nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2015‒08‒07
fourteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Evaluation of the APEC Environmental Goods Initiative: A Dominant Supplier Approach By Manzano, George N.; Prado, Shanti Aubren
  2. Doing Business: A Review of Literature and Its Role in APEC 2015 By Mendoza, Ronald U.; Canare, Tristan A.; Ang, Alvin
  3. The Financial and Political Opportunity Costs of Orangutan Conservation in the Face of Oil-Palm Expansion By Swarna Nantha, Hemanath
  4. Food Price Crisis in Indonesia: Alert from the Key Markets By Mujahid, Irfan; Kalkuhl, Matthias
  5. Analysis of the Structural Changes in Vietnamese Households’ Food Demand: 2010 to 2030 By Hoang, Hoa K.; Meyers, William H.
  6. Climate Change, Agricultural Production and Civil Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines By Crost, Benjamin; Duquennois, Claire; Felter, Joseph H.; Rees, Daniel I.
  7. An Empirical Analysis of Demand for U.S. Soybeans in the Philippines By Cain, Jewelwayne S.; Parcell, Joseph L.; Kojima, Yasutomo
  8. The impact of expanding access to early childhood services in rural Indonesia : evidence from two cohorts of children By Brinkman,Sally Anne; Hasan,Amer; Jung,Haeil; Kinnell,Angela; Pradhan,Menno Prasad
  9. Environmental livelihood security in Southeast Asia and Oceania: a water-energy-food-livelihoods nexus approach for spatially assessing change. White paper By Biggs, E. M.; Boruff, B.; Bruce, E.; Duncan, J. M. A.; Haworth, B. J.; Duce, S.; Horsley, J.; Curnow, Jayne; Neef, A.; McNeill, K.; Pauli, N.; Van Ogtrop, F.; Imanari, Y.
  10. Determining the relationship between financial development and economic growth: An application of ARDL technique to Singapore By Jailani, Mohamad Zaky; Masih, Mansur
  11. Recent Developments in Myanmar: Opportunities for Sub-Regional Energy Cooperation By Deepti Mahajan Mittal
  12. Transformation of crop-livestock systems in Asia: the role of crop residues in improving productivity and enhancing sustainability in livestock intensification By Lapar, Ma. Lucila A.; Singh, Dhiraj; Swain, Braja; Teufel, Nils; Pezo, Danilo; Villar, Edwin; Blummel, Michael
  13. Cashew Chain Value in Guiné-Bissau: Challenges and Contributions for Food Security. (A Case Study for Guiné-Bissau) By de Carvalho, Bernardo Reynolds Pacheco; Mendes, Henrique
  14. Does Ethnicity Matter For Food Choices? An Empirical Analysis of Asian Immigrant Time Use By Yang, Tongyang; Berning, Joshua; Colson, Greg; Smith, Travis A.

  1. By: Manzano, George N.; Prado, Shanti Aubren
    Abstract: The paper evaluates the feasibility of sectoral liberalization of environmental goods for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Using the model originally developed by Wonnacott, it argues for the liberalization of goods predominantly supplied by APEC members, thereby minimizing the free rider problem that usually afflicts most favored nation liberalization. The paper then ranks the different items in the APEC list of environmental goods according to economic advisability, given the predominant supplier framework. It thus demonstrates the economic rationale why APEC, as a whole, should consider liberalizing a number of environmental goods. The paper also examines the distributional impact of the proposed scheme on the individual members, particularly on the trade interest of the Philippines.
    Keywords: Philippines, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), environmental goods, services, tariff, trade liberalization
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Mendoza, Ronald U.; Canare, Tristan A.; Ang, Alvin
    Abstract: Since 2006, the World Bank has been ranking almost 200 countries in terms of their ease of doing business (EoDB) to underscore the importance of a thriving private sector in promoting high and inclusive growth. Comparing these metrics for business friendliness among economic partners is more important now that multilateral agreements that promote integration—such as the ASEAN Economic Community—are ongoing. Subsequently, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has its own specialized group that monitors the EoDB progress of its members. Through a comprehensive review of theoretical and empirical literature on doing business, and through an assessment of the relative doing business performance of APEC economies, this paper provides policy inputs to the APEC EoDB Initiative and initial policy guidelines and recommendations on what the Philippines could propose for further discussion and elaboration in the APEC EoDB work stream when it hosts the summit this year.
    Keywords: ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ease of doing business (EoDB)
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Swarna Nantha, Hemanath
    Abstract: This paper examines the opportunity costs of conserving the forest habitats of the endangered orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus spp.) of Indonesia and Malaysia in the face of a highly profitable alternative land use, the conversion of these habitats for the production of palm oil. It shows that one component of the financial opportunity cost of conserving orangutan habitat, the business opportunity cost (profits foregone), was high in both Malaysia and Indonesia in the case of oil-palm development. It is argued that this would be difficult to offset under the payments-for-ecosystem-services (PES) approach. However, the government opportunity cost of conservation in Indonesia, such as the land-tax revenue foregone by local governments by conserving rather than leasing out orangutan habitats for agricultural use, are sometimes lower than the business opportunity cost of conservation. It is suggested that targeting government opportunity costs to conserve unleased forests could potentially offer lower-cost opportunities for conserving orangutan habitats. If, however, political and institutional realities are taken into account, there might exist another type of opportunity cost of conservation— a political one— that could impede the success of the PES approach. Some oil-palm companies in Borneo offer financial inducements in the form of kickbacks and other types of political donations to government officials to obtain land for growing oil palm. This ‘government decisionmaker’s opportunity cost’ has not been addressed in the PES literature, which typically compares potential ecosystem payments with the commercial profits that would have to be sacrificed as a result of conserving forests. The impact of this political opportunity cost on oil-palm expansion is discussed. It is suggested that solutions to this conservation problem cannot be restricted to the monetary valuation method but must also involve alternative political economic interventions.
    Keywords: Biodiversity conservation, firm behaviour, opportunity cost, orangutan, payments for ecosystem services, political ecology., Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use, B50, Q51, Q57, Q58,
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Mujahid, Irfan; Kalkuhl, Matthias
    Abstract: Food price variations can be very costly when they abrupt and unanticipated. In the current new era of market uncertainty, monitoring food prices become highly important to foresee any potential crisis. This study proposes an alternative approach in monitoring food price movements in many different markets within a country by focusing only on the key markets. Using monthly retail rice prices from the 25 major markets in Indonesia, we identify the key markets whose price movements can help to forecast price movements in all other markets. The key markets are identified using granger causality tests conducted in the vector error correction model framework. The relevance of monitoring the key markets in detecting price crisis is tested using Probit and Poisson models. We found that albeit not all of alert phases lead to crises, monitoring the key markets can help to forecast price movements in all markets across the country.
    Keywords: volatility, crisis, transmission, early warning system, Indonesia, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, C22, F1, F47, Q1,
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Hoang, Hoa K.; Meyers, William H.
    Abstract: Studies have shown that income distribution effects and urbanization are crucial for providing more precise long-term food demand projections, especially in rapid-growing economies like Vietnam. Using a fitted QUAIDS model, this study projects at-home food demand of Vietnamese households to 2020 and 2030, taking into account alternative growth rates in food expenditures, food prices and urbanization. Food consumed in a household is divided into 7 major groups including rice, pork, meat and fish, vegetables and fruits, sugar, drinks, and miscellaneous food. Results showed that the responsiveness of demand for foods varies across income classes and between urban and rural areas, most notably in the case of rice. Projections under alternative scenarios also showed that the budget shares of rice decline significantly while those for meat and fish, drinks and most remarkably, miscellaneous food group, increase at higher levels of food expenditures. Interestingly, the effect of urbanization is more remarkable for rice while it is quite modest for the remaining food groups.
    Keywords: QUAIDS, demand analysis, food consumption, household analysis, Vietnam, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Crost, Benjamin; Duquennois, Claire; Felter, Joseph H.; Rees, Daniel I.
    Abstract: Climate change is predicted to affect global rainfall patterns, but there is mixed evidence with regard to the effect of rainfall on civil conflict. Even among researchers who argue that rainfall reduces civil conflict, there is disagreement as to the underlying mechanism. Using data from the Philippines for the period 2001-2009, we exploit seasonal variation in the relationship between rainfall and agricultural production to explore the connection between rainfall and civil conflict. In the Philippines, above-average rainfall during the wet season is harmful to agricultural production, while above-average rainfall during the dry season is beneficial. We show that the relationship between rainfall and civil conflict also exhibits seasonality, but in the opposite direction and with a one-year lag. Consistent with the hypothesis that rebel groups gain strength after a bad harvest, there is evidence that lagged rainfall affects the number of violent incidents initiated by insurgents but not the number of incidents initiated by government forces. Our results suggest that policies aimed at mitigating the effect of climate change on agricultural production could weaken the link between climate change and civil conflict.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Civil Conflict, Rainfall, International Development, O13, H56, D74,
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Cain, Jewelwayne S.; Parcell, Joseph L.; Kojima, Yasutomo
    Abstract: To determine if the downward trend in U.S. market share of Philippine soybean imports is due either to inherent quality differences between soybeans from three competing exporting countries or to relative price changes, we analyze import quantity shares and relative prices of soybeans from Canada, China, and the U.S. to the Philippines. Results show that the Philippine soybeans import market exhibit low elasticity of import substitution, which implies greater rigidity in preferences. This reflects a market that is relatively more quality conscious. Market share trends, preference parameters, and price elasticities indicate strong preference by the Philippine market for U.S. soybeans relative to those from Canada and China. The downward trend in US market share can be explained by quality preferences rather than price factors.
    Keywords: Import demand, market share analysis, prices, quality, soybeans, Crop Production/Industries, Demand and Price Analysis, International Relations/Trade, Marketing, Production Economics, F10, F14, Q13, Q17,
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Brinkman,Sally Anne; Hasan,Amer; Jung,Haeil; Kinnell,Angela; Pradhan,Menno Prasad
    Abstract: This paper uses three waves of longitudinal data to examine the impact of expanding access to preschool services in rural areas of Indonesia on two cohorts of children. One cohort was children aged 4 at the start of the project and was immediately eligible for project-provided services when they began operation in 2009. The other cohort was children aged 1 at the start of the project and became eligible for project-provided services two years later. The paper presents intent-to-treat estimates of impact in the short term (first year of the project) and medium term (three years after the project started), using experimental and quasi-experimental methods. For the cohort of 4-year-olds, while the magnitude of the enrollment impact is similar across children from different backgrounds, the impact on child outcomes is larger for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds in the short and medium terms. However, for this cohort of children, it seems that project-provided playgroups encouraged substitution away from existing kindergartens, suggesting that future interventions should incorporate such possibilities into their design. For the average child in the younger cohort, the project led to improvements in physical health and well-being as well as language and cognitive development. For this cohort, there is little evidence of differential impact. This can be explained by the fact that children who enrolled soon after the centers opened (the older cohort) were generally poorer, compared with children who enrolled later (the younger cohort). This may be because of fee increases in project centers as project funding ended.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Educational Sciences,Youth and Government,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–07–21
  9. By: Biggs, E. M.; Boruff, B.; Bruce, E.; Duncan, J. M. A.; Haworth, B. J.; Duce, S.; Horsley, J.; Curnow, Jayne; Neef, A.; McNeill, K.; Pauli, N.; Van Ogtrop, F.; Imanari, Y.
    Keywords: Environmental sustainability Environmental management Ecological factors Biodiversity Living standards Water security Energy conservation Food security Climate change Temperature Precipitation Cyclones Agriculture Farmland Demography Urbanization Sociocultural environment Gender Community management Institutions Political aspects Remote sensing Natural disasters Monitoring Sustainable development, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Jailani, Mohamad Zaky; Masih, Mansur
    Abstract: The relationship between financial development and economic growth has been subject to considerable debate in the literature of development and growth. While empirical studies often provide a direct relationship between financial development proxies and growth, much controversy remains about how these results should be interpreted. The study, therefore, attempts to unravel the causality direction of financial development and economic growth. We used an Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) method to assess the finance-growth relation taking Gross National Expenditure, Gross Fixed Capital Formation, exports, Foreign Direct Investments and Loans made to the Private Sector as financial development indicators for Singapore over the period from 1970 to 2013. Interestingly, we found that our financial development variables had no impact on economic growth.
    Keywords: Financial development, Economic growth, ARDL, Singapore
    JEL: C22 C58 E44
    Date: 2015–06–16
  11. By: Deepti Mahajan Mittal
    Abstract: In the context of the political and economic changes that have marked Myanmar since 2010, this paper assesses the opportunities for sub-regional energy cooperation between four countries: Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar, with Myanmar as a node. The paper also analyses the strategic importance of sub-regional energy initiatives, and the politico-economic and social undercurrents that may enhance/impede relationships in the future. A gas exporter and a country with large potential for hydropower development, Myanmar is at the centre of the regional energy policy discourse. The paper explores available opportunities in the trade and development of fossil fuels, hydropower and renewable energy. The emphasis, the paper suggests, needs to be on building win-win partnerships that will harness complementarities. Myanmar stands to gain significant strategic mileage if its decisions are governed by a balance of enlightened self-interest and the need to forge ties with varied political partners.
    Keywords: energy, regional cooperation, Myanmar, BCIM
    Date: 2014–09
  12. By: Lapar, Ma. Lucila A.; Singh, Dhiraj; Swain, Braja; Teufel, Nils; Pezo, Danilo; Villar, Edwin; Blummel, Michael
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2015–02
  13. By: de Carvalho, Bernardo Reynolds Pacheco; Mendes, Henrique
    Abstract: Guiné-Bissau is a recent example of political stabilization after a recent period of instability, where the international community can play an important role in cooperation and development, but with innovation and new effective policies. Food security is certainly one of the big issues to be addressed and cashew production and respective chain value one of the main opportunities to improve the quality of life for many families. Guinea-Bissau can be considered one of the most fragile countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, but at the same time with enormous economic potential. Poverty alleviation is very much dependent from agricultural activities and agribusiness will be always at the core of the most possible solutions. Within those possible solutions the contribution of the cashew sector is crucial, which has been playing already a key role in the economy and in the family survival equation. More than 80% of the families depend from agricultural activities and most of them are linked to the production of cashew. This crop represents more than 90% of exports, and at the same time is responsible for income alleviation resources at local family base. However Cashew expansion is a very recent phenomena, with about 20 years of success, beyond all political “turmoil”. Today the country is the second biggest in Africa, after Ivory Coast, and the fourth worldwide ( also after India and Vietnam). Exports were around 20 thousand tons in 1990 and close to 200 thousand tons in the last year’s production. But the most important factors to be considered in a cash crop business is also a very “unique” structure of production, mostly family based and where the average dimension of production per family is dominantly between 1 to 2 hectares. Very much related to those structural characteristics, which vary by region is the role of this crop in the food security dimension of the families, which is calculated to represent in average 4,8/12 months of income needs for food. The research address the Caju chain value in Guiné-Bissau, added value possibilities with transformation, better markets, improved institutional environment and other alternatives aiming to promote the global value creation but also the dynamics of the food system able to promote the family welfare and a sustainable development process.
    Keywords: Guiné-Bissau, Cashew Agro-business Chain, Food security, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2015–05
  14. By: Yang, Tongyang; Berning, Joshua; Colson, Greg; Smith, Travis A.
    Abstract: As immigrants settle and extend their stay in the U.S., they may be exposed to a food culture and lifestyle that impacts their food choice decisions and health outcomes. This paper focuses on the behavioral changes and acculturation level of different generations of Asian immigrants on food choice decisions employing the 2013 American Time Use Survey. Heckman two-step regression results indicate that the 1st generation immigrants participate or spend more time on eating and drinking, food preparation, and grocery shopping; and less in travel related eating and drinking compared with natives. The 1st generation is least likely to acculturate into American food culture. The 1.5 generation behaves more similarly to natives regarding the four food choice decisions, and appears to acculturate over time. The 2nd generation shows no significant difference to natives. Immigrants acculturate by food habit change from food at home to food away from home.
    Keywords: Asian immigrants, acculturation, food choice decisions, American Time Use Survey, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2015

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