nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2011‒01‒30
twelve papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Fragmentation and Changes in the Asian Trade Network By Norihiko Yamano; Bo Meng; Kiichiro Fukasaku
  2. The Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Trade in East Asia By Thorbecke, Willem
  3. China's Ties with Southeast Asia : From Green Shoots to Sustained Recovery By Kensuke Tanaka
  4. Economic growth and and FDI in ASIA: A panel data approach By Tiwari, Aviral; Mutascu, Mihai
  5. Development of auditing in Malaysia: legal, political and historical influences By Azham, Ali; Teck Heang, Lee; Yusof, Nor Zalina; Ojo, Marianne
  6. The Organizational Architecture of the Asia–Pacific: Insights from the New Institutionalism By Haggard, Stephan
  7. Legal and Actual Central Bank Independence: A Case Study of Bank Indonesia By Haan, Jakob de; Kadek Dian Sutrisna Artha, I.
  8. Immigration, integration and terrorism: is there a clash of cultures? By Justina AV Fischer
  9. Inequality in Developing Economies: The Role of Institutional Development By AMENDOLA, Adalgiso; EASAW, Joshy; SAVOIA, Antonio
  10. Is the concept of sustainable tourism sustainable? Developing the Sustainable Tourism Benchmarking Tool By Lucian Cernat; Julien Gourdon
  11. An Efficient test of Fiscal Sustainability By Vasco Gabriel; Pataaree Sangduan
  12. Life Cycle of the Centrally Planned Economy: Why Soviet Growth Rates Peaked in the 1950s By Vladimir Popov

  1. By: Norihiko Yamano (Norihiko Yamano is Administrator, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry); Bo Meng (Bo Meng is Consultant, OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry and IDE-JETRO); Kiichiro Fukasaku (Kiichiro Fukasaku is Head of Regional Desks, OECD Development Centre.)
    Abstract: The Asian trade network is increasingly fragmented, resulting in higher dependence on supplies of goods and services from neighbouring countries. The update OECD Input-Output and Bilateral Trade Databases allow us to examine the recent evolution of international trade networks involving ASEAN and East Asian countries at the 2-digit industry level. Using several globalization indicators, this Policy Brief highlights major changes in the pattern of Asia’s trade in intermediate goods and services since the mid-1990s. It concludes by discussing implications for Asia's regional integration.
    Date: 2011–01–01
  2. By: Thorbecke, Willem (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper considers how exchange rates affect East Asian trade. The evidence indicates that exports produced within regional production networks depend on exchange rates throughout the region while labor-intensive exports depend on exchange rates in the exporting country. These results make sense since the majority of the value-added of processed exports come from imported parts and components while most of the value-added of labor-intensive exports comes from the domestic economy. Recent findings also indicate that imbalances between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States are a major outlier and that an appreciation of the PRC yuan (CNY) is necessary to reduce these imbalances.
    Keywords: global imbalances exchange rate elasticities prc; exchange rate changes east asia
    JEL: F32 F41
    Date: 2011–01–20
  3. By: Kensuke Tanaka (Economist/Project Manager, OECD Development Centre, Asia and Pacific Desk)
    Abstract: China's rebound happened relatively quickly owing to a large extent to timely macroeconomic policy responses to the crisis. Lagging somewhat behind China, most Southeast Asian countries have now entered the transition from recession to recovery. Some export-dependent Southeast Asian countries shifted their export destination to China to benefit from its early recovery. This switch of export destination to China illustrates China’s important role in leading the recovery of the region. Enhancing regional macroeconomic co-operation would help reduce vulnerability of the region and ensure a sustained recovery. Regional macroeconomic co-operation remains at an early stage in Southeast Asia, but possibilities for further co-operation should be explored.
    Date: 2011–01–01
  4. By: Tiwari, Aviral; Mutascu, Mihai
    Abstract: This study is an attempt to examine the impact of foreign direct investment on economic growth in Asian countries. We did our analysis in the panel framework during 1986 to 2008. We also examined the nonlinearities associated with foreign direct investment and exports in the economic growth process of Asian countries under consideration. We find that both foreign direct investment and exports enhance growth process. In addition, labour and capital also play an important role in the growth of Asian countries. Further, nonlinearity effects show that export-led growth is a better option of growth enhancing in Asian developing countries compared with foreign direct investment-led growth.
    Keywords: Growth; FDI; Connection; Effects; Panel analysis
    JEL: C23 F21 F43
    Date: 2010–12–13
  5. By: Azham, Ali; Teck Heang, Lee; Yusof, Nor Zalina; Ojo, Marianne
    Abstract: This work investigates the role and contribution of external auditing as practised in the Malaysian society during the forty year period from independence in 1957 to just before the onset of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. It applies the political economic theory introduced by Tinker (1980) and refined by Cooper & Sherer (1984), which focuses on the social relations aspects of professional activity rather than economic forces alone. In a case study format where qualitative data was gathered mainly from primary and secondary source materials, the study found that the function of auditing in the Malaysian society in most cases is devoid of any essence of mission; instead it is created, shaped and transformed by the pressures which give rise to its development over time. The largely insignificant role that it serves is intertwined within the contexts in which it operates.
    Keywords: external audit; Malaysia; politics; history; economy; Companies Act 1965; Companies Act 1985; British Companies Acts; Accountants Act 1967; Asian Financial Crisis
    JEL: K2 M4
    Date: 2007–07
  6. By: Haggard, Stephan (University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: This paper surveys recent literature on the design of international institutions and applies the insights from it to the prospects for regional economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. The political and economic heterogeneity of the region has served the process of regional economic integration. But this heterogeneity has limited the extent of institutional development and contributed to well-known features of it, including a proliferation of competing institutions, consensus decision-making, "shallow" cooperation, and limited delegation to standing international secretariats. Changes in voting rules could, in principle, change these outcomes but are not likely to arise. Deepening cooperation will come, rather, from marginal changes in the extent of delegation. Several proposals are suggested about how this might occur, including more independent sources of information on regional trends, enhanced dispute settlement, and common projects that involve more extensive transfers from richer to poorer members.
    Keywords: international institutions; international law; regionalism; delegation; free trade areas; ASEAN; APEC; voting rules
    Date: 2011–01–01
  7. By: Haan, Jakob de; Kadek Dian Sutrisna Artha, I. (Groningen University)
    Abstract: Indicators of central bank independence (CBI) based on the interpretation central bank laws in place may not capture the actual independence of the central bank. This paper develops an indicator of actual independence of the Bank Indonesia (BI), the central bank of Indonesia, for the period 1953-2008 and compares it with a new legal CBI indicator based on Cukierman (1992). The indicator of actual independence captures institutional and economic factors that affect CBI. We find that before 1999, legal and actual independence of BI diverged substantially. After a new central bank law was enacted, the legal independence of BI increased and converged to actual independence.
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Justina AV Fischer (:Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: We test whether immigrants are more prone to support terror than natives because of lower opportunity costs, using the international World Values Survey data. We show that, in general, economically, politically and socially non-integrated persons are more likely to accept using violence for achieving political goals, consistent with the economic model of crime. We also find evidence for the destructive effects of a ‘clash of cultures’: Immigrants in OECD countries who originate from more culturally distanced countries in Africa and Asia appear more likely to view using violence for political goals as justified. Most importantly, we find no evidence that the clashof-cultures effect is driven by Islam religion, which appears irrelevant to terror support. As robustness test we relate individual attitude to real-life behavior: using country panels of transnational terrorist attacks in OECD countries, we show that the population attitudes towards violence and terror determine the occurrence of terror incidents, as does the share of immigrants in the population. A further analysis shows a positive association of immigrants from Africa and Asia with transnational terror, while the majority religion Islam of the sending country does not appear to play a role. Again, we find that culture defined by geographic proximity dominates culture defined by religion.
    Keywords: K42, H56, O15, D74, Z1
    JEL: K42 H56 O15 D74 Z1
    Date: 2011–01–20
  9. By: AMENDOLA, Adalgiso (CELPE (Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy), University of Salerno, Italy); EASAW, Joshy (Department of Economics, University of Bath); SAVOIA, Antonio (University of Exeter Business School)
    Abstract: This paper studies the distributive impact of institutional change in developing countries. In such economies, economic institutions, such as property rights systems, may act to preserve the interests of an influential minority, but this depends crucially on the level of political equality. For example, dominant classes can control key-markets, access to assets and investment opportunities, especially if they enjoy disproportionate political power. We test this hypothesis using cross-section and panel data methods on a sample of low- and middle-income economies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Results suggest that: (a) increasing the protection of property rights increases income inequality; (b) such an effect is larger in low-democracy environments; (c) a minority of countries have developed a set political institutions capable of counterbalancing this effect.
    Keywords: inequality; developing economies; institutions; property rights; democracy
    JEL: D70 O15 O17
    Date: 2011–01–18
  10. By: Lucian Cernat (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I); Julien Gourdon (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: Given the complexity of the issues surrounding the concept of sustainable tourism, the current paper tries to provide a unified methodology to assess tourism sustainability, based on a number of quantitative indicators. The proposed methodological framework (Sustainable Tourism Benchmarking Tool – STBT) will provide a number of benchmarks against which the sustainability of tourism activities in various countries can be assessed. A model development procedure is proposed: identification of the dimensions (economic, socio-ecologic, infrastructure) and indicators, method of scaling, chart representation and evaluation on three Asian countries. This application to three countries show us that a similar level of tourism activity might induce different sort of improvements to implement in the tourism activity and might have different consequences for the socio-ecological environment. The heterogeneity of developing countries exposed in the STBT is useful to detect the main problem of each country in their tourism activity.
    Keywords: cerdi
    Date: 2011–01–18
  11. By: Vasco Gabriel (University of Surrey and NIPE-UM, Portugal); Pataaree Sangduan (Bureau of Budget, Thailand)
    Abstract: We suggest a multivariate efficient test of the 'strong' fiÂ…scal sustainability hypothesis, based on Horvath and Watson's (1995) cointegration test when cointegration vectors are pre-speciÂ…fied. Using data for a set of developed and developing economies, we show that, unlike our procedure, conventional methodologies tend to penalize the sustainability hypothesis.
    JEL: C32 E62 H60
    Date: 2010–09
  12. By: Vladimir Popov (New Economic School, Moscow)
    Abstract: The highest rates of growth of labor productivity in the Soviet Union were observed not in the 1930s (3% annually), but in the 1950s (6%). The TFP growth rates by decades increased from 0.6% annually in the 1930s to 2.8% in the 1950s and then fell monotonously becoming negative in the 1980s. The decade of 1950s was thus the “golden period” of Soviet economic growth. The patterns of Soviet growth of the 1950s in terms of growth accounting were very similar to the Japanese growth of the 1950s-70s and to Korean and Taiwanese growth in the 1960-80s – fast increases in labor productivity counterweighted the decline in capital productivity, so that the TFP increased markedly. However, high Soviet economic growth lasted only for a decade, whereas in East Asia it continued for three to four decades, propelling Japan, South Korea and Taiwan into the ranks of developed countries. This paper offers an explanation for the inverted U-shaped trajectory of labor productivity and TFP in centrally planned economies (CPEs). It is argued that CPEs under-invested into the replacement of the retiring elements of the fixed capital stock and over-invested into the expansion of production capacities. The task of renovating physical capital contradicted the short-run goal of fulfilling plan targets, and therefore Soviet planners preferred to invest in new capacities instead of upgrading the old ones. Hence, after the massive investment of the 1930s in the USSR, the highest productivity was achieved after the period equal to the average service life of fixed capital stock (about 20 years) – before there emerged a need for the massive investment into replacing retirement. Afterwards, the capital stock started to age rapidly reducing sharply capital productivity and lowering labor productivity and TFP growth rates.
    Date: 2010–11

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