nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2019‒03‒18
sixteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Green Finance in Singapore: Barriers and Solutions By Chang, Youngho
  2. Stock market linkages between the ASEAN countries, China and the US: a fractional cointegration approach By Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Luis A. Gil-Alana; Kefei You
  3. EU — Fatty Alcohols (Indonesia): Corporate Structure, Transfer Pricing, and Dumping By Shushanik Hakobyan; Joel P. Trachtman
  4. Indonesia – Chicken: Tensions between international trade and domestic food policies? By Boris Rigod; Patricia Tovar
  5. Hijabers on Instagram: Using Visual Social Media to Construct the Ideal Muslim Woman By Baulch, Emma; Pramiyanti, Alila
  6. Productivity and Trade Growth in Services: How Services Helped Power Factory Asia By Shepherd, Ben
  7. The main formats of international cooperation of the subjects of the Russian Federation and its impact on the regional economy By Pakhomov, Alexander (Пахомов, Александр); Makarov, Andrey (Макаров, Андрей); Bagdasaryan, Kniaz (Багдасарян, Княз)
  8. Do enterprise zones promote local business development? Evidence from Vietnam By VU, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
  9. Ethnic Inequality and Poverty in Malaysia Since 1969 By Martin Ravallion
  10. Pricing Formulae of Power Binary and Normal Distribution Standard Options and Applications By Hyong-Chol O; Dae-Sung Choe
  11. Responses to Trade Opening: Evidence and Lessons from Asia By Mitra, Devashish
  12. Malaysia Economic Monitor, June 2018 By World Bank Group
  13. Impact Of Sales Management Control Strategy On Sales Perfomance In Life Insurance Sector By Syahputra, S
  14. Determinants of Total Factor Productivity: The cases of the main Latin American and emerging economies of Asia (1960 - 2015) By Wilman Gómez; Carlos Esteban Posada; Remberto Rhenals
  15. Making international standards more credible: The case of the FSC forest management label By Marie-Gabrielle Piketty; Isabel Garcia Drigo; Claudia Romero; Paule Pamela Tabi Eckebil
  16. Supermodular correspondences and comparison of multi-prior beliefs By Pawel Dziewulski; John K. H. Quah

  1. By: Chang, Youngho (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Some Asian countries such as the People’s Republic of China and Japan are very active in green finance. This study reviews how green finance in Singapore is working, examines existing barriers, and suggests some solutions. Singapore, a well-established financial hub in Asia, aims to be a hub for green finance in Asia. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank of Singapore, has formed a network with seven other central banks in the world called the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening Financial System, which intends to promote sharing of experience and best practices in green finance with other countries. Along with forming the network, the MAS has established a Green Bond Grant scheme to promote and ensure the issuance of green bonds in Singapore. In parallel, the Association of Banks in Singapore published Guidelines on Responsible Financing to promote and support environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures. The Singapore Exchange asks its member firms to strictly comply with the ESG disclosures. At an individual firm level in Singapore, City Development Limited (CDL), a real estate development company, and Development Bank of Singapore Limited (DBS), a commercial bank, issued Singapore’s first and second green bonds in 2017. The proceeds of the CDL green bond are allocated to finance retrofitting and upgrading of a commercial building in Singapore, while the proceeds of the DBS green bond are to be invested in renewable energy and climate change adaptation, among other uses. How successful the two green bonds are in meeting their pronounced goals and how well and effectively they contribute to the diffusion of renewable energy remains to be seen.
    Keywords: green finance; green bond grant scheme; guidelines of responsible financing; CDL green bond; DBS green bond
    JEL: G18 G28 G38
    Date: 2019–01–17
  2. By: Guglielmo Maria Caporale; Luis A. Gil-Alana; Kefei You
    Abstract: This paper examines stock market integration between the ASEAN five and the US and China, respectively, over the period from November 2002 to March 2018. The linkages between both aggregate and financial sector stock indices (both weekly and monthly) are analysed using fractional integration and fractional cointegration methods. Further, recursive cointegration analysis is carried out for the weekly series to study the impact of the 2007-8 global financial crisis and the 2015 China stock market crash on the pattern of stock market co-movement. The main findings are the following. All stock indices exhibit long memory. There is cointegration between the ASEAN five and the US but almost none between the former and China, except between Indonesia and China in the case of the financial sector. The 2007-8 global financial crisis and the 2015 Chinese stock market plunge weakened the linkages between the ASEAN five and both China and the US. The implications of these results for market participants and policy makers are discussed.
    Keywords: Asian stock markets, financial integration, fractional integration, fractional cointegration
    JEL: C22 C32 G11 G15
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Shushanik Hakobyan; Joel P. Trachtman
    Abstract: The EU—Fatty Alcohols decision of the Appellate Body addressed an important issue of the scope of permissible adjustments under Article 2.4 of the Agreement on Interpretation of Article VI of the GATT 1994, focusing on the “mark-up” paid by an Indonesian exporter to a related company as a difference affecting price comparability between the export price and the normal value. The Appellate Body confirmed that the primary focus of the investigating authority's assessment is on whether the relationship between related companies can be demonstrated to be a factor that impacts the prices of the relevant transactions. This case raises the question of whether a harmonized approach to transfer pricing across different regulatory areas would be useful to bring greater consistency of treatment and certainty to international transactions.
    Keywords: dumping, transfer pricing, dispute settlement, WTO, EU
    Date: 2018–12
  4. By: Boris Rigod; Patricia Tovar
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the dispute Indonesia – Measures concerning the importation of chicken meat and chicken products from a legal-economic perspective. We evaluate alternative explanations for the motive behind Indonesia´s import restrictions and conclude that they can be linked to protectionist political-economic motives and are most likely due to a self-sufficiency objective and the legal requirements attached to it. Economically, the import restrictions on chicken and other food products have led to substantial price volatility, and they impose costs on Indonesian consumers and small farmers who are net buyers of food, firms that import certain raw materials, as well as foreign exporters. Therefore, by making food more expensive and less accessible, they could reduce food security. We also argue that an additional issue with the goal of self-sufficiency in Indonesia is lack of comparative advantage in some food items, including chicken meat and chicken products. Legally, although the Panel highlighted that self-sufficiency is a legitimate policy objective that as such does not lead to a violation of WTO law, the Indonesia - Chicken case leads to the question of whether, in practice, it is feasible to implement a self-sufficiency target resorting only to WTO-compliant policies. Finally, we discuss potential alternative economic policies and examine whether Indonesia could have attained its food self-sufficiency objective in a WTO-consistent manner.
    Keywords: WTO, dispute settlement, self-sufficiency, food security, Indonesia
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Baulch, Emma; Pramiyanti, Alila
    Abstract: This article studies uses of Instagram by members of Indonesia’s Hijabers’ Community. It shows how hijabers employ Instagram as a stage for performing middle-classness, but also for dakwah (“the call, invitation or challenge to Islam”), which they consider one of their primary tasks as Muslims. By enfolding the taking and sharing of images of Muslimah bodies on Instagram into this Quranic imperative, the hijabers shape an Islamic-themed bodily esthetic for middle class women, and at the same time present this bodily esthetic as a form of Islamic knowledge. The article extends work on influencer culture on Instagram, which has considered how and whether women exert control over their bodies in post-feminist performances of female entrepreneurship and consumer choice on social media. In it, we argue that examining the “enframement” of hijaberness on Instagram show it to be both a Muslim variant of post-feminist performances on social media, and a female variant of electronically-mediated Muslim preaching. That is, hijabers’ performances of veiled femininity structure and are structured by two distinct fields - a dynamic global digital culture and a changing field of Islamic communication – and point to a “composite habitus,” similar to that identified by Waltorp.
    Keywords: dakwah, hijabers, Instagram, Indonesia, post-feminism, microcelebrity
    JEL: D83
    Date: 2018–10
  6. By: Shepherd, Ben (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper uses a theory-based measure of productivity-based comparative advantage to examine the trade performance of developing Asian economies in manufacturing and services over the 1995–2011 period. We find that the growth in service exports was nearly as rapid as that in manufacturing over this period—a little-appreciated fact. Services are therefore an integral part of “Factory Asia.” Moreover, the results from a quantitative model of trade show that revealed productivity measures are often comparable between manufacturing and services at a disaggregated level, although the results differ markedly across sectors and economies. We also find evidence of rapid growth in revealed productivity in some service subsectors, comparable to that in manufacturing. Our findings suggest that oversimplifying the relationship between patterns of specialization and subsequent economic transformation and growth patterns misses important elements of reality.
    Keywords: services; trade; comparative advantage; productivity; Asia
    JEL: F14 F15 L80
    Date: 2019–01–16
  7. By: Pakhomov, Alexander (Пахомов, Александр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Makarov, Andrey (Макаров, Андрей) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Bagdasaryan, Kniaz (Багдасарян, Княз) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: This working paper reviews the main directions of international cooperation between the Federal subjects of Russia and other states. Current inter-regional and cross-border cooperation of the Federal subjects of Russia is carried out with various groups of countries. We have studied the common features and peculiarities between Federal subjects of Russia on one side and European Union itself with separate European countries on another side, as well as with member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The study shows that international cooperation with foreign countries has a positive impact on the economic sectors development and foreign trade activity of Federal subjects of Russia, as well as helps to deal with numerous social and humanitarian problems, including education, tourism, etc.
    Date: 2019–02
  8. By: VU, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: We examined the effects of Vietnamese enterprise zones on local businesses based on different patterns of place-based policies as well as the ownership structure of the zone infrastructure developers (ZIDs). We constructed a panel of communes during 2000–2007 using a census survey of firms having more than nine employees and a census of zones and zone-based firms.We found that place-based policies led to growth in the number of jobs and firms in the communes where enterprise zones were located, even after excluding zone-based firms. Our findings also suggest that privately owned ZIDs worked best under corporate-tax incentives, while zones with a designated central government agency as the ZID had adverse spillover effects on business development in neighboring communes of the same district.
    Keywords: Enterprise zone, Place-based policy, Infrastructure, Private sector, Local business, O14, O18, O25, L53, L52
    Date: 2019–03
  9. By: Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: Ethnic riots broke out in Malaysia in 1969, prompting a national effort at affirmative action favoring the poorer (majority) of “Bumiputera” (mainly Malays). Since then, Malaysia’s official poverty measures indicate one of the fastest long-term rates of poverty reduction in the world, due to both economic growth and falling inequality. Did ethnic inequality fall since 1969 and was that a key factor in the country’s success in reducing poverty and in managing inequality? New measures in this paper indicate a substantial decline in relative ethnic inequality. This brought down national relative inequality, though not enough to prevent rising absolute inequality, given the initial disparities. A new analytic decomposition of the rate of poverty reduction reveals that ethnic redistribution helped reduce poverty, although it was not as important as the overall rate of growth in household incomes. Despite past progress in reducing ethnic inequality, the responsiveness of the national poverty rate to ethnic redistribution remains high even today.
    JEL: I32 O15 O53
    Date: 2019–03
  10. By: Hyong-Chol O; Dae-Sung Choe
    Abstract: In this paper the Buchen's pricing formulae of (higher order) asset and bond binary options are incorporated into the pricing formula of power binary options and a pricing formula of "the normal distribution standard options" with the maturity payoff related to a power function and the density function of normal distribution is derived. And as their applications, pricing formulae of savings plans that provide a choice of indexing and discrete geometric average Asian options are derived and the fact that the price of discrete geometric average Asian option converges to the price of continuous geometric average Asian option when the largest distance between neighboring monitoring times goes to zero is proved.
    Date: 2019–03
  11. By: Mitra, Devashish (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: In various Asian countries, international trade has raised productivity, lowered markups through import competition (while increasing them through cheaper inputs that can be imported), raised wages, expanded employment, and, above all, reduced poverty. This is in sharp contrast to the impact of trade in some of the Latin American countries, which suggests exercising caution in extrapolating results to Asian countries that have not yet been studied. There are also a few adverse consequences of trade that have already been found for Asia. Apart from raising inequality, trade can increase informality, especially in the presence of labor-market rigidities. Additionally, there are the adverse effects stemming from trade adjustment as a result of worker mobility costs. In this context, this study discusses various policies that researchers have recommended.
    Keywords: trade opening; worker mobility; trade adjustment; import competition
    JEL: F10 F13
    Date: 2019–01–11
  12. By: World Bank Group
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies - Digital Divide Information and Communication Technologies - ICT Economics Information and Communication Technologies - ICT Policy and Strategies Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Economic Growth Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Fiscal & Monetary Policy Poverty Reduction - Achieving Shared Growth
    Date: 2018–06
  13. By: Syahputra, S
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to discuss the impact of sales performance in life insurance sector. Sales performance in life insurance industry has seen a major concern to practitioners due to severe competition and to design marketing strategy. Further to that, one way to enhance sales performance in life insurance is by focusing on good strategy and developing salesforce. Life insurance need to have a good understanding of their strategy and salesforce management so that appropriate great marketing strategies directed towards sales management control strategy. The objective of this study is to examine the causal impact of several antecedents of sales performance in the context of insurance in Java Island, Indonesia. Thus, it will review the marketing literature on the sales performance ie., sales volume, market share, profitability and customer satisfaction. Next, we present the research framework, methods, measures and findings and conclusion. Finally, the results were discussed in terms of its contribution to the upgrading of life insurance strategies and recommendations for future research.
    Keywords: sales volume, market share, profitability, life insurance
    JEL: L1 M3 M31
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Wilman Gómez; Carlos Esteban Posada; Remberto Rhenals
    Date: 2018–12–01
  15. By: Marie-Gabrielle Piketty (UPR 47 GREEN - Gestion des ressources renouvelables et environnement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement); Isabel Garcia Drigo (Imaflora - Instituto de Manejo e Certificação Florestal e Agrícola, FSC International - FSC International); Claudia Romero (University of Florida [Gainesville]); Paule Pamela Tabi Eckebil (CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research)
    Abstract: The global organisation Forest Stewardship Council (FSC International) regulates the FSC forest management label, which is translated into national standards according to the context in each country. The initial version of the Principles and Criteria for this label, published in 1994, was revised and, in 2015, new Principles and Criteria were published, along with a list of generic indicators. This new version should be used to update national standards. This issue of Perspective proposes recommendations for drafting these new national standards and reviewing certain audit procedures. The study's recommendations are illustrated with specific cases in Brazil, Indonesia and the countries of the Congo Basin. Indicators for the new national standards need to minimise any scope for interpretation during certification audits. Audits should no longer accept recurrence of the same non-conformities, even when these issues are minor. With Gabon announcing in September 2018 the obligation to obtain FSC certification in order to allocate or maintain forest concessions from 2020 onwards, it is important to reduce existing weaknesses in this certification.
    Keywords: FSC,Forest Stewardship Council,certification,standard,logging operation,forest,certification body,accreditation,sustainable development,auditing,Indonesia,Brazil,Cameroon,Gabon,Republic of the Congo,Peru,Bolivia
    Date: 2019–02
  16. By: Pawel Dziewulski (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK); John K. H. Quah (Department of Economics, John Hopkins University and Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: Economic decisions often involve maximising an objective whose value is itself the outcome of another optimisation problem. This decision structure arises in multi-output production and choice under uncertainty with multi-prior beliefs. To analyse comparative statics in these models, we introduce a theory of Supermodular correspondences. In particular, we employ this theory to generalise the notion of first order stochastic dominance to multi-prior beliefs, allowing us to characterise conditions under which greater optimism leads to higher action.
    Keywords: monotone comparative statics, supermodularity, correspondences, stochastic dominance, multi-output production, ambiguity, dynamic programming
    JEL: C61 D21 D24
    Date: 2019–02

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