nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2014‒06‒22
eight papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. The Determinants of Inflation in Vietnam: VAR and SVAR Approaches By Tuan Anh Phan
  2. Inequality of Opportunity in Health in Indonesia By Florence Jusot; Sabine Mage; Marta Menendez
  3. Encouraging health insurance for the informal sector : a cluster randomized trial By Wagstaff, Adam; Nguyen, Ha Thi Hong; Dao, Huyen; Balesd, Sarah
  4. Poverty Reduction Potential of Increasing Smallholder Access to Land. By Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Jayne, T. S.
  5. The Mechanics of Real Undervaluation and Growth By Wlasiuk, Juan Marcos
  6. Do Philippine Households Lead a Carbon Intensive Lifestyle? By Moises Neil V. Seriño
  7. Axiomatizing Multi-Prize Contests: A Perspective from Complete Ranking of Players By Jingfeng Lu; Zhewei Wang;
  8. Fiscal Stimulus and HouseholdsÕ Non-Durable Consumption Expenditures: Evidence from the 2009 Australian Nation Building and Jobs Plan By Emma Aisbett; Markus Brueckner; Ralf Steinhauser; Rhett Wilcox

  1. By: Tuan Anh Phan (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper employs Vector Autoregressive (VAR) and Structural VAR (SVAR) models to analyse VietnamÕs inflation determinants using quarterly data from 1996 to 2012. The results suggest that: (i) the inflation responses to monetary policy shocks are plausible and similar to standard monetary transmission in advanced economies; (ii) the policy interest rate plays an important role to inflation variation, which differs with what have been found in previous studies for Vietnam; and (iii) shocks to output and prices in trading partners have strong effects on inflation in Vietnam, while international oil and rice prices seem not to systematically affect VietnamÕs inflation. Moreover, the State Bank of Vietnam does use monetary policy tools to ease down the inflationary pressure caused by foreign factors.
    JEL: E52 E2
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Florence Jusot (Université de Rouen, CREAM, Université Paris-Dauphine and PSL Research University,); Sabine Mage (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD UMR DIAL); Marta Menendez (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD UMR DIAL)
    Abstract: Whereas health equity issues are undoubtedly more relevant in developing countries, research on health inequalities and, more specifically, on inequality of opportunity in the health dimension, remains scarce in this context. This paper explores the degree of inequality of opportunity in health in a developing country, using the 2007 Indonesian Family Life Survey, a large-scale survey with extremely rich information about individual health outcomes (biomarkers and self-reports) and individual circumstances. We compute a continuous synthetic index of global health status based on a comprehensive set of health indicators and subsequently implement non-parametric and parametric methods in order to quantify the level of inequality of opportunity in the health dimension. Our results show large inequality of opportunities in health in Indonesia, compared to European countries. Concerning transmission mechanisms, parental (particularly maternal) vital status appears as the main channel. Compared to what has been observed in more developed countries, the effect of parental education on health is relatively smaller, and mainly indirect (passing through descendants’ socioeconomic, marital and migration statuses), while the existence of long-term differences in health related to religion, language spoken and particularly province of location suggest a relatively higher relevance of community belonging variables for health equity in the context of a developing country as Indonesia. _________________________________ Les pays en développement sont particulièrement concernés par la question des inégalités de santé et notamment celle de l’inégalité des chances. Néanmoins, très peu de travaux sont proposés dans le cadre des économies en développement. Cet article étudie l’ampleur des inégalités des chances en matière de santé en Indonésie à partir de données recueillies par l’enquête IFLS (Indonesian Family Life Survey) de 2007 qui propose une information individuelle détaillée sur l’état de santé (bio-marqueurs et auto-évaluation) mais aussi sur l’environnement socio- économique. Un indicateur synthétique continu de l’état de santé global calculé à partir d’un ensemble complet d’informations sur la santé est dans un premier temps proposé. Des méthodes paramétriques et non paramétriques sont ensuite mobilisées pour mesurer le niveau de l’inégalité des chances dans le domaine de la santé. Les résultats mettent en évidence une importante inégalité des chances relative à l’état de santé en Indonésie par rapport au niveau d’inégalité observée dans les pays européens. Le principal vecteur de transmission de l’inégalité est le statut de santé des parents (statut vital) et en particulier celui de la mère. L’impact du niveau d’éducation des parents est indirect (agissant sur l’environnement socio-économique, le statut marital et la migration des descendants) et est beaucoup plus faible que celui généralement observé dans des économies plus développées. Les disparités à long terme de l’état de santé liées à la religion, à la langue pratiquée et plus encore à la région d’habitation suggèrent que les variables d’appartenance communautaire sont prépondérantes pour analyser la question de l’équité en santé dans un pays en développement comme l’Indonésie.
    Keywords: Equality of opportunity; health, Indonesia, stochastic dominance, continuous health index, Egalité des chances ; santé ; Indonésie ; dominance stochastique ; indicateur continu de santé
    JEL: D63 I14 O15
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Wagstaff, Adam; Nguyen, Ha Thi Hong; Dao, Huyen; Balesd, Sarah
    Abstract: Subsidized voluntary enrollment in government-run health insurance schemes is often proposed as a way of increasing coverage among informal sector workers and their families. This paper reports the results of a cluster randomized control trial in which 3,000 households in 20 communes in Vietnam were randomly assigned at baseline to a control group or one of three treatments: an information leaflet about Vietnam’s government-run scheme and the benefits of health insurance; a voucher entitling eligible household members to 25 percent off their annual premium; and both. The four groups were balanced at baseline. In the control group, 6.3 percent (82/1296) of individuals were enrolled in the endline, compared with 6.3 percent (79/1257), 7.2 percent (96/1327), and 7.0 percent (87/1245) in the information, subsidy, and combined intervention groups; the adjusted odds ratios were 0.94, 1.12, and 1.15, respectively. Only among those reporting poor health were any significant intervention effects found, and only for the combined intervention: an enrollment rate of 16.3 percent (33/202) compared with 8.3 percent (18/218) in the control group, and an adjusted odds ratio of 2.50. The results suggest limited opportunities to raise voluntary health insurance enrollment through information campaigns and subsidies, and that these interventions exacerbate adverse selection.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Health Economics&Finance,Health Systems Development&Reform,Health Law,Housing&Human Habitats
    Date: 2014–06–01
  4. By: Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Jayne, T. S.
    Abstract: Economists have long held that broad-based agricultural growth is the most powerful source of poverty reduction in developing countries where most of the rural population is engaged in agriculture (Johnston and Mellor 1961; Mellor 1974; Lipton 2006). However, in Zambia’s case, despite sustained and fairly robust agricultural growth since 2000, rural poverty levels have remained at about 80% over the past 15 years. This indicates that productivity in the agricultural sector needs to be increased, especially considering that no country, apart from the island economies of Singapore and Hong Kong, has been able to sustain rapid transition out of poverty without raising the productivity in its agricultural sector.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Wlasiuk, Juan Marcos
    Abstract: The media and policy makers often mention that China manipulates its real exchange rate (RER) in order to improve its exports and boost growth. This view, however, is not supported by the most prominent economic models, which do not predict a positive relationship between real undervaluation and economic growth. I propose a 3-sector model with labor market frictions that explains how a policy aimed at increasing domestic savings and depreciating the RER can, at the same time, generate real growth through a reallocation of workers from a low-productivity traditional sector into a high-productivity manufacturing sector. The policy is particularly effective in countries with relative abundance of labor, scarcity of agricultural resources, and high barriers for the entry of workers into the manufacturing sector. Empirically, I verify that higher real undervaluation (measured as deviations from PPP) is positively associated with GDP and manufacturing growth in countries with lower per capita agricultural land and higher rural population. The relationship vanishes and even becomes negative in the opposite cases. Finally, I propose a simple methodology for the identification of real depreciations exogenously induced (i.e. that are not related to changes in productivities or in terms of trade). I find that, during the last 20 years, such episodes have been mainly observed in East Asian developing countries.
    Keywords: Real Exchange Rate, Growth, Labor Market Frictions, Urban-Rural Migration, China
    JEL: E5 E58 F31 F43 J61 O11
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Moises Neil V. Seriño (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: This paper estimates carbon emission from household consumption and investigates its determinants. We derive total household carbon emission by using the mechanism of input-output analysis combine with household expenditure for 2005 and 2006. Our estimation shows that fuel and light followed by transportation are the most carbon intensive goods while nondurable goods are the least carbon intensive. After controlling for household characteristics, the analyses reveal that income has a significant nonlinear relationship with carbon emission depicting an inverted U-shaped. However, when using asset index as proxy for households’ economic status, no turning point is observed and emission increases as households accumulate more assets. Quintile estimates show that there is a huge disparity in emission between households from the poorest quintile and richest quintile. With this, an option for low-carbon consumption is deemed necessary; else it is imminent that households tend to lead a carbon intensive lifestyle as they get more affluent.
    Keywords: carbon emission; household consumption; income quintiles; input-output
    JEL: Q56 R15 R20 D12
    Date: 2014–06–18
  7. By: Jingfeng Lu (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore); Zhewei Wang (School of Economics, Shandong University);
    Abstract: Multiple prizes are usually awarded in contests (e.g., internal promotions, school admissions, sports, etc), and players exert effort to increase their chances for winning a higher prize. A multi-prize contest model must provide each player's probabilities of winning each prize as functions of all players.efforts. This paper generalizes the ax-iomatization framework of Skaperdas (1996) and Clark and Riis (1998a) by considering the probabilities of complete rankings of players for their given efforts. Necessary and sufficient axioms are identi.ed to axiomatize the widely adopted multi-prize nested lottery contest of Clark and Riis (1996a), as well as its mirror image, the "reverse"nested lottery contests recently proposed by Fu, Lu and Wang (2014). The axioms of Skaperdas (1996) and Clark and Riis (1998a) need to be appropriately reformulated (and thus reinterpreted) from the ranking perspective. The axiomatization requires one new axiom of .Independence from Irrelevant Ranks.(IIR) if and only if the contest in- volves (strictly) more than three players. Our axiomatization framework integrates the single-prize and multi-prize lottery contest models, it also the conventional and reverse nested lottery contests and further illustrates their .mirror image.relationship.
    JEL: O11 N45
    Date: 2014–06
  8. By: Emma Aisbett (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University; University of Hamburg); Markus Brueckner (National University of Singapore); Ralf Steinhauser (University of Hamburg); Rhett Wilcox (The Australian Treasury)
    Abstract: In 2009 the Australian government delivered approximately $8 billion in direct payments to households. These payments were pre- announced and randomly allocated to households based on postal codes over a 5-week period. We exploit this random allocation to estimate the causal response of households' non-durable consumption expenditures to a transitory, anticipated income increase. Our main findings are that: (i) non-durable consumption expenditures did not react significantly during or after the one-time, pre-announced transfer; (ii) there is a small, albeit statistically significant increase in non-durable consumption expenditures at the time of the announcement of the fiscal stimulus.
    JEL: E62 E21 H31 D91
    Date: 2014–01

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