nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2014‒04‒29
fifteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Disaster Management in ASEAN By Yasuyuki SAWADA; Fauziah ZEN
  2. Analysis on Price Elasticity of Energy Demand in East Asia: Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications for ASEAN and East Asia By Han PHOUMIN; Shigeru KIMURA
  3. Does Finance Really Matter for the Participation of SMEs in International Trade? Evidence from 8,080 East Asian Firms By Yothin Jinjarak; Paulo Jose Mutuc; Ganeshan Wignaraja
  4. Asian Fragmentation in the Global Financial Crisis By Toshihiro OKUBO; Fukunari KIMURA; Nozomu TESHIMA
  5. Non-renewable Resources in Asian Economies: Perspective of Availability, Applicability Acceptability, and Affordability By Youngho CHANG; Yanfei LI
  6. The economic spillovers from resource extraction: a partial resource blessing at the subnational level? By James CUST; Ridwan D. RUSLI
  7. Competition Law Enforcement in Malaysia: Some Recent Developments By Cassey LEE
  8. Making Myanmar the Star Growth Performer in ASEAN in the Next Decade: A Proposal of Five Growth Strategies By Toshihiro KUDO; Satoru KUMAGAI; So UMEZAKI
  9. Global Implications of the Renminbi’s Ascendance By Eswar Prasad
  10. Conditional Cash Transfers, Civil Conflict and Insurgent Influence: Experimental Evidence from the Philippines By Benjamin Crost; Joseph H. Felter; Patrick B. Johnston
  11. The role of monetary policy in the New Keynesian Model: Evidence from Vietnam By Van Hoang
  12. The Role of Offshore Financial Centers in the Process of Renminbi Internationalization By Yin-Wong Cheung
  13. A Short-Run Analysis of Exchange Rates and International Trade with an Application to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan By José Anson; Mauro Boffa; Matthias Helble
  14. Exposure to Risk and Risk Aversion: A Laboratory Experiment By Tai-Sen HE; Fuhai HONG
  15. Sunspots and Inflation-indexed Bonds By Minwook KANG

  1. By: Yasuyuki SAWADA (Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA)); Fauziah ZEN (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))
    Abstract: While the Asian countries have been successful in achieving economic growth and poverty reduction, the region cannot avoid exposure to a variety of disasters. Indeed, Asia, particularly the area of the ASEAN Member States (AMSs), is the most prone region to disasters in the world. The paper examines the experience of ASEAN and other countries and regions in the world on disaster management, and looks at the research literature, in order to provide insights, lessons and recommendations for the way forward for strengthened disaster management in AMSs and ASEAN beyond 2015. Particularly, we will summarize different approaches towards effective disaster risk coping strategy and regional cooperation on disaster management. By doing so, we aim at providing a clue to answer the question of how we should protect ourselves and the people of the region and the entire world from catastrophes.
    Keywords: Natural disasters; Manmade disasters; Disaster management; Insurance; Risk Sharing; ASEAN; East Asia
    JEL: H53 G01 H84 Q54
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Han PHOUMIN (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)); Shigeru KIMURA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))
    Abstract: This study uses time series data of selected ASEAN and East Asia countries to investigate the patterns of price and income elasticity of energy demand. Applying a dynamic log-linear energy demand model, both short-run and long-run price and income elasticities were estimated by country. The study uses three types of dependent variable “energy demand” such as total primary energy consumption (TPES), total final energy consumption (TFEC) and total final oil consumption (TFOC) to regress on its determinants such as energy price and income. The finding shows that price elasticity is generally inelastic amongst all countries of studies. These findings support to the theory of price inelasticity of energy demand due to the assumption that energy remains a special commodity due to its nature of lack of substitution. Any shift from oil to other energy is difficult as it depends on equipment uses which are not easily to be replaced. As a result, a unit change in price may not induce equal change in quantity of demand. Although prices are inelastic, this study observed that price elasticity in developing counties is more sensitive than in developed countries. Among the countries studied, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines have shown to be price sensitive compared to other developing countries and developed countries. For the income elasticity, this study also found that income has been very sensitive towards energy consumption, except for countries like India, China and Australia due to energy supply limitation in the cases of India and China and to less energy intensive industrial structure in the case of Australia. The price elasticity by energy type shows that TPES has a smaller impact than TFEC and TFOC, and TFEC is smaller than TFOC in terms of sensitivity of the price elasticity. Amongst other reasons, fuel subsidies may play roles in the insensitivity of energy prices. The findings have policy implications as inelastic price will impact on the uptake of energy efficiency in developing as well as developed countries. Therefore, removal of energy subsidies, albeit done in a gradual manner, will be critical to the promotion of energy efficiency. Its impact likewise goes further in that it will benefit the Renewable Energy uptake, the environment and social benefits.
    Keywords: Energy intensity, price and income elasticities, energy demand, energy subsidy, ASEAN and East Asia
    JEL: O4 L1 Q4
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Yothin Jinjarak (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)); Paulo Jose Mutuc; Ganeshan Wignaraja
    Abstract: This paper studies factors associated with firm participation in export markets, focusing primarily on firm size and access to credit, based on a survey sample comprising observations of 8,080 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (with fewer than 100 employees) and non-SME firms in developing East Asian countries across sectors. The main findings suggest the interdependent relationships between export participation, firm size, and access to credit. SMEs participating in export markets tend to gain more access to credit, while potential scale economies (firm sizes) of SMEs are positively associated with participation in export markets. The estimation results also point to the supportive influences of foreign ownership, worker education, and production certification on export participation, and the positive effects of financial certification, managerial experience, and collateral/loan value on access to credit for SMEs.
    Keywords: SMEs, East Asian firms, export markets, export participation, firm size, access to credit
    JEL: D22 E44 F14 L16 O14
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: Toshihiro OKUBO (Keio University); Fukunari KIMURA (Keio University and ERIA); Nozomu TESHIMA (House of Councillors, The National Diet of Japan)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 on Japanese exports, focusing on international production networks in machinery sectors. For our survival analysis, we estimate a Cox proportional hazards model. Consequently, we find that Japanese exports to Asian countries, parts and components trade in particular, were less likely to stop during the crisis. Even if they stopped, such trade is more likely to be revived. Therefore, regardless of the worldwide economic crisis, Japan maintained trade relationships in parts and components in the machinery sectors.
    Keywords: financial crisis, ASEAN trade, parts and components, exit-entry diagram, survival analysis
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2013–12
  5. By: Youngho CHANG (Scholl of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University); Yanfei LI (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))
    Abstract: This paper reviews the factors that determine the sustainability of nonrenewable energy production and consumption in Asian economies. It reviews the recent literature on the issue and all of the key findings under the 4As framework (Availability, Applicability, Acceptability, and Affordability) which is derived from the classical Hotelling non-renewable resource economics models. Conclusions derived focus on the implications of the fast growth in non-renewable energy consumption and its outpacing the growth in indigenous production, the uneven distribution of exploitable non-renewable energy resources, the potentials of shale oil and shale gas, the role of coal, renewable energy and nuclear energy, the reform of domestic energy markets, and the environmental impacts of the use of nonrenewable energy in the Asian economies.
    Keywords: Non-renewable energy, Sustainability, Asian economies, 4A framework
    JEL: Q01 Q30 Q40
    Date: 2014–02
  6. By: James CUST (University of Oxford & University of Luxembourg); Ridwan D. RUSLI (Division of Economics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 637332.)
    Abstract: We examine the economic consequences of resource extraction and associated revenue windfalls, measured at the subnational level. Our analysis focuses on variations across Indonesian districts and municipalities to estimate the spillover effects on economic activity, measured in terms of local GDP. Two important channels are identified: direct spillover eects from extraction activity, and the fiscal spillovers from local government spending associated with revenue windfalls from extraction activity. We use Indonesia's fiscal sharing rules to quantify and disentangle these two channels by application of an instrumental variable. We show that the main economic gains accrue via transfers to, and spending by, local government. While direct project-level investments and production contribute to measures of overall GDP, these are found to be largely due driven by the value of oil extraction, with only limited evidence for a direct impact on non-oil GDP. In contrast to other works, it appears that regionally decentralized government spending can be growth-enhancing over the decade surveyed. We argue that resource endowments do contribute to increased economic activity at the subnational level in Indonesia, but may lower the overall growth eect of spending.
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Cassey LEE (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: The enactment of the Competition Act 2010 represents a significant progress in the implementation of competition policy in Malaysia. The Malaysian Competition Commission has been fairly successful in its enforcement activities especially in price fixing cases involving trade associations. It has also investigated and issued proposed decisions in a number of high profile cases involving Malaysian Airlines, AirAsia, and Megasteel. Future challenges are likely to involve investigation of more complex anti-competitive cases, review of government regulations with impact on competition, possible introduction of merger controls and regional integration.
    Keywords: competition policy, competition law, malaysia.
    JEL: K21 L40 L41
    Date: 2014–01
  8. By: Toshihiro KUDO (Research Planning Department, Institute of Developing Economies, External Trade Organization (JETRO)); Satoru KUMAGAI (Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER)); So UMEZAKI (Inter-disciplinary Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies, External Trade Organization (JETRO))
    Abstract: After decades of isolation, Myanmar is now actively re-engaging with the global economy. For successful re-engagement, Myanmar needs to implement comprehensive economic reforms based on a shared vision for long-term economic development that is characterized by human-centered, high, sustainable, pro-poor, inclusive, and balanced economic growth. In this paper, we propose five growth strategies : “Agriculture Plus Plus,” an export-oriented strategy, a foreign direct investment-driven strategy, a two-polar growth strategy, and a strategy to develop domestic economic corridors. These strategies are used as guides to translate these development agendas into a set of implementable policies, programs, and projects.
    Keywords: myanmar (burma), growth strategy, economic reforms, re-engagement with global economy
    JEL: O10 O20 O53
    Date: 2013–09
  9. By: Eswar Prasad (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the prospects for the renminbi’s role as an international currency and the implications for global financial markets. Although the People’s Republic of China (PRC) does not have either an open capital account or a flexible exchange rate, the renminbi has attained considerable traction as an international currency on account of the PRC’s rising shares of global trade and gross domestic product. Through bilateral swaps that the People’s Bank of China has established with other countries’ central banks, the renminbi is also becoming more prominent in international finance. However, the renminbi is unlikely to become a major reserve currency in the absence of capital account convertibility, a flexible exchange rate, and better-developed financial markets. The renminbi’s rising prominence—if it is accompanied by significant economic reforms within the PRC—could add to the stability of Asian and global financial systems.
    Keywords: renminbi, Capital account liberalization, the people's bank of China, global financial markets, International currency
    JEL: F3 F4 E5
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: Benjamin Crost (University of Colorado Denver); Joseph H. Felter (Stanford University); Patrick B. Johnston (RAND Corporation)
    Abstract: Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are an increasingly popular tool for reducing poverty in conflict-affected areas. Despite their growing popularity, there is limited evidence on how CCT programs affect conflict and theoretical predictions are ambiguous. We estimate the effect of conditional cash transfers on civil conflict in the Philippines by exploiting an experiment that randomly assigned eligibility for a CCT program at the village level. We find that cash transfers caused a substantial decrease in conflict-related incidents in treatment villages relative to control villages. Using unique data on local insurgent influence, we also find that the program significantly reduced insurgent influence in treated villages.
    Date: 2014–04
  11. By: Van Hoang
    Abstract: This paper reproduces a version of the New Keynesian model developed by Ireland (2004) and then uses the Vietnamese data from January 1995 to December 2012 to estimate the model’s parameters. The empirical results show that before August 2000 when the Taylor rule was adopted more firmly, the monetary policy shock made considerable contributions to the fluctuations in key macroeconomic variables such as the short-term nominal interest rate, the output gap, inflation, and especially output growth. By contrast, the loose adoption of the Taylor rule in the period of post-August 2000 leads to a fact that the contributions of the monetary policy shock to the variations in such key macroeconomic variables become less substantial. Thus, one policy implication is that adopting firmly the Taylor rule could strengthen the role of the monetary policy in driving movements in the key macroeconomic variables, for instance, enhancing economic growth and stabilizing inflation.
    Keywords: New Keynesian model, Monetary Policy, Technology Shock, Cost-Push Shock, Preference Shock.
    JEL: E12 E32
    Date: 2014–02–01
  12. By: Yin-Wong Cheung (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been quite aggressive recently in promoting the international use of its currency, the renminbi. Historical experience suggests that an active offshore market is essential for a global currency. Indeed, anecdotal evidence affirms the role of offshore markets in pushing the renminbi currency to the world. One should not, however, overplay the contribution of offshore markets. While offshore markets offer the opportunities to experiment with the global use of the currency, the overseas acceptance of the renminbi is ultimately determined by both internal and external economic forces, and geopolitical factors. With its relatively small size, the offshore renminbi is not likely to pressure the PRC and alter its financial liberalization policy. A well-organized offshore renminbi market will complement the PRC’s renminbi internationalization policy, but it is not possible to raise the currency’s global status beyond the level justified by its economic and political attributes.
    Keywords: renminbi, International currency, renminbi internationalization, PRC, offshore markets
    JEL: F33
    Date: 2014–04
  13. By: José Anson (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)); Mauro Boffa; Matthias Helble
    Abstract: The information and communication technology (ICT) revolution of the past 3 decades has transformed the world into an integrated marketplace. Today, producers and consumers alike are able to compare the prices of local businesses and worldwide sellers. For an increasing number of tradable goods, they can take advantage of arbitrage opportunities between online and offline transactions. One of the key exogenous elements behind this arbitrage is exchange rate movements. The existing literature on exchange rates has concluded that nominal prices can be assumed to be rigid, which thus opens the door to short-term international arbitrage. However, empirical evidence of international short-term arbitrage has so far been lacking due to data constraints. In this paper, we first present a new dataset that holds records on daily international exchanges of goods, namely those sent through the international postal logistics network. We then combine this data set with daily data on international exchange rate movements to test the hypothesis of international arbitrage. Applying different econometric techniques, we show that in an environment of floating exchange rates, almost instantaneous short-term international arbitrage is indeed occurring and that it has a persistent effect. The effect seems to be particularly pronounced in the developed countries of Asia and the Pacific.
    Keywords: exchange rate, international trade, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, international arbitrage
    JEL: F14 F31
    Date: 2014–04
  14. By: Tai-Sen HE (Division of Economics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 637332.); Fuhai HONG (Division of Economics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 637332.)
    Abstract: We examine whether prior exposure to environments with a varying degree of risk affects individuals’ risk-taking behavior. Using a laboratory experiment, we find that subjects exposed to a high risk environment exhibit higher levels of risk aversion than those who were exposed to a moderate or low risk environment. This effect is not driven by subjects’ realized outcomes from the risk. The finding has implications for theoretical models of decision-making under uncertainty, and can speak to a few current policy debates.
    Keywords: Risk; Risk Aversion; Laboratory Experiment
    JEL: D81 C91
    Date: 2014–03
  15. By: Minwook KANG (Division of Economics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 637332.)
    Abstract: An economy with incomplete ?nancial markets, as described by Cass (1989), typically has in?ation volatility driven by sunspots. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the introduction of in?ation- indexed bonds to the ?Cass?economy in?uences a monetary market, an indexed bond market, and welfare. The introduction of indexed bonds is considered a sunspot-stabilizing policy. However, this introduction unrealistically causes the complete shutdown of monetary markets. This problem can be avoided in this paper as incorporating proportional transaction costs in the indexed bond market. Specifically, I show that the monetary market can never shut down even with a very high level of in?ation volatility if the indexed bonds have transaction costs. In contrast, the indexed bond market can be inactive with a high value of transaction costs or low levels of in?ation volatility. This paper shows that the introduction of indexed bonds does not necessarily induce the economy to be Pareto improving. However, by allowing lump-sum tax-transfer plans that are implemented in period-0 money, the market with indexed bonds can be Pareto superior to the market without them. The conclusions derived from a single-good economy can be applied to a multi-good economy if all agents have an identical homothetic utility function.
    Keywords: In?ation-indexed bonds, Sunspots, In?ation volatility, Transaction costs, Consumer price index (CPI)
    Date: 2014–01

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