nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2014‒03‒30
thirteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Income Distributions, Inequality, and Poverty in Asia, 1992–2010 By Chotikapanich, Duangkamon; Griffiths, William E.; Rao, D.S. Prasada; Karunarathne, Wasana
  2. The Evolution of the (Likely to be) Future Poor:Primary School Non-Completion in Indonesia, 1991–2012 By Andy Sumner
  3. Does Urbanization Help Poverty Reduction in Rural Areas? Evidence from a Developing Country By Nguyen Viet Cuong
  4. Do Minimum Wages Affect Firms’ Labor and Capital? Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen Viet Cuong
  5. Finding Stability in a Time of Crisis: Lessons of East Asia for Eastern Europe By Paul D. McNelis
  6. The ‘Scooter Class’ In Indonesia: New 'Middle Class' or Something Else? By Lukas Schlogl; Andy Sumner
  7. The rise and fall of multinational enterprises in Vietnam: survival analysis using census data during 2000-2011 By Tien Manh Vu; Hiroyuki Yamada; Tsunehiro Otsuki
  8. The Feldstein –Horioka Puzzle and structural breaks: Evidence from the largest countries of Asia. By Ketenci, Natalya
  9. Impact Evaluation of Health Insurance for Children: Evidence from a Developing Country By Nguyen Viet Cuong
  10. The effect of global financial crisis on trade elasticities: Evidence from BRIICS countries and Turkey. By Ketenci, Natalya
  11. Europe meets Asia: The transnational construction of access and voice from below By Zajak, Sabrina
  12. Cross Cultural Differences in Decisions from Experience: Evidence from Denmark, Israel and Taiwain By Sibilla Di Guida; Ido Erev; Davide Marchiori
  13. Empirical linkage between oil price and stock market returns and volatility: Evidence from international developed markets By Dhaoui, Abderrazak; Khraief, Naceur

  1. By: Chotikapanich, Duangkamon (Asian Development Bank Institute); Griffiths, William E. (Asian Development Bank Institute); Rao, D.S. Prasada (Asian Development Bank Institute); Karunarathne, Wasana (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: In this paper, income distributions for developing countries in Asia are modeled using beta-2 distributions, which are estimated by a method of moments procedure applied to grouped data. Estimated parameters of these distributions are used to calculate measures of inequality, poverty, and pro-poor growth in four time periods over 1992–2010. Changes in these measures are examined for 11 countries, with a major focus on the People’s Republic of China (PRC), India, and Indonesia, which are separated into rural and urban regions. We find that the PRC has grown rapidly with increasing inequality accompanying this growth. India has been relatively stagnant. Indonesia has grown rapidly after suffering an initial set back from the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
    Keywords: growth; inequality; poverty; income distribution
    JEL: C13 C16 D31
    Date: 2014–03–18
  2. By: Andy Sumner (King's International Development Institute, King's College London)
    Abstract: The non-completion of primary school and educational attainment in general in Indonesia has been associated with an increased likelihood of being or remaining poor. In light of this, this paper considers the evolution of primary school non-completion using six rounds of the Indonesia Demographic and Health Surveycovering the period 1991–2012. The paper presents new, consistent estimates of the evolution of the incidence of, disparities in, and total composition of, primary education non-completion in Indonesia over two decades by the characteristics of household heads. The paper argues that although such deprivations remain concentrated among households in rural areas and in households with heads not in work or employed in agriculture, counter-intuitively, as deprivations decline,there are growing and sizable proportions in urban and non-agriculture headed households meaning a policy focus largely on the ‘traditional’ characteristics of deprived households might risk missing substantial proportions of the remaining and likely future poor in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Indonesia; deprivation; education; inequality; economic development
    JEL: I32 D63
    Date: 2014–03
  3. By: Nguyen Viet Cuong
    Abstract: Urbanization and poverty have a two-way relationship. Using fixed-effects regression and panel data from household surveys, we estimate the effect of urbanization on income and consumption expenditure of rural households in Vietnam. Then we propose a simple estimate method to estimate the effect of urbanization on rural poverty. It is found that a one percent increase in urbanization leads to a 0.54 percent increase in per capita income and a 0.39 percent increase in per capita expenditure of rural households. In addition, a one percentage point increase in urbanization helps rural households decrease the poverty rate by 0.17 percentage point. However, we find an effect of urbanization on consumption of unhealthy goods: urbanization increases household expenditures on tobacco and wine.
    Keywords: urbanization, household welfare, poverty, impact evaluation, household surveys, Vietnam, Asia.
    JEL: O18 I30 R11
    Date: 2014–02–25
  4. By: Nguyen Viet Cuong
    Abstract: This study measures the effect of minimum wage increases on firm outcomes using fixed effects regression and panel data from Vietnam Enterprise Censuses during 2008-2010. It is found that minimum wages reduce firms’ labor size, albeit at a small magnitude. A one percent increase in real minimum wages leads to a 0.1 percent reduction in the number of workers of firms. Firms are more likely to reduce male workers and those without social insurance. As a result, the proportion of female workers and workers with social insurance in firms increases due to minimum wages. Interestingly, under pressure of minimum wages, firms tend to increase assets, especially fixed assets, for labor substitution.
    Keywords: minimum wages, firms, impact evaluation, panel data, Vietnam.
    JEL: J31 L25 P42
    Date: 2014–02–25
  5. By: Paul D. McNelis (Fordham University and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)
    Abstract: This paper examines the options of small open economies in Eastern Europe pegged to the Euro, in a time of crisis. Specifically, should Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania move to full Euro area accession, as Estonia, Slovakia, and Slovenia have done, or follow the examples of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary and opt out of the Euro area? This paper argues that going forward to full monetary union offers benefits over a pure fixed exchange-rate regime. Specifically, the experience of Hong Kong at the time of the Asian crisis in the late 1990's, illustrates the benefits of a credible currency link during a time of crisis.
    JEL: E52 E62 F41
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Lukas Schlogl (King's International Development Institute, King's College London); Andy Sumner (King's International Development Institute, King's College London)
    Abstract: The emergence of a “ new middle” or a group of people that are neither poor nor in all likelihood completely secure from poverty in many middle-income countries (MICs) raises a series of questions: Is this group really a new ‘middle class’? How is this group new or different from the established ‘middle class’ or the poor or rich (however defined)? What does the new group mean for understandings of societal stratification? In this paper we take the case of Indonesia in order to explore the characteristics of this new group that is evident in many MICs and develop a building block towardsa multi-dimensional approach to the new group. We use 5 rounds of DHS household asset data for the period 1994-2012 to consider the evolution of societal stratification through transportation assets during economic development in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Indonesia; stratification; middle class; measurement; economic development
    JEL: R20 Z13 I32
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Tien Manh Vu (Ph.D Candidate, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University); Hiroyuki Yamada (Associate Professor, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University); Tsunehiro Otsuki (Professor, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Using census data from 2000-2011, we examined the survival of multinational enterprises (MNEs) located in Vietnam using Cox hazard models with time-variant covariates. Beside enterprises' characteristics and performance, we found that the firm characteristics, structure of the ownership and nationalities of the foreign partners are associated with the probability of exiting, which suggests that a joint-venture between a foreign partner and a domestic non-state owned enterprise is more likely to exit than other types of MNEs. Also, a firm with a greater capital share owned by foreign partners was found to survive longer. Furthermore, time cost due to bureaucratic procedures and inspections, among indicators of local government performance, was found to be associated with a greater probability of MNEs exiting.
    Keywords: Foreign direct investment; Multinational enterprises; Survival; Ownership; Government performance; Vietnam
    JEL: L24 L25 P27
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: Ketenci, Natalya
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the level of capital mobility in the largest economies of Asia by testing the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle. Panel estimations using quarterly data for the period from 1995 to 2011 have been made for the seven largest economies of Asia, specifically Russia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, India, Indonesia and China. This group of countries has gained significant economic power in the world over the last decade. Specifically, the growth rates of the sample has for a long period of time exceeded the growth rates of most developed countries. The total GDP adjusted for PPP is far above of the GDP of the EU and NAFTA groups and very close to the G7 group. The paper examines changes in investment savings relationships when the presences of structural shifts – where such exist – are taken into account. Recently developed panel techniques are employed to examine the investment savings relationship and estimate saving-retention coefficients. As a result of these estimations, countries were divided into two groups consisting of stable and unstable economies. This division of countries allows for more precise estimates of capital mobility. The empirical findings reveal that the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle exists in the groups. The saving-retention coefficient is estimated at 0.804 and 0.839 for the stable and unstable samples, respectively, which indicates a relatively higher level of capital mobility among stable countries. Results indicate that countries with high capital mobility are exposed to the negative effects of international market fluctuations.
    Keywords: Feldstein-Horioka puzzle, saving-investment association, capital mobility, cointegration, structural breaks, Asia.
    JEL: F32
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Nguyen Viet Cuong
    Abstract: Although there are numerous studies on impact evaluation of overall health insurance, little is known on the impact of health insurance on health care utilization and out-of-pocket health care spending of children, especially in developing countries. This paper measures the impact of child health insurance on health care utilization and spending of children from 6 to 14 years old in Vietnam using two recent nationally representative surveys. Unlike previous empirical studies which found a positive effect of health insurance on health care utilization in Vietnam, we did not find a statistically significant effect of school health insurance as well as free health insurance for children on outpatient health care contacts. However, the school health insurance and free health insurance help the insured children decrease out-of-pocket spending per outpatient contact by around 14 and 26 percent, respectively.
    Keywords: Child health insurance, impact evaluation, health care utilization, out-of-pocket spending, Vietnam.
    JEL: I10 G22 H43
    Date: 2014–02–25
  10. By: Ketenci, Natalya
    Abstract: The effect of the global financial crisis on the international trade patterns of developed countries has been one of the main focuses of recent studies. However, the dependence level of world trade on emerging markets increases every day. Therefore, it is important to study the level of the negative effect of the crisis on emerging economies and the level of their recovery potential. This paper empirically studies the effects of the financial crisis on changes in the trade elasticities of BRIICS (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) countries and Turkey. The imperfect substitute model (Goldstein and Khan 1985) for the export and import demand functions is used. The autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach to cointegration is applied to test the cointegration relationships between exports and imports and their determinants and in order to estimate the export and import elasticities in the countries under examination. The empirical results provide enough evidence to conclude that changes in the exchange rate did not play significant role in export and import demand functions before the global financial crisis and after. However, foreign and domestic incomes are found highly significant and elastic in export and import demand functions, respectively. It is found as well that the global financial crisis had increasing effect on export and import responsiveness to foreign and domestic incomes respectively, except for Turkey and Brazil in the export demand function and South Africa in the import demand function.
    Keywords: financial markets; international trade; emerging markets.
    JEL: F14 F41
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Zajak, Sabrina
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on the role of democratic participation in complex systems of governance. It takes a process-oriented constructivist approach asking how transnational activism over time contributes to the construction of access and voice from below and uses the Asia-Europe Meetings (ASEM) to analyze how interactions between civil society and global governance institutions shape concrete forms of participation. The paper shows that transnational activism triggers both discursive and institutional changes within the official ASEM process leading to an informal, fragmented, and fragile institutionalization of civil society participation. However, the paper reveals a division between civil society organizations with some, such as business representatives, having preferential access and voice in comparison to more contentious organizations. The paper explains this fragmented form of democratization as the result of three interrelated processes: the particular history and economic origins of the ASEM; international developments particularly in the ongoing economic crisis; and domestic developments within individual countries (in particular China) which have begun to favor controlled access for civil society participation. -- Vor dem Hintergrund der Debatte um die Rolle und Funktion demokratischer Partizipation in globalen Governance-Regimen fragt dieser Aufsatz, welchen Einfluss transnationale Mobilisierung auf die Konstruktion von Partizipations- und Mitbestimmungsmöglichkeiten haben kann. Am Beispiel der Asien-Europa-Treffen (ASEM) wird gezeigt, wie die Interaktion zwischen zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen und globalen Governance-Institutionen verschiedene Partizipationsformen hervorbringt. Dabei wird argumentiert, dass ein qualitatives sozialkonstruktivistisches Vorgehen gut geeignet ist, Prozesse der Demokratisierung von unten zu verstehen. Die Analyse zeigt, dass transnationale Mobilisierung im Zeitverlauf zu diskursivem und institutionellem Wandel in den ASEM-Institutionen beigetragen hat, und veranschaulicht, dass sehr informelle und sporadische Partizipationsmöglichkeiten entstehen, die teilweise auch zu einer diskursiven Annäherung zwischen Kritikern und politischen Eliten führen. Gleichzeitig lässt sich jedoch zwischen wirtschaftsintegrationsfreundlichen Organisationen (Wirtschaftsverbänden) und kritischeren Organisationen (Gewerkschaften, NGOs) eine starke Trennung von Partizipations- und Einflussmöglichkeiten feststellen. Insgesamt wird die Entstehung von polarisierten, informellen und sporadischen Partizipationsformen mit drei Faktoren erklärt: der ökonomischen Orientierung des ASEM-Prozesses, den internationalen Wirtschaftskrisen und dem Wandel einzelner Staaten in ihrem Verhältnis zur Zivilgesellschaft.
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Sibilla Di Guida; Ido Erev; Davide Marchiori
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of different cultural backgrounds on decisions from experience. In Experiment 1, participants from Denmark, Israel, and Taiwan faced each of six binary choice problems for 200 trials. The participants did not receive prior description of the payoff distributions, but obtained complete feedback after each choice. Comparison of choice behavior across cultural groups reveals similar overall choice rates, and similar indications of underweighting of rare events and of the payoff variability effect. In addition, subjects from Taiwan exhibited a stronger tendency to chase recent outcomes. That is, subjects from East Asia behaved “as if” they expected less change in the environment than subjects from West Asia and West Europe. Experiment 2 shows that an increase in the complexity of the choice tasks (i.e. adding slight variability to the safe option, and increasing the number of replicas for each option) does not break the similarity of choice rates across cultural groups, but reverses the observed chasing pattern: In Experiment 2, Israeli participants tended to chase recent outcomes more than did the Taiwanese. These results can be summarized with the assumption that the tendency to rely of small samples of past experiences (a sufficient condition for underweighting of rare events and the payoff variability effect) is robust to cultural differences, but the exact sampling process is culture- and framing-specific. An increase in the number of possible outcomes increases the probability of sampling the most recent trial in the West, but not in the East. Thus, behavior in the East appears less sensitive to task complexity.
    Keywords: cross cultural decision making; rare events; decisions from experience; clicking paradigm; recency effect
    Date: 2014–03
  13. By: Dhaoui, Abderrazak; Khraief, Naceur
    Abstract: This paper examines empirically whether oil price shocks impact stock market returns. Using monthly data for eight developed countries from January 1991 to September 2013, strong negative connections between oil price and stock market returns are found in seven of the selected countries. Oil price changes are without significant effect on the stock market of Singapore. On the volatility of returns, the changes in oil prices are significant for six markets and they have not much effect on the others. --
    Keywords: oil price shocks,stock market return,EGARCH
    JEL: G12 Q43
    Date: 2014

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