nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2015‒02‒11
twelve papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. The Role of Sponsor and External Management on the Capital Structure of Asian-Pacific REITs: The Case of Australia, Japan, and Singapore By Dong Chen; Yanmin Gao; Mayank Kaul,; Charles Ka Yui Leung; Desmond Tsang
  2. Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia: A Conceptual Framework By Tadashi Matsumoto; Loïc Daudey
  3. Asian firms and the restructuring of global value chains By Shamel Azmeh; Khalid Nadvi
  4. Building the ASEAN Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Response. Is ASEAN Learning from the Experience of the European Civil Protection Mechanism? By Ockert Dupper
  5. Informal Employment in a Growing and Globalizing Low-income Country By Brian McCaig; Nina Pavcnik
  6. On transformations in financing structure in an affluent society By Gunther Tichy
  7. The economic impact of the Australia-United States free trade agreement By Shiro Armstrong
  8. The Regional Impact of Bilateral Investment Treaties on Foreign Direct Investment By Arjan Lejour; Maria Salfi
  9. The political economy of inclusive rural growth By Michael Carter; John Morrow
  10. Truthful Equilibria in Dynamic Bayesian Games By Johannes Horner; Satoru Takahashi; Nicolas Vieille
  11. The effect of taxes on corporate financing decisions: Evidence from the German interest barrier By Alberternst, Stephan; Sureth, Caren
  12. DO SELF-THEORIES EXPLAIN OVERCONFIDENCE AND FINANCIAL RISK TAKING? A field experiment. By Bertrand Koebel; André Schmitt; Sandrine Spaeter

  1. By: Dong Chen; Yanmin Gao; Mayank Kaul,; Charles Ka Yui Leung; Desmond Tsang
    Abstract: This paper studies how the presence of sponsor and external management affect leverage and debt maturity decisions in three major Asian-Pacific REIT markets: Australia, Japan and Singapore. Our empirical results indicate that sponsored REITs opt for higher levels of leverage and loans with longer maturity. On the contrary, externally managed REITs are associated with lower leverage and loans with shorter maturity. Our results are robust to the inclusion of other firm variables and to alternative specifications. Subsequent to the financial crisis, the impact of sponsorship on debt financing decisions has diminished, and borrowing of externally managed REITs is further constrained.
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Tadashi Matsumoto; Loïc Daudey
    Abstract: The development of Asian cities is characterised by rapid and continuous urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, with rapid economic growth led in most places by the manufacturing industry, and rapidly increasing motorisation. The result has been escalating greenhouse gas emissions, sprawling urban development and local environmental impacts, as well as disparities in income, education levels and job opportunities in the urban population. These trends differ sharply from those in most of the OECD area and call for a green growth model that differs from those identified in previous OECD studies and that addresses the specific circumstances of Asian cities.<P> This paper proposes an analytical framework for assessing policies for green growth in rapidly growing cities in the emerging world. It builds on Cities and Green Growth: A Conceptual Framework (Hammer et al., 2011) and is adapted to the urban policy context of dynamic Asia. Its three main elements are: i) identification of the key policy strategies for urban green growth in fast-growing Asian cities, highlighting similarities to and differences from OECD cities; ii) opportunities for green growth; and iii) enabling strategies for implementing urban green growth.
    Keywords: Asia, transport, water, government policy, climate change, cities, green growth, solid waste management, land use, energy
    JEL: O18 O19 Q53 Q54 R11 R58
    Date: 2014–12–22
  3. By: Shamel Azmeh; Khalid Nadvi
    Abstract: Asian trans-national garment manufacturers are transforming the structure of global value chains in the apparel industry. Recent studies show such first tier suppliers undertaking a greater range of functional activities. In many cases, these firms originate from the so-called ‘Rising Power’ economies, particularly ‘Greater China’ and South Asia. We argue that such, transnational, Asian firms can play a pivotal and strategic role in shaping the geography and organisational restructuring of the global value chain. Drawing on secondary sources and primary research we illustrate how such firms manage complex international production linkages, and ensure the incorporation of Jordan into the global garment industry. The paper contributes to the understanding of the role of these firms and how their behaviour is driven by complex dynamics linked to their own business strategies, their linkages with buyers, and their ability to exploit production and trade opportunities while maintaining high levels of global locational flexibility.
    Keywords: apparel industry; Asian transnational suppliers; global value chains; Jordan
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Ockert Dupper
    Abstract: Why, following the EU’s first attempts at advancing community cooperation in civil protection and the creation of the EU civil protection mechanism, has ASEAN undertaken new initiatives, such as the adoption of a legally binding accord, AADMER and a formal institution, the AHA Center, largely comparable to the institutional innovations endorsed by the EU, in the same issue area? Can these developments be interpreted simply as the result of independent decision-making by ASEAN or are they at least a partial outcome of a transfer process? The aim of this study is to contribute to the emerging debate on European influence in Southeast Asia, taking into account how processes of policy and institutional transfer may lead ASEAN’s region builders to learn from the EU’s experience. Specifically, by discussing the case of disaster management, which has remained largely unexplored by comparative IR literature, this study argues that independent problem solving does not offer an adequate explanation of ASEAN’s developments. Conversely, lesson drawing and emulation are suggested as the two most relevant underlying mechanisms which can explain the gradual and selective adoption of an EU-like model of disaster cooperation.
    Keywords: international relations; institutions; risk regulation
    Date: 2015–01–07
  5. By: Brian McCaig; Nina Pavcnik
    Abstract: We document several facts about workforce transitions from the informal to the formal sector in Vietnam, a fast growing, industrializing, and low-income country. First, younger workers, particularly migrants, are more likely to work in the formal sector and stay there permanently. Second, the decline in the aggregate share of informal employment occurs through changes between and within birth cohorts. Third, younger, educated, male, and urban workers are more likely to switch to the formal sector than other workers initially in the informal sector. Poorly educated, older, female, rural workers face little prospect of formalization. Fourth, formalization coincides with occupational upgrading.
    JEL: F0 F16 O12
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Gunther Tichy
    Abstract: The savings measures of private households currently exceed the limited financing needs of companies around the world, and the difference is reflected in an increase in sovereign debt. In the EU, over the last two and a half decades non-financial corporations recorded funding surpluses in one out of three years, and in the more affluent EU countries (EU 15) this was even recorded every second year. There is much to indicate that this is not just a result of the financial crisis, but is also globally founded in the Southeast Asian economic model, while in Europe this is a symptom of the affluence of society, as financial security takes on greater significance and slower growth requires fewer investments. Economic policy should therefore be prepared for the current situation to persist; without counter-measures there would have to be a recessive adjustment of savings capacity to the debt preparedness of the economy and state. In these countries, worldwide distortions primarily based in Southeast Asian, exportbased economic policy can only be counter-balanced with a stronger domestic-market-oriented policy and significant appreciation (the task of the dollar peg). Such initiatives exist, but given the scale of the problem, a long transitional phase is to be expected. In the EU, a broad and well-balanced package of measures is required. It would have to dampen austerity through confidence building, in addition to improving corporate finance and reviving severely limited investments in the public sector. Furthermore, particularly in those countries in which the financing and use of sovereign debt do not present a problem, there should be a re-introduction of the previously typical division into a surplus-achieving budget for current expenditures and a budget for investments. This would enable the debt-backed financing of primarily immaterial investments within certain limits.
    Date: 2015–01
  7. By: Shiro Armstrong (East Asia Bureau of Economic Research)
    Abstract: The Australia–United States free trade agreement (AUSFTA) came into effect in 2005. It was the second preferential trade agreement that Australia signed, after its agreement with Singapore, and marked a departure from the primacy of Australia’s previous trade policy of unilateral and multilateral trade liberalisation towards preferential liberalisation. This paper assesses the economic effects of AUSFTA by applying the Productivity Commission’s gravity model of trade from its Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements review. The evidence reveals AUSFTA resulted in a fall in Australian and US trade with the rest of the world — that the agreement led to trade diversion. Estimates also show that AUSFTA is associated with a reduction in trade between Australia and the United States.
    Keywords: Trade Liberalisation, AUSFTA, preferential trade agreements
    JEL: F13 F14
    Date: 2015–02
  8. By: Arjan Lejour; Maria Salfi
    Abstract: We examine the impact of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) on bilateral FDI stocks using extensive data from 1985 until 2011. We correct for endogeneity using indicators for governance and membership of international organisations. We find that ratified BITs increase on average bilateral FDI stocks by 35% compared to those of country pairs without a treaty. Upper middle income countries seem to benefit the most from ratified treaties whereas high income countries with high governance levels do not profit at all. In addition, lower middle and low income countries experience significantly larger inward FDI stocks from partner’s countries. Distinguishing by region, we find that ratified BITs increase FDI stocks mainly in East Asia and Middle & Eastern Europe.
    JEL: F21 F23 H25 H26
    Date: 2015–01
  9. By: Michael Carter; John Morrow
    Abstract: Abstract Commentators on the `East Asian Miracle' of inclusive growth have often pointed toward shared rural growth policies. But why were these policies not chosen elsewhere? This paper models voters who invest in either subsistence or a complex technology in which public goods complement private capital. Investment and technology choices vary with wealth and the level of public goods enforced by political lobbies. Outcomes depend on the strength of the incipient middle class who bolster political incentives through contributions. Economies with a stronger middle class due to lower inequality or lower risk may thereby sustain higher productivity through public good provision.
    Keywords: Poverty traps; political economy; inequality; lobby formation
    JEL: D2 H4 O1 Q1
    Date: 2014–02
  10. By: Johannes Horner (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Satoru Takahashi (National University of Singapore); Nicolas Vieille (HEC Paris)
    Abstract: This paper characterizes an equilibrium payoff subset for dynamic Bayesian games as discounting vanishes. Monitoring is imperfect, transitions may depend on actions, types may be correlated and values may be interdependent. The focus is on equilibria in which players report truthfully. The characterization generalizes that for repeated games, reducing the analysis to static Bayesian games with transfers. With independent private values, the restriction to truthful equilibria is without loss, except for the punishment level; if players withhold their information during punishment-like phases, a folk theorem obtains.
    Keywords: Bayesian games, Repeated games, Folk theorem
    JEL: C72 C73
    Date: 2013–12
  11. By: Alberternst, Stephan; Sureth, Caren
    Abstract: The theoretical literature suggests that when taking tax effects into account, debt ought to be preferable to equity. However, there are no uniform predictions of the size of this tax benefit (tax shield) in comparison to an opposing increasing cost of debt (especially insolvency costs). The vast body of empirical studies on the impact of taxation on capital structure only provides puzzling effects. We believe the German corporate tax reform in 2008, which introduced an interest barrier as a "quasiexperiment", is a promising opportunity to investigate the effects that arise from a reform of interest deductibility. We study capital structure adjustments empirically using financial statement data from German companies. We consider a study of German tax reform on the basis of German data of general interest because, first, similar tax reforms have been conducted in several countries. Second, the availability of single entity financial statements for German companies allow us to capture tax and capital structure details that have not been available in most prior studies. Third, the major characteristics of the German tax system can be regarded as representative for most European and the major Asian countries. All of this information enables us to contribute to solving the capital structure puzzle in a unique way. With significance at the 5% level, we find evidence that the companies that are affected by the interest barrier reduce their leverage by 3 percentage points more than companies that are not affected. We are the first to employ a detailed matching approach to the underlying rich dataset, which enables us to overcome some of the limitations of previous studies. While many prior empirical studies on capital structure have provided mixed results on capital structure reactions, we find robust evidence for the impact of tax reforms on corporations' financing decisions.
    Keywords: financing decisions,German tax reform,interest barrier,leverage, taxation,thin capitalisation rules
    JEL: H21 H24 H25 C54
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Bertrand Koebel; André Schmitt; Sandrine Spaeter
    Abstract: How people develop beliefs about themselves (self-theories) plays an important role on motivation and achievement as shown by Carol Dweck’s life-long research. In this paper, we conduct a field experiment to investigate whether self-theories impact overconfidence and risk taking. Self-theories deal with how an individual perceives some of her attributes such as intelligence, personality or moral character. In this paper, we are interested by how people perceive their mindset (fixed or growth). All decisions taken by young Vietnamese executives were incentivized to identify their degree of overconfidence and risk taking. As in previous studies, we find that subjects exhibit significant overconfidence. We also find that fixed mindset subjects are less over-confident than growth mindset persons, the latter earning the highest incomes in our experiment. Finally, we find correlation between risk taking and overconfidence. However, contrary to the existing results in the literature on behavioral finance, in our experiment, the higher the degree of overconfidence, the lower the investment in risky lotteries. Gender does not seem to have any impact on neither overconfidence nor risk-taking behavior.
    Keywords: overconfidence, experiment; self-theories, mindset, risk-taking.
    JEL: C93 D81
    Date: 2015

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