nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2013‒11‒02
seventeen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. On the Relationship between Exchange Rates and External Imbalances: East and Southeast Asia By Juan Carlos Cuestas; Paulo José Regis
  2. The ASEAN Economic Community: Progress, Challenges, and Prospects By Chia, Siow Yue
  3. Special Study on Sustainable Fisheries Management and International Trade in the Southeast Asia and Pacific region By Komatsu, Masayuki
  4. Modelling the Interaction of Global Corporations with Economic Systems of Macro-, Meta- and Megalevels in South-East Asia By S. Shandruk
  5. Corporate Cash Holding in Asia By Charles Yuji Horioka; Akiko Terada-Hagiwara
  6. Investment, awareness, supermarkets, and profits: heterogeneous chili farmers in Indonesia By Han-Hsin Chang; Charles van Marrewijk; Randy Stringer; Wendy Umberger
  7. Asian and European Financial Crises Compared By Edwin M. Truman
  8. Spatial Spillovers of Foreign Direct Investment: The Case of Vietnam By Toan Thang TRAN; Thi Song Hanh PHAM
  9. The Economic Transition in Myanmar: Towards Inclusive, People Centered and Sustainable Economic Growth By Anita Prakash
  10. Plurilateral Agreements: A Viable Alternative to the World Trade Organization? By Nakatomi, Michitaka
  11. Public Services and the poor in Laos By Peter Warr; Jayant Menon; Sitthiroth Rasphone
  12. Saving Rate, Total Factor Productivity and Growth Process for Developing Countries By Cuong Le Van; Tu Anh Nguyen; Tran Dinh Tuan
  13. Minimum Wage in a Deflationary Economy: The Japanese Experience, 1994–2003 By Ryo Kambayashi; Daiji Kawaguchi; Ken Yamada
  14. Cambodian agriculture: Adaptation to climate change impact: By Thomas, Timothy S.; Ponlok, Tin; Bansok, Ros; De Lopez, Thanakvaro; Chiang, Catherine; Phirun, Nang; Chhum, Chhim
  15. Functional upgrading, Bargaining Power and Value Appropriation of Emerging Economy Producers By Pham Thi Song Hanh; Bent Petersen
  16. Why has Japan’s Massive Government Debt Not Wreaked Havoc (Yet)? By Charles Yuji Horioka; Takaaki Nomoto; Akiko Terada-Hagiwara
  17. Infectious Diseases and Economic Growth By Aditya Goenkay; Lin Liu; Manh-Hung Nguyen

  1. By: Juan Carlos Cuestas (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield); Paulo José Regis (Department of Economics, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)
    Abstract: The role the real exchange rate plays in determining current account balances has gathered momentum as East and Southeast Asian countries have seen increasingly positive current account balances. This paper analyses the evolution of current accounts in the region. A cointegrating relationship between the real effective exchange rate and the ratio of the current account balance to the GDP is tested, based on both linear and nonlinear models. The half-life of current account imbalances is relatively short, implying high capital mobility. Results point to the existence of a long-run relationship, and in most cases the causality runs from the exchange rate to the current account.
    Keywords: emerging markets, current account, half-life, East and Southeast Asia.
    JEL: C22 E32 F15
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Chia, Siow Yue (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was set up in 2003 with the objectives of creating a single market and production base, enhancing equitable economic development as well as facilitating the integration into the global economy. The AEC involves liberalization and facilitation of trade in goods, services, and investment, as well as protection and promotion of investment. The paper outlines the AEC Blueprint actions and the time lines for completion. The authors find that by end-2011 only an implementation rate of 67.5% had been achieved. While tariff elimination is found to be largely on schedule, there are difficulties with the removal of non-tariff barriers as well as with the liberalization of services and investment regimes.
    Keywords: regional integration; regional cooperation; economic cooperation; trade; investment; goods; services; asean economic community
    JEL: F13 F15 O19 O24
    Date: 2013–10–28
  3. By: Komatsu, Masayuki (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the current status of fisheries and aquaculture in Southeast Asia and international trade. Analysis concludes that a policy of sustainable management for both capture fisheries and aquaculture is of greatest importance, but such a policy has been neither planned nor implemented with a holistic and long-term perspective. Current policy reflects a short-term view and the immediate needs of each nation. Therefore, capacity building of human resources and organizations, including governments, is needed for the formulation of holistic national policies to seek long-term and fundamental remedies for the sustainable management of fisheries resources and intensified and extensive aquaculture.
    Keywords: international trade; fisheries; development of natural resources; aquaculture southeast asia
    JEL: O13 Q22
    Date: 2013–10–16
  4. By: S. Shandruk (Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman)
    Abstract: Complex research of interaction between global corporations and economic systems of macro-, meta- and mega-levels has been held. Its asymmetric character has been substantiated. Systems structural transformations in socioeco-nomic development of South-East Asia countries and the models of their economic growth have been analysed. The di-rections of improving current construction of the global development of South-East Asia economic systems have been established. The processes of system interaction of national economies under the global competition have been studied. Factor analysis of the competitive status of South-East Asia economic systems of macro-, meta- and megalevels in global economic system has been held. Regional and national aspects of factor modelling of competitiveness have been estab-lished. The objective need and economic expediency of mobilization of resource and innovative factors for South-East Asia high competitiveness status have been grounded.
    Keywords: competitive status, globalization, global demand, global supply, imperatives, innovation, paradigm, multinational corporation
    Date: 2013–10–19
  5. By: Charles Yuji Horioka (School of Economics, University of the Philippines; National Bureau of Economic Research; and Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University); Akiko Terada-Hagiwara (Economic and Research Department, Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the determinants of corporate saving in the form of changes in the stock of cash for 11 Asian economies using firm-level data from the Oriana Database for the 2002–2011 period. We find some evidence that cash flow has a positive impact on the change in the stock of cash, which suggests that Asian firms are borrowing constrained and that they save more when their cash flow increases so that they will be able to finance future investments. Moreover, we find in the developed economy sample that, as expected, cash flow has a positive impact on the change in the stock of cash only in the case of the smallest firms, which are more likely to be borrowing constrained, and find in the developing economy sample that, as expected, the positive impact of cash flow on the change in the stock of cash declines with firm size. In addition, we find that the cash flow sensitivity of cash declined after the global financial crisis. Finally, we find some evidence that Tobin’s q has a positive impact on the change in the stock of cash.
    Keywords: corporate saving, corporate investment, borrowing constraints, liquidity constraints, cash flow, cash holdings, cash flow sensitivity of cash, Tobin’s q, firm size, productivity shocks, Asia, Oriana Database, financial sector development, global financial crisis
    JEL: D92 E21 E22 G11 O53
    Date: 2013–10
  6. By: Han-Hsin Chang; Charles van Marrewijk; Randy Stringer; Wendy Umberger
    Abstract: Changes in the distribution channels for food production in developing countries raises the demand for high quality products sold through supermarkets at higher prices. We model the willingness of farmers to invest in high quality production, taking the role of traders into consideration. We test our model using data for Indonesian chili producers and find that (i) there is self-selection into high cost investment for production quality which leads to higher profits, (ii) there is a positive and significant income effect for participating in the modern (supermarket) retail channel, and (iii) the awareness of farmers regarding their product participation in the retail channel significantly affects their profits. We thus find both a 'real access gap' and a 'market efficiency gap'.
    Keywords: Supermarkets, Farmers, High-value Agriculture, Indonesia, Heckman self-selection
    JEL: D2 I3 L1 O1 Q1
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Edwin M. Truman (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: The European and Asian financial crises are the two most recent major regional crises. This paper compares their origins and evolution. The origins of the two sets of crises were different in some respects, but broadly similar. The two sets of crises also shared similarities in their evolution, but here the differences were more significant. The European crisis countries received more external financial support, despite the fact that they involved more solvency issues while the Asian crises involved more liquidity issues. On balance, the reform programs in the European crises were less demanding and rigorous than in the Asian crises. Partly as a consequence, the negative impacts on the global economy have been larger. Author Edwin M. Truman draws three lessons from this analysis: First, history will repeat itself; there will be other external financial crises. Second, other countries have a stake in appropriate crisis management. Third, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other countries were mistaken in treating the European crises as individual country crises rather than as a crisis for the euro area as a whole that demanded policy conditionality on all members of the euro area.
    Keywords: financial crises, Asian financial crises, European financial crises, International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, crisis management, policy coordination, macroeconomic policies, banking policies
    JEL: F3 F20 F31 F32 F3 F34 F36 F42
    Date: 2013–10
  8. By: Toan Thang TRAN (Central Institute for Economic Management, Vietnam); Thi Song Hanh PHAM (Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University)
    Abstract: In an effort to unlock the black box of mixed empirical evidence for productivity spillovers from foreign direct investment in host countries, this paper, using the case of Vietnam, examined the role of geographical proximity and inter firm interaction in determining productivity spillovers of FDI. The spatial productivity model specified based on the empirical spillovers literature and spatial econometric model. This paper confirms negative effect of horizontal spillovers. The distance and interaction are confirmed to be two determinants of the significance of spillover effects. The paper finds the positive backward and negative forward spillovers. Indirect effect (or the inter-regional spillovers) is found about twice to four times higher than the direct effect (or the intra-regional spillovers) but such kind of indirect effect is quickly attenuated for a certain distance. The paper also finds the evidence of the effect arising from the social interaction among local firms in productivity spillovers. The testing results suggest that local firm's productivity is substantially driven by the agglomeration effect and the presence of interand intra-regional FDI.
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Anita Prakash (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia)
    Abstract: Myanmar has embarked on an ambitious program of sweeping reforms to end its isolation and integrate its economy with the global system. In this reform period, Myanmar faces the challenge to remain on the course ofreforms and openness while pursuing its economic growth. The Challenges of this transition can be met with a development model which is inclusive, people centered and sustainable.
    Date: 2013–08
  10. By: Nakatomi, Michitaka (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The paper looks at some issue-based plurilateral agreements—such as the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), the Financial Services and Basic Telecommunication Services Agreements, and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)—with the aim of pointing to their crucial role in resolving the stalemate at the WTO and the Doha Round and the accelerating proliferation of free trade agreements (FTAs). It also suggests possible areas where new plurilateral agreements—whether single or multiple issue-based—can be developed. The paper highlights the importance of plurilateral agreements as a mechanism complementary to the WTO and FTAs in enhancing the governance of the global trade system, and outlines conditions that need to be fulfilled to address the needs of developing countries.
    Keywords: plurilateral agreements; wto; fta; world trade organization
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2013–10–25
  11. By: Peter Warr; Jayant Menon; Sitthiroth Rasphone
    Abstract: Both cross sectional and panel methods of analysis for Laos confirm that for public education and health services, the poorest quintile groups receive the smallest shares of total provision of these services. Nevertheless, poor groups’ shares of an increase in the level of provision – their marginal shares – are generally higher than these average shares. For primary and lower secondary education and for primary health centers, expanding the overall level of provision delivers a pattern of marginal effects that is significantly more pro-poor than average shares indicate and the degree to which the poor benefit increases with the level of provision.
    Keywords: Benefit incidence analysis; average benefit; marginal benefit; health services; education services; Lao PDR
    JEL: D12 E21 H31
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Cuong Le Van (CNRS, CES, Hanoi WRU, VCREME); Tu Anh Nguyen (Central Institute for Economic Management, CIEM, Vietnam); Tran Dinh Tuan
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Ryo Kambayashi (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University); Daiji Kawaguchi (Faculty of Economics, Hitotsubashi University); Ken Yamada (Singapore Management University, School of Economics)
    Abstract: The statutory minimum wage in Japan has increased continuously for a few decades until the early 2000s even during a period of deflation. This paper examines the impact of the minimum wage on wage and employment outcomes under this unusual circumstance. We find that the minimum-wage increase resulted in the compression of the lower tail of the wage distribution among women and that the wage compression is only partially attributable to the loss of employment. The continuous increase in the minimum wage accounts for one half of the reduction in lower-tail inequality that occurred among women during the period between 1994 and 2003.
    Keywords: minimum wage, wage inequality, employment loss, truncated distribution, deflation
    JEL: J23 J31 J38
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Thomas, Timothy S.; Ponlok, Tin; Bansok, Ros; De Lopez, Thanakvaro; Chiang, Catherine; Phirun, Nang; Chhum, Chhim
    Abstract: Cambodia has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, given the predicted changes in temperature and precipitation, the share of labor in agriculture, and the country’s low adaptive capacity due to widespread poverty. In this study, we use climate data from four general circulation models (GCMs) to evaluate the impact of climate change on agriculture in Cambodia by 2050. We used the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer crop modeling software to evaluate crop yields, first for the 1950–2000 period (actual climate) and then for the climates given by the four GCMs for 2050.
    Keywords: Climate change, Adaptation, Agriculture, General Circulation Models GCM, Crop yields, Droughts,
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Pham Thi Song Hanh (Sheffield Business School, Stoddart Building, 1 Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB); Bent Petersen (Petersen)
    Abstract: In order to accrue economic rent a firm not only has to create value for its customers, it must also be capable of appropriating this value. Without possessing value appropriation capabilities the firm is at risk of passing on the created value to its suppliers, customers or competitors. There is ample evidence that emerging economy firms inserted in global value chains generally have difficulties in appropriating the added value they create - either due to a very competitive industry structure with low entry barriers and numerous suppliers, or because buyers are controlling critical resources, such as strategic information about, and access to, end-users. This study explores two basic initiatives emerging economy firm may take to achieve higher value appropriation. One initiative is to appropriate more value from existing activities - typically assembly manufacturing - by acquiring more market knowledge and better negotiation skills. In this way bargaining power improves vis-a-vis buyers and emerging economy firms achieve more equal gains from the global value chain. Another initiative of emerging economy firms is to embark on functional upgrading, i.e. engage in new business activities that are less exposed to fierce price competition and therefore more lucrative. We test to what extent the two basic value appropriation initiatives have a positive effect on export performance of Vietnamese wood furniture manufacturers inserted in global value chains. 302 manufacturing companies were asked about functional upgrading in terms of the extent to which they had engaged in export-related down-stream activities (i.e. export marketing and sales) and export market intelligence. The companies also reported their negotiation skills (self-assessment) and export performance. The results of a path analysis (AMOS, SPSS) suggest that both of the two value appropriation initiatives have positive pay-offs in as much as they improve export performance significantly, though with bargaining power improving measures as the more rewarding initiative. Furthermore, the two initiatives are to some extent mutual supportive in achieving higher value appropriation.
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Charles Yuji Horioka (School of Economics, University of the Philippines; National Bureau of Economic Research; and Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University); Takaaki Nomoto (Office of Regional and Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank); Akiko Terada-Hagiwara (Economic and Research Department, Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: In this paper, we present data on trends over time in government debt financing in Japan since 2010 with emphasis on the importance of foreign holders and speculate about the determinants of those trends. We find that Japanese government securities were held primarily by domestic holders until recently because robust domestic saving (combined with strong home bias) made it possible for domestic investors to absorb most of the government debt but that foreign holdings of Japanese government securities have increased sharply in recent years, especially in the case of short-term government securities. We show that trends in foreign holdings of Japanese government securities can be explained by conventional economic factors such returns and risks and that the recent surge in foreign holdings of short-term Japanese government securities is attributable to foreign investors in search of a safe haven for their funds in the face of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09 precipitated by the Lehman crisis. Our analysis suggests that the surge in foreign holdings of Japanese government securities will subside (in fact, it already has), and this, combined with the projected decline in domestic saving (especially household saving) caused by population aging, will make it necessary for Japan to get its fiscal house in order. Thus, Japan’s massive government debt has not wreaked havoc in the past because of robust domestic saving and a temporary inflow of foreign capital caused by the Global Financial Crisis, but it may wreak havoc in the future as both of these factors become less applicable unless the government debt can be brought under control.
    Keywords: Government debt, government securities, government bonds, government bills, government notes, sovereign debt, debt securities, debt financing, government debt financing, debt holdings, government debt holdings, foreign debt, foreign debt holdings, foreign debt investments, foreign investors, capital flows, international capital flows, short-term capital movements, cross-border portfolio investments, safe haven, capital flight, flight to safety, debt rollover, home bias, sovereign debt crisis, eurozone crisis, eurozone, Japan
    JEL: E21 F32 F34 G15 H63 O53
    Date: 2013–10
  17. By: Aditya Goenkay (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore, AS2, Level 6, 1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570); Lin Liu (Department of Economics, Harkness Hall, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA); Manh-Hung Nguyen (LERNA-INRA, Toulouse School of Economics, Manufacture des Tabacs, 21 All¶ee de Brienne, 31000 Toulouse, France)
    Abstract: This paper develops a framework to study the economic impact of infectious diseases by integrating epidemiological dynamics into a continuous time neo-classical growth model. There is a two way interaction between the economy and the disease: the incidence of the disease affects labor supply and investment in health capital can affect the incidence and recuperation from the disease. Thus, both the disease incidence and the income levels are endogenous. It is a general framework to study the effect and control of infectious diseases where there is an interaction with physical capital and health expenditures. The dynamics of the disease make the control problem non-convex and thus, a new existence theorem is given. We fully characterize the local dynamics of the model. There can be multiple steady states, and as the underlying parameters change there can be bifurcations. There can also be steady states where the disease is endemic but the optimal response is not to spend any resources on controlling it. We also see how the endogenous variables change as some underlying economic parameters are varied.
    Keywords: Epidemiology; Infectious Disease; Bifurcation; Existence of equilibrium
    JEL: C61 D51 E13 O41 E32
    Date: 2013

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