals to increase FTA use, including the expansion of support services for firms, the promotion of larger regional FTAs, and the creation of more opportunities for collaboration between the government and the private sector.
    Keywords: chinese firm survey; free trade agreement; utilization
    JEL: F10 F15 O24
    Date: 2010–10–12
  13. By: Orachos Napasintuwong Artachinda (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics,Faculty of Economics,Kasetsart University,Thailand); Pongthep Akratanakkul (Center for Agricultural Biotechnology,Kasetsart University.)
    Abstract: Recognizing unfocused research policy and unclear priorities in agricultural biotechnology research, this study aims to set research priorities for agricultural biotechnology, specifically for public institutions. The scoring method is used by surveying researchers, experts and stakeholders. The initiative of this study is to classify scoring alternatives using technology platforms instead of research projects or commodities as commonly used in agricultural research policy. The agricultural biotechnology platforms are identified into four areas. Based on five criteria used to evaluate the importance of this technology, fifty-five random samples are asked to score all technology platforms according to each criterion. The overall ranking combining with the necessity of the biotechnology platforms towards the goals reveals that detection and diagnostics, molecular breeding, and cell and tissue culture/embryo transfer/and cloning, should be given highest priorities, respectively. Gene transformation, genomic and post-genomic research should be given less priorities while vaccine technology should also not be ignored.
    Keywords: agricultural biotechnology, priority setting, research priority
    JEL: O38 Q18
    Date: 2010–10
  14. By: Evers, Hans-Dieter; Nordin, Ramli; Nienkemper, Pamela
    Abstract: Knowledge clusters are central places within an epistemic landscape, i.e. in a wider structure of knowledge production and dissemination. They have the organisational capability to drive innovations and create new industries. Examples of such organisations in knowledge clusters are universities and colleges, research institutions, think tanks, government research agencies and knowledge-intensive firms with their respective knowledge workers. The following paper will look at Malaysia and its path towards a Knowledge-based economy. We first describe the development strategy of the Malaysian government which has emphasized cluster formation as one of its prime targets. We then provide evidence of the current state of knowledge cluster formation in Peninsular Malaysia and try to answer the following questions. If the formation of a knowledge cluster (especially in the ICT and multimedia industry) has been the government policy, what has been the result? Has Malaysia developed an epistemic landscape of knowledge clusters? Has the main knowledge cluster really materialised in and around Cyberjaya in the MSC Malaysia? Data collected from websites, directories, government publications and expert interviews have enabled us to construct the epistemic landscape of Peninsular Malaysia. Several knowledge clusters of a high density of knowledge producing institutions and their knowledge workers have been identified and described. The analysis of the knowledge output, measured in terms of scientific publications, patents and trademarks show that existing knowledge clusters have, indeed, been productive as predicted by cluster theory. On the other hand government designed development corridors do not always coincide with the distribution of knowledge assets. The analysis of our data pertaining to Cyberjaya, the MSC Malaysia and the “corridors” needs to be developed further to produce more robust results.
    Keywords: Malaysia; Cyberjaya; knowledge and development; knowledge-based economy (KBE); knowledge clusters; knowledge corridors; epistemic landscape; development strategy
    JEL: H41 O16 L52 C81 D8 R11 D85
    Date: 2010–10–10
  15. By: Celia Reyes; Alellie Sobreviñas; Jeremy de Jesus (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: The recent global financial and economic crisis which started in the United States and expanded to other developed countries has, to some extent, affected developing countries as well. Given the vulnerability of most developing countries, it is important to monitor the impact of this global crisis on poverty. This study, therefore, aims to assess the impact of the crisis on poverty in the Philippines. The result of this study would serve as inputs to policymakers in prioritizing mitigating measures that would address the impact of the crisis. In this study, monitoring is done primarily through the conduct of CBMS surveys in selected sentinel sites. Household- and community-level data were collected to capture the different dimensions of poverty. In addition to the CBMS core indicators, specific indicators (including the outcome and impact indicators) were monitored to determine the impact of the global crisis. These indicators were identified based on the relevant key transmission channels for the Philippines including overseas employment and remittances, and local employment. The study also looked at the different coping mechanisms adopted by the households in response to the crisis. The study also attempted to identify who are able to access the programs which were being implemented in the community. Ten (10) barangays all over the Philippines were selected to serve as poverty observatories or sentinel sites for monitoring the impact of the global crisis. Selection of these sites was also based on the relevant transmission channels for the Philippines. Results reveal that although the impact of the crisis is generally minimal, the crisis has affected some specific sectors in the economy. The degree of impact also varies among different groups of households. Hence, policies should be designed to mitigate the impact of the crisis on these affected sectors and groups of households.
    Keywords: global financial and economic crisis, poverty impact, community-based monitoring system (CBMS), impact transmission channels, CBMS indicators, household-coping strategies, program targeting, leakages and exclusion
    JEL: G10 O10 G39
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Tisdell, Clem
    Abstract: Secondary data are used to discuss and compare the consequences for agriculture of economic growth and transition in Vietnam and China. It is found that China and Vietnam have experienced similar adjustments in their agricultural sectors and face at this time, similar agricultural policy problems. China began its economic reforms in 1979 and Vietnam followed in 1986. Since then both countries have experienced rapid economic growth, falling poverty rates and significant rises in per capita income. At the same time, substantial restructuring of their economies has occurred, a feature of which has been a decline in the relative contribution of agriculture to total employment and output. These changes are outlined. Significant changes have also occurred within the agricultural sectors of China and Vietnam and these are reviewed. In both countries, the livestock sector has grown in relative importance. Households are the main contributors to agricultural production but their individual holdings of land are small by Western standards and households keeping livestock mostly only hold a few head. Given the exit of farmers from agriculture, pressures are mounting for increasing the size of agricultural units. This exit can add to economic efficiency and growth. Policies to facilitate movements from farm to non-farm employment are discussed and analysed. Property rights and the marketability of agricultural land can facilitate such movements and contribute to economic efficiency. In recent times, China and Vietnam have extended property rights in agricultural land and have increased its marketability. These measures are outlined. With further economic development and transition, it is predicted that these rights and the marketability of agricultural land will be further extended. However, if previous practice is followed, those policy changes are likely to be gradual.
    Keywords: Agricultural development, Asia, China, economic transition, farm employment, land reforms, land rights, livestock, non-farm employment, structural change., Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Livestock Production/Industries, O25, O5, P32, Q1,
    Date: 2010–09
  17. By: Gerardo P. Sicat (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: The strong popular mandate of the new president brings high hopes for bold economic reforms. A three-pronged strategy to deal with the Philippine under-performance in economic growth, generate more employment especially among the poor and to reduce poverty is suggested. The strategy consists of : (1) raising the volume of targeted subsidies to assist very poor families; (2) amending the restrictive economic provisions from the constitution so that they are moved to the body of the country's ordinary laws; and (3) establishing special labor employment zones as industrial estates in low income sub-regions where the enterprise locators can hire labor at market-determined rates. The three-pronged strategy is linked tightly. The government must commit to make a substantial increase of funding of (1), as soon as it has established, but not before, that reforms (2) and (3) will have been achieved. Only a president with a strong mandate and who enjoys great popularity can push through the political storm that reforms (2) and (3) are likely to invite. The constitutional amendment will transform the psychology of the economic reform processes within the country. It will remove the jurisdiction of the courts on economic policy legislation and on business issues on grounds of constitutionality. For another, it will focus the democratic process to the passage of the proper legislation suited to the country's needs in relation to foreign investment. The two reforms will stimulate the entry of foreign direct investments, facilitate interest again of highly labor using industries that have left the country for foreign locations to come back, enable domestic firms to adjust their labor costs more effectively, and stimulate the employment of the large numbers of unemployed and underemployed into organized and modern sectors of the economy. They will raise the country's growth rate closer to those of high growth East Asian economies and contribute to the eradication of high unemployment in the economy while reducing poverty.
    Date: 2010–07
  18. By: Arsenio M. Balisacan (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Sharon Piza (Asia Pacific Policy Center); Dennis Mapa (University of the Philippines School of Statistics); Carlos Abad Santos (Asia Pacific Policy Center); Donna Odra (Asia Pacific Policy Center)
    Abstract: Anecdotal evidence permeates accounts on the impact of the global economic crisis (GEC) on Philippine poverty. This study systematically assesses the evidence and recent data. It adopts a somewhat eclectic approach, applying regression and decomposition techniques to trace the GEC impact on GDP and its major components, constructing panel data from nationally representative household surveys to trace the changes in household welfare during the crisis, and combining national income accounts and household survey data to simulate the differential effects of the crisis across population groups and social divides. Empirical findings suggest that although the Philippine economy did not slide to recession during the GEC, the impact of the crisis on the economy and poverty across population groups was nonetheless severe -- and may linger for many years to come.
    Date: 2010–08
  19. By: Le, Anh Tuan
    Abstract: This paper describes how the social capital of rice farmers of the Mekong delta of Vietnam - manifested in the tradition of collective farming practice, changed from the 1940s to 1990s. The reason this collective rice farming had existed for decades, irrespective of critical events that challenged its continuation, was the co-existence of two key factors – high need for collective farming to ensure subsistence, and the availability of a closely knit social network that facilitated the exchange of labor. Despite its longevity, the practice of a cohesive and spontaneous collective farming, particularly in terms of labor exchange and labor participation in farming activities, was not maintained under the influence of agrarian reforms which aimed to improve rural livelihood. Land reform resulted in individual rice farming, making mobilization for spontaneous collective action, at the community level quite challenging. The assessment arose in the context of the need to mobilize collective action for implementation of a Community Trap Barrier System (CTBS), an ecologically-based rodent pest management system. It is concluded that successful restoration of social capital in the form of collective farming practices at the field level may depend on government intervention strategies at both local and national policy levels.
    Keywords: social capital; rice; Mekong; farming practice; agrarian reform
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2010–09–18
  20. By: Rouselle F. Lavado; Abigail Barbara Sanglay-Dunleavy; Jeanette Jimenez; Yasuhiko Matsuda (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: The paper attempts to provide an overview of the hospital sector in the Philippines with particular emphasis on hospitals being managed by the DOH. The paper begins with an overview of the hospital sector in the Philippines, describing the size, location, and utilization of hospital services. To assess the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in DOH-retained hospitals, an analysis of resource management is undertaken by examining the sources of funds, planning and budgeting cycle, uses of funds, and monitoring set-up. The paper provides a critique of recent policies concerning hospitals as outlined in the Health Sector Reform Strategy. The last section concludes and provides some policy recommendations.
    Keywords: health, health care, health sector, health care financing, health care reform, health expenditures, health facilities, health funds, health management, health services delivery, hospitals
    JEL: D20 I10 I11
    Date: 2010
  21. By: Joseph J. Capuno (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: Many developing countries exhibit imbalanced spatial development, but corrective policies are hampered by lack of adequate sub-regional development data. Building on the insights of the factor price equalization theorem and by applying measures of spatial autocorrelation on land values, patterns of local development and linkages in the Philippines are traced. Evidence of convergence in provincial and urban land values is found in 1986-2000, although the clustering is more local than global. Thus, greater infrastructure investments and use of land values by local governments as policy guides should be made to facilitate in-country trade and migration, and to disperse growth.
    Keywords: Spatial development, land values, convergence, Philippines
    JEL: O18 R12 R14
    Date: 2010–01
  22. By: Cuong, Nguyen Viet; Truong, Tran Ngoc; van der Weide, Roy
    Abstract: The objective of the paper is to update the small area estimates of poverty and inequality for rural Vietnam. The new estimates of province and district level poverty for the year 2006, when combined with estimates available for 1999, allow for examination of how poverty has changed in rural Vietnam over the past seven years. The analysis finds that all provinces across the country experienced a noticeable reduction in rural poverty during the period 1999-2006. Some of the largest reductions in poverty are observed for provinces with poverty rates close to the national average. The poorest provinces have also experienced reductions in poverty, albeit at a more modest pace. Provinces and districts with lower levels of inequality in 2006 have seen above average poverty reductions. The authors consider both expenditure and income based measures of poverty and inequality, and find the results to be very similar.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Achieving Shared Growth,Services&Transfers to Poor
    Date: 2010–10–01
  23. By: Christopher L. Gilbert
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the pass-through of world maize and rice prices in six developing countries (Benin, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Peru and Vietnam) both at the national and sub-national (regional) levels with the view of considering the relevance of world prices for national prices (high for maize, low for rice) and the representativeness of national average prices for prices throughout the country (high in Kenya and Malawi, low in Peru). The variability of prices across regions generally, but not invariably, increases when prices are high. Kenya and Vietnam have been relatively successful and Malawi least successful in insulating consumers from volatility in world prices.
    Date: 2010
  24. By: Thurlow, James; Tarp, Finn; McCoy, Simon; Hai, Ngugyen Manh; Breisinger, Clemens; Arndt, Channing
    Abstract: Economic growth in Vietnam has been fairly resilient to the global commodity and financial crises, but it is unclear why. In addition, the impact of the crises on employment and poverty is in dispute. We develop a dynamic computable general equilibrium model to decompose impacts and estimate distributional outcomes. Our results indicate that the 2008 commodity crisis increased employment and reduced poverty by favouring labour-intensive exports, especially in agriculture. The 2009 financial crisis reversed these gains. It pushed more than a million workers into unemployment and about 3 million people below the US$2-a-day poverty line, with the vast majority of these being rural dwellers. The net effect of the crises left Vietnam little changed from a baseline (no crises) path in terms of aggregate indicators including the poverty rate. An effective stimulus package has the potential to offset one third of the increase in poverty caused by the financial crisis leaving poverty rates below the (no crises) baseline.
    Keywords: Economic crisis, growth, poverty, Vietnam
    Date: 2010
  25. By: Geoffrey Ducanes (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: This paper highlights the increasing underreporting of remittances by the FIES compared to BSP and World Bank figures, advances possible reasons why such underreporting is occurring, and examines its implications for welfare measurement in the country at points in time and across time. Using simulation exercises, the paper finds that indeed the "missing remittances" in the FIES could be causing the mismeasurement of poverty and inequality since 1997, possibly clouding the direction of welfare change.
    Date: 2010–03
  26. By: Emmanuel S. de Dios (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Grace T. Ong
    Abstract: A non-tatonnement process is described using the simplest demand-and-supply model, involving the following : uniformly distributed agents; random matching of buyers and sellers; and a universal permission to engage in mutually acceptable trade at non-equilibrium prices. A sufficient condition is then stated where expected welfare gains are paradoxically greater when the number of market agents is restricted, compared to when all traders are allowed to participate.
    Date: 2010–03
  27. By: Gerardo P. Sicat
    Abstract: In this study, the opinions of operating enterprises regarding the minimum wage policy are studied with the use of ordered logit regression model. The study uses survey data that asked a series of questions dealing with labor market policies in the Philippines. The aim of this regression model is to estimate the probability that the respondent would choose one of the following ordered levels of answers to the question involving their opinion of the country's process of setting the minimum wage level : very poor, poor, fair, good, and excellent. The results of the regressions show that categorical groupings of the respondent firms determine the direction in which respondent firms choose their judgment of the labor policy issue. In particular, the nature of ownership, market orientation of the firm, age of the enterprise, employment size, among others, and even the specific position of the official of the company assigned to answer the survey play important influences on the formation of the firm's opinion on the policy. Such findings are likely to be important in framing reform issues on labor policies.
    Date: 2010–04
  28. By: Rana Hasan (Asian Development Bank); Karl Robert L. Jandoc (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: We examine the role of trade liberalization in accounting for increasing wage inequality in the Philippines from 1994 to 2000--a period over which trade protection declined and inequality increased dramatically. Using the approach of Ferreira, Leite, and Wai-Poi (2007), we find that trade-induced effects on industry wage premia and industry-specific skill premia account for an economically insignificant increase in wage inequality. A more substantial role for trade liberalization comes through trade-induced employment reallocation effects whereby reductions in protection appear to have led to a shift of employment to more protected sectors, especially services where wage inequality tended to be high to begin with. Nevertheless, the key drivers of wage inequality appear to be changes in economy-wide returns to education and changes in industry membership over and above those accounted for by our estimates of trade-induced employment reallocation effects. In order for trade liberalization to account for a relatively large portion of the increases in wage inequality, it would have to be a major determinant of the changes in economy-wide returns to education.
    Date: 2010–05

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