nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2014‒06‒07
ten papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. The Renminbi and Exchange Rate Regimes in East Asia By Kawai, Masahiro; Pontines, Victor
  2. Connecting South Asia to Southeast Asia: Cross-Border Infrastructure Investments By Gautrin, Jean-Francois
  3. The East Asian welfare regime: reality or fiction By Sarah Kuypers
  4. The Role of Science, Technology and Research in Economic Development By Ramon L. Clarete; Ernesto M. Pernia; Ammielou Gaduena; Adrian Mendoza
  5. Urbanization in Southeast Asia during the World War II Japanese Occupation and Its Aftermath By Gregg Huff; Gillian Huff
  6. Study of Government Interventions for Employment Generation in the Private Sector By Israel, Danilo C.; Ballesteros, Marife M.
  7. Review and Assessment of Programs Offered by State Universities and Colleges By Manasan, Rosario G.; Parel, Danileen Kristel C.
  8. Purchase or Lease of All-Purpose Vehicle for Government Offices By Department of Budget and Management
  9. Mainstreaming ICT enabled Innovation in Education and Training in Europe- Policy actions for sustainability, scalability and impact at system level' By Barbara Bre?ko; Panagiotis Kampylis; Yves Punie
  10. Time to let go of CARP? Not so fast By Toby C. Monsod; Sharon A. Piza

  1. By: Kawai, Masahiro (Asian Development Bank Institute); Pontines, Victor (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: With the rise of the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the world's largest trading nation (measured by trade value) and second largest economic power (measured by GDP), its economic influence over the neighboring emerging economies in East Asia has also risen. The PRC introduced some exchange rate flexibility in July 2005, and in the wake of the global financial crisis has been pursuing a policy to internationalize its currency, the renminbi (RMB). Clearly the exchange rate policy of the PRC has significant implications for exchange rate regimes in emerging East Asia. This paper examines the behavior of the RMB exchange rate and the impact of RMB movements on those of other currencies in emerging East Asia during the period 2000–2014. We apply the Frankel–Wei regression model to identify changes in the RMB exchange rate regime over time and a modified version of the model, developed by the authors in their earlier paper, to estimate the RMB weight in an emerging East Asian economy's currency basket. We find that the US dollar continues to be the dominant anchor currency in the region, while the RMB has taken on increasing importance in the currency baskets of many East Asian economies in recent years. The paper also explores how monetary and currency cooperation—led by the PRC and Japan—can promote intra-East Asian exchange rate stability under the pressure of rising financial market openness in the PRC.
    Keywords: renminbi internationalization; prc; emerging economies; east asia; frankel-wei model
    JEL: F15 F31 F36 F41 O24
    Date: 2014–05–30
  2. By: Gautrin, Jean-Francois (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Most of the trade between South Asia and Southeast Asia is by sea. However, with improved infrastructure and easier border crossing procedures, land traffic could grow to boost trade in goods, services, and tourism between the subregions. The purpose of the study is to analyze how to strengthen connectivity between the two subregions. Specifically, it is concerned with the role of cross-border transport infrastructure investments to improve connectivity. The author reviews all possible road and rail land corridors that would help create seamless transport connectivity. Missing gaps and corresponding transport infrastructure projects are identified, and projects are screened and prioritized. For the selected critical projects, the study recommends phased investments.
    Keywords: cross border infrastructure investments; South Asia and Southeast Asia; seamless infrastructure; road and rail land corridor
    JEL: F36 H41 H54 O22
    Date: 2014–05–28
  3. By: Sarah Kuypers
    Abstract: Recently the debate on the existence of a homogeneous East Asian welfare regime gained prominence because the region is experiencing changes in the fundamentals of its welfare system. Although the majority of the literature builds upon the assumption that there is indeed a fourth welfare type in the region, few empirically investigate whether these countries could formally be regarded as actual ‘Confucian’, ‘productivist’ or ‘developmental’ welfare states. In a detailed, but yet encompassing, analysis this paper investigates first and foremost if the East Asian countries are in fact welfare states and secondly to what extent these countries constitute one homogeneous fourth welfare type, differing from the traditional and other emerging welfare regimes. In order to study the latter a fuzzy set ideal type analysis is carried out. The paper demonstrates that the presence of welfare characteristics in the region cannot be denied. The term ‘welfare state’, however, appears to be too strong because the state itself is responsible for very little welfare creation. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the dissimilarities within the East Asian region are minor compared to the differences with respect to the traditional and other emerging welfare regimes. Therefore, this paper pleads in favor of the existence of one overarching East Asian welfare regime.
    Keywords: Confucianism, East Asia, Fuzzy set ideal type analysis, productivism, social and economic policy, welfare states
    JEL: H5 I31 I38
    Date: 2014–06
  4. By: Ramon L. Clarete (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Ernesto M. Pernia (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Ammielou Gaduena (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Adrian Mendoza (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: Starting with the premise that technological innovation and economic growth are interactive and mutually reinforcing, this paper argues that in order to have a fighting chance in the Asean Economic Community (AEC), let alone global, competition, the Philippines (PH) needs to appreciably ramp up investment spending in science, engineering, and research and development. To the extent that this is achieved – along with the other ongoing policy and institutional reforms – the economy could in time be on a stronger platform to face up to AEC challenges. The paper first revisits PH’s macro-economy, poverty, and economic sectors vis-à-vis its Asean and East Asian neighbors. Next, it examines PH’s regional and global competitiveness. Then, it looks into the country’s current human resource and intellectual capital investments, mainly in higher education and technical/vocational training, as well as in R&D and innovation. A more focused discussion on the University of the Philippines – the “national university” – vis-à-vis its comparators in AEC, including ways to improve its competitiveness, follows. The final section concludes with some recommendations.
    Keywords: Science and technology (S & T), Research and development (R & D), Economic development, Higher education institutions (HEIs), Economic integration, Asean, Philippines
    JEL: F15 J24 O O3 O31
    Date: 2014–06
  5. By: Gregg Huff (Pembroke College); Gillian Huff (Department of History)
    Abstract: This working paper analyzes demographic change in Southeast Asia’s main cities during and soon after the World War II Japanese occupation. We argue that two main patterns of population movements are evident. In food-deficit areas, a search for food security typically led to large net inflows to main urban centres. By contrast, an urban exodus dominated in food surplus regions because the chief risk was to personal safety, especially from Japanese and Allied bombing. Black markets were ubiquitous, and essential to sustaining livelihoods in cities with food-deficit hinterlands. In Rangoon and Manila, wartime population fluctuations were enormous. Famines in Java and northern Indochina severely impacted Jakarta and Hanoi through inflows of people from rural areas. In most countries, the war’s aftermath of refugees, revolution and political disruption generated major rural-urban population relocations. Turmoil in the 1940s had the permanent consequences of augmenting the primacy of Southeast Asia’s main cities and promoting squatter settlement.
    Keywords: urbanization, Southeast Asia, famine, World War II, entitlements, Japan
    JEL: N15 N90 N95 R11
    Date: 2014–04–20
  6. By: Israel, Danilo C.; Ballesteros, Marife M.
    Abstract: Economic growth in the Philippines has not been accompanied by significant improvements in employment. Government thus implemented Active Labor Market Programs or ALMPs as one of the strategies to improve employability of disadvantaged sectors. The programs are specifically targeted to skilled, semi-skilled, and low-skilled workers in the community through the infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects of national government agencies, local government units, government-owned and -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, and public-private partnerships in the national, regional, provincial, city, and municipal levels. Overall, ALMPs have been primarily adopted as stop-gap measures to address adverse effects of economic crisis on employment. The employment performance of these programs appears transitory and short term. Although some programs exceeded the employment targets, it is not clear how these numbers are translated at the macro level. The programs are apparently intended to address other social issues such as poverty reduction, social/human development or community development rather than for providing net employment impact. These inferences however need to be validated through in-depth impact analysis of specific programs, which has not been possible under this study. To provide effective evaluation of these studies, there is a need to create convergence and agreements among key departments with regards to the methodology and definitions in identification and counting of jobs. The absence of central monitoring and evaluation office in each department has also created difficulty in identifying and integrating information and data.
    Keywords: Philippines, employment, active labor market program (ALMP)
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Manasan, Rosario G.; Parel, Danileen Kristel C.
    Abstract: The importance of tertiary education in promoting human development and improving the economy`s competitiveness has already been realized. However, state universities and colleges (SUCs) have always faced issues such as the quality of education, management and financial systems, and access, despite considerable funding support provided by the government. This study, which is an extension of a previous work to include all SUCs in the Philippines, aims to (i) review and assess the programs being offered by SUCs vis-a-vis their mandates, the courses being offered by other SUCs in the region, and the quality of graduates produced; and (ii) recommend courses of action to improve the relevance and quality of course offerings of the SUCs. A review of the mandates of the SUCs in the Philippines indicates that the mandates of a number of SUCs are fairly broad to start with. But beyond this, the charters of most SUCs allow them to offer programs outside of their core mandates. Given the broad mandates of SUCs, it is not surprising that there is substantial duplication in their program offerings relative to those of private higher education institutions (PHEIs) and other SUCs in the same region where they operate. Moreover, high rates of program duplication appeared to be associated by an increase in the number of programs offered by SUCs during the period. At the same time, the quality of instruction in Philippine higher education has remained stagnant at a low level over the years. Although SUCs perform better than PHEIs in over 84 percent of professional board examinations (PBEs), SUCs have been able to improve their advantage further relative to PHEIs in the last seven years in about 31 percent of the PBEs where SUCs have an edge over PHEIs, but the lead that SUCs used to enjoy in the early part of the period has been eroded in over 69 percent of these PBEs. More worrisome is the preponderance of SUCs/PHEIs with zero passing rates in many PBEs in 2004-2011. Furthermore, closer scrutiny of SUCs` passing rate in PBEs indicate that a good number of them post passing rates that are well below the national average passing rate year after year. Given these findings, it is recommended that (i) the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) enforces more vigorously its policy of closing existing programs of SUCs and PHEIs alike where these HEIs` performance is under par year after year; (ii) the CHED ensures that SUC program offerings comply with its policies, standards, and guidelines; (iii) the CHED weighs the advantages/disadvantages of centralization over decentralization with respect to the monitoring of SUCs; (iv) the CHED regional director becomes a regular member of the SUC Board; (v) the normative funding formula is adjusted so that SUCs do not get an additional subsidy from the national government for the additional enrollment resulting from their offering popular programs (i.e., SUCs may be allowed to offer popular programs provided they meet CHED standards and shoulder the full cost of doing so); and (vi) in order to uplift the overall quality of instruction, the more effective measures, such as faculty development and facilities upgrading, be considered.
    Keywords: education, Philippines, state universities and colleges (SUCs), program offerings, mandates, duplication, board exam, passing rates
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Department of Budget and Management
    Abstract: This article compares the costs and benefits for the government of leasing vis-a-vis outright purchase of motor vehicles. It presents two methods through which public managers can estimate and assess the value of procuring motor vehicles either under lease payment or direct purchase. Using data from selected government agencies, the net present values generated suggest that outright purchase of low-end vehicles is preferable to leasing. For high-end models, leasing offers a more practical option. The findings, however, are far from conclusive because assumptions regarding the variables and input data are subject to change. Results can be significantly improved with better and more accurate statistics. To gain sufficient understanding of the issue, factors other than those covered by the study, i.e., economies of scale and entry of commercial banks, must also be explored.
    Keywords: government procurement, Philippines, zero-based budgeting, all-purpose vehicles, lease payment, motor vehicle acquisition, direct purchase
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Barbara Bre?ko (JRC/IPTS); Panagiotis Kampylis (JRC/IPTS); Yves Punie (JRC/IPTS)
    Abstract: Technologies for learning are considered as key enablers of educational innovation. However, their full potential is not being realised in formal education settings and major questions are being asked about the sustainability, systemic impact and mainstreaming of ICT-enabled learning innovations (ICT-ELI) in Europe. This report presents 60 recommendations for immediate strategies and actions to be undertaken by policy-makers at local, regional, national, and EU level to further develop and mainstream ICT-ELI with systemic impact, contributing to the modernisation of Education and Training systems in Europe. The recommendations were developed in the context of the 'Up scaling Creative Classrooms in Europe (SCALE CCR) project, carried out by JRC-IPTS on behalf of the European Commission, DG Education and Culture, based on desk research; case reports from Europe and Asia; continuous stakeholders consultations; and in-depth expert interviews. The final set of recommendations was further validated and prioritised through an online consultation with 149 educational stakeholders. The recommendations were clustered into seven areas presenting a holistic agenda to guide the further development and mainstreaming of ICT-ELI: Content and Curricula; Assessment; School Staff Professional Development; Research; Organisation and Leadership; Connectedness; and Infrastructure. The number and variety of the recommendations provided depict the complexity of ICT-ELI and the systemic approach needed for their mainstreaming across Education and Training systems in Europe.
    Keywords: ICT-enabled innovation for learning, Creative Classrooms, conditions for sustainability and scalability of educational innovation, recommendations for policy actions
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 I29
    Date: 2014–03
  10. By: Toby C. Monsod (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Sharon A. Piza
    Abstract: The following note seeks to clarify the appreciation of data pertaining to agrarian reform as used in the discussion paper “CARP: time to let go” (henceforth Fabella (2014)). Fabella (2014) has three parts: the first part argues that “the cumulative weight of evidence suggests that the hypothesis that in economic terms CARP is a government failure has not been rejected.” The second part offers possible reasons for that failure. The third part concludes, saying it is time to let go.
    Keywords: CARP, agrarian reform, agriculture
    Date: 2014–03

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