nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
seventeen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Social protection and disaster risk management in the Philippines : the case of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) By Bowen,Thomas Vaughan
  2. International Portfolio Flows and Exchange Rate Volatility for Emerging Markets By Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Faek Menla Ali; Fabio Spagnolo; Nicola Spagnolo
  3. Role of the Credit Risk Database in Developing SMEs in Japan: Lessons for the Rest of Asia By Kuwahara, Satoshi; Yoshino, Naoyuki; Sagara, Megumi; Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad
  4. Regionalism in services : a study of ASEAN By Gootiiz,Batshur; Mattoo,Aaditya
  5. Export Exposure and Gender Specific Work Participation in Indonesia By Chesnokova, Tatyana; Rupa, Jesmin; Sim, Nicholas
  6. Mobility, scarring and job quality in Indonesia?s labor market By Naidoo,Darian; Packard,Truman G.; Auwalin,Ilmiawan
  7. Understanding the Evolution of Japan's Exports By THORBECKE, Willem
  8. Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World: A Look at the APEC 2015 Priority Areas By Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS); Philippine APEC Study Center Network (PASCN)
  9. Climate change impacts on rural poverty in low-elevation coastal zones By Barbier,Edward B.
  10. Bad Investments and Missed Opportunities? Postwar Capital Flows to Asia and Latin America By Ohanian, Lee E.; Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina; Wright, Mark L. J.
  11. Bad Investments and Missed Opportunities? Capital Flows to Asia and Latin America, 1950-2007 By Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria; Mark Wright; Lee Ohanian
  12. Cropping intensity gaps: The potential for expanded global harvest areas: By Wu, Wenbin; You, Liangzhi; Chen, Kevin Z.
  13. Relationship of the change in implied volatility with the underlying equity index return in Thailand By Thakolsri, Supachock; Sethapramote, Yuthana; Jiranyakul, Komain
  14. Explaining Foreign Holdings of Asiafs Debt Securities: The Feldstein-Horioka Paradox Revisited By Charles Yuji Horioka; Akiko Terada-Hagiwara; Takaaki Nomoto
  15. The Impact of Special Economic Zones on Exporting Behavior By Ronald B. Davies; Arman Mazhikeyev
  16. Conflict, Institutions, and Economic Behavior: Legacies of the Cambodian Genocide By Kogure, Katsuo; Takasaki, Yoshito
  17. Incentives and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from a Seemingly Inefficient Traditional Labor Contract By Goto, Jun; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Keitaro

  1. By: Bowen,Thomas Vaughan
    Abstract: This paper evaluates how the Philippines utilize social protection systems and programs to help households better manage disaster risk. Exposure and vulnerability to natural disasters and the effects of climate change are particularly high in the Philippines. At the same time, the Philippines has developed one of the most advanced social protection systems in the East Asia Pacific region. The Department of Social Welfare and Development is prominently integrated into the national disaster risk management framework of the Philippines, taking the lead coordinating role in disaster response activities. Consequently, social protection programs are on the frontlines of disaster response in the Philippines. This paper focuses specifically on the devastating impact of Typhoon Yolanda, which struck the country in November 2013, as a case study against which the Philippines? social protection response can be assessed.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Disaster Management,Rural Poverty Reduction,Hazard Risk Management,Natural Disasters
    Date: 2015–11–09
  2. By: Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Faek Menla Ali; Fabio Spagnolo; Nicola Spagnolo
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of equity and bond portfolio inflows on exchange rate volatility, using monthly bilateral data for the US vis-a-vis eight Asian developing and emerging countries (India, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, and Taiwan) over the period 1993:01-2012:11, and estimating a time-varying transition probability Markov-switching model. We find that net equity (bond) inflows drive the exchange rate to a high (low) volatility state. In particular, net bond inflows increase the probability of remaining in the low volatility state in the case of Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines, whilst they increase the probability of staying in the high volatility state in the case of Indonesia. Finally, net equity inflows from India, Indonesia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan towards the US also increase the probability of staying in the high volatility state. These findings can be plausibly interpreted in terms of the "return-chasing" hypothesis and suggest that credit controls on portfolio flows could be an effective tool to stabilise the foreign exchange market.
    Keywords: Bond flows, Equity flows, Exchange rates, Regime switching
    JEL: F31 F32 G15
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Kuwahara, Satoshi (Asian Development Bank Institute); Yoshino, Naoyuki (Asian Development Bank Institute); Sagara, Megumi (Asian Development Bank Institute); Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in Asian economies as they contribute to high shares of employment and output. However, SMEs generally have limited access to finance compared to large enterprises. Given the bank-dominated financial systems in Asia, banks are the main source of financing for SMEs. For financial institutions, it is crucial to distinguish sound SMEs from non-healthy ones in order to avoid the accumulation of non-performing loans. Information asymmetry in this sector can be reduced by using accumulated data on SMEs and by employing credit analysis techniques, allowing lending institutions to recognize healthy SMEs. It is crucial for governments to collect SME data and prepare rich databases, such as the Credit Risk Database (CRD) of Japan. This will also help governments to formulate economic policies. In this paper we define and describe in detail the role and characteristics of Japan’s CRD in SME development and explain how it can be an example for other Asian economies to establish similar soft infrastructure that can make important contributions to SME development and boost economic growth.
    Keywords: SME finance; Credit Risk Database; risk models
    JEL: G21 G24 G32
    Date: 2015–11–18
  4. By: Gootiiz,Batshur; Mattoo,Aaditya
    Abstract: Can regionalism do what multilateralism has so far failed to do?promote greater openness of services markets? Although previous research has pointed to the wider and deeper legal commitments under regional agreements as proof that it can, no previous study has assessed the impact of such agreements on applied policies. This paper focuses on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where regional integration of services markets has been linked to thriving regional supply chains. Drawing on surveys conducted in 2008 and 2012 of applied policies in the key services sectors of ASEAN countries, the paper assesses the impact of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and the ambitious ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, which envisaged integrated services markets by 2015. The analysis finds that over this period, ASEAN did not integrate faster internally than vis-à-vis the rest of the world: policies applied to trade with other ASEAN countries were virtually the same as those applied to trade with rest of the world. Moreover, the recent commitments scheduled under AFAS did not produce significant liberalization and, in a few instances, services trade policy actually became more restrictive. The two exceptions are in areas that are not on the multilateral negotiating agenda: steps have been taken toward creating regional open skies in air transport, and a few mutual recognition agreements have been negotiated in professional services. These findings suggest that regional negotiations add the most value when they are focused on areas that are not being addressed multilaterally.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Trade and Services,Housing&Human Habitats,Banks&Banking Reform,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures
    Date: 2015–11–17
  5. By: Chesnokova, Tatyana; Rupa, Jesmin; Sim, Nicholas
    Abstract: The paper examines if exports have unequal influence on the work decisions of men and women using household panel data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey. We construct a novel measure – the export exposure index – which allows us to estimate the relationship between exports and the work decisions of individuals even after controlling for household and province-year fixed effects. Our regression analysis shows that an increase in exports does not have a statistically significant effect on men, but encourages women to allocate time away from paid employment towards unpaid house or family work. These results are consistent with our simple theoretical model which predicts that the relative increase in spousal income (following an increase in export exposure) strengthens females' comparative advantage in unpaid housework and allows them to devote more time to home production.
    Keywords: Exports, Gender, Labor Force Participation
    JEL: O12
    Date: 2015–07
  6. By: Naidoo,Darian; Packard,Truman G.; Auwalin,Ilmiawan
    Abstract: This paper investigates the occupational mobility and job quality of young people in Indonesia and relates this to the concept of ?scarring.? The concept of labor market scarring in this paper is the occurrence of low or zero returns to certain types of work (for example, self-employment). Scarring is expected to occur whenever an individual spends periods working in occupations in which their human capital is either stagnant or deteriorating. Fixed effects estimations using panel data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey reveal that a period in self-employment is associated with negative returns for youth (about 3 to 4 percent per year penalty), but not for older adults. In addition, there are clear patterns of persistence in self-employment over time with few individuals progressing from petty self-employment to businesses with permanent workers.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Labor Management and Relations,Labor Standards,Youth and Government,Labor Policies
    Date: 2015–11–09
  7. By: THORBECKE, Willem
    Abstract: This paper uses a gravity model to investigate the evolution of Japan's exports. Before the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2007, Japan's exports to the United States were $40 billion more than predicted each year, but they have moderated since then. Japan's exports to China increased markedly relative to predicted values after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Evidence from disaggregating Japan's exports into ordinary and processing trade indicates that this increase in exports to China was driven by a surge of parts and components for re-export, and that Japan's exports of goods for the Chinese domestic market remained negative outliers. Japan's exports to South Korea and Europe are also much less than predicted. If Japan entered into free trade agreements with China, South Korea, and the European Union, it would significantly increase its exports to these destinations. This would help Japanese companies to diversify their export structure and reduce their exposure to slowdowns in the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS); Philippine APEC Study Center Network (PASCN)
    Abstract: The Department of Foreign Affairs, as chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 National Organizing Council Committee on Host Economy Priorities and as APEC National Secretariat, commissioned the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, through the Philippine APEC Study Center Network, to undertake research on the identified priority areas of APEC 2015 in order to gather expert analyses and insights that can serve as inputs to the various discussions during the summit as well as help advocate domestic reforms in the longer term. This two-volume publication consists of policy papers written under the Research Project APEC 2015. The project explores the four priority areas of APEC 2015, namely, enhancing regional economic integration, fostering small and medium enterprises` participation in the regional and global economy, investing in human capital development, and building sustainable and resilient communities. Volume I focuses on enhancing regional economic integration and investing in human capital development. It is made up of papers that tackle the pathways to the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, the role of services, APEC-wide connectivity through infrastructure development, supply chain connectivity, and human capacity building.
    Keywords: Philippines, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), services, APEC 2015, regional economic integration, human capital development, Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), supply chain connectivity, infrastructure development
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Barbier,Edward B.
    Abstract: This paper identifies the low-elevation coastal zone populations and developing regions most vulnerable to sea-level rise and other coastal hazards, such as storm surges, coastal erosion, and salt-water intrusion. The focus is on the rural poor in the low-elevation coastal zone, as their economic livelihoods are especially endangered directly by coastal hazards and indirectly through the impacts of climate change on key coastal and near-shore ecosystems. Using geo-spatially referenced malnutrition and infant mortality data for 2000 as a proxy for poverty, this study finds that just 15 developing countries contain over 90 percent of the world?s low-elevation coastal zone rural poor. Low-income countries as a group have the highest incidence of poverty, which declines somewhat for lower-middle-income countries, and then is much lower for upper-middle-income economies. South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa account for most of the world?s low-elevation coastal zone rural poor, and have a high incidence of poverty among their rural low-elevation coastal zone populations. Although fostering growth, especially in coastal areas, may reduce rural poverty in the low-elevation coastal zone, additional policy actions will be required to protect vulnerable communities from disasters, to conserve and restore key coastal and near-shore ecosystems, and to promote key infrastructure investments and coastal community response capability.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Regional Economic Development,Wetlands,Coastal and Marine Environment,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2015–11–05
  10. By: Ohanian, Lee E. (University of California); Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina; Wright, Mark L. J. (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: Since 1950, the economies of East Asia grew rapidly but received little international capital, while Latin America received considerable international capital even as their economies stagnated. The literature typically explains the failure of capital to flow to high growth regions as resulting from international capital market imperfections. This paper proposes a broader thesis that country-specific distortions, such as domestic labor and capital market distortions, also impact capital flows. We develop a DSGE model of Asia, Latin America, and the Rest of the World that features an open-economy business cycle accounting framework to measure these domestic and international distortions, and to quantify their contributions to international capital flows. We find that domestic distortions have been the predominant drivers of international capital flows, and that the general equilibrium effects of these distortions are very large. International capital market distortions also matter, but less so.
    Keywords: Investments; capital flows; Asia; Latin America
    JEL: E22 N25 N26
    Date: 2013–11–25
  11. By: Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria (Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis and The); Mark Wright (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Lee Ohanian (University of California Los Angeles)
    Abstract: Theory predicts that capital should flow to countries where economic growth and the return to capital is highest. However, in the post-World War II period, per-capita GDP grew almost three times faster in East Asia than in Latin America, yet capital flowed in greater quantities into Latin America. In this paper we propose a 3-country 2-sector growth model, augmented by 'wedges' to quantify and evaluate the importance of international capital market imperfections versus domestic imperfections in explaining this anomalous behavior of capital flows. We find that during the 1950's capital controls where important, but domestic conditions dominate. And contrary to what has been thought, after 1960 capital controls in Asia encouraged borrowing.
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Wu, Wenbin; You, Liangzhi; Chen, Kevin Z.
    Abstract: To feed the world’s growing population, more food needs to be produced. In addition to cropland expansion, which faces a variety of constraints, increasing cropping intensity may provide a promising means of boosting global crop production. Yet information on the size and location of cropping intensity gaps—the difference between the maximum cropping intensity that is theoretically possible and the cropping intensity that is realized today—for current global croplands, and how much additional production can potentially be achieved by closing these gaps, is lacking. To address this issue, this study proposes a spatial approach to exploring cropping intensity gaps around the year 2000. We identify these gaps by estimating the potential multiple cropping systems and actual multiple cropping systems for current global croplands and then calculating the difference. An adapted GAEZ (Global Agro-Ecological Zone) method was used to estimate potential multiple cropping systems on the basis of meteorological data, while actual multiple cropping systems were derived from satellite-based observations. The results show that global average cropping intensity gaps are 0.48 taking temperature constraints into account and 0.17 taking temperature and precipitation constraints into account. The Latin American region has the largest concentration of cropping intensity gaps under both scenarios, followed by Africa and Asia. We also find that most food-insecure countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara, as indicated by higher Global Hunger Index scores, have high or moderate cropping intensity gaps in both scenarios. Reducing the cropping intensity gaps would provide an opportunity to increase food production and help people escape extreme hunger. We estimate that global harvests on current croplands can be expanded by an amount equivalent to another 7.36 million and 2.71 million square kilometers (km2), respectively, under the temperature-limited and the temperature- and precipitation-limited scenarios. Latin America has the largest potential to achieve additional harvest area equivalents (more than 1.28 million km2) by closing cropping intensity gaps, followed by Asia (1.00 million km2). However, it must also be noted that although increasing cropping intensity can boost annual crop production per unit of cropland, this approach is not necessarily always appropriate, and the trade-offs between reducing cropping intensity gaps and caring for the environment must be considered. Only if cropping intensity can be increased sustainably is this a potential strategy for enabling global food production to meet rising food demands.
    Keywords: cropping systems, farmland, cultivated land, agroecological zones, cropping intensity gap, potential multiple cropping intensity, actual multiple cropping intensity, harvest area, agroecological potential,
    Date: 2015
  13. By: Thakolsri, Supachock; Sethapramote, Yuthana; Jiranyakul, Komain
    Abstract: The main purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the change in implied volatility index and the underlying stock index return. The dataset used in this study is from 11/19/2010 to 12/27/2013. The regression analysis is performed on stationary series. The empirical results reveal that there is evidence of a significantly negative and asymmetric relationship between the return and the change in implied volatility in the Thai stock market. The finding in this study gives implication for risk management.
    Keywords: Equity index return, implied volatility, asymmetric effect
    JEL: C22 G15
    Date: 2015–11
  14. By: Charles Yuji Horioka; Akiko Terada-Hagiwara; Takaaki Nomoto
    Abstract: In this paper, we find that home bias is still present in all economies and regions, especially in the case of short-term debt securities, but that there are substantial variations among economies and regions in the strength of home bias, with the Eurozone economies, the US, and developing Asia showing relatively weak home bias and advanced Asia, especially Japan, showing relatively strong home bias. We then examine trends over time in foreign holdings of debt securities and find that capital has been flowing from the US and the Eurozone economies to both advanced Asia (especially Japan) and developing Asia and that foreign holdings of debt securities have been increasing in advanced as well as developing Asia but for different reasons. The main reason in the case of advanced Asia (especially Japan) appears to be higher risk-adjusted returns, whereas the main reason in the case of developing Asia appears to be the growth of debt securities markets combined with relatively weak home bias and (in the case of short-term securities) lower exchange rate volatility. Finally, we find that since the Global Financial Crisis, foreign holdings of debt securities have declined (i.e., that home bias has strengthened) in all economies and regions except developing Asia, where they have increased (except for a temporary decline in 2008) but where their share is still much lower than the optimal share warranted by the capital asset pricing market model.
    Date: 2015–11
  15. By: Ronald B. Davies; Arman Mazhikeyev
    Abstract: Using firm level data from Africa and Asia, we estimate the impact of being in a special economic zone (SEZ) on a firm’s probability of exporting, export intensity, and value of exports. At the extensive margin, we find that SEZ firms in open economies are 25% more likely to export than their non-SEZ counterparts, with a large negative effect in closed economies. At the intensive margin, we find that SEZs increase the value of exports, but only in countries with barriers to imports where the estimate increase is 3.6%. Thus, the estimated effect of introducing an SEZ can be meaningful, but is heavily contingent on the local economic environment.
    Keywords: Exporting; Trade barriers; Special economic zones
    JEL: F14 J16
    Date: 2015–11
  16. By: Kogure, Katsuo; Takasaki, Yoshito
    Abstract: This paper examines potential long-term effects of the Cambodian genocide under the Pol Pot regime (1975-'79) on individual economic behaviors, taking into account underlying institutions. Combining spatial genocide data and census microdata, we examine effects of the genocide on subsequent parental investments in children's education of couples who had their first child during and after the Pol Pot regime. Under the state ownership of spouses and children, resulting from the complete denial of private ownership, the two couples had different institutional experiences during the Pol Pot regime: the former couples were controlled as family organizations, whereas the latter ones were controlled as individuals. Our results suggest that the genocide negatively influenced subsequent educational investments in children among the former couples, but not the latter ones. We provide underlying mechanisms behind these findings, which are coherent with social context.
    Keywords: conflict, genocide, institutions, education, Cambodia
    JEL: N35 O15 O17
    Date: 2015–03
  17. By: Goto, Jun; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Aoyagi, Keitaro
    Abstract: This paper investigates the interplay between economic incentives and social norms in formulating rice planting contracts in the Philippines. In our study area, despite the potential for pervasive opportunistic behaviors by workers, a fixed-wage (FW) contract has been dominant for rice planting. To account for the use of this seemingly inefficient contractual arrangement, we adopt a hybrid experimental method of framed field experiments by randomized controlled trials (RCT), in which we randomly assign three distinct labor contracts—FW, individual piece rate (IPR), and group piece rate (GPR)—and artefactual field experiments to elicit social preference parameters. Through analyses of individual workers' performance data from framed field experiments and data on social preferences elicited by artefactual field experiments, three main empirical findings emerge. First, our basic results show the positive incentive effects in IPR and, equivalently, moral hazard problems in FW, which are consistent with standard theoretical implications. Second, non-monetary incentives seem to play a significant role under FW: while social preferences such as altruism and guilt aversion play an important role in stimulating incentives under FW, introducing monetary incentives crowds out such intrinsic motivations, and other nonmonetary factors such as positive peer effects significantly enhance incentives under a FW contract. Finally, as alternative hypotheses, our empirical results are not necessarily consistent with the hypothesis of the interlinked contract of labor and credit transactions in mitigating moral hazard problems, the optimality of FW contract under large effort measurement errors, and the intertemporal incentives arising from performance-based contract renewal probabilities. Hence, considering the interplay of intrinsic motivations and monetary incentives as well as the monetary costs of mitigating moral hazard and free-riding problems through IPR, we may conclude that seemingly perverse traditional contractual arrangements might be socially efficient.
    Keywords: Randomized controlled trials, incentives, social preferences, peer effect, labor contract, field experiments
    JEL: D03 C93 D22 C91
    Date: 2015–03

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