nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2018‒02‒26
seventeen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Harnessing the Ring of Fire: Political economy of clean energy development finance on geothermal development in Indonesia and the Philippines By Chelminski, K.
  2. Invisible, successful, and divided: Vietnamese in Germany since the late 1970s By Frank Bösch; Phi Hong Su
  3. Democratization, post-industrialization, and East Asian welfare capitalism: the politics of welfare state reform in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan By Fleckenstein, Timo; Lee, Soohyun Christine
  4. Extra-regional states' Accession to Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and ASEAN’s Proactive Diplomatic Strategies: Analysis on the Accession Process of China and Japan By Haran CHOI
  5. Successful Transition to a Market Economy in Vietnam: An Interpretation from Organizational Ecology Theory By Tran, Hien Thu; Santarelli, Enrico
  6. Involuntary migration, context of reception, and social mobility: The case of Vietnamese refugee resettlement in the United States By Carl L. Bankston III; Min Zhou
  7. Servicification in Global Value Chains: The Case of Asian Countries By Shandre Mugan Thangavelu; Wang Wenxiao; Sothea Oum
  8. Religions, Fertility, and Growth in South-East Asia By de la Croix, David; Delavallade, Clara
  9. Trade Impact of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA): An Augmented Gravity Model Analysis. By Chandran, B.P. Sarath
  10. Unity in Diversity? How Intergroup Contact Can Foster Nation Building By Samuel Bazzi; Arya Gaduh; Alexander Rothenberg; Maisy Wong
  11. Global factors and trend inflation By Güneş Kamber; Benjamin Wong
  12. Debt Traps? Market Vendors and Moneylender Debt in India and the Philippines By Karlan, Dean S.; Mullainathan, Sendhil; Roth, Benjamin
  13. Debt Traps? Market Vendors and Moneylender Debt in India and the Philippines By Dean Karlan; Sendhil Mullainathan; Benjamin N. Roth
  14. India's integration into the world economy: Intensifying, but still ample potential for improvement By Laaser, Claus-Friedrich; Rosenschon, Astrid
  15. Original sin in corporate finance: New evidence from Asian bond issuers in onshore and offshore markets By Paul Mizen; Frank Packer; Eli Remolona; Serafeim Tsoukas
  16. Asian Option Pricing with Orthogonal Polynomials By Sander Willems
  17. Big Data, Computational Science, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Management, and Psychology: Connections By Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McALeer; Wing-Keung Wong

  1. By: Chelminski, K.
    Abstract: Located along the Ring of Fire in the Asia Pacific, both Indonesia and the Philippines have tremendous natural resource endowments in geothermal energy. Yet, the two countries have dramatic differences in the share of installed capacity they have developed with international development assistance for geothermal development over the last decades. This paper investigates the major interests, institutions and barriers to geothermal development in Indonesia and the Philippines and then examines how closely clean energy development finance has addressed these barriers. Using qualitative analysis and data from field research in both countries, this paper investigates the effectiveness of the clean energy development finance for renewable energy development. The main findings of this research show that clean energy development finance targeted major barriers to geothermal energy development, but the finance was limited in its impacts on removing the barriers or addressing major domestic political interests, particularly in the case of Indonesia. This research also illuminated limitations of the project-based development approach to solving macro-level problems in clean energy development.
    Keywords: clean energy development, development finance, energy policy, geothermal energy
    JEL: O13 Q42 N55
    Date: 2018–01–22
  2. By: Frank Bösch; Phi Hong Su
    Abstract: Until the 1970s, only 1000 Vietnamese lived in West and East Germany, most of them international students. West Germany, in particular, had not yet been confronted with non-European refugees. This changed after 1978 with the influx of around 35,000 “boat people” from Viet Nam and other countries in South East Asia, who arrived as part of a contingent quota admission. Their entry led to new strategies for integration, including obligatory language classes and a host of measures resembling those in other countries of refugee resettlement. Yet, the German case differs from other countries because of the simultaneous arrival of non-refugee Vietnamese, who came on temporary labour contracts to socialist East Germany starting in 1980. These two migration streams would converge when Germany reunified in 1990. Drawing on mixed qualitative methods, this paper offers a strategic case for understanding factors that shaped the arrival and resettlement experiences of Vietnamese refugees and contract workers in Germany. By comparing two migration streams from the same country of origin that experienced varied contexts of reception (government, labour market, and ethnic community), we suggest that a context of reception need not be uniformly positive for immigrants and refugees to have an integration experience deemed successful.
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Fleckenstein, Timo; Lee, Soohyun Christine
    Abstract: This review article provides an overview of the scholarship on the establishment and reform of East Asian welfare capitalism. The developmental welfare state theory and the related productivist welfare regime approach have dominated the study of welfare states in the region. This essay, however, shows that a growing body of research challenges the dominant literature. We identify two key driving factors of welfare reform in East Asia, namely democratization and post-industrialization; and discuss how these two drivers have undermined the political and functional underpinnings of the post-war equilibrium of the East Asian welfare/production regime. Its unfolding transformation and the new politics of social policy in the region challenge the notion of “East Asian exceptionalism”, and we suggest that recent welfare reforms call for a better integration of the region into the literature of advanced political economies to allow for cross-fertilization between Eastern and Western literatures.
    Keywords: Democratization; Post-Industrialization; Welfare Capitalism; Developmentalism; Japan; South Korea; Taiwan.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–02–08
  4. By: Haran CHOI (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), signed in 1976, has nowadays become a comprehensive ASEAN-centered regime with members of 34 states and 1 regional organization. Especially since the 2000s, extra-regional states including China, Japan, and the US have joined to TAC. The accessions of extra-regional states have been explained by environmental or structural causes. However, such explanations are insufficient to answer why the preferences of the extra-regional states have been changed. This paper aims to provide a new explanation focusing on the diplomatic strategies of ASEAN trying to bring extra-regional states into TAC. Existing literature interprets China's accession to TAC as part of its “peaceful rise” and Japan’s “competition against China.” This paper challenges this perspective and argues that ASEAN had fascinated China by its “Promotion strategy” and “Give-and-take strategy” and Japan by its “Competition strategy,” leading both states to join TAC. The paper exemplifies the accession of China and Japan as a well-executed diplomatic strategy by ASEAN to promote the joining of extra-regional states to TAC.
    Keywords: ASEAN, Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), Diplomatic strategies, Centrality
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: Tran, Hien Thu; Santarelli, Enrico
    Abstract: This paper investigates the rationales for the successful economic transition in Vietnam by applying organizational ecology theory. We claim that Vietnam could achieve a smooth transition because the country preserved the strong institutional capacity of the state in parallel with an instant market liberalization approach. Instead of transforming state-owned firms directly into private-owned firms, the economy produced a population of collectively owned and mixed-ownership enterprises that coexisted with state-owned firms to pave the way for the large-scale emergence of privately owned firms afterward. The mechanism underpinning this transition path lies in the evolution and interaction among three organizational forms during the various stages of the transition. Initially, the new private sector emerges and survives because of receiving “legitimacy spillovers” from the well-legitimized collective and mixed sector that shares some “identity overlap”. Overtime, as the private sector accumulates its constitutive legitimacy it competes with and challenges the existence of the old state and collective sector. Finally, the Schumpeterian “creative destruction” process replaces the old sector with the new dominant sector. Empirically, we test this mechanism using the census data of firms operating in Vietnam during 2000-2010, a period following the “doimoi” policy in 1986 that officially recognized private firms in the constitution and included them in the government’s annual statistical coverage. We apply Blundell and Bond’s generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation technique and Cox’s proportional hazard model to study the interaction effects of economic sectors in terms of profitability and survival respectively.
    Keywords: ecology theory,ecological process,ownership type,organizational form,economic sector,transition country,Vietnam
    JEL: L2 O2 O5
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Carl L. Bankston III; Min Zhou
    Abstract: In this study, we examine the Vietnamese population of the United States as a case study in the integration of a refugee group in a host country. We approach this case in three parts. We first offer a brief review of Vietnamese refugee resettlement in the US and the making of a new ethnic community. We then provide a quantitative analysis of socioeconomic mobility among Vietnamese refugees using American Community Survey data from 1980 to 2015 and survey data. We examine how this ethnic population has changed over time by focusing on key socioeconomic indicators, such as poverty rates and levels of education, occupation, and income. Third, we seek to explain what enables Vietnamese refugees and their children to overcome initial disadvantage and move up in society based on our own work over the span of 20 years with in-depth qualitative data. We consider how policies, institutions (government, civil society, and ethnic), and patterns of social relations in the Vietnamese American community have interacted with individual agency to shape mobility.
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Shandre Mugan Thangavelu; Wang Wenxiao; Sothea Oum
    Abstract: The paper studies the degree of servicification (or the role of services as inputs in manufacturing) of selected 61 Asian countries in terms of global value chain (GVC) activities at the sectoral level using domestic and foreign services from 1995 to 2011. We explore empirically the possible sources of servicification of the economies in terms of the factors driving the expansion of servicification. We categorize servicification activities into two types: (a) domestic servicification using domestic services and (b) foreign servicification using foreign value-added content in domestic exports. Servicification is confirmed in selected Asian countries, particularly in 16 East Asian countries associated with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation. However, the selected Asian countries tend to have lower domestic servicification levels, but higher foreign servicification levels as compared to the overall sample of countries in the study. Countries with higher participation rates and lower positions in GVCs tend to have higher levels of foreign servicification across the sectors. In contrast, countries with higher participation rates and higher positions in GVCs tend to use more domestic services in manufacturing exports. The effect is larger for Asian countries as compared to the developed countries in the sample. The study also highlights the role of technical improvement and institutional as key factors in the development of services in the global production value chain.
    Keywords: global value chains, servicification, institutions, RCEP countries
    JEL: F14 F55
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: de la Croix, David; Delavallade, Clara
    Abstract: We investigate the extent to which religions' pronatalism is detrimental to growth via the fertility/education channel. Using censuses from South-East Asia, we first estimate an empirical model of fertility and show that having a religious affiliation significantly raises fertility, especially for couples with intermediate to high education levels. We next use these estimates to identify the parameters of a structural model of fertility choice. On average, Catholicism is the most pro-child religion (increasing total spending on children), followed by Buddhism, while Islam has a strong pro-birth component (redirecting spending from quality to quantity). We show that pro-child religions depress growth in the early stages of growth by lowering savings, physical capital, and labor supply. These effects account for 10% to 30% of the actual growth gaps between countries over 1950-1980. At later stages of growth, pro-birth religions lower human capital accumulation, explaining between 10% to 20% of the growth gap between Muslim and Buddhist countries over 1980-2010.
    Keywords: Buddhism; Catholicism; education; indirect inference; Islam; Quality-Quantity Tradeoff
    JEL: J13 O11 Z13
    Date: 2018–01
  9. By: Chandran, B.P. Sarath
    Abstract: India signed a FTA with ASEAN in the year 2009 came into effect on 1 January 2010. The paper looks in to the trade impact of India ASEAN Free Trade Agreement using an augmented Gravity model using a panel data framework. The study used a balanced panel data set of 11050 bilateral trade for 650 country pair for 17 years. Different panel data estimation techniques such as Pooled OLS method (POLS), Maximum likelihood Estimation Method (MLE), Fixed Effect with Vector Disintegration (FEVD), Between Effect (BE) and Random Effect Method (RE) are applied to the dataset to arrive at appropriate modeling method. Fixed Effect with Vector Decomposition (FEVD) was found suitable for explaining the trade flow. The results show the possibility of greater trade between India and ASEAN countries through RTA. Since the initial tariff levels are higher in India compared to ASEAN, ASEAN is likely to gain more in the short term. For India to exploit the trade potential with ASEAN the FTA should be operationalized in the services and investment domain.
    Keywords: Gravity Model, FTA, Trade Creation, India, ASEAN.
    JEL: F13 F14 F15
    Date: 2018–01–25
  10. By: Samuel Bazzi (Boston University and CEPR); Arya Gaduh (University of Arkansas); Alexander Rothenberg (RAND Corporation); Maisy Wong (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Throughout history, many governments have introduced policies to unite diverse groups through a shared sense of national identity. However, intergroup relationships at the local level are often slow to develop and confounded by spatial sorting and segregation. We shed new light on the long-run process of nation building using one of history's largest resettlement programs. Between 1979 and 1988, the Transmigration program in Indonesia relocated two million voluntary migrants from the Inner Islands of Java and Bali to the Outer Islands, in an effort to integrate geographically segregated ethnic groups. Migrants could not choose their destinations, and the unprecedented scale of the program created hundreds of new communities with varying degrees of diversity. We exploit this policy-induced variation to identify how diversity shapes incentives to integrate more than a decade after resettlement. Using rich data on language use at home, marriage, and identity choices, we find stronger integration in diverse communities. To understand why changes in diversity did not lead to social anomie or conflict, we identify mechanisms that influence intergroup relationships, including residential segregation, cultural distance, and perceived economic and political competition from migrants. Overall, our findings contribute lessons for the design of resettlement policies and provide a unique lens into the intergenerational process of integration and nation building.
    Keywords: Diversity, Identity, Language, Cultural Change, Migration, Nation Building
    JEL: D02 D71 J15 O15 R23
  11. By: Güneş Kamber; Benjamin Wong
    Abstract: We develop a model to empirically study the influence of global factors in driving trend inflation and the inflation gap.We apply our model to five established inflation targeters and a group of heterogeneous Asian economies. Our results suggest that while global factors can have a sizeable influence on the inflation gap, they play only a marginal role in driving trend inflation. Much of the influence of global factors in the inflation gap may be reflecting commodity price shocks. We also find global factors have a greater influence on inflation, and especially trend inflation, for the group of Asian economies relative to the established inflation targeters. A possible interpretation is that inflation targeting may have reduced the influence of global factors on inflation, and especially so on trend inflation.
    Keywords: trend inflation, foreign shocks, Beveridge-Nelson decomposition
    JEL: C32 E31 F41
    Date: 2018–01
  12. By: Karlan, Dean S.; Mullainathan, Sendhil; Roth, Benjamin
    Abstract: A debt trap occurs when someone takes on a high-interest rate loan and is barely able to pay back the interest, and thus perpetually finds themselves in debt (often by re-financing). Studying such practices is important for understanding financial decision-making of households in dire circumstances, and also for setting appropriate consumer protection policies. We conduct a simple experiment in three sites in which we paid off high-interest moneylender debt of individuals. Most borrowers returned to debt within six weeks. One to two years after intervention, treatment individuals were borrowing at the same rate as control households.
    Keywords: debt; household finance; moneylender
    JEL: D12 D91 O12
    Date: 2018–01
  13. By: Dean Karlan; Sendhil Mullainathan; Benjamin N. Roth
    Abstract: A debt trap occurs when someone takes on a high-interest rate loan and is barely able to pay back the interest, and thus perpetually finds themselves in debt (often by re-financing). Studying such practices is important for understanding financial decision-making of households in dire circumstances, and also for setting appropriate consumer protection policies. We conduct a simple experiment in three sites in which we paid off high-interest moneylender debt of individuals. Most borrowers returned to debt within six weeks. One to two years after intervention, treatment individuals were borrowing at the same rate as control households.
    JEL: D12 D91 O12
    Date: 2018–02
  14. By: Laaser, Claus-Friedrich; Rosenschon, Astrid
    Abstract: With respect to its GDP of markedly more than US$ 2,000 billion, India is the seventh largest economy in the world, with respect to population it is even the second largest. Therefore, India has a substantial market potential. The authors analyze in how far the fast growing Indian economy has unexploited options to integrate itself into the international division of labor, to what extent India is actually integrated into the world economy, and what are the country's regional and sectoral trade patterns. India's integration patters are analyzed between the poles of a global and a regional design during the last two decades. These issues are addressed by using a detailed dataset of India's foreign trade statistics, and from a more analytical perspective by virtue of a gravity model. It turns out that India's overall integration into the international division of labor is still far from being completed and leaves ample room for improvement. So far, India is trading intensely with some specific partners, like the USA, and particularly with the Arabian countries around the Arabian Gulf. These quite distinct links are more or less the result of the commodity pattern of India's export and import flows, primarily the exchange of crude oil with oil products, and intermediate inputs as well as finalized products of the jewelry industry. One can conclude that the increasing dominance of these product lines are one of the main drivers behind the apparent shift towards Asian trading partners in general, as the trading partners' analysis by continents reveals. In addition, India's mutual trade relations with China have greatly improved during the observation period. During these two decades, China and its special economic zone Hong Kong constantly gained importance as one of India's trading partner according to the results of the gravity model. With respect to the labor-intensity of commodity exports India is lagging behind. It has left space to its Asian competitors. Even exports to the USA which have retained their position as prime export destination - albeit with a shrinking export share - have been dominated by the two prominent product lines of jewelry and mineral oil products. Looking at European partners there is still ample space for India to integrate more intensely in the pertinent international division of labor with most of the European countries. Only on India's export side the former links to the United Kingdom as the old colonial power seem to be rather intact, and also Germany has over proportional links to India, at least with respect to India's exports.
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Paul Mizen; Frank Packer; Eli Remolona; Serafeim Tsoukas
    Abstract: We borrow from the literature on sovereign debt finance the idea of “original sin” and redefine it for use in corporate finance. In its new incarnation, original sin refers to the difficulty firms in many emerging markets have in borrowing domestically long-term, even in the local currency. We infer the nature of original sin from 5,500 financing decisions by firms in seven Asian emerging markets over a period of 11 years. Our sample period covers an episode when bond issuers had a choice between a less developed but growing onshore market, which varied across countries in the level of development, and a deep and liquid offshore market. We find that even in countries with onshore markets, it is often easier for unseasoned firms to issue offshore (in foreign currency) than to issue onshore, but structural change brought about by market development reverses this effect. In addition, once such a firm becomes a seasoned issuer, it is absolved from domestic original sin and is then able to act opportunistically and go to the market favoured by interest differentials.
    Keywords: bond financing; offshore markets; emerging markets; market depth; global credit
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Sander Willems
    Abstract: In this paper we derive a series expansion for the price of a continuously sampled arithmetic Asian option in the Black-Scholes setting. The expansion is based on polynomials that are orthogonal with respect to the log-normal distribution. All terms in the series are fully explicit and no numerical integration nor any special functions are involved. We provide sufficient conditions to guarantee convergence of the series. We address the moment indeterminacy of the log-normal distribution and numerically investigate its impact on the asymptotic behavior of the series.
    Date: 2018–02
  17. By: Chia-Lin Chang (National Chung Hsing University); Michael McALeer (Asia University; University of Sydney Business School; Erasmus University); Wing-Keung Wong (Asia University; China Medical University Hospital; Lingnan University)
    Abstract: The paper provides a review of the literature that connects Big Data, Computational Science, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Management, and Psychology, and discusses some research that is related to the seven disciplines. Academics could develop theoretical models and subsequent econometric and statistical models to estimate the parameters in the associated models, as well as conduct simulation to examine whether the estimators in their theories on estimation and hypothesis testing have good size and high power. Thereafter, academics and practitioners could apply theory to analyse some interesting issues in the seven disciplines and cognate areas.
    Keywords: Big Data; Computational science; Economics; Finance; Management; Theoretical models; Econometric and statistical models; Applications.
    JEL: A10 G00 G31 O32
    Date: 2018–02–03

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