nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2014‒10‒17
fourteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Economic Implications of Deeper South Asian–Southeast Asian Integration : A CGE Approach By Ganeshan Wignaraja; Peter Morgan; Michael Plummer; Fan Zhai
  2. Gender Equality in the Labor Market in the Philippines By Asian Development Bank (ADB); ; ;
  3. Export Performance and Economic Growth: Co-integration and causality analysis for Malaysia, 1966-96 Creation Date: 1999 By M.A.B. Siddique; E.A. Selvanathan
  4. Thailand's Openness and Implications for Economic and Trade Policy: An Econometric Study By Thanet WATTANAKUL
  5. Tracking Progress Toward Providing Sustainable Energy for All in East Asia and the Pacific By Elisa Portale; Joeri de Wit
  6. Impact Assessment of Thailand’s Promotion of Strategic Export Industries: A Computable General Equilibrium Model (CGE) Approach By Kriengsak CHAREONWONGSAK
  7. The Impact of Cooking with Firewood on Respiratory Health: Evidence from Indonesia By Ani Rudra Silwal; Andy McKay
  8. Long Run Energy Consumption Model for Thailand: Static and Dynamic Systems of Demand Equations By Paitoon Kraipornsak
  9. Enterprises in the Philippines: Dynamism and Constraints to Employment Growth By Khor, Niny; Sebastian, Iva; Aldaba, Rafaelita
  11. ASEAN Food Security: Towards a More Comprhensive Framework By Alan Khee-Jin Tan
  12. Philippines: 2014 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Press Release By International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
  13. Economic Impact of Trade Exhibitions on the City-State Singapore Economy By Yong Cao; Michael; Li Zhi-feng
  14. Initial-Condition Free Estimation of Fixed Effects Dynamic Panel Data Models By Zhenlin Yang

  1. By: Ganeshan Wignaraja (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)); Peter Morgan; Michael Plummer; Fan Zhai
    Abstract: South and Southeast Asian economic integration via increased trade flows has been increasing significantly over the past 2 decades, but the level of trade continues to be relatively low. This underperformance has been due to both policy-related variables—relatively high tariff and non-tariff barriers—and high trade costs due to inefficient “hard†and “soft†infrastructure (costly transport links and problems related to trade facilitation). The goal of this study is to estimate the potential gains from South Asian–Southeast Asian economic integration using an advanced computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. The paper estimates the potential gains to be large, particularly for South Asia, assuming that the policy- and infrastructure-related variables that increase trade costs are reduced via economic cooperation and investment in connectivity. As Myanmar is a key inter-regional bridge and has recently launched ambitious, outward-oriented policy reforms, the prospects for making progress in these areas are strong. If the two regions succeed in dropping inter-regional tariffs, reducing non-tariff barriers by 50%, and decreasing South Asian–Southeast Asian trade costs by 15%—which this paper suggests is ambitious but attainable—welfare in South Asia and Southeast Asia would rise by 8.9% and 6.4% of gross domestic product, respectively, by 2030 relative to the baseline. These gains would be driven by rising exports and competitiveness, particularly for South Asia, whose exports would rise by two thirds (64% relative to the baseline). Hence, the paper concludes that improvements in connectivity would justify a high level of investment. Moreover, it supports a two-track approach to integration in South Asia, i.e., deepening intra-regional cooperation together with building links to Southeast Asia.
    Keywords: South Asian–Southeast Asian Integration, CGE approach, intra-regional cooperation, South Asia, Southeast Asia
    JEL: C68 F12 F13 F15 F17
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); (Regional and Sustainable Development Department, ADB); ;
    Abstract: Based on an analysis of gender inequalities, strategies and promising initiatives to counter gender discrimination and promote equality between men and women in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines, as well as an inventory of global good legal, economic, and social practices, this report summarizes the findings and recommendations for Cambodia. It shows how to improve equitable employment opportunities, remuneration and treatment for women and men at work to support the development of decent work and gender equality good practices in the country. The report is part of a series consisting of: •Good Global Economic and Social Practices to Promote Gender Equality in the Labor Market •Good Global Legal Practices to Promote Gender Equality in the Labor Market •Gender Equality and the Labor Market: Cambodia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines •Gender Equality in the Labor Market in Cambodia •Gender Equality in the Labor Market in the Philippines.
    Keywords: gender; women; labor market; global practices; legal; gender equality; ADB; ILO; GAD; gender and development; technical assistance; gender mainstreaming; discrimination; legislation; access to work; working women; recruitment; employment; international standards; minimum wage; equal remuneration; sexual harassment; labor clauses; public contracts; security; formal employment; informal employment; part-time work; short-term contracts; home workers; domestic workers; rural workers; entrepreneurs; cooperatives; social protection; maternity care; family leave; child care; association; collective bargaining; freedom of association; social dialogue
    Date: 2014–02
  3. By: M.A.B. Siddique; E.A. Selvanathan
  4. By: Thanet WATTANAKUL
  5. By: Elisa Portale; Joeri de Wit
    Keywords: Energy - Energy Demand Energy - Energy and Environment Power and Energy Conversion Energy - Energy Production and Transportation Environment - Environment and Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Kriengsak CHAREONWONGSAK
  7. By: Ani Rudra Silwal (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom); Andy McKay (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: The vast majority of households in low-income countries cook with firewood, which is known to produce various airborne toxins. We examine whether cooking with firewood results in poorer respiratory health by using a unique Indonesian household survey that collected direct measures of lung capacity. We find that individuals living in households that cook with firewood have 11.2 per cent lower lung capacity than those that cook with cleaner fuels. This impact is larger for women and children than for men. The results strongly support the international policy focus on encouraging households to switch to cooking with cleaner fuels.
    Keywords: Health production; Indoor air pollution; Household energy use
    JEL: I12 Q53 O13
    Date: 2014–09
  8. By: Paitoon Kraipornsak
  9. By: Khor, Niny (Asian Development Bank); Sebastian, Iva (Asian Development Bank); Aldaba, Rafaelita (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to analyze the factors affecting the growth of enterprises in the Philippines, as measured from the expansion of employment. The paper contributes to the literature in two ways. First, it attempts to provide a comprehensive background of the various policies and legislations that affect firms in the country. Second, using micro-level data of the firms in 2009, we correlate the observed growth of these firms with reported constraints in the business environment within which these firms operate, to investigate which ones are binding constraints. We find significant correlations between a subset of these indicators of business climates and the issues raised in previous literature, and the effects vary across firms of different sizes. Given the challenging global climate in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, more than a third of these firms expanded their payroll and majority saw growth in real sales. Amidst a sea of subjective self-reported responses, we manage to find certain empirical regularities that withstand a battery of robustness checks. These correlations between a subset of indicators for business climates and the growth or expansion of firms may shed some light on future potential policies to assist these firms, as well as provide directions for further research.
    Keywords: SMEs; enterprise; employment; constraints; growth
    JEL: D20 D24 L25
    Date: 2013–02–01
  10. By: Christina Koutra (Bournemouth University, UK)
    Abstract: Tourism was given an exemplary importance in developmental priorities due to its ability to bring revenues over a short duration at a macroeconomic level. It can be a vehicle of income earning openings, cultural revitalisation, enhancing awareness of issues related to the environmental and cultural sustainability and contributing to the improvement of local government. In the course of time though it was realised that tourism development at a micro-grassroots’ level for poverty reduction needs to address responsibly the unique interests and unique conditions of the poverty stricken ones; and in this case that of the ethnic impoverished minorities such as the Red Dao and Black H’mong in Ta Phin, Sapa, Vietnam. Hence the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which is closely linked to poverty reduction needs to be considered at a governmental and external agency level in order meet the sustainable needs of the ethnic minorities. An exploratory, participative, approach to research was undertaken for the data collection whilst grounded theory was employed for data analysis. The findings indicated that socially responsibility can only be implemented when there is acknowledgement of the unique culture of the destination; there is development of the informal sector; there is infrastructural adequacy; investment in social infrastructure; networking; marketing and promotion; and access to credit.
    Date: 2013–09
  11. By: Alan Khee-Jin Tan (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: This Policy Brief presents an overview of the barriers facing air transport liberalization in ASEAN. It lays out the policies that governments should undertake to overcome these barriers, particularly in light of rapid changes in the aviation industry. It also assesses the incomplete or unfinished nature of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM) that necessitates further liberalizing steps beyond 2015. In particular, more meaningful market access and ownership/control relaxations must be pursued to deal with the increasing competition from airlines outside the region. A united external policy is also required to enhance ASEAN’s negotiating position vis-á-vis other countries and blocs.
    Date: 2014–04
  12. By: International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
    Abstract: KEY ISSUES Context. Growth remains rapid, but has moderated from the 7¼ percent recorded in 2013. Remittances and accommodative monetary and financial conditions remain the primary growth drivers, despite volatile capital flows, slowing activity in the region and severe natural disasters. Inflation has picked up to over 4 percent, while the current account remains in surplus. Local financial markets were moderately impacted by the Fed’s “taper talk and action,†weakening the peso and equity prices. Credit growth has quickened, especially to construction. Potential growth has risen to about 6?6¼ percent. However, persistent weakness in the business climate is a risk to sustained growth and hinders job creation. Foreign ownership restrictions, inadequate infrastructure and high doing-business costs have held back overall investment and employment. Along with frequent natural disasters, this has kept poverty elevated, thereby sustaining outward migration. Outlook and risks. Normalizing financial conditions are forecast to ease growth to 6?6½ percent over the medium term, while keeping inflation within the band and moderating the current account surplus. Abrupt changes in global financial conditions and a sharp growth slowdown in EMs are among the external growth risks. On the domestic front, excessive flow of real and financial resources to the property sector could increase volatility of asset prices and GDP growth over the longer run. Policy recommendations. A more restrictive policy stance is needed to preserve macro- financial stability, with rebalancing of the mix to allow higher public investment spending, while implementing reforms to sustain vibrant growth and make it more inclusive: • Absorbing liquidity and raising official interest rates would address second-round inflation effects and potential overheating and financial stability risks. Allowing the exchange rate to adjust more fully to structural inflows, while smoothing the effect of cyclical flows, would limit further sustained reserve buildup. • Addressing specific risks from real estate and large credit exposures requires further targeted measures and broadening the BSP’s mandate to include financial stability. This would help prevent diversion of systemic risk to shadow banking and strengthen tools to manage risks from deepening cross-border financial integration. • Raising the fiscal deficit from below 1½ percent of GDP in 2013 to 2 percent of GDP in 2014 to accommodate reconstruction spending should be accompanied by tighter monetary and financial conditions. Mobilizing sizable additional stable revenue would ensure room for structural spending priorities while preserving fiscal prudence. • Improving the investment climate by relaxing foreign ownership limits, reducing red tape, limiting tax holidays, and reducing labor and product market rigidities would enhance competition, support PPP execution and create employment opportunities within the Philippines.
    Keywords: Article IV consultation reports;Economic growth;Monetary policy;Financial sector;Fiscal policy;Government expenditures;Revenue mobilization;Economic indicators;Debt sustainability analysis;Staff Reports;Press releases;Philippines;
    Date: 2014–08–08
  13. By: Yong Cao; Michael; Li Zhi-feng
  14. By: Zhenlin Yang (School of Economics, Singapore Management University, Singapore, 178903)
    Abstract: It is well known that (quasi) MLE of dynamic panel data (DPD) models with short panels depends on the assumptions on the initial values; ignoring them or a wrong treatment of them will result in inconsistency or serious bias. This paper introduces a initial-condition free method for estimating the fixed-effects DPD models, through a simple modification of the quasi-score. An outer-product-of-gradients (OPG) method is also proposed for robust inference. The MLE of Hsiao, Pesaran and Tahmiscioglu (2002, Journal of Econometrics), where the initial observations are modeled, is extended to quasi MLE and an OPG method is proposed for robust inference. Consistency and asymptotic normality for both estimation strategies are established, and the two methods are compared through Monte Carlo simulations. The proposed method performs well in general, whether the panel is short or not. The quasi MLE performs comparably, except when model does not contain time-varying regressor, or the panel is not short and the dynamic parameter is small. The proposed method is much simpler and easier to apply.
    Keywords: Bias reduction; Consistency; Asymptotic normality; Dynamic panel; Fixed effects; Modified quasi-score; Robust standard error; Short panel
    JEL: C10 C13 C23 C15
    Date: 2014–09

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