nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2015‒03‒05
eighteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. ASEAN Community 2015 : managing integration for better jobs and shared prosperity in the Philippines By Yap, Josef T
  2. Indonesia Economic Quarterly, December 2014 : Delivering Change By World Bank
  3. Managing integration for better jobs and shared prosperity in the ASEAN Economic Community the case of Thailand's automotive sector By Techakanont, Kriengkrai
  4. Industrial deepening in East Asia By Kuroiwa, Ikuo
  5. ASEAN Economic Community 2015 enhancing competitiveness and employability through skill development By Aring, Monika
  6. The Cost of Antitrust Law to Malaysia’s Financial Services Sector By Michael, Bryane; Williams, Mark; Munisamy, Susila
  7. Taxing investments in the Asia-Pacific region: The importance of cross-border taxation and tax incentives By Wiedemann, Verena; Finke, Katharina
  8. Access to Affordable and Low-Income Housing in East Asia and the Pacific By World Bank
  9. Very Long Run Discount Rates By Matteo Maggiori; Johannes Stroebel; Stefano Giglio
  10. Sovereign Wealth Funds in East Asia By James Seward; Mustafa Ulukan; Mee Jung Kim; Hiroshi Tsubota; Timothy Gable
  11. Determinants of cost of equity: The case of Shariah-compliant Malaysian firms By Shafaai, Shafizal; Masih, Mansur
  12. Chains of Knowledge Creation and Emerging Donors By Sato, JinShimomura, Yasutami; Ping, Wang
  13. Cambodia's Main Challenges in Improving Health among the Poor By World Bank Group
  14. Tackling NCDIs in Cambodia : An Opportunity for Inter - and Itra-Sectoral Synergies By World Bank Group
  15. Circular migration of health-care professionals : what do employers in Europe think of it? By Frenzel, Helen; Weber, Tina
  16. Myanmar : Rice Price Reduction and Poverty Reduction By World Bank Group
  17. Assessment study of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Myanmar By Milio, Simona; Garnizova, Elitsa; Shkreli, Alma
  18. A Theory of Financial Services Competition, Compliance and Regulation By Michael, Bryane; Falzon, Joseph; Shamdasani, Ajay

  1. By: Yap, Josef T
    Abstract: The economic record of the Philippines since the Second World War has been patchy, making it one of the laggards in South-East Asia. The major reason for the Philippines trailing many of its neighbours in South-East Asia is its inability to participate extensively in regional production networks. Its manufacturing sector, therefore, has declined and employment in manufacturing has also stagnated. The inability to provide medium-skill, high-productivity jobs has much to do with the county’s relatively high poverty incidence. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 has the potential to attract more foreign direct investment to the Philippines. This will be an opportunity to revive the manufacturing sector, but only if there is bias towards small and medium-sized enterprise development, which will help overcome the sector’s low employment elasticity. Additionally, the AEC will provide added leverage to policy-makers to counter the vested interests of the oligarchy. The AEC will create more regional public goods, especially in terms of physical infrastructure. This is required to increase connectivity in the region, which is necessary to generate more investment. The Philippines stands to benefit immensely, given the existing poor quality of its overall infrastructure. However, policy-makers must be aware of the potential drawbacks, in particular greater involvement in regional production networks or global value chains. These include limited value- added by domestic firms, possible transfer pricing because global value chains are mostly run by multinational companies, and a race to the bottom in terms of working conditions and environmental standards. Policy-makers must be prepared to intervene to minimize the adjustment costs that will result from deeper regional economic integration. Measures include social safety nets and assisting workers in obtaining more appropriate skills.
    Keywords: labour market, employment, decent work, productivity, economic integration, regional cooperation, Philippines, marché du travail, emploi, travail décent, productivité, intégration économique, coopération régionale, Philippines, mercado de trabajo, empleo, trabajo decente, productividad, integración económica, cooperación regional, Filipinas
    Date: 2014
  2. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Finance and Financial Sector Development - Access to Finance Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets Macroeconomics and Economic Growth Finance and Financial Sector Development - Banks & Banking Reform Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Economic Theory & Research
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Techakanont, Kriengkrai
    Abstract: This paper examines the socio-economic impact of regional integration through evidence-based analysis and projections for Thailand’s automotive industry. The paper discusses issues related to industrial and structural changes that will affect the labour market in Thailand after the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 takes effect. Thailand’s key macroeconomic variables in recent years indicate that there exists significant pressure on rising wage rates, tightness in the labour market and sluggish labour productivity. The greater ASEAN Community will enhance connectivity within and beyond the region, which will help Member States become more dynamic and competitive. In terms of the ASEAN automobile industry, production and sales have been expanding due to economic development and the investment strategy of Japanese carmakers. A higher degree of trade and investment integration will occur after investment and trade regimes are liberalized. New investment or the relocation of existing production from high-cost to low-cost production locations will take place; existing supply chains and production networks need to be adjusted. Skill development and productivity improvements will be critical ingredients for prosperity in the ASEAN Economic Community. Public and private collaboration at both the country and regional levels will be indispensible.
    Keywords: labour market, interindustry shift, economic integration, regional cooperation, motor vehicle industry, Thailand, ASEAN countries, marché du travail, mutation interindustrielle, intégration économique, coopération régionale, industrie du véhicule à moteur, Thaïlande, pays de l'ANASE, mercado de trabajo, desplazamiento industrial, integración económica, cooperación regional, industria de vehículos a motor, Tailandia, países del ASEAN
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Kuroiwa, Ikuo
    Abstract: Structural transformations are an indispensable element of sustained economic growth. Within the context of East Asia, this study focuses on industrial deepening, which refers to the formation of local linkages and the creation of a robust local supplier base. To investigate the progress of industrial deepening, this study introduces two kinds of domestic procurement measures in addition to the previously developed local content measures. Specifically, two kinds of vertical specialization measures are used to demonstrate the degree to which respective East Asian economies are specialized within their vertical production networks. The results clearly show that the advancement of production networks is likely to reduce domestic procurement ratios, even if local supplier bases are strengthened in the respective countries. Moreover, the trend of domestic procurement ratios differs depending on the characteristics of particular industries and the industrial policies adopted by individual countries.
    Keywords: East Asia, Industry, Industrial policy, Input-output tables, Industrial deepening, Production networks, Input-output analysis
    JEL: C67 O14
    Date: 2015–02
  5. By: Aring, Monika
    Abstract: This paper examines the skills needs in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and how Member States can strengthen their skills and training systems to benefit from emerging opportunities of integration and boost competitiveness. Maximizing the benefits of regional integration will necessitate leveraging the knowledge, skills and creativity of ASEAN’s labour force of 317 million women and men. This paper looks at statistical trends since 2005 regarding education and skills attainment, and technical and vocational education and training enrolment in ASEAN. It assesses the quality of education and vocational training and the readiness of ASEAN’s labour force, including young people making the school-to-work transition, to take advantage of new opportunities in a more integrated and dynamic region. The paper also examines the challenge of skills mismatch and skilled labour shortages in the region.
    Keywords: labour market, interindustry shift, skill requirements, competitiveness, employability, ASEAN countries, marché du travail, mutation interindustrielle, besoins en travailleurs qualifiés, compétitivité, aptitude à l'emploi, pays de l'ANASE, mercado de trabajo, desplazamiento industrial, requisitos de cualificación, competitividad, empleabilidad, países del ASEAN
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Michael, Bryane; Williams, Mark; Munisamy, Susila
    Abstract: Judging by only economic incentives, Malaysian financial institutions (particularly banks) should completely ignore the Competition Act. The data show that Malaysian banks probably benefit from anticompetitive behaviour. Political and family connections likely facilitate such behaviour. Given that the Malaysian Competition Commission will likely lack the resources to investigate and sanction anti-competitive behaviour in Malaysia’s banking industry – the banks’ best response to the Act probably consists of ignoring it. Maximum fines of 10 million ringgit and revenue-tied penalties of only 10% of worldwide revenue mean that banks still have strong incentives to engage in anticompetitive behaviour and to pay any low fine that might be levied. The best compliance programme for banks in Malaysia likely consists of actions that avoid detection rather than detecting and preventing anticompetitive behaviour. Private rights of action are unlikely to provide any stronger economic incentives for Malaysian banks to adopt strong antitrust compliance programmes and internal audit programmes. By staying the course, Malaysian banks can continue to earn about 15 billion ringgits (approximately US$4.6 billion in anticompetitive rents).
    Keywords: antitrust,Malaysia,internal audit,compliance
    JEL: D41 L44
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Wiedemann, Verena; Finke, Katharina
    Abstract: This paper investigates the taxation of investments in the Asia-Pacific region. Our analysis is based on the methodology of Devereux and Griffith (1999, 2003) for determining effective average tax rates. This approach allows us to account for important national and international tax regulations. Our results show that the overall dispersion of effective tax burdens in Asia-Pacific ranges from 10.6% in Hong Kong to 40.4% in India for domestic investments (overall average of 23.4%). In 8 out of 19 jurisdictions covered, investments are, however, effectively taxed at a rate between 20% and 25%. If the investment is made by a foreign investor, cross-border taxation has a significant impact on the overall tax burden. In any of the Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, foreign direct investments by a Singaporean or a German parent company are on average taxed at 29.2% and at 32.8% in case of a US investor. Meanwhile, tax incentives for the stimulation of private investment reduce the effective average tax rate by 8.6 percentage points on average. Fiscal incentives targeted at investments in the high technology sector or the development of specific geographic areas result in the lowest effective tax burdens.
    Keywords: Corporate Taxation,Effective Average Tax Rate,Tax Incentives,Asia
    Date: 2015
  8. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Public Sector Economics Urban Development - Urban Governance and Management Public Sector Management and Reform Finance and Financial Sector Development Public Sector Development Communities and Human Settlements Communities and Human Settlements - Housing & Human Habitats Finance and Financial Sector Development - Banks & Banking Reform
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Matteo Maggiori (NYU); Johannes Stroebel (New York University); Stefano Giglio (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We provide the first direct estimates of how agents trade off immediate costs and uncertain future benefits that occur in the very long run, 100 or more years away. We find that very long-run discount rates are low, much lower than implied by most economic theory. We estimate these discount rates by exploiting a unique feature of residential housing markets in England, Wales and Singapore, where residential property ownership takes the form of either leaseholds or freeholds. Leaseholds are temporary, tradable ownership contracts with maturities between 50 and 999 years, while freeholds are perpetual ownership contracts. The difference between leasehold and freehold prices represents the present value of perpetual rental income starting at leasehold expiry. We estimate the price discounts for varying leasehold maturities compared to freeholds via hedonic regressions using proprietary datasets of the universe of transactions in each country. Agents discount very long-run cash flows at low rates, assigning high present values to cash flows hundreds of years in the future. For example, 100-year leaseholds are valued up to 15% less than otherwise identical freeholds. This suggests that both long-term risk-free discount rates and long- term risk premia are low. Together with the relatively high average return to housing, this also implies a downward sloping term structure of discount rates. Our results provide a new testing ground for asset-pricing theories, and have direct implications for climate-change policy, long-run fiscal policy and the conduct of cost-benefit analyses.
    Date: 2014
  10. By: James Seward; Mustafa Ulukan; Mee Jung Kim; Hiroshi Tsubota; Timothy Gable
    Keywords: Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Investment and Investment Climate Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets Finance and Financial Sector Development - Non Bank Financial Institutions Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Economic Theory & Research
    Date: 2014–09
  11. By: Shafaai, Shafizal; Masih, Mansur
    Abstract: Firm-level analysis of the cost of equity is essential for many financial decision makings, capital structure choice, capital budgeting analysis, performance assessment and firm valuation. This study aims to shed some light on the determinants of cost of equity by analyzing Shariah compliant firms based in Malaysia. A list of potential determinants is identified and is divided into accounting-based and market-based variables. Pooled, fixed-effect, random-effect, and dynamic difference- and system-GMM panel models were employed to investigate determinants of cost of equity. The results show that for the full sample, the cost of equity is determined by debt-to-equity ratio (DE), earnings per share (EPS), total asset turnover ratio (TAT), firm size (SIZE) and stock liquidity (SL). Consistent with the literature, a significant positive relationship with cost of equity was found for DE and EPS, while a negative relationship with TAT and SIZE was exhibited. The study is also extended to seven subsectors, namely construction, consumer products, industrial products, plantation, properties, technology and services, to observe the sectoral effects on the cost of equity determinants. For the individual sectors, SIZE is significant for most of the sectors and is consistently negatively related to cost of equity. The results for other variables show that the determinants differ across different sectors, highlighting the importance of sectoral analysis. Firm based implication includes assisting firms to review their cost of equity estimates and optimizing capital allocation, while the government could fine-tune its policies based on the sectoral effects on the cost of equity determinants.
    Keywords: cost of equity determinants, panel techniques, shariah-compliant firms
    JEL: C22 C58 G11
    Date: 2013–08–16
  12. By: Sato, JinShimomura, Yasutami; Ping, Wang
    Abstract: The objective is to cast new light on the possible contribution of ‘emerging donors,’ highlighting their ‘knowledge creation’ based on the experience of receiving aid. The process of knowledge creation is examined through a model composed of three hypotheses. A knowledge is created through the interaction between ‘local knowledge’ and ‘foreign (donor’s) knowledge.’ A new knowledge also evolves through the interaction between explicit and tacit knowledge. The created knowledge plays a vital role in the aid giving of emerging donors. Contrary to the mainstream idea of technical cooperation as a ‘one-way transfer’ of the best practices, the above model emphasizes the ‘two-way interaction’ between donors and recipients. To check how the proposed model can explain the reality of emerging donors’ activities, three in-depth case studies are presented. First, China nurtured their pragmatic model of economic cooperation through the interaction between its own idea of ‘Da Jingmao’ and Japan’s idea of ‘Trinity Development Cooperation’, which the Chinese policy-makers found effective based on the evaluation of Japan’s aid. Nowadays, China extensively applies the created knowledge to the engagement with other developing countries, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa. Second, Thailand achieved the gigantic Eastern Seaboard Development Plan (ESDP) based on their tacit knowledge of ‘checks and balances a la Thai’ and Japanese explicit knowledge of coastal industrial complex construction. The evolution of the local/tacit knowledge was triggered by the strained donor-recipient relationship with the World Bank who criticized the largescale investment. Today, the Thai leaders are keen to assist Myanmar in utilizing the experience of the ESDP. Third, the chains of knowledge creation are identified bylinking Japan’s learning of the model of the TVA (the Tennessee Valley Authority), their application to the Aichi Canal under the World Bank loan, Japan’s assistance to the Brantas River Basin Development Plan in the central Java, and the evolution of the Indonesian concept of ‘One River, One Plan, One Management’, which was adopted as the basic philosophy of an Asian regional institute of water resources management. Throughout the link, a basic element is shared: the pursuit of ‘integration.’ The results of testing the plausibility of the hypothetical model show that the four East Asian aid recipients created new knowledge of their own through the interaction with the donors; the next step is to test the cases of other regions. The emerging donors could contribute to the global development agenda by utilizing their newly created knowledge.
    Keywords: knowledge creation , interaction , local knowledge , tacit knowledge , emerging donor
    Date: 2015–03–03
  13. By: World Bank Group
    Keywords: Health Monitoring and Evaluation Early Child and Children's Health Gender - Gender and Health Health Systems Development and Reform Disease Control and Prevention Health, Nutrition and Population
    Date: 2014–11
  14. By: World Bank Group
    Keywords: Health Monitoring and Evaluation Health, Nutrition and Population - Adolescent Health Health, Nutrition and Population - Population Policies Disease Control and Prevention Transport Economics Policy and Planning Transport
    Date: 2014–11
  15. By: Frenzel, Helen; Weber, Tina
    Abstract: The paper captures the findings of a study on employer views regarding the importance and feasibility of the implementation of circular migration policies. It is based on desk review and interviews with employers’ organisations, individual employers, public employment services and ministries and agencies responsible for coordinating international migration of health-care personnel. Interviews focused on the experience in a selected number of countries (Finland, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom), which are among the destination countries for health-care professionals from the Philippines and India.
    Keywords: nurse, medical personnel, labour migration, return migration, international migration, migrant worker, management attitude, health service, EU countries, infirmière, personnel médical, migrations de main-d'oeuvre, migration de retour, migration internationale, travailleur migrant, attitude patronale, service de santé, pays de l'UE, enfermera, personal médico, migraciones laborales, retorno de los migrantes, migración internacional, trabajador migrante, actitud de la dirección, servicio de salud, países de la UE
    Date: 2014
  16. By: World Bank Group
    Keywords: Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Climate Change Economics Agriculture - Agribusiness Private Sector Development - Emerging Markets International Economics and Trade - Access to Markets Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Markets and Market Access
    Date: 2014–10
  17. By: Milio, Simona; Garnizova, Elitsa; Shkreli, Alma
    Abstract: Sheds lights on the current state of TVET in Myanmar with a particular focus on the role of the private sector, identifies constraints on skills development and provides recommendations to determine future policy measures that would improve and strengthen strategic areas for TVET development. It also explores the demand for skills in Myanmar's economy, identifies the major development factors and the possible role of TVET, and investigates the current status of national education system, training policies and TVET. In its final chapter it provides recommendations on the transition from supply-driven to demand-driven labour market and improvement of the TVET delivery and quality.
    Keywords: vocational training, vocational education, labour demand, skill requirements, Myanmar, formation professionnelle, enseignement professionnel, besoins en main-d'oeuvre, besoins en travailleurs qualifiés, Myanmar, formación profesional, enseñanza profesional, necesidad de mano de obra, requisitos de cualificación, Myanmar
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Michael, Bryane; Falzon, Joseph; Shamdasani, Ajay
    Abstract: Do financial regulation advisors help their clients become more profitable? In this paper, we present a model where financial service firms may add to their own compliance teams or hire outside compliance advisors. We derive the conditions under which a financial services firm will want to hire a compliance services company, and show how much money they should spend. Financial services firms in competitive locations like Hong Kong and Singapore will particularly benefit (at least in the short run) from their services. We also show that their advice may lead to an embarrass de riches – whereby the lower compliance costs and higher profit advantages they confer may lead to more regulation. Regulators may furthermore tighten regulation – with the expectation that financial service firms will adapt somehow. We present a fresh perspective on the Menon Hypothesis, deriving conditions under which financial regulations help the competitiveness of an international financial centre. We provide five potential policy responses for dealing with ever ratcheting financial regulations.
    Keywords: compliance,financial law,compliance capacity,optimal regulation
    JEL: G24 K40
    Date: 2015–02–23

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