nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2020‒05‒04
seventeen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. How do governments perform in facing COVID-19? By Ghasemi, Abdolrasoul; Boroumand, Yasaman; Shirazi, Masoud
  2. Mengejar Ketertinggalan Indonesia di Era Digital By Ngasuko, Tri Achya
  3. Impacts of enterprise zones on local households in Vietnam By Vu, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
  4. The causal relationships between components of customer-based brand equity for a destination: Evidence from South Korean tourists in Danang city, Vietnam By Tran, Trung Vinh; Vo Thi, Quynh Nga; Nguyen, Phuc Nguyen
  5. Who Benefits from Better Roads and Why ? Mixed Methods Analysis of the Gender-Disaggregated Impacts of a Rural Roads Project in Vietnam By Mannava,Aneesh; Perova,Elizaveta; Tran,Phuong Thi Minh
  7. Climate Change Impacts on Sugarcane Production in Thailand By Pipitpukdee, Siwabhorn; Attavanich, Witsanu; Bejranonda, Somskaow
  8. Cambodia Economic Update, May 2019 By World Bank Group
  9. How Two Tests Can Help Contain COVID-19 and Revive the Economy By De Walque,Damien B. C. M.; Friedman,Jed; Gatti,Roberta V.; Mattoo,Aaditya
  10. The economic cost of control of the invasive yellow-legged Asian hornet By Morgane Barbet-Massin; Jean-Michel Salles; Franck Courchamp
  11. Interpreting, analysing and modelling COVID-19 mortality data By Didier Sornette; Euan Mearns; Michael Schatz; Ke Wu; Didier Darcet
  12. A myth of soft budget constraints in socialist economies By Popov, Vladimir
  13. Education during COVID-19 era: Are learners in a less-economically developed country ready for e-learning? By Alipio, Mark
  14. Cambodia By World Bank; International Monetary Fund
  15. Lending to the Unbanked: Relational Contracting with Loan Sharks By Kevin Lang; Kaiwen Leong; Huailu Li; Haibo Xu
  16. Macroeconomic Dynamics and Reallocation in an Epidemic By Dirk Krueger; Harald Uhlig; Taojun Xie
  17. On the Influence of Top Journals By Lorenzo Ductor; Sanjeev Goyal; Marco J. van der Leij; Gustavo Nicolas Paez

  1. By: Ghasemi, Abdolrasoul; Boroumand, Yasaman; Shirazi, Masoud
    Abstract: The issue of coronavirus outbreak in the world, though new, is equally pervasive. It has posed a new and ambiguous challenge to the economic growth of countries around the world. Undoubtedly, the efforts of countries to curb the spread of this virus and reduce the number of deaths are necessary for other strategies that will be taken in other areas, especially in the economic field. Comparing countries only based one the statistics on virus spread and mortality without considering the contextual variables, can be misleading. Thus using dynamic data envelopment analysis, this study calculated the performance of 19 selected countries in two dimensions: inefficiency of preventing coronavirus spread and inefficiency of preventing deaths caused by coronavirus from February 2 to April 12. According to the study, the inefficiency trend of preventing coronavirus spread in Singapore, South Korea, China and Australia are decreasing during the period under review and the inefficiency trend of other countries, which of course differ in terms of inefficiency, are increasing with different slopes. Also, Australia, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have experienced less inefficiency in preventing deaths caused by coronavirus compared to other countries. Stringency index and global health security (GHS) index have been used as well, to analyze the findings and at the end some suggestions have been presented.
    Keywords: Coronavirus, Covid19, DEA, Window Analysis, Efficiency, Government
    JEL: C61 I18
    Date: 2020–04–15
  2. By: Ngasuko, Tri Achya
    Abstract: Indonesia, together with China, Vietnam, and India, is projected to experience strong growth at least until 2020 before finally experiencing a slowdown in the next period. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its study in 2015 also mentioned that Indonesia would become the fourth economy in 2050. Surely we cannot just be proud. Instead, we must look inside and ask ourselves about whether we are so high. This short article aims to see how Indonesia is catching up with other countries in the era of the digital era. This brief research shows that there are at least a few things that must be encouraged by the Government so that opportunities that come in the digital era can be utilized to the fullest, namely digital literacy, improving the quality of human resources, and creativity of policymakers in dealing with changes in the fast-paced digital era
    Keywords: human resource development, life quality, Indonesia
    JEL: I30 J24 O15
    Date: 2018–11–01
  3. By: Vu, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: Based on the “winner-loser” scheme, we examine the possible impacts of enterprise zones (EZs) on local Vietnamese households between 2002 and 2008, using differences-indifferences approach and a panel-event study. We layer four waves of household surveys using a census of EZs in 2007, based on the same commune identity for our household and individual analyses. Within five years of EZ establishment, we find they are associated with higher household incomes, an increase in private property prices, and an increase in working hours.However, we do not find a significant impact on household living expenditure or school attendance/working probabilities among members aged between 7 and 17 years. Neither do we find a significant impact on health outcomes.
    Keywords: Enterprise zone, Health, Household, Income, School Attendance, Vietnam, O12, O18, D1, P36
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Tran, Trung Vinh; Vo Thi, Quynh Nga; Nguyen, Phuc Nguyen
    Abstract: The main purpose of this study is to examine the causal relationships between components of customer-based brand equity for a tourist destination. We have collected data from 252 South Korean tourists in Danang City and tested some hypotheses by applying structural equation modeling (SEM). Results show that: (1) destination brand awareness has a significant and positive effect on destination brand image, but not on destination perceived quality and destination brand loyalty; (2) destination brand image has positive and direct influences on destination perceived quality and destination brand loyalty; and (3) destination perceived quality has significant positive impacts on destination brand loyalty. Lastly, these findings have managerial implications for decision makers.
    Keywords: Customer-based brand equity; Destination; South Korean tourist; Danang.
    JEL: C0 C01 M31
    Date: 2020–04–23
  5. By: Mannava,Aneesh; Perova,Elizaveta; Tran,Phuong Thi Minh
    Abstract: The literature lends empirical support for the idea that improvements to transport infrastructure lead to economic development. How and why the benefits of better transport differ between genders is less clear. This paper attempts to answer this question by combining a nonexperimental impact evaluation of a large-scale rural roads project in Vietnam with qualitative data collection. The paper finds that roads improve economic opportunities for agricultural production and trade: all households increase agricultural trade. Yet only households headed by men capitalize on these opportunities, experiencing an increase in agricultural output and income. Production and income do not increase in households headed by women. The result seems to be driven by a lower level of household labor and access to capital in female-headed households, which constrains their ability to make up-front investments to increase production and income. Overall, the results indicate that female-headed households face constraints in taking advantage of newly created economic opportunities. Coordinating transport investments with complementary development programs addressing these constraints can improve the benefits of better transport for such households.
    Keywords: Economics and Gender,Gender and Economic Policy,Gender and Poverty,Gender and Economics,International Trade and Trade Rules,Climate Change and Agriculture,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Transport Services,Gender and Development
    Date: 2020–04–20
  6. By: Yen Kim Thi Le (UR CERES - Institut Catholique de Toulouse); Marie-Christine Monnoyer (UR CERES - Institut Catholique de Toulouse)
    Abstract: Notre recherche montre le rôle de l'entrepreneuriat social dans la transformation des « territoires oubliés » en « milieux socialement innovateurs » comme une réponse à la lutte contre la pauvreté. La pauvreté (Sen, 1999) est la privation de la liberté de choisir et de mener une vie décente comme chacun l'entend. Pour y répondre, l'acquisition des capacités individuelles ne suffit pas. Il faut aussi augmenter les capacités collectives et passer par un développement territorial qui prend en compte à la fois les questions économique, sociale, environnementale, etc. Nous proposons un concept qui prolonge celui des « milieux innovateurs » (développé par le GREMI) et que nous appelons « les milieu socialement innovateurs ». Les entreprises sociales grâce à leur mission, leur modèle d'affaires et leur management, jouent le rôle de « catalyseur » pour rendre le développement des territoires non seulement plus innovant mais aussi plus inclusif. Notre étude comparative entre le Maroc et le Vietnam permet d'apporter les éclairages quant à la différence de ce rôle en fonction des spécificités de chaque pays. Mots clés : entreprise sociale, milieu socialement innovateur, lutte contre la pauvreté, territoires oubliés, pays émergents. 2
    Date: 2019–06
  7. By: Pipitpukdee, Siwabhorn; Attavanich, Witsanu; Bejranonda, Somskaow
    Abstract: This study investigated the impact of climate change on yield, harvested area, and production of sugarcane in Thailand using spatial regression together with an instrumental variable approach to address the possible selection bias. The data were comprised of new fine-scale weather outcomes merged together with a provincial-level panel of crops that spanned all provinces in Thailand from 1989–2016. We found that in general climate variables, both mean and variability, statistically determined the yield and harvested area of sugarcane. Increased population density reduced the harvested area for non-agricultural use. Considering simultaneous changes in climate and demand of land for non-agricultural development, we reveal that the future sugarcane yield, harvested area, and production are projected to decrease by 23.95%–33.26%, 1.29%–2.49%, and 24.94%–34.93% during 2046–2055 from the baseline, respectively. Sugarcane production is projected to have the largest drop in the eastern and lower section of the central regions. Given the role of Thailand as a global exporter of sugar and the importance of sugarcane production in Thai agriculture, the projected declines in the production could adversely affect the well-being of one million sugarcane growers and the stability of sugar price in the world market.
    Keywords: climate change impacts; sugarcane; yield; harvested area; production; Thai agriculture
    JEL: C23 Q15 Q16 Q54
    Date: 2020–02–29
  8. By: World Bank Group
    Keywords: Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Economic Growth Macroeconomics and Economic Growth - Fiscal & Monetary Policy Poverty Reduction - Inequality Industry - Apparel and Leather Industry Agriculture - Food Security International Economics and Trade - Export Competitiveness
    Date: 2019–05
  9. By: De Walque,Damien B. C. M.; Friedman,Jed; Gatti,Roberta V.; Mattoo,Aaditya
    Abstract: Faced with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), countries are taking drastic action based on little information. Two tests can help governments shorten and soften economically costly suppression measures while still containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The first?a PCR assay?identifies people currently infected by testing for the presence of live virus in the subject. The second?an antibody test?identifies those rendered immune after being infected by searching for COVID-19-specific antibodies. The first test can help contain the disease because it facilitates the identification of infected persons, the tracing of their contacts, and isolation in the very early stages of an epidemic?or after a period of suppression, in case of a resurgent epidemic. The second can help us assess the extent of immunity in the general population or subgroups, to finetune social isolation and to manage health care resources. Wide application of the two tests could transform the battle against COVID-19 (Coronavirus), but implementing either on a large scale in developing countries presents challenges. The first test is generally available, but needs to be processed in adequately equipped laboratories with trained staff. The second test is easy to perform and can be processed quickly on the spot, but at this stage it is produced and available only on a limited basis in a few countries. This policy brief reviews the use of both tests, suggests strategies to target their use, and discusses the benefits and costs of such strategies. If PCR assay testing, together with tracing and isolation, helps reduce the duration of suppression measures by two weeks, and antibody testing allows one-fifth of the immune return to work early, the gain could be about 2 percent of national income, or about $8 billion for a country like the Philippines. Because the estimated economic benefits of the tests are likely to far outweigh the cost, the international community must help countries develop the capacity to process the first test and procure the second.
    Keywords: Health Care Services Industry,Public Health Promotion,Law and Justice Institutions,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Health Service Management and Delivery
    Date: 2020–04–08
  10. By: Morgane Barbet-Massin (ESE - Ecologie Systématique et Evolution - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - AgroParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Michel Salles (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - FRE2010 - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Franck Courchamp (ESE - Ecologie Systématique et Evolution - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - AgroParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Since its accidental introduction in 2003 in France, the yellow-legged Asian hornet Vespa velutina ni-grithorax is rapidly spreading through France and Europe. Economic assessments regarding the costs of invasive species often reveal important costs from required control measures or damages. Despite the rapid invasion of the Asian yellow-legged hornet in Europe and potential damage to apiculture and pollination services, the costs of its invasion have not been evaluated yet. Here we aimed at studying the costs arising from the Asian yellow-legged hornet invasion by providing the first estimate of the control cost. Today, the invasion of the Asian yellow-legged hornet is mostly controlled by nest destruction. We estimated that nest destruction cost €23 million between 2006 and 2015 in France. The yearly cost is increasing as the species keeps spreading and could reach €11.9 million in France, €9.0 million in Italy and €8.6 million in the United Kingdom if the species fills its current climatically suitable distribution. Although more work will be needed to estimate the cost of the Asian yellow-legged hornet on apiculture and pollination services, they likely exceed the current costs of control with nest destruction. It could thus be worth increasing control efforts by aiming at destroying a higher percentage of nests.
    Keywords: impact,biological invasions,IAS,Invasive alien species,yellow-legged hornet
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Didier Sornette (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC); Swiss Finance Institute); Euan Mearns (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC)); Michael Schatz (ETH Zürich); Ke Wu (Southern University of Science and Technology; ETH Zurich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC)); Didier Darcet (Insight Research LLC)
    Abstract: We present results on the mortality statistics of the COVID-19 epidemics in a number of countries. Our data analysis suggests classifying countries in four groups, 1) Western countries, 2) East Block and developed South East Asian countries, 3) Northern Hemisphere developing countries and 4) Southern Hemisphere countries. Comparing the number of deaths per mil-lion inhabitants, a pattern emerges in which the Western countries exhibit the largest mortality. Furthermore, comparing the running cumulative death tolls as the same level of outbreak progress in different countries reveals several subgroups within the Western countries and further emphasises the difference between the four groups. Analysing the relationship between deaths per million and life expectancy in different countries, taken as a proxy of the preponderance of elderly people in the population, a main reason behind the relatively more severe COVID-19 epidemics in the Western countries countries is found to be their larger population of elderly people, with exceptions such as Norway, Canada and Japan, for which other factors seem to dominate. Our comparison between countries at the same level of outbreak progress allows us to identify and quantify a measure of efficiency of the level of stringency of confinement measures. We find that increasing the stringency from 20 to 60 decreases the death count by about 50 lives per million. Finally, we perform logistic equation analyses of confirmed cases and deaths as a means of tracking the maturity of outbreaks and estimating ultimate mortality, using four different models to identify model error and robustness of results. This quantitative analysis allows us to assess the outbreak progress in different countries, differentiating between those that are at a quite advanced stage and close to the end of the epidemics from those that are still in the middle of it. We also report large differences in our forecasts for the distribution of final death numbers per million with Austria and Germany exhibiting a factor at least three fewer deaths per millions than France of Italy. This raises many questions in terms of organisation, preparedness, governance structure, and so on.
    Keywords: COVID-19 epidemics, mortality, life expectancy, stringency of confinement measures, logistic equation, outbreak progress
    JEL: I12 I18 I30 M14 Q50
    Date: 2020–04
  12. By: Popov, Vladimir
    Abstract: Most of the time the budget constraints in the socialist economies were harder than in developing countries and no less hard than in developed countries. The soft budget constraints (SBC) in socialist economies were not pervasive, as most authors believe, but selective, i.e. involved subsidization of some enterprises/industries at the expense of the other. This type of selective subsidization is a classic case of industrial policy: it may be good or bad, leading to success (China, Vietnam) or failure (USSR, Eastern Europe), but cannot be regarded as an intrinsic feature of the socialist centrally planned economy and an example of pervasive SBC. Pervasive SBC should be associated with permanent government budget deficit, debt accumulation, high inflation and other forms of macroeconomic populism. In the Soviet Union in the post-war period (after the monetary reform of 1947 and until the Gorbachev financial and monetary expansion that started in 1987) budget deficit and debt were very low, open and hidden inflation was less than several percent a year – a better record than in most Western countries. But in the 1990s in Russia, other former Soviet republics and most East European countries budget constraints were weakened dramatically and inflation increased to hundreds and thousands percent a year. SBC is just one type of this populist macroeconomic policy that was rare in socialist countries, but is found in abundance in many developing countries (especially Latin America and Sub-Sahara Africa) and transition economies (especially FSU states).
    Keywords: Soft budget constraints, socialist economies, industrial policy
    JEL: H60 O25 P34 P35 P40 P43
    Date: 2020–04–21
  13. By: Alipio, Mark
    Abstract: Drawn on the existing pandemic and potential shift to full e-learning, this study has focused on the descriptive evaluation of readiness for e-learning of higher education students in a less-economically developed country. This is a descriptive online survey employing questionnaires to elicit data on the readiness of students for e-learning. A total of 880 Filipino students responded and provided consent to participate. Ratings were descriptively analyzed using mean, frequency, and percentages. Univariate logistic regression was used to determine the association between each demographic profile and readiness for e-learning. A p-value below 0.05 was considered significant. Of the 880 sample, majority were in the lower middle class and private higher education institution. Most of the respondents answered ‘No’ in all e-learning readiness items. The odds of scoring low in the readiness scale was higher among younger and female respondents. With reference to high income class, the odds of scoring low in the readiness scale was approximately 16.23, 12.02, 5.21, and 1.87 times more likely when students belong to low, lower middle, middle, and upper middle class, respectively. The type of school is not associated with low readiness probability. School officials may first address the lack of digital skills among students and formulate programs that would capacitate them. The possible shift for e-learning should be considered if financial, operational, and Internet connectivity issues of learners in the low-income sector and rural areas are addressed. More strategic planning and quality management mechanisms should be directed towards an equitable and inclusive education without undermining quality learning.
    Keywords: Coronavirus,COVID-19,Education,E-learning,Less-economically developed country,Philippines,Online education
    JEL: I10 I18 I23 I28 I30
    Date: 2020
  14. By: World Bank; International Monetary Fund
    Keywords: Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Markets Finance and Financial Sector Development - Debt Relief and HIPC International Economics and Trade - External Debt
    Date: 2019–02
  15. By: Kevin Lang (Boston University); Kaiwen Leong (Nanyang Technological University); Huailu Li (Shanghai Institute of International Finance and Economics); Haibo Xu (Tongji University)
    Abstract: We study roughly 11,000 loans from unlicensed moneylenders to over 1,000 borrowers in Singapore and provide basic information about this understudied market. Borrowers frequently expect to repay late. While lenders do rely on additional punishments to enforce loans, the primary cost of not repaying on time is compounding of a very high interest rate. We develop a very simple model of the relational contract between loan sharks and borrowers and use it to predict the effect of a crackdown on illegal moneylending. Consistent with our model, the crackdown raised the interest rate and lowered the size of loans.
    Keywords: Illegal Lending, Enforcement, Relational Contract
    JEL: K42 L14
    Date: 2020–03
  16. By: Dirk Krueger (University of Pennsylvania and CEPR); Harald Uhlig (University of Chicago, NBER, CEPR); Taojun Xie (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: In this paper we argue that endogenous shifts in private consumption behavior across sectors of the economy can act as a potent mitigation mechanism during an epidemic or when the economy is re-opened after a temporary lockdown. Extending the theoretical framework proposed by Eichenbaum-Rebelo-Trabandt (2020), we distinguish goods by their degree to which they can be consumed at home rather than in a social (and thus possibly contagious) context. We demonstrate that, within the model the “Swedish solution” of letting the epidemic play out without government intervention and allowing agents to shift their sectoral behavior on their own can lead to a substantial mitigation of the economic and human costs of the COVID-19 crisis, avoiding more than 80 of the decline in output and of number of deaths within one year, compared to a model in which sectors are assumed to be homogeneous. For di?erent parameter con?gurations that capture the additional social distancing and hygiene activities individuals might engage in voluntarily, we show that infections may decline entirely on their own, simply due to the individually rational re-allocation of economic activity: the curve not only just ?attens, it gets reversed.
    Keywords: Epidemic, Coronavirus, Macroeconomics, Sectoral Substitution
    JEL: E52 E30
    Date: 2020–04–23
  17. By: Lorenzo Ductor (University of Granada); Sanjeev Goyal (Columbia University); Marco J. van der Leij (University of Amsterdam); Gustavo Nicolas Paez (Myanmar Development Institute)
    Abstract: We study the evolution of the influence of journals over the period 1970-2017. In the early 1970's, a number of journals had similar influence, but by 1995, the `Top 5' journals, QJE, AER, RES, Econometrica, and JPE, had acquired a major lead. This dominance has remained more or less unchanged since 1995. To place these developments in a broader context, we also study trends in sociology. The trends there have gone the other way; the field journals rose in influence, relative to the Top General journals. A model of journals as platforms is developed to understand these trends across time and across disciplines.
    Keywords: research impact, Top 5 journals, academic publishing, citations
    JEL: A14 D85
    Date: 2020–04–19

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