nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2012‒11‒17
six papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Financing Japan’s World War II Occupation of Southeast Asia By Gregg Huff; Shinobu Majima
  2. Financial Safety Nets in Asia: Genesis, Evolution, Adequacy, and Way Forward By Hill, Hal; Menon, Jayant
  3. Regional Financial Arrangements and the International Monetary Fund By Eichengreen, Barry
  4. Network Structure and the Aggregation of Information: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia By Alatas, Vivi; Banerjee, Abhijit; Chandrasekhar, Arun G.; Hanna, Rema; Olken, Benjamin A.
  5. Firm Exporting and Employee Benefits: First Evidence from Vietnam Manufacturing SMEs By Huong Vu; Steven Lim; Mark Holmes; Tinh Doan
  6. Relative Quality of Foreign Nurses in the United States By Patricia Cortés; Jessica Pan

  1. By: Gregg Huff (Pembroke College, University of Oxford); Shinobu Majima (Faculty of Economics, Gakushuin University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how Japan financed its World War II occupation of Southeast Asia, the transfer of resources to Japan, and the monetary and inflation consequences of Japanese policies. In Malaya, Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines, the issue of military scrip to pay for resources and occupying armies greatly increased money supply. Despite high inflation ,hyperinflation hardly occurred because of a sustained transactions demand for money, because of Japan’s strong enforcement of monetary monopoly, and because of declining Japanese military capability to ship resources home. In Thailand and Indochina, occupation costs and bilateral clearing arrangements created near open-ended Japanese purchasing power and allowed the transfer to Japan of as much as a third of Indochina’s annual GDP. Although the Thai and Indochinese governments financed Japanese demands mainly by printing large quantities of money, inflation rose only in line with monetary expansion due to money’s continued use as a store of value in rice-surplus areas.
    Keywords: war, financial and macroeconomic crises, resource transfer, occupation costs, bilateral clearing arrangements, seigniorage, hyperinflation, Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan, Southeast Asia
    JEL: G01 N15 N45 P44
    Date: 2012–10–31
  2. By: Hill, Hal (Asian Development Bank Institute); Menon, Jayant (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Financial safety nets in Asia have come a long way since the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) of 1997–98. Not wanting to rely solely on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again, the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) was created in 2000. When the CMI also proved inadequate following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), it was first multilateralized (CMIM), and then doubled in size to $240 billion, while the IMF de-linked portion was increased to 30%. A surveillance unit, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), was set-up in 2011. The authors assess whether these developments are sufficient to make the CMIM workable.
    Keywords: financial safety nets; chiang mai initiative; asean+3; asia; asian monetary fund; imf
    JEL: F32 F33 F34
    Date: 2012–11–12
  3. By: Eichengreen, Barry (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The rise of regional monetary arrangements poses a challenge for the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s global surveillance efforts. This paper reviews how the IMF has responded to earlier regional initiatives, from the European Payments Union of the 1950s and the Gold Pool of the 1960s to the CFA franc zone and the European Monetary System. The penultimate section draws out the implications for monetary regionalism in East Asia.
    Keywords: international monetary fund; regional monetary arrangements; global surveillance; european monetary system
    JEL: F30 F53 F55
    Date: 2012–11–06
  4. By: Alatas, Vivi (World Bank); Banerjee, Abhijit (MIT); Chandrasekhar, Arun G. (Microsoft Research New England); Hanna, Rema (Harvard University); Olken, Benjamin A. (MIT)
    Abstract: We use a unique data-set from Indonesia on what individuals know about the income distribution in their village to test theories such as Jackson and Rogers (2007) that link information aggregation in networks to the structure of the network. The observed patterns are consistent with a basic diffusion model: more central individuals are better informed, and individuals are able to better evaluate the poverty status of those to whom they are more socially proximate. To understand what the theory predicts for cross-village patterns, we estimate a simple diffusion model using within-village variation, simulate network-level diffusion under this model for the over 600 different networks in our data, and use this simulated data to gauge what the simple diffusion model predicts for the cross-village relationship between information diffusion and network characteristics (e.g. clustering, density). The coefficients in these simulated regressions are generally consistent with relationships suggested in previous theoretical work, even though in our setting formal analytical predictions have not been derived. We then show that the qualitative predictions from the simulated model largely match the actual data in the sense that we obtain similar results both when the dependent variable is an empirical measure of the accuracy of a village's aggregate information and when it is the simulation outcome. Finally, we consider a real-world application to community based targeting, where villagers chose which households should receive an anti-poverty program, and show that networks with better diffusive properties (as predicted by our model) differentially benefit from community based targeting policies.
    JEL: D83 D85
    Date: 2012–10
  5. By: Huong Vu (University of Waikato); Steven Lim (University of Waikato); Mark Holmes (University of Waikato); Tinh Doan (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment)
    Abstract: This study examines linkages between the export participation of firms and employee benefits in terms of wages and employment quality. Based on a uniquely matched firm-worker panel dataset for 2007 and 2009, we find evidence that export participation by firms in Vietnam has a positive impact on wages when taking into account firm characteristics alone. However, the exporter wage premium falls when both firm and worker characteristics are controlled for, and it decreases further when controlling for time-invariant unobservable factors by spell fixed effect estimation. While there are many studies on the export wage premium, the role of export participation on the quality of employment remains largely unexplored. By using a firm-level balanced panel dataset for the same period, our results suggest that export participation has a negative effect on employment quality. Nevertheless, the impact of export participation on both wages and employment quality vary greatly with respect to levels of technology.
    Keywords: exporting; wages; employment; Vietnam
    JEL: J21 J31 F14 F16 F19
    Date: 2012–11–01
  6. By: Patricia Cortés (School of Management, Boston University); Jessica Pan (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: In recent years, the US has become increasingly reliant on foreign registered nurses to satisfy health care demands. The Philippines has emerged as the single largest source of nurses educated abroad, representing more than half of foreign nurses entering the US in the last decade. One of the main concerns raised by the importation of nurses is the quality of care that they provide. This paper addresses this question by analyzing the relative quality of foreign educated nurses and its evolution over time using Census data from 1980 to 2010 and wages as a measure of skill. We find a positive wage premium for nurses educated in the Philippines, but not for foreign nurses educated elsewhere. This premium cannot be explained by differences in demographics, education, work experience, location, or detailed job characteristics. The assimilation profile of Filipino nurses and the types of hospitals that hire them strongly suggest that the premium reflects quality differences and not just unobserved characteristics of the job that carry a higher wage but are unrelated to skill. We provide evidence that the wage premium is likely to be driven by strong positive selection into nursing among Filipinos resulting from the high and heterogeneous returns to the occupation generated by active government support for the migration of nurses in the Philippines.
    Keywords: Nurses, Migration, Selection, Skills.
    JEL: J61 J24 J44
    Date: 2012–11

This nep-sea issue is ©2012 by Kavita Iyengar. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.