nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2018‒05‒28
twenty-one papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. The Dynamics of Comparative Advantage in the ASEAN Region By Setyastuti, Rini; Adiningsih, Sri; Widodo, Tri
  2. Vietnam's Low National Competitiveness: Causes, Implications and Suggestions for Improvement By Phuong, Le Quoc
  3. Evolution of mortgage regulations in Asian countries By Rita Yi Man Li; Beiqi Tang
  4. ASEAN Countries in Russia's Foreign Economic Policy at the Present Stage: New Opportunities and Limitations By Pakhomov, Alexander; Makarov, Andrei; Bagdasaryan, Kniaz
  5. A Long-Run Estimation of Natural Gas Demand in Indonesian Manufacturing Sector: Computable General Equilibrium Model Approach By Widodo, Tri; Fitrady, Ardyanto; Alim Rosyadi, Saiful; Erdyas Bimanatya, Traheka
  6. Leadership of Deans: Difficulties and Challenges for Deans at Private Universities in the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam By Ly Le
  7. Structural Change, Fundamentals, and Growth: A Framework and Case Studies By McMillan, Margaret; Rodrik, Dani; Sepulveda, Claudia
  8. Does the Application of Smart Beta Strategies Enhance Portfolio Performance? The Case of Islamic Equity Investments By Raza , Muhammad Wajid; Ashraf, Dawood
  9. Labor Segmentation and the Outmigration Intention of Highly Skilled Foreign Workers: Evidence from Asian-born foreign workers in Japan By LIU Yang
  10. Governance and Land Reform in the Palm Oil Value Chain in the Philippines By Caroline Hambloch
  11. Who Is Cheating? The Role of Attendants, Risk Aversion, and Affluence By Olaf Hübler; Lukas Menkhoff; Ulrich Schmidt
  12. Global interactions and the ‘twin’ gender gaps in employment and wages: evidence from Vietnam By Nicola D. Coniglio; Rezart Hoxhaj
  13. Bad Investments and Missed Opportunities? Postwar Capital Flows to Asia and Latin America By Ohanian, Lee E.; Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina; Wright, Mark L. J.
  14. Success of Community Management Based on the Collaboration: Lesson Learned for Environmental Crisis Solutions By Nathdanai Pratuangboriboon
  15. What difference do standards make to educating teachers?: A review with case studies on Australia, Estonia and Singapore By Nóra Révai
  16. The Effects of Downtown Line MRT on Property Values By Seow Eng Ong; Calvin Chau; Jianmei Wu
  17. The Status and Role of Women in the Pasemah Tribe: Decreasing Acts of Violence Against Women Using Local Wisdom as Value Education By Maila Dinia Husni Rahiem
  18. Process Evaluation of the CHED K to 12 Adjustment Assistance Program By Brillantes, Alex B. Jr.; Brillantes, Karen Dominique B.; Jovellanos, Justine Beatrice B.
  19. Do small bank deposits run more than large ones? Three event studies of contagion and financial inclusion By Dante B Canlas; Johnny Noe E Ravalo; Eli M Remolona
  20. Development of a System for Ensuring the Integrated Security of Transboundary Transport Corridors in the Far East and the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation By Maruev, Aleksey
  21. Populist Threats to Electoral Integrity: The Year in Elections 2016-2017 By Norris, Pippa; Gromping, Max

  1. By: Setyastuti, Rini; Adiningsih, Sri; Widodo, Tri
    Abstract: The performance of a country’s in international trade changes depending on its dynamic comparative advantage. The country with a rapid catching-up process has generally also shown a rapid structural transformation. This article addressed to answer two questions. How does the shift in comparative advantage or specialization in the ASEAN region? What is the exact position of countries in the Flying Geese model? We use data on exports and imports by commodities and by exporting countries taken from UN-COMTRADE. The classification of commodities follows 3-digit SITC Revision 2, consisting of 239 groups of products (SITC). The products mapping is constructed by using the RSCA (Revealed Symmetric Comparative Advantage) as the indicator of comparative advantage and TBI (Trade Balance Index) as the indicator of export import activities. The analytical tool, “products mapping” is used to examine the flying gees pattern. The results show that ASEAN featured product in 1990 was dominated by SITC 0 product (food and live animals), after twenty five years by 2015 SITC 7 (machinery and transportation) products are relatively more dominant in ASEAN export products. In 1990-2015 period, it is shown that the average magnitude of RSCA in ASEAN countries has decreased followed by an increase in the standard deviation value. It indicates that the occurance of product specialization that has a high comparative advantage and a decline in products that have low comparative advantages. Using a significance level 5%, it appears that ASEAN countries as a whole are experiencing significant dynamic changes in comparative advantage. From the pattern of Flying Gees, it can be said that the process of “catch up” in ASEAN member countries is not running as expected because the country that leads in the composition of flying gees only consists of certain countries only, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines.
    Keywords: Comparative Advantage, RSCA, TBI, Flying Geese, ASEAN
    JEL: F14 F17
    Date: 2018–05–06
  2. By: Phuong, Le Quoc (Vietnam Industry and Trade Information Center)
    Abstract: The World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual assessment using the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) since 2006 shows that Vietnam’s national competitiveness has been relatively low. Globally, Vietnam has been in the middle of economies surveyed. Regionally, Vietnam has been in the middle of ASEAN countries. Regarding level of development, before 2015 Vietnam was in stage 1 (factor-driven), which includes ASEAN's less developed countries (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar). Since 2015 Vietnam has shifted to a transition toward stage 2 (efficiency-driven), which includes Brunei and the Philippines. The country has lagged behind Indonesia and Thailand (in stage 2), Malaysia (in transition to stage 3) and Singapore (in stage 3, innovation-driven). To complement the WEF’s assessment, this study provides some in-depth analyses of main causes of Vietnam's low competitiveness. These are structural problems due to its factor-based growth model, expansionary policies to aid growth, slowly improved business environment, low R&D expenditure, low-quality higher education and under-developed infrastructure. The research also examines implications of these shortcomings for Vietnam. These are low productivity, diminishing GDP growth, middle income trap, macroeconomic instability, low business competitiveness, low technology level, low human capital quality and environmental degradation. Based on the analyses, policy measures are proposed to improve Vietnam’s competitiveness. Major suggestions include structural reforms to change the growth model from factor-based to productivity-based, raising technology level, enhancing human capital quality, improving business environment, ensuring macroeconomic stability, upgrading infrastructure and learning from advanced economies such as Korea.
    Keywords: Vietnam; Competitiveness; Productivity; Growth model
    JEL: D24 E24 E52 E62 N15 O47 O53 O57
    Date: 2018–04–04
  3. By: Rita Yi Man Li; Beiqi Tang
    Abstract: Since the mid-1970s, at least six banking crises correlated with housing bubbles. When housing prices reach the peak or fall sharply, financial crises occur. In some places, housing is an economic growth driver and corner stone of social stability. Whilst mortgage finance plays indispensable role financial system stability, regulations provide useful framework in governing the rules of games for many homeowners. Well or poor design of mortgage regulations often affects economy from this perspective. History tells many of the changes in regulations are due to the major economic incidents. In this paper, we aim to study the evolution of mortgage finance regulation in Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  4. By: Pakhomov, Alexander (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Makarov, Andrei (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Bagdasaryan, Kniaz (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: In this review is analyzed the current economic and integration processes in ASEAN member States in the context of opportunities and constraints for the implementation of the future foreign economic policy of Russia in the South-East Asia region. Currently most of the countries of the Association belong to the dynamic developing countries in the world that have significant natural and economic potential and large market, and also form a common economic space within the framework of the grouping and are reaching a new level of integration with major foreign partners. Besides one of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states priority is the establishment of preferential relations with third party countries at the present stage. It is noticeable that EAEU approached some positive tendency with the Association of South-East Asian Nations in recent years.
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Widodo, Tri; Fitrady, Ardyanto; Alim Rosyadi, Saiful; Erdyas Bimanatya, Traheka
    Abstract: Domestic natural gas utilization in Indonesia suffers from lack of proper infrastructure and high transportation costs. The government might benefit from detailed estimation of demand to anticipate potentially fast-growing natural gas utilization in the future. Using Global Trade Analysis Project - Energy (GTAP-E) model simulation, this paper attempts to present a long-run estimation of natural gas demand in manufacturing sector for year 2025, 2030, and 2035. Chemical industry will remain the largest user of natural gas, followed by electricity, basic metal, and metal industry. To meet these demand, domestic production of natural gas should increase by 36.7 percent and 99.49 percent in 2025 and 2035, respectively. It brings us to the urge of massive investments in natural gas production and distribution.
    Keywords: natural gas, GTAP-E Model, energy demand
    JEL: Q41 Q47
    Date: 2018–05–01
  6. By: Ly Le (Can Tho University)
    Abstract: Private universities have been mushrooming in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, and this requires necessary changes in university administration, especially educational administrators. This study investigates difficulties and challenges that deans at private universities in the region have been facing. The study is a qualitative one in which semi-structured individual and focus group interviews were conducted for data collection. Twelve deans and 18 departmental heads and vice heads from 3 private universities in the Mekong Delta participated in this study. The findings of the research indicate that deans’ difficulties and challenges could be categorized in three main areas: autonomy, leadership styles, and resources.
    Keywords: deans, private universities, Vietnam, difficulties, challenges, autonomy, leadership
    Date: 2018–03
  7. By: McMillan, Margaret (Tufts University); Rodrik, Dani (Harvard University); Sepulveda, Claudia (World Bank)
    Abstract: Developing countries made considerable gains during the first decade of the 21st century. Their economies grew at unprecedented rates, resulting in large reductions in extreme poverty and a significant expansion of the middle class. But more recently that progress has slowed with an economic environment of lackluster global trade, not enough jobs coupled with skills mismatches, continued globalization and technological change, greater income inequality, unprecedented population aging in richer countries, and youth bulges in the poorer ones. This essay examines how seven key countries fared from 1990-2010 in their development quest. The sample includes seven developing countries--Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, India, Vietnam and Brazil--all of which experienced rapid growth in recent years, but for different reasons. The patterns of growth are analyzed in each of these countries using a unifying framework which draws a distinction between the "structural transformation" and "fundamentals" challenge in growth. Out of these seven countries, the traditional path to rapid growth of export oriented industrialization only played a significant role in Vietnam.
    JEL: O11
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Raza , Muhammad Wajid (Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University); Ashraf, Dawood (The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI))
    Abstract: Traditionally, passive portfolios are structured using an easy to implement market capitalization method albeit highly skewed towards large cap stocks. The introduction of smart beta strategies has allowed passive investors to structure equity portfolios using alternative strategies such as fundamentalweighting, equal-weighting, and low-risk weighting strategies. This paper investigates whether constrained portfolios such as Shari’ah-compliant equity portfolios (SCEPs) can benefit by adopting smart beta strategies. The sample consists of equities from the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, Middle East, Indonesia, and Malaysia for the period January 2003 to December 2016. The empirical findings suggest that smart beta SCEPs outperform not only conventional market capitalization weighted portfolios but also SCEPs following a market capitalization-weighted strategy. Higher risk-adjusted returns and lower drawdown as a result of following smart beta strategies highlight the importance of considering smart beta portfolio weighting strategies for passive investors. The supremacy of smart beta strategies indicates the value proposition for investors and fund managers alike. We also found that geographical location affects the performance of smart beta SCEPs; countries with a Muslim majority report higher cardinality and lower drawdowns. The results remained robust with alternative Shari’ah screening guidelines and empirical estimation methodology.
    Keywords: Portfolio construction methods; capital markets; Shari’ah investments; Smart beta
    JEL: F40 G21 G29
    Date: 2018–03–13
  9. By: LIU Yang
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of the outmigration intentions of highly skilled foreign workers, i.e., workers who received post-secondary education, following conventional migration theories. Data come from a survey of firms and their foreign employees in Japan; most of whom were born in Asia, especially in China (77.4% of total observations). The results found that education level and average wage gaps did not significantly affect the outmigration decisions of Asian-born workers. However, the labor segmentation variable, which represents the firm's differentiation between foreign and native workers, has a significant estimated effect. Results indicate that Asian-born employees of firms that differentiate between foreigners and native workers are more likely to migrate away from Japan. The explanation could be that labor segmentation reduces foreign workers' expected future wage. Furthermore, the lifetime employment system in Japan could reduce the outmigration of Asian-born foreign workers, because the reduced future unemployment risk increases workers' expected wage from working in Japan. Moreover, a higher current job satisfaction could have a negative effect on Asian-born foreign workers' outmigration intention. Finally, among the control variables for the original migration motivations, Asian-born foreign workers who were motivated by the Japanese lifestyle tend to remain in Japan, while Asian-born foreign workers who were motivated by wages are more likely to migrate away in the future.
    Date: 2018–05
  10. By: Caroline Hambloch (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: The chain literature (Global Commodity Chains/Value Chains/Production Networks) have remained surprisingly silent about the role of land as a factor of production. I use fieldwork experience from the palm oil industry in Agusan del Sur, Philippines to illustrate the way in which the buyer-driven nature of the chain interacts with a major institutional change, namely the redistributive land reform, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). I argue that the CARP has not resulted in the desired redistribution of power from the landed to the landless, but reinforces the unequal distribution of power between plantation/milling companies and beneficiaries, producing economic and social downgrading trajectories for reform beneficiaries and farmworkers.
    Keywords: agribusiness; flex crops; land reform; oil palm; Philippines; value chains
    JEL: O53 P14 P16 P48 Q15 Q33
    Date: 2018–05
  11. By: Olaf Hübler; Lukas Menkhoff; Ulrich Schmidt
    Abstract: This research integrates a standard “cheating” experiment into a broad household survey and finds relationships between individual characteristics and cheating behavior. We allow for attendance of others at the cheating experiment, addressing the “reputation to be seen as honest,” finding there is indeed less cheating with attendants. Regarding the preference for “honesty,” we find two related attitudes: stronger risk aversion increases the costs of cheating, i.e. behaving against the norm, while affluence makes cheating costly, as it allows behaving honestly. The underlying experiment in rural Thailand reproduces stylized facts of the cheating literature.
    Keywords: Cheating, individual characteristics, risk attitude
    JEL: D01 D81 D82
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Nicola D. Coniglio; Rezart Hoxhaj
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the role of firms with global ties – foreign firms and exporters – in shaping the ‘twin’ gender gaps in employment opportunities and wages in Vietnam for both skilled and unskilled workers. Our analysis shows that foreign firms contribute by boosting employment opportunities in the formal sector for unskilled female workers. Although foreign firms, and in particular exporters, pay lower average wages to unskilled workers – both male and female – we find evidence that they significantly contribute in narrowing the gender wage gap. The presence of foreign firms has, meanwhile, only limited effects on gender gaps in employment for skilled workers. Finally, we show that the negative gaps in wages are entirely due to differences in productivities between female and male workers. Not only do we reject the hypothesis of discrimination, but we find evidence of sizable wage subsidies (for unskilled female workers)
    Keywords: gender inequality, gender discrimination, FDI, Globalization, Vietnam
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: Ohanian, Lee E. (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis); Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina (Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis); Wright, Mark L. J. (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)
    Abstract: After World War II, international capital flowed into slow-growing Latin America rather than fast-growing Asia. This is surprising as, everything else equal, fast growth should imply high capital returns. This paper develops a capital flow accounting framework to quantify the role of different factor market distortions in producing these patterns. Surprisingly, we find that distortions in labor markets — rather than domestic or international capital markets — account for the bulk of these flows. Labor market distortions that indirectly depress investment incentives by lowering equilibrium labor supply explain two-thirds of observed flows, while improvement in these distortions over time accounts for much of Asia’s rapid growth.
    Keywords: Capital flows; Labor markets; Domestic capital markets; International capital markets
    JEL: E21 F21 F41 J20
    Date: 2018–05–14
  14. By: Nathdanai Pratuangboriboon (Lampang Rajabhat University, Thailand)
    Abstract: World change influences the changes in the economy, society, environment, way of life, culture, and traditions into slavery of capitalism, materialism, and consumerisms including modern trends all have a great impact on the country’s development. This is why “Society has problems and the development is not sustainable†while Ban Thung Sri Community, Moo 3, Thung Sri Subdistrict, Rong Kwang district, Phrae province, Thailand has been accredited by various institutions in community management in a variety of dimensions until the community is successful. When the study was conducted, the Lesson learned of community management for environmental crisis solutions, which the community believes is a sustainable solution to the environmental crisis and driven by community strategies. This can be an example that other communities can apply concretely
    Keywords: Community Management, Collaboration, Environmental Crisis Solutions
    Date: 2018–04
  15. By: Nóra Révai (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper reviews evidence on the interplay between professional standards for teachers, the content of teacher education and educational sciences, and provides three case studies to illustrate these interactions from Estonia, Australia and Singapore. In particular, it investigates what aligning teacher education programmes to standards really mean; and what conception of educational sciences is reflected in the standards and the curriculum. Analyses suggest that alignment, as an explicit, direct and consistent correspondence, is difficult to achieve, in part due to different conceptualisations of professional knowledge. However, this paper argues that the main value of standards as policy tools lies in their capacity to create mutual dialogue between different artefacts (standards’ requirements, curriculum, course descriptions, accreditation standards, etc.), as well as among stakeholders. Regularly renegotiating the standards as a result of such dialogue and reflections should be a crucial part of the policy process.Résumé: Ce document de travail fait un état de la littérature sur l'interaction entre les normes professionnelles pour les enseignants, le contenu de leur formation et les sciences de l'éducation. Par ailleurs, il fournit trois études de cas pour illustrer ces interactions en Estonie, en Australie et à Singapour. En particulier, il étudie ce que signifie réellement l'alignement des programmes de formation des enseignants avec les normes; et quelle conception des sciences de l'éducation est reflétée dans les normes et le curriculum. Les analyses suggèrent qu’il est difficile d’obtenir un alignement, au sens de correspondance explicite, directe et cohérente, notamment en raison de conceptualisations différentes du savoir professionnel. Néanmoins, ce papier soutient que le potentiel des normes en tant qu'outils politiques réside dans leur capacité à créer un dialogue entre différents artefacts (les exigences formulées par les normes, le curriculum, les descriptions des cours de formation, les normes d'accréditation, etc.), ainsi qu’entre les différentes parties prenantes. La renégociation régulière des normes à la suite de ce dialogue et de ces réflexions devrait être un élément crucial du processus politique.
    Date: 2018–05–28
  16. By: Seow Eng Ong; Calvin Chau; Jianmei Wu
    Abstract: The Downtown Line was announced on 3 July 2009 providing a much needed mass rapid transit from the central part of Singapore to downtown CBD. This study studies the economic value of Downtown Line on property prices along Bukit Timah and Dunearn Road (prime residential areas) using a difference-in-difference approach. We seek to valide the premium for residential units located within walking distance of public rail network, as well as provide an added dimension on the Singapore's housing prices with proximity to a rail network, with an up-to-date look on the latest network addition. The policy implications, such as government intervention on the densification efforts surrounding stations located away from downtown, will be examined.
    Keywords: Accessibility; proximity; residential values; train lines; transport network
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  17. By: Maila Dinia Husni Rahiem (UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Indonesia)
    Abstract: The National Commission on Women in Indonesia, conveyed in its annual report that the number of incidents of violence against women continues to increase from year to year (Kompas, 2016). Sexual violence is one of the most prominent forms of violence, so it is said by some that Indonesia is currently in an emergency condition concerning sexual violence. Some famous cases reported in the media, among others, include the Yuyun junior high school girls in Bengkulu, who were raped and then killed by 14 drunk young men, all the perpetrators were underage; a woman was raped by 19 people and severely traumatized in Manado; and the most recent is the sad case of Eno in Tangerang, who was raped by her boyfriend, who then cruelly pierced a wooden handle into her vagina through to her lungs. Many activists, researchers, educators and other community members have advised including materials for the protection and empowerment of women through formal and in-school education in both families and communities. Most of our societies still regard women and children as weak human beings, who have no right to be protected, and can therefore be used as an outlet for resentment, anger and all forms of negative emotions.
    Keywords: Status, Role, Women, Pasemah Tribe, South Sumatra, Indonesia, Violence Against Women
    Date: 2018–03
  18. By: Brillantes, Alex B. Jr.; Brillantes, Karen Dominique B.; Jovellanos, Justine Beatrice B.
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the implementation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) K to 12 Adjustment Assistance Program, established following the full implementation of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 in 2016, which introduced senior high school into the basic education curriculum. While it presented a rare opportunity to upgrade the country’s higher education sector, the transition threatened higher education institutions’ labor and sustainability and prolonged CHED's bureaucratic processes, further delaying the program’s benefits. This process evaluation examines the aspects of implementation that have led to said challenges through an assessment of the program logic and its plausibility, service delivery and utilization, and program organization. The study finds that the program has to be appreciated as a transition program itself. It has to be viewed as an innovative program spurred by the need to adapt to the calls of globalization. Adjustments to and in the internal bureaucracies of CHED must also be reevaluated to realize the gains of the K to 12 program. Stakeholders must also intensify collective efforts to develop and design accompanying policies, plans, and strategies to address these challenges and make Philippine higher education more globally competitive.
    Keywords: K to 12, higher education, education, Philippines, process evaluation, senior high school, education reform, faculty development, K to 12 transition, living allowances, education policy
    Date: 2018
  19. By: Dante B Canlas; Johnny Noe E Ravalo; Eli M Remolona
    Abstract: How susceptible to contagion are bank deposits associated with financial inclusion? To shed light on this question, we analyze the behavior of deposits of different account sizes around three significant bank closures in the Philippines. When we look at the three events by applying difference-in-difference regressions to a dataset that distinguishes between small and large deposits at the town level, we find no evidence that the closure of a large bank leads to withdrawals by depositors at other banks nearby, whether the depositors are large or small. For two of the events, we do find some evidence that depositors, both large and small, anticipate that their bank is about to fail, and they start to withdraw before the bank is closed. With more comprehensive branch-level data for one of the events, we find that a bank closure does lead to reduced deposits at bank branches nearby. All this suggests that, while a bank failure can lead to contagion, the behavior of small depositors is no different from that of large depositors, and thus financial inclusion is unlikely to add to financial instability.
    Keywords: financial inclusion, financial stability, contagion, bank run, event study, selection bias
    JEL: G21 G28 C21
    Date: 2018–05
  20. By: Maruev, Aleksey (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The fundamental advantage of Russia in all historical epochs is its considerable territorial extent, which provides unique transport opportunities. Moreover, the geographical location of Russia allows for the transfer of transport flows both along the Southern Transport Corridor from the Far Eastern regions bordering China to the western ones, providing access to the West European market, and through the Northern - via the Northern Sea Route. However, the realities of the geoeconomic situation show that the current program documents of the federal and regional levels of the Russian Federation do not fully take into account the challenges and threats accompanying the development of the Russian segment of cross-border and transcontinental projects that ensure Russia's integrated interaction with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the sphere of transboundary transport corridors in the Far East and in the Arctic zone of Russia can not be provided. The creation of the basic transport infrastructure of the Russian Arctic and the Far East, the maritime and continental components of their security, requires an holistic system for ensuring the integrated security of transport communications in these regions.
    Date: 2018–04
  21. By: Norris, Pippa (Harvard University); Gromping, Max (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: National elections for the legislature and/or the executive are held in almost all countries around the globe. This development has the potential to strengthen democracy. Yet, numerous contests suffer from electoral malpractice, whether from unfair laws, gerrymandered boundaries, restrictions on the free press, maladministration, election-related violence, ballot box fraud, or the abuse of money in politics. How widespread are these problems? For updated evidence, this report draws upon the fifth release of the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity dataset (PEI 5.0), in May 2017. This dataset compares the views of 2,709 experts who have evaluated electoral integrity in 158 countries holding 241 national elections from 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2016. Part II of the report summarizes the latest results by global region and highlights selected cases to go beyond the numbers, contrasting positive and negative practices. We focus on several elections held in 2015 and 2016--including the UK and Iceland in Western Europe, the United States in the Americas, Australia and the Philippines in Asia Pacific, Russia and Lithuania in Central and Eastern Europe, Iran and Syria in the MENA region, and The Gambia and Gabon in Sub-Saharan Africa. Part III examines two major challenges--electoral corruption and coercion. The EIP project has developed new measures to monitor the extent of these problems--where they occur and what conditions these malpractices commonly undermine electoral integrity. Are these techniques of carrots and sticks deployed separately--or are they combined? More systematic evidence about these problems can provide insights about how best to target reforms and what policies have proved most effective. Part IV focuses on populist threats to electoral integrity. We first compare several recent European elections to see whether contemporary support for populist parties is rising or stalled, including in the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. We then identify three mechanisms whereby populism threatens free and fair contests including through damaging public confidence in elections, actively undermining international standards of electoral integrity and violating electoral laws, and colluding from Russian attempts to interfere with democracy abroad. Parts V and VI provide additional reference and technical information. With this update, PEI 5.0 covers 91% of all independent nation states holding national parliamentary and presidential elections around the world, excluding micro-states (with a population below 100,000). The study provides independent assessments utilizing a rolling survey where experts assess the quality of national elections one month after the close of the polls. Based on the views of 2,709 experts, the average response rate for PEI 5.0 is 28%. The technical appendix provides full details about the reliability and validity of the dataset.
    Date: 2017–05

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