nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2017‒05‒21
nineteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Peat Policy and Its Implications on Value Chains of Indonesian Palm Oil By Budi Indra Setiawan; Falatehan Faroby
  2. Business regulation pillars: Good regulatory practice for ASEAN By Zoe Dayan; Winona Rei Bolislis
  3. Stock Market Integration in Asia: Global or Regional? Evidence from Industry Level Panel Convergence Tests By Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Kefei You
  4. Human Capital and Shocks: Evidence on Education, Health and Nutrition By Elizabeth Frankenberg; Duncan Thomas
  5. Global and Regional Financial Integration in Emerging Asia: Evidence from Stock Markets By Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Luis A. Gil-Alana; Kefei You
  6. An Assessment of the Community Mortgage Program Implementation Strategy By Ballesteros, Marife M.; Magtibay, Jasmine E.; Ramos, Tatum P.
  7. Assessing Corporate Vulnerabilities in Indonesia; A Bottom-Up Default Analysis By Jorge A Chan-Lau; Weimin Miao; Ken Miyajima; Jongsoon Shin
  8. Impure Altruism and Other Donor Attraction Factors: A Study Based on a Database of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the Philippines By Renato E. Reside, Jr.
  9. The Role Of Corporate Governance And Its Impact On Risk And Firm Performance Of Real Estate Industry: Amanahraya Reit By Mohamad, Wahidah
  10. The Indirect Effects of FDI on Trade: A Network Perspective By Paolo Sgrignoli; Rodolfo Metulini; Zhen Zhu; Massimo Riccaboni
  11. Idiosyncratic Shocks, Child Labor and School Attendance in Indonesia By Kharisma, Bayu
  12. Malaysia; 2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Authorities of Malaysia By International Monetary Fund.
  13. Chained to Sustainable Development Goals? The Changing Role of Entities for Enhanced Resilience along Agriculture Food Value Chains in Thailand By John K.M. Kuwornu
  14. Lessons Unlearned? Corporate Debt in Emerging Markets By Laura Alfaro; Gonzalo Asis; Anusha Chari; Ugo Panizza
  15. How Important are Spillovers from Major Emerging Markets? By Huidrom, Raju; Kose, Ayhan; Ohnsorge, Franziska
  16. Implications of Brexit to the Asia-Pacific region: with a focus on least developed countries By Jacob, Arun; Graham, Louis; Moller, Anders K
  17. Decomposing Ethnic Differences in University Acedemic Achievement in New Zealand By Zhaoyi Cao; Tim Maloney
  18. Impact of Lower Rated Journals on Economists' Judgments of Publication Lists: Evidence from a Survey Experiment By Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Riyanto, Yohanes E.; Knetsch, Jack L.
  19. Modelling Heterogeneity in the Resilience to Major Socioeconomic Life Events By Fabrice Etilé; Paul Frijters; David W. Johson; Michael A. Shields

  1. By: Budi Indra Setiawan; Falatehan Faroby
    Abstract: Palm oil and its derivative products are strategic commodities that play an important role in the economic development of Indonesia which, along with Malaysia, is a major exporter to the global markets. Global as well as national demands on crude palm oil are increasing, not only as food but also as raw material for biodiesel. To increase production, the extensification of oil palm plantations in Indonesia is still the preferred option. Since there are limited fertile mineral soils, marginal land such as peatlands have become targeted areas to open new plantations. Due to recurring fire and haze problems, while attempting to restore degraded peatlands, the government issued By Law No. 57 in 2016 to protect and manage the peat ecosystem (Peat Policy). This peat policy, which mainly aims to prevent environmental degradation, would to some extent reduce planting areas and impact on production, stretching to the supply and value chain of palm oil and its derivative products. This study assessed how the peat policy affected the planting areas; production; economic value; growers, especially the farmers; and export quantity and value. We applied numerical approaches followed by simulations of certain scenarios. Compared to 2015 figures, the peat policy would reduce the palm oil plantation area by 10%-18% and production by 12%-15%, with the potential to reduce: 1) economic values by 12%-15%; 2) the number of farmers by 12%-15%; 3) exported palm oil by 21%-24% and export value by 22%-24%; and 4) the cost of fresh fruit bunch by 6%-8%. These reductions will severely affect the economic development of the country and threaten the welfare of the farmers. The government and practitioners should therefore make policy choices that are conducive to the sustainable development of oil palm plantation in the peatlands, i.e. how to promote intensification programs to increase productivity and to manage sustainable production.
    Keywords: : Peatland, peat policy, palm oil, value chain
    JEL: F10 F18 N55 O13
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Zoe Dayan; Winona Rei Bolislis
    Abstract: Business registration is crucial for ensuring accountable, transparent and viable business environments. By bringing businesses into the formal economy, governments are able to provide more strategic and targeted policies for businesses and consumers. The objective of this working paper is to look at the importance of business registration for governments, businesses and citizens. It explores the this issue through a series of case studies that support good practices in customer orientation and joined-up government. Each of the different case studies fall under a pillar that aims to support countries in the development of their business registration systems. The paper also aims to provide policy directions for countries in Southeast Asia when developing modern business registration systems and provides some background for the development of ASEAN’s regional business registration principles.
    Keywords: Administrative reform, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Business registration, one-stop shops, Small and Medium Size Enterprises
    JEL: A1 D01 D21 D22 D73 H1 H32 L2 M13 N80 N85
    Date: 2017–05–18
  3. By: Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Kefei You
    Abstract: This paper examines global and regional stock market integration in Asia at both the aggregate and disaggregate (industry) level by applying the Phillips-Sul (2007) tests for panel and club convergence. The main findings can be summarised as follows. In the pre-2008 crisis period, no integration/convergence of any kind is found. By contrast, in the post-crisis period, the Asian stock markets appear to be integrated both globally and regionally at the aggregate level; at the industry level, there is evidence of both global and regional integration in 6 out of 10 cases, the exceptions being Financials and Telecommunication, both in a turn-around phase, and Gas & Oil and Technology, for which there is no panel convergence. Club convergence tests reveal the existence of convergence clubs and divergent economies within the full panel, which explains why panel convergence is not found for the pre-crisis period and for the Gas & Oil and Technology sectors in the post-crisis period.
    Keywords: Asian stock markets, global and regional integration, Phillips-Sul tests, panel and club convergence
    JEL: C32 C33 G11 G15
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Elizabeth Frankenberg; Duncan Thomas
    Abstract: Human capital, including health and nutrition, has played a key role in the literature on poverty traps. Economic shocks that affect human capital during early life are thought to translate into permanently reduced levels of human capital and, thereby, push individuals into poverty. Three potential concerns in this literature are explored with empirical evidence drawn from primary longitudinal survey data collected before and after two major shocks in Indonesia: the 1998 financial crisis and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. First, it is very hard to identify shocks that are unanticipated and uncorrelated with other factors that affect human capital outcomes. Second, and related, there is abundant evidence that individuals, families and communities invest in strategies that are designed to mitigate the impact of such shocks. The nature and effectiveness of the myriad array of these behaviors vary with the context in ways that are not straightforward to measure or model. Third, the impacts of shocks on human capital outcomes in the short and longer-term may differ precisely because of the behavioral changes of individuals and their families so that drawing inferences about the longer-term impacts based on negative impacts in the short term can be very misleading. The picture of remarkable resilience that emerges from investigating the impacts of major shocks on child health and human capital in Indonesia is nothing short of stunning.
    JEL: I1 I2 O1 O15
    Date: 2017–04
  5. By: Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Luis A. Gil-Alana; Kefei You
    Abstract: This paper employs a price-based measure of integration, namely stock return differentials between ten emerging Asian economies and the US (as an indicator of global integration), as well as Japan and the Asian region (as two alternative indicators of regional integration), to test for mean reversion and draw inference on financial integration. It makes a three-fold contribution: it uses not only aggregate but also industry level data on stock returns; it examines the impact of the 2008 crisis; it employs a fractional integration approach to investigate the issues of interest. The evidence suggests that in emerging Asia there is more regional than global integration, and that the former has become even stronger in the post- 2008 crisis period.
    Keywords: Global and regional integration, Asian stock markets, fractional integration, Global financial crisis
    JEL: F31 C22 C32
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Ballesteros, Marife M.; Magtibay, Jasmine E.; Ramos, Tatum P.
    Abstract: The Community Mortgage Program (CMP) is a financing scheme that enables organized residents of slums to borrow funds for land purchase and housing development. It is already considered to be the most innovative and responsive government housing program in the Philippines. Nevertheless, the CMP still has weaknesses that have not been given much attention during the years of its implementation. These issues pertain to program targeting, service delivery, and organization. This study aims to review the current processes and overall performance of the CMP, including its variant--the localized CMP and the High-Density Housing Program. The study also provides recommendations on how the identified issues can be addressed.
    Keywords: Philippines, housing, informal settlers, community loan mortgage, housing finance, Community Mortgage Program, CMP, Social Housing Finance Corporation, SHFC, housing program
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Jorge A Chan-Lau; Weimin Miao; Ken Miyajima; Jongsoon Shin
    Abstract: Under adverse macroeconomic conditions, the potential realization of corporate sector vulnerabilities could pose major risks to the economy. This paper assesses corporate vulnerabilities in Indonesia by using a Bottom-Up Default Analysis (BuDA) approach, which allows projecting corporate probabilities of default (PDs) under different macroeconomic scenarios. In particular, a protracted recession and the ensuing currency depreciation could erode buffers on corporate balance sheets, pushing up the probabilities of default (PDs) in the corporate sector to the high levels observed during the Global Financial Crisis. While this is a low-probability scenario, the results suggest the need to closely monitor vulnerabilities and strengthen contingency plans.
    Keywords: Indonesia;Corporate sector;Asia and Pacific;bottom-up default analysis, default risk, scenario analysis, simulation, hazard rate models, Model Evaluation and Testing, General
    Date: 2017–04–26
  8. By: Renato E. Reside, Jr. (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: This study uses panel data on a sample of non-government organizations (NGOs) to estimate the factors that motivate donors to contribute to them. The results of empirical estimation suggest that a mix of conventional and tax factors influence donors. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that donors are not totally altruistic and are motivated by private benefits from donating. There is strong evidence that the private benefits come more from tax concessions from the act of donating. Hence, tax planning and arbitrage motives, more than “warm glow” factors influence donor contributions.
    Keywords: Nonprofit corporations; donations; altruism
    JEL: C80 D64 H26
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Mohamad, Wahidah
    Abstract: This study examines the performance of Amanahraya Real Estate Investment Trusts (ARREIT) with risk factor and macroeconomic factor towards profitability performance. The information from annual report of ARREIT starting from 2011-2015. This study can assist investors, regulatory body, fund managers and academics to make a better informed investment decision on Malaysia REITs. This study has provided interesting and important information and insights into the performance of Malaysia REITs. There are internal and external factors which are return on assets, return on equity, return on investment, current ratio, total assets turnover and debt ratio.
    Keywords: Credit risk, liquidity, profitability and macroeconomics.
    JEL: G3
    Date: 2017–04–28
  10. By: Paolo Sgrignoli; Rodolfo Metulini; Zhen Zhu; Massimo Riccaboni
    Abstract: The relationship between international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the main features of globalization. In this paper we investigate the effects of FDI on trade from a network perspective, since FDI takes not only direct but also indirect channels from origin to destination countries because of firms' incentive to reduce tax burden, to minimize coordination costs, and to break barriers to market entry. We use a unique data set of international corporate control as a measure of stock FDI to construct a corporate control network (CCN) where the nodes are the countries and the edges are the corporate control relationships. Based on the CCN, the network measures, i.e., the shortest path length and the communicability, are computed to capture the indirect channel of FDI. Empirically we find that corporate control has a positive effect on trade both directly and indirectly. The result is robust with different specifications and estimation strategies. Hence, our paper provides strong empirical evidence of the indirect effects of FDI on trade. Moreover, we identify a number of interplaying factors such as regional trade agreements and the region of Asia. We also find that the indirect effects are more pronounced for manufacturing sectors than for primary sectors such as oil extraction and agriculture.
    Date: 2017–05
  11. By: Kharisma, Bayu
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of various idiosyncratic shocks against child labor, child labor hour and school attendance. Also, the role of the assets held by households as one of the coping strategies to mitigate the effects of shocks. The results show that various idiosyncratic shocks that encourage child labor is generally caused by crop loss, a disease suffered by the head or member of the household, a decrease in household income due to lower prices and the quantity produced and the death of the head or a family member. This indicates that households are not sheltered from the idiosyncratic shocks and restricted access to formal and informal institutions. Other findings show a variety of idiosyncratic shocks do not affect child labor hour and the school attendance. Additionally, household assets play an important role in reducing the number of child labor and increase school attendance but do not affect the child labor hour during a variety of idiosyncratic shocks.
    Keywords: Idiosyncratic Shocks, Child Labor, Child Labor Hour, School Attendance
    JEL: I24 J01
    Date: 2017–01–25
  12. By: International Monetary Fund.
    Abstract: Although real GDP growth has slowed down, Malaysia is still among the fastest growing economies at its income level. The economy’s resilience, amidst global commodity price and financial market volatility, reflected a diversified production and export base; strong balance sheet positions; a flexible exchange rate; responsive macroeconomic policies; and deep financial markets. However, the authorities continue to face a challenging environment, given continued global uncertainty, which complicates the calibration of near-term macroeconomic policies.
    Keywords: Asia and Pacific;Malaysia;
    Date: 2017–04–28
  13. By: John K.M. Kuwornu
    Abstract: The operation period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ended in 2015, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be in operation in 2016-2030. The sustainable development agenda contained 17 goals and covered a broad range of quantitative and qualitative objectives across social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. These include (i) ending poverty and hunger, (ii) sustainable consumption and production, (iii) improving health and education, (iv) making cities more sustainable, (v) combating climate change, and (vi) protecting oceans and forests. Sustainable food production, marketing, and other post-harvest management practices are important to achieving majority of the SDGs. This paper examines the required changing roles of private and public organisations, as well as international organisations, in 2016-2030 to enhance resilience of agricultural food value chains in Thailand. The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) of Thailand is a growth and development model characterised by its universality and inclusiveness; people-centred approach; moderation, moral values, and reasonableness; and knowledge and integrity. The SEP encourages a holistic farm management system to promote sustainability, food security, water conservation and biodiversity, development of human resources, risk management, investment, and expansion of businesses, thereby creating self-sufficiency at the household, community, organisational, and national levels. These objectives of the SEP are somewhat consistent with Goals 1, 2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, and 15 of the SDGs. The required roles of organisations to enable Thailand to achieve the SDGs towards enhancing the resilience of agricultural food value chains are presented, and the policy implications are highlighted.
    Keywords: : Sustainable Development Goals, food value chains, risks, role of entities, resilience, Thailand
    JEL: Q5 Q12 Q13 O21 O22
    Date: 2017–05
  14. By: Laura Alfaro; Gonzalo Asis; Anusha Chari; Ugo Panizza
    Abstract: This paper documents a set of stylized facts about leverage and financial fragility in the non-financial corporate sector in emerging markets since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Corporate debt vulnerability indicators prior to the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) attributed to corporate financial roots provide a benchmark for comparison. The firm-level data suggest that emerging markets post-GFC have lower leverage ratios than the five Asian crisis countries (Asian Five) in the run-up to the AFC. However, a broader set of emerging market countries show weaker liquidity, solvency, and profitability indicators. More countries are also in the Altman Z-score's “grey zone”, that is, at risk for corporate distress. Regression estimates confirm that leading up to the AFC and in the aftermath of the GFC, firms with higher leverage have Z-scores that are closer to the financial distress range. The data also corroborate two macro-related hypotheses: first, that leverage interacted with currency depreciation had a statistically significant adverse impact on Z-scores in pre-AFC; and second, that in countries with higher GDP growth leverage is correlated with less corporate financial fragility. Consistent with Gabaix (2011) the paper finds a granularity effect in that large firms are systemically important—idiosyncratic shocks to large firms significantly correlate with GDP growth in our emerging markets sample. Also, the more-levered large firms are more vulnerable to exchange rate shocks than smaller firms with comparable levels of leverage. While this result holds for the average country in our sample, there is substantial cross-country heterogeneity.
    JEL: F34 G01 G15 G32
    Date: 2017–05
  15. By: Huidrom, Raju; Kose, Ayhan; Ohnsorge, Franziska
    Abstract: The seven largest emerging market economiess - China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey - constituted more than one-quarter of global output and more than half of global output growth during 2010-15. These emerging markets, which we call EM7, are also closely integrated with other countries, especially with other emerging and frontier markets. Given their size and integration, growth in EM7 could have significant cross-border spillovers. We provide empirical estimates of these spillovers using a Bayesian vector autoregression model. We report three main results. First, spillovers from EM7 are sizeable: a 1 percentage point increase in EM7 growth is associated with a 0.9 percentage point increase in growth in other emerging and frontier markets and a 0.6 percentage point increase in world growth at the end of three years. Second, sizeable as they are, spillovers from EM7 are still smaller than those from G7 countries (Group of Seven of advanced economies). Specifically, growth in other emerging and frontier markets, and the global economy would increase by one-half to three times more due to a similarly sized increase in G7 growth. Third, among the EM7, spillovers from China are the largest and permeate globally.
    Keywords: Business Cycles; China; EM7; external shocks; G7; Spillovers
    JEL: E32 F20 F42
    Date: 2017–05
  16. By: Jacob, Arun; Graham, Louis; Moller, Anders K
    Abstract: Brexit might affect exports of some countries in the Asia-Pacific region disproportionately more than others. Simulation results, under different Brexit scenarios, show that the potential reduction in trade faced by least developed countries (LDCs) of the region can range from 16% to 50% of their current export value to the UK in key sectors such as fish, clothes, textiles and footwear. Simulations also show that it is the larger developing countries from the region that would benefit from any trade diversion that ensues in these sectors. Countries with higher exposure to Brexit induced risks need to engage in deeper analyses of the extent of such impacts and brace themselves for proactive discussions with the UK in order to limit negative impacts.
    Keywords: Brexit, LDCs, trade diversion, trade policy
    JEL: F13 F17 O24 P45
    Date: 2017–03–03
  17. By: Zhaoyi Cao; Tim Maloney (School of Economics, Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law, Auckland Univeristy of Technology)
    Abstract: We use individual-level administrative data to examine the extent and potential explanations for the poorer academic performance of three ethnic minority groups in their first year of study at a New Zealand university. Substantial differences in course completion rates and letter grades are found for Māori, Pasifika and Asian students relative to their European counterparts. These large and significant gaps persist in the face of alternative definitions of ethnicity and sample restrictions. We use regression analysis and formal decomposition techniques to test whether differences in other personal characteristics, high school backgrounds and university enrollment patterns might account for these ethnic disparities in early academic achievement. We estimate that no more than one-quarter of the relatively poorer performance of Māori and Pasifika students would be eliminated if they had the same relevant observable factors of European students. These substantial unexplained ethnic differences in early academic performance at university raise concerns about appropriate policies to close ethnic gaps in academic achievement at university.
    Keywords: Higher Education; University Academic Achievement; Ethnic Differences or Disparities; Decomposition Techniques; New Zealand
    Date: 2017–02
  18. By: Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Riyanto, Yohanes E. (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore); Knetsch, Jack L. (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Publications in leading journals are widely known to have a positive impact on economists' judgments of the value of authors' contributions to the literature and on their professional reputations. Very little attention has been given, however, to the impacts of the addition of publications in lower rated journals on such judgments. In our main tests, we asked subsamples of economists in 44 universities throughout the world to rate either a publication list with only higher rated journals or a list with all of these but with additional publications in nearly as many respected but lower rated journals. Our primary finding was that the inclusion of lower rated journals had a statistically significant negative impact on these economists' judgments of the value of the author's contribution. To the extent that such judgments may influence research and publication strategies our findings imply negative implications on social welfare.
    Keywords: lower ranked journals, publication, judgment bias, less-is-better effect, resume
    JEL: A14
    Date: 2017–04
  19. By: Fabrice Etilé (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Paul Frijters (CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); David W. Johson (Monash University [Malaysia]); Michael A. Shields (Monash University [Malaysia])
    Abstract: Using a novel, dynamic finite mixture model applied to 12 years of nationally representative panel data, we explore individual heterogeneity in the total psychological response (our measure of resilience) to ten major adverse life events, including serious illness, redundancy and crime victimisation. Importantly, this model takes into account that individuals are not randomly selected into adverse events, that some events are anticipated in advance of their occurrence, and that the immediate psychological response and the speed of adaptation may differ across individuals. Additionally, we generate a ‘standardised event’ in order to document the distribution of general resilience in the population. We find considerable heterogeneity in the response to adverse events, with the total psychological loss of people with low resilience being several times larger than the average loss. We also find that resilience is strongly correlated with clinical measures of mental health, but only weakly correlated with cognitive and non-cognitive traits. Finally, we find that resilience in adulthood to some extent is predictable by childhood socioeconomic circumstances; the strongest predictor we identify is good childhood health.
    Keywords: Psychological Health, Resilience, Life Events, Childhood, Panel,Data, Mixture Model
    Date: 2017–03

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