nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2014‒12‒03
sixteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Trade Balance, Foreign Exchange and Macroeconomic Impacts: An Empirical Assessment for China and Malaysia By Chan, Tze-Haw
  2. Social Protection in the Mekong: policy trends and future directions By Cousins, Mel
  3. Dynamic Analysis of Exchange Rate Regimes : Policy Implications for Emerging Countries in Asia By Naoyuki Yoshino; Sahoko Kaji; Tamon Asonuma
  4. Public Goods and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from Deforestation in Indonesia By Alberto Alesina; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo
  5. Dairy Products Expenditure Pattern in Vietnam: Effects of Household Characteristics on Expenditure for Dairy Products By Phuong, Nguyen Van; Cuong, Tran Huu; Mergenthaler, Marcus
  6. Effect of Credit Constraints on Children’s Academic Performance in Vietnam By Hur, Yoon Sun
  7. Does Commercial Microfinance Belong to the Financial Sector? Lessons from the Stock Market By Szafarz, Ariane; Brière, Marie
  8. Assessing the impact of ASEAN economic integration on labour markets By Plummer, Michael G; Petri, Peter A; Zhai, Fan
  9. Indonesian Higher Education: Gaps in Access and School Choice By Mohamad Fahmi
  10. How do business practices affect micro and small firms’ performance in a low-income economy? An analysis using dynamic panel data By Trinh, Long; Sonobe, Tetsushi
  11. Protected areas and deforestation : new results from high resolution panel data By Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Wheeler, David
  12. Efficiency Gains from Removing Trade Barriers: Evidence from Asian Banking Industries By Kai Du
  13. Building Organic Bridges: Volume 3, Indonesia - Sri Lanka By Rahmann, Gerold (Ed.); Aksoy, Uygun (Ed.)
  14. Market Structure and Competition: Assessment of Malaysian Pharmaceutical Industry based on the Modified Structure-Conduct-Performance Paradigm By Chong, Hooi Ying; Chan, Tze-Haw
  15. The ASEAN Free Trade Agreement: How Effective? By Vaishnavi Venkatesh; Ranajoy Bhattacharyya
  16. Markket Integration and Energy Trade Efficiency: An Application of Malmqvist Index to Analyse Multi-Product Trade By Yu SHENG; Yanrui WU; Xunpeng SHI; Dandan ZHANG

  1. By: Chan, Tze-Haw
    Abstract: China appears as the biggest trading partner for ASEAN economy but it is inconclusive whether the complementarities between China and regional economies offset China’s competitive threat. We assess if real exchange fluctuations and the demand-supply channels determine the Malaysia-China trade balances in the global crises era, 1997-2010. The findings reveal that despite the long run effect of real exchange on trade balances, the Keynesian demand channel was not uphold during and after the global financial crisis – due to the contractionary effect on Malaysian output. Currency devaluation for exports gains is insufficient to sustain Malaysia output expansion against China. Further productivity growth in real and tradable sectors is essentially needed. Meanwhile, the Chinese inflation impact is not evident following the foreign exchange shock and, the study generally supports the complementary role of China in the Malaysia-China bilateral trading.
    Keywords: Trade Balances, Contractionary effect, global crises, bootstrapping, VARX, VECMX
    JEL: C51 F41
    Date: 2014–01–11
  2. By: Cousins, Mel
    Abstract: The paper analyses the current and possible future development of social protection systems in three Mekong countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam. The three countries are at differing levels of development but face a number of shared challenges including poverty and malnutrition, climate change and food price volatility. Their social protection systems range from an embryonic system in Laos to an ‘emerging’ system in Viet Nam. Following an overview of the three countries and their social protection systems (drawing on the ADB comparative Social Protection Index), we discuss in detail the social protection system in each country, the impact of that system and the role and impact of development partners. This section also looks at key future developments. Part 3 discusses a number of key challenges facing social protection systems and part 4 concludes with a discussion on the possible future directions in social protection in the region.
    Keywords: Social protection, south-east Asia, Mekong, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, welfare state
    JEL: I31 I38
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Naoyuki Yoshino (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)); Sahoko Kaji; Tamon Asonuma
    Abstract: This paper discusses desirable exchange rate regimes and how countries can shift from their current regimes to these regimes over the medium term. We demonstrate the superiority of a basket-peg regime with the basket weight rule over a floating regime with the interest rate rule or the money supply rule in small open economies, during periods when volatility of exchange rates is moderate. Countries which currently have fixed exchange rates would be better moving toward either a basket-peg or a floating regime over the medium term. A shift to a basket-peg regime is preferred when exchange rate fluctuations are large.
    Keywords: Southeast Asia, East Asia, exchange rate regime, Emerging Countries, basket-peg regime, floating regime
    JEL: E42 F33 F41 F42
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Alberto Alesina; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo
    Abstract: We show that the level of deforestation in Indonesia is positively correlated with the degree of ethnic fractionalization of the communities. We explore several channels that may link the two variables. They include the negative effect of ethnic fractionalization on the ability to coordinate and organize resistance against logging companies and a higher level of corruption of politicians less controlled in more fragmented communities.
    JEL: H0 O1
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Phuong, Nguyen Van; Cuong, Tran Huu; Mergenthaler, Marcus
    Abstract: In this study, Vietnamese households’ expenditure on dairy products for home consumption is analyzed using the latest Vietnamese Household Living Standard Survey datasets in 2010 (VHLSS 2010). Vietnam is the 20th most important importer of dairy products in the world and it is foreseeable that the demand continues rising. This makes Vietnam a highly potential market for dairy exporting countries and for investors in the dairy industry. The aim of the paper is to analyze the effects of socio-economic and demographic variables on Vietnamese households’ decision to purchase dairy products and how much to spend per capita on these items. A double-hurdle model is estimated to accommodate non-normal and heteroskedastic errors for milk and milk products. The parameter estimates for the demand decision variables are presented in the paper. The results suggest that socio-economic and demographic variables effect household expenditure on dairy products. This may help policy makers to implement policies related to dairy industry, nutrition and food security. The results also are useful for dairy products marketers in planning and developing strategies.
    Keywords: Dairy products, double-hurdle model, household expenditure, VHLSS, Vietnam, Consumer/Household Economics, International Development, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Hur, Yoon Sun
    Abstract: This paper investigate the effect of credit constraints on children’s academic performances in Vietnam. To estimate precise effect, this paper measures the credit constraints directly and address endogeneity of credit constraints. The results tell us that credit constraints have more effect on academic performance of child in younger age.
    Keywords: credit constraints, child education, test score, human capital development, parental decision, vietnam, developing country, Financial Economics, International Development, Labor and Human Capital, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Szafarz, Ariane; Brière, Marie
    Abstract: This paper is the first to draw a global picture of worldwide microfinance equity by taking full advantage of daily quoted prices. We revisit previous findings showing that investors should consider microfinance as a self-standing sector. Our results are threefold. First, microfinance has become less risky and more closely correlated with the financial sector. This convergence is associated with a decline in the proportion of women borrowers. Second, microfinance and finance shares have equivalent currency exposure. Last, introducing a self-standing microfinance sector presents few diversification benefits. This paper confirms that microfinance has changed dramatically during the last decade.
    Keywords: Microfinance; South Africa; Kenya; Indonesia; Bangladesh; Mexico;
    JEL: G11 G15 O16 C58 G21
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Plummer, Michael G; Petri, Peter A; Zhai, Fan
    Abstract: Enhancing regional economic integration has become an important priority for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Building on the ASEAN Free Trade Area, ASEAN has been implementing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) since 2007, scheduled for completion in 2015. The AEC is in many ways the most ambitious economic cooperation programme in the developing world, with its goal being the creation of an economic space in which there will be a free flow of goods, services, foreign direct investment and skilled labour. In addition, ASEAN has cemented free trade areas with six regional partners (Japan, Republic of Korea, People’s Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand and India) and, together with these economies, launched the Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) in November 2012, also with the goal of completion in 2015. This study estimates the implications of the regional integration initiatives on ASEAN Member States using a cutting-edge computable general equilibrium model. In addition to gauging the effects on welfare, trade and economic structure, it considers the ramifications for labour markets. Using detailed data from the labour force surveys available for six ASEAN markets, the paper captures the effects of these initiatives on seven categories of labour at the occupational level. It also includes estimates of the distributional effects of these initiatives for labour relative to other factors (capital and land) and on gender.
    Keywords: labour market, employment, decent work, productivity, wages, economic integration, regional cooperation, ASEAN countries, marché du travail, emploi, travail décent, productivité, salaire, intégration économique, coopération régionale, pays de l'ANASE, mercado de trabajo, empleo, trabajo decente, productividad, salario, integración económica, cooperación regional, países del ASEAN
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Mohamad Fahmi (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University)
    Abstract: I estimate the higher education access gap among individuals who study in different type of upper secondary school. I use a non linear Binder-Oaxaca decomposition as de-pendent variable is a binary choice. The sample data is a household data that pull out from three waves of Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS). The results show that student from public school has higher chances to attend post secondary education as compared to private Islam and private secular group, whereas, private Christian is superior than pub-lic school. The evidence also indicates there are considerable differences between public school, private non-religious and Islamic school graduates in academic achievement and socio-economic characteristics. Parents’ education and academic achievement provides important contribution to a low probability of entering higher education for private non religious school graduates. While father’s education and family income contribute sub-stantially to a low probability of accessing higher education for the private non religious group.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Access; Non-Linier Decomposition
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Trinh, Long; Sonobe, Tetsushi
    Abstract: There has been an increasing interest among economists in the impact of management practices on firm’s productivity. This paper explores how business practices affect firm productivity by using Vietnam’s bi-annual surveys of small firms conducted from 2006 to 2011. We constructed a simple weighted business practice index from 8 indicators. This index is simple but rather suitable for small and medium firms in developing countries. To examine the role of business practices in determining firm performance, production function and determinants of business practice adoption are estimated using the GMM-system method, which allows us to control for the endogeneity of production input, business practices index, and other factors. The results indicate that business practice index has a positive and statistically significant impact on firm productivity, employment and sales growth. As business practice index increases by 1 standard deviation (e.g. by 0.194 points over 1 and 0.173 points), the firm's value added increases by 19.1% to 24.0%. There is no evidence that the education level of the business owners/managers, percentage of employees with college degree on firm productivity. The results suggest that education may have indirect effects on productivity through business practice index. The effect of business practice on firm performance is found to vary across different sub-samples.. Both direct and indirect effects of competition lose their significance when we separately estimate production functions for each group of firms. We also find that for whole sample and for sole proprietorship businesses, the adoption of business practice in last period have a positive and statistically significant effects on the adoption of business practice in this period. However, total factor productivity (estimated from production function without business practice index) in the previous period does not have a strong impact on a firm’s adoption of business practice in this period while previous revenue and value added have a statistically significant impact.
    Keywords: business practice, dynamic panel data, productivity growth, small medium enterprises, microenterprise, Vietnam, Industrial Organization, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2014–05
  11. By: Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Wheeler, David
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effectiveness of protected areas in slowing tropical forest clearing in 64 countries in Asia/Pacific, Africa, and Latin America for the period 2001-2012. The investigation compares deforestation rates inside and within 10 kilometers outside the boundary of protected areas. Annual time series of these deforestation rates were constructed from recently published high-resolution data on forest clearing. For 4,028 parks, panel estimation based on a variety of park characteristics was conducted to test if deforestation is lower in protected areas because of their protected status, or if other factors explain the difference. For a sample of 726 parks established since 2002, a test also was conducted to investigate the effect of park establishment on protection. The findings suggest park size, national park status, and management by indigenous people all have significant association with effective protection across regions. For the Asia/Pacific region, the test offers compelling evidence that park establishment has a near-immediate and powerful effect.
    Keywords: Wildlife Resources,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Climate Change and Environment,Ecosystems and Natural Habitats,Forestry
    Date: 2014–11–01
  12. By: Kai Du (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: This paper employs two stage data envelopment analysis (DEA) to investigate the efficiency effects of removing trade barriers on banking performance for a sample of Asian developing economies over the period 1997-2006. First, the DEA is employed to estimate the efficiency scores of banks. After that, the estimated DEA scores are analysed by density analysis and regressed on indices of trade barriers (Dinh 2008) that represent how restrictive the national trade policies are in the selected banking industries. The empirical evidence shows that deregulation policies that reduce restrictions on foreign banks have enhanced bank efficiency, while the deregulation of domestic banks has not resulted in significant efficiency gains.
    Keywords: Data envelopment analysis, financial deregulation, banking services
    JEL: D21 D24 G21
    Date: 2014–06
  13. By: Rahmann, Gerold (Ed.); Aksoy, Uygun (Ed.)
    Abstract: [Foreword ...] The 18th IFOAM Organic World Congress held on 13-15 October, 2014 in Istanbul-Turkey targets to 'build organic bridges'. The Scientific track will contribute to bridging not only scientists but also institutions and disciplines, and to linking more developed and less developed, rural and urban, research to extension, plant to animal, farm practices to world-wide problems and producer and consumers. Organic is a management system that requires a diversity of inputs from different disciplines, therefore, an international Congress is the best medium to blend them. The Scientific Track is organized with special efforts of the co-organizers, International Society for Organic farming Research (ISOFAR; and EGE University (Turkey; Organic e-prints ( acted as the hub for collection, revision and maintaining of all the papers. There were 568 manuscripts and abstracts received for the Scientific Track. Abstracts were not evaluated since the authors were obliged to submit full papers. About 96 reviewers - 37 from Turkey and 59 from all over the world (ISOFAR network) - contributed to the review process (double-blind: 1 reviewer international, 1 reviewer Turkish, final assessment and decision by the scientific board). At least, 300 papers have been accepted. They are from 51 countries and represent the countries, were 87 % of the global organic farm land and 75 % of the global organic farms are located. It is obvious, that organic farming is practiced world wide (but less the 1 % of the total farm land is managed organically), the organic markets are mainly in the western world (Europe, North America, Japan: 94 %) and the research is mainly done in Europe (publication share in web of science: 84 %, at the 4th ISOFAR congress: 69 %). [...] The papers are ordered by countries (country of the first author), not by sessions or disciplines. These decisions are made to make the proceedings affordable (all volumes can be purchased individually) and to merge and bridge the world and not split by disciplines and sessions. You find search facilities (indexes) to find all papers by discipline, eprint-number, keywords or sessions in each volume. A download of the full proceeding is possible under the webpage of ISOFAR ( and as individual papers under organic eprints ( Due to the fact that all papers together comprise 1,300 pages, the printed Proceedings are split into four volumes. These proceedings comply all submitted, accepted for oral or poster presentation and revised manuscripts, but does not imply that they are all presented. The content of the papers are in responsibility of the authors and do not need to comply with the editors opinion.
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Chong, Hooi Ying; Chan, Tze-Haw
    Abstract: This study assesses the market structure and competitiveness of Malaysian pharmaceutical industry. A panel analysis of 41 pharmaceutical manufacturing firms over 2004-2012 is conducted founded on the modified Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) framework. Our study reveals that the Malaysian pharmaceutical industry is highly concentrated (oligopoly) and the major findings are threefold. First, anti-competitive practices subsist among the pharmaceutical firms. Major players may have greater control over the markets and potentially colluded to gain better profits. Second, selling intensity is evident to raise the firms’ business performance, suggesting that advertisement, marketing campaigns, product differentiations and distribution efforts could be effective in building competencies over the rivals. Third, the study has tackled the endogeneity problem of traditional SCP with dual causal effects found between business conduct and business performance. Firms and authorities should consider the interactive mutual influences of structure-conduct-performance when formulating their respective management decisions and regulatory rules.
    Keywords: Modified Structure-Conduct-Performance, Pharmaceutical Industry, Competition, Panel Regression, Panel Causality
    JEL: D2 I15 L1
    Date: 2014–08–14
  15. By: Vaishnavi Venkatesh (School of Public Policy,George Mason University,3351 N Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22201, United States. phone-+1 703-993-2280); Ranajoy Bhattacharyya (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata, India)
    Abstract: A careful assessment of intra-regional and extra-regional ASEAN trade volumes from 1970 to 2010 reveals that there has been no significant change during the pre- and post-AFTA era. However, researchers working on the effectiveness of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement have consistently reported positive trade creationary effects of AFTA. By reassessing the impact of AFTA through the Balassa method of estimating trade creation and diversion, and applying it to traditional gravity estimates, we find that (a) while ASEAN countries have spent more money per dollar earned on foreign goods in the post-AFTA period, this is generally true for all countries in the world, and (b) being a small region with significant historic trade ties, ASEAN, as a whole has always traded more amongst themselves, when compared to the world average, and this fact has been misrepresented as the trade creationary effects of AFTA. By comparing the coefficients of the regionalism dummies of ASEAN, within the scope of the gravity model, we find that there has been no significant change in these coefficients, when the sample is divided into the pre-and post-AFTA years. We thus conclude that the free trade agreement in question has had no significant impact on intra-ASEAN trade.
    Keywords: ASEAN, Free trade agreement, Trade creation, trade diversion, Regional trade.
    JEL: F12
    Date: 2014–08
  16. By: Yu SHENG (Australian National University); Yanrui WU (University of Western Australia); Xunpeng SHI (National University of Singapore); Dandan ZHANG (Peking University)
    Abstract: As This paper uses the data envelope analysis method to investigate the Malmquist index-based gravity relationship between bilateral energy trade flows and their determinants throughout the world. Using a balance panel data of 40 countries between 1995 and 2008, this paper shows that market integration will increase energy trade by improving trade efficiency between trade partners, though allowing for a flexible substitution between different energy products tends to weaken these effects. This result highlights cross-product substitution and its implications for the aggregate energy trade pattern, providing insights on the importance of prioritising product-specific trade facilitating policies.
    Keywords: energy trade efficiency, energy market integration, Malmquist index; energy trade efficiency, energy market integration, Malmquist index
    JEL: Q27 Q47 O47
    Date: 2014

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