nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2021‒05‒03
twenty-one papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. What Explains Vietnam's Exceptional Performance in Education Relative to Other Countries? Analysis of the 2012 and 2015 PISA Data By Dang, Hai-Anh; Glewwe, Paul; Vu, Khoa; Lee, Jongwook
  2. Temperature and non-communicable diseases: Evidence from Indonesia's primary health care system. By Manuela K. Fritz
  3. The Impact of Domestic Travel Bans on COVID-19 is Nonlinear in Their Duration By Fiona Burlig; Anant Sudarshan; Garrison Schlauch
  4. Dynastic measures of inter-generational mobility with empirical evidence from Indonesia By Olivier Bargain; Maria C. Lo Bue; Flaviana Palmisano
  5. The Soundness of Macroeconomic Fundamentals in Vietnam By Hung Ly Dai
  6. Ethnic disparity in altruism towards reforestation: A social preference experiment in Mindoro, Philippines By Imelda Revilla Molina; Katelyn Castillo; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon
  7. Guidance for a biorefining roadmap for Thailand By OECD
  8. Over Land and Over Sea: Domestic Trade Frictions in the Philippines By Go, Eugenia
  9. Don’t Expect Too Much – High Income Expectations and Over-Indebtedness By Klühs, Theres; Koch, Melanie; Stein, Wiebke
  10. Accounting for the Great Divergence: Recent findings from historical national accounting By Stephen Broadberry
  11. Bank Efficiency and the Bond Markets: Evidence from the Asia and Pacific Region By Park, Donghyun; Tian, Shu; Wu, Qiongbing
  12. Telecommunication Infrastructure Development and FDI into Asian Developing Nations By Shah, Mumtaz Hussain; Khan, Faisal
  13. Pricing Asian Options with Correlators By Silvia Lavagnini
  14. Coupled Lotteries – A New Method to Analyze Inequality Aversion By Koch, Melanie; Menkhoff, Lukas; Schmidt, Ulrich
  15. Where to Refuel: Modeling On-the-way Choice of Convenience Outlet By Ari Pramono; Harmen Oppewal
  16. Exchange Rates and Insulation in Emerging Markets By Eichengreen, Barry; Park, Donghyun; Ramayandi, Arief; Shin, Kwanho
  17. Burning Glass Technologies’ data use in policy-relevant analysis: An occupation-level assessment By Emile Cammeraat; Mariagrazia Squicciarini
  18. Three Decades of International Financial Crises: What Have We Learned and What Still Needs to be Done? By Buckley , Ross; Avgouleas, Emilios; Arner , Douglas
  19. Determinants of Peer-to-Peer Lending Expansion: The Roles of Financial Development and Financial Literacy By Oh, Eun Young; Rosenkranz, Peter
  20. Covid-19 Crisis Fuels Hostility against Foreigners By Bartoš, Vojtěch; Bauer, Michal; Cahlíková, Jana; Chytilová, Julie
  21. Bargaining and Time Preferences: An Experimental Study By Kim, Jeongbin; Lim, Wooyoung; Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian

  1. By: Dang, Hai-Anh; Glewwe, Paul; Vu, Khoa; Lee, Jongwook
    Abstract: Despite being the poorest or second poorest participant, Vietnam performed much better than all other developing countries, and even ahead of wealthier countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., on the 2012 and 2015 PISA assessments. We provide a rigorous investigation of Vietnam's strong performance. After making various parametric and non-parametric corrections for potentially non-representative PISA samples, including bias due to Vietnam's large out-of-school population, Vietnam still remains a large positive outlier conditional on its income. Possible higher motivation of, and coaching given to, Vietnamese students only partly explains Vietnam's performance, and this is also the case for various observed household- and school-level variables. Finally, Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions indicate that the gap in average test scores between Vietnam and the other participating countries is due not to differences in students' and schools' observed characteristics, but instead to Vietnam's greater "productivity" of those characteristics.
    Keywords: education,student learning,test scores,enrollment,PISA,Vietnam
    JEL: H0 I2 O1 P3
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Manuela K. Fritz
    Abstract: Increasing ambient temperatures will severely affect human health in the decades to come and will exacerbate a variety of chronic health conditions. In this paper, I examine the temperature- morbidity relationship in the tropical climate environment of Indonesia with a focus on chronic, non-communicable diseases, namely diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Drawing on detailed individual level data from the Indonesian national health insurance scheme JKN and linking it with meteorological data on daily temperature realizations on a one spatial level, I estimate the e ect of high ambient temperatures on the daily number of primary health care visits. Exploiting the panel structure of the data and using a distributed lag model, I and that all-cause, diabetes and cardiovascular disease morbidity substantially increase at days with high mean temperatures. Specifically, on a day with a mean temperature above 29.5°C, the daily visits for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases increase by 29% and 19%, respectively, and these increases are permanent and not offset by visit displacement. Contrarily, I do not and any effects on respiratory disease morbidity. Heterogeneity analyses suggest that elderly and women suffer more severely from high temperatures. Back-of-the-envelope cost calculations indicate a substantial financial burden for the Indonesian health care system due to increasing temperatures.
    Keywords: Health, Non-Communicable Diseases, Temperature, Climate Change, Indonesia.
    JEL: I10 I13 I18 Q50 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2021–04
  3. By: Fiona Burlig; Anant Sudarshan; Garrison Schlauch
    Abstract: Domestic mobility restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19 are widespread in developing countries, and have trapped millions of migrant workers in hotspot cities. We show that bans can increase cumulative infections relative to a counterfactual sans restrictions. A SEIR model shows bans’ impacts are nonlinear in duration. We empirically test this hypothesis using a natural experiment in India as well as data from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, and Kenya. Although very short and long restrictions limit the spread of disease, moderately lengthy restrictions substantially increase infections. This underscores the importance of considering duration in mobility-restricting policy decisions in developing countries.
    JEL: I18 J60 O12
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Olivier Bargain; Maria C. Lo Bue; Flaviana Palmisano
    Abstract: We suggest a simple and flexible criterion to assess inter-generational mobility. It accommodates different types of outcomes (continuous outcomes such as potential earnings, or discrete ones such as education groups) and captures dynastic improvements of such outcomes at different points of the initial distribution. We provide dominance characterizations?for instance, on the relative progress made by women vs men?that are consistent with social preferences upon desirable patterns of mobility. We suggest an application for Indonesia.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Education, Welfare, Indonesia, Gender
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Hung Ly Dai (Vietnam Institute of Economics, Hanoi, Vietnam)
    Abstract: The paper investitages the soundness of macroeconomic fundamentals in Vietnam, by time varying vector autoregression (TVC-BSVAR) method over a quarterly sample over 03/2000-12/2020. The evidence records three macroeconomic princinples: the trade-off between output and inflation, VND depreciation rate enhancing output growth rate, and lower inflation improving economic growth. This structure determines the resilience of economy toward world shocks. Specially, the disturbed FDI capital can substitute the world GDP growth rate on raising domestic GDP growth rate, inflation rate and evaluating domestic currency. The result also suggests that the improvement of FDI absorption capacity, through the institutional quality, needs to be a prioritied policy for the economy to self-insure against the negative schocks from world growth rate and oil price.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Fundamentals,Vector Autoregression,Foreign Capital Inflows
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Imelda Revilla Molina; Katelyn Castillo; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon
    Abstract: This paper presents a framed field experiment on ecological altruism in Mindoro, Philippines. Behavioural differences between ethnic groups in Mindoro?the Tagalogs and the Mangyans?were investigated. We designed a two-part donation task (i.e. dictator game) where the recipient of the donation was a local reforestation project. There were two treatments: participants played either the giving game (GG) or the taking game (TG).
    Keywords: Field experiment, Forests and forestry, Altruism, Behaviour, Ethnicity, Ethnic group
    Date: 2021
  7. By: OECD
    Abstract: Biorefineries present an alternative to fossil-based production, and can create employment, wealth and the ecosystem needed to make them function. Thailand is establishing a bioeconomy with widespread biorefining as a strategy for future economic growth. There is political will to establish in Thailand, if feasible, small, decentralised biorefineries to which farmers can locally deliver biomass as feedstock, which can then be processed into bio-based products. This would help to relieve rural poverty, which is still a problem in some areas of Thailand despite progress. Developing a biorefining roadmap will help to assess the feasibility of such an initiative.
    Keywords: Bioeconomy, Biomass, Biorefinery, Biotechnology, Innovation, Manufacturing, Research, Roadmap, Thailand
    Date: 2021–04–29
  8. By: Go, Eugenia (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: We create two novel datasets—the starting dates of Roll-On Roll-Off Terminal System (RRTS) service by route, and interprovincial land trade—to evaluate the effects of the RRTS on agricultural trade costs within the Philippines as measured by border effects. We find province border effects to be substantial in the Philippines, with a typical province trading 28–53 times more with itself than with other provinces. The RRTS reduced this by a factor of 0.65. This is confirmed by increased trade flows, with RRTS province pairs trading 36%–42% more on average compared to similar unconnected province pairs. However, the border effect reduction is unevenly distributed and tends to be limited to provinces near the biggest demand center.
    Keywords: border effects; domestic trade; trade costs
    JEL: F14 O18 Q10
    Date: 2020–02–28
  9. By: Klühs, Theres (Leibniz University of Hannover); Koch, Melanie (DIW Berlin); Stein, Wiebke (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: Household indebtedness is rising worldwide. This study investigates one possible driver of this increase that is rooted in the theory of permanent income: high income expectations. We collect data from an emerging country, Thailand, as (over-) indebtedness in markets with incomplete financial infrastructure and social security can be devastating. Furthermore, our sample of rural households is exposed to a high degree of uncertainty, which makes expectation formation prone to behavioral biases. We implement a new measure for high income expectations and show that it is strongly and robustly related to both objective and subjectively felt over-indebtedness. Controlling for various household characteristics, unexpected shocks, and other possible confounding factors reduces the concern about reverse causality. In an additional lab-in-the-field experiment, we explicitly find that overconfidence, a specific form of biased expectation, is related to overborrowing.
    Keywords: household debt; lab-in-the-field experiment; emerging markets;
    JEL: D14 D84 D91
    Date: 2019–11–20
  10. By: Stephen Broadberry (Nuffield College Oxford, CAGE and CEPR)
    Abstract: As a result of recent work on historical national accounting, it is now possible to establish more firmly the timing of the Great Divergence of living standards between Europe and Asia in the eighteenth century. There was a European Little Divergence as Britain and the Netherlands overtook Italy and Spain, and an Asian Little Divergence as Japan overtook China and India. The Great Divergence occurred because Japan grew more slowly than Britain and the Netherlands starting from a lower level, and because of a strong negative growth trend in Qing dynasty China. A growth accounting framework is used to assess the contributions of labour, human and physical capital, land and total factor productivity. In addition to these proximate sources, the roles of institutions and geography are examined as the ultimate sources of the divergent growth patterns.
    Keywords: Great Divergence; living standards; measurement; explanation JEL Classification: N10, N30, N35, O10, O57
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Park, Donghyun (Asian Development Bank); Tian, Shu (Asian Development Bank); Wu, Qiongbing (Western Sydney University)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of bond markets on both bank profit and cost efficiency. By employing the stochastic frontier approach and utilizing a large micro dataset for 926 banks covering 27 economies from the Asia and Pacific region over the period from 2004 to 2017, we find that both the bond market development and bond market structure are relevant to bank efficiency. The development of bond markets generally has a positive (negative) effect on bank profit (cost) efficiency. Given the development level of the aggregate bond market, increasing the proportion of corporate bonds will enhance both bank profit and cost efficiency. Moreover, given the development level of a country’s corporate bond market, a greater share of local currency corporate bonds is significantly and positively related to both bank profit and cost efficiency. In addition, increasing share of bank-issued corporate bonds in corporate bonds significantly increases (decreases) bank profit (cost) efficiency. Overall, our results point to the significant importance of local currency corporate bonds to the overall bank efficiency. Our findings provide important implications for both policy makers and bank management.
    Keywords: Asia and Pacific region; bank efficiency; bond market development; bond market structure; stochastic frontier analysis
    JEL: D20 G21 G28
    Date: 2020–03–16
  12. By: Shah, Mumtaz Hussain; Khan, Faisal
    Abstract: This study strives to evaluate the effects of infrastructure availability and development on foreign direct investment (FDI) in host developing nations. Employing fixed effects panel estimation technique, panel data for 23 Asian developing countries, from 1990-2009 is used with heteroscedasticity corrected standard errors. The results reveal a strong favourable impact of telecom infrastructure (measured by mobile subscriptions) in drawing inward FDI. Therefore, it is concluded that a country with improved infrastructure in general and telecom infrastructure in particular is likely to pull in more FDI. Other variables such as market size, economic development, and currency valuation (measured by exchange rate) appear important in captivating multinational investors, as they exhibit significant coefficients. On the contrary, high-inflation significantly deters inward FDI.
    Keywords: FDI, Telecommunication Infrastructure, Panel data
    JEL: C23 F21 F23
    Date: 2019–06
  13. By: Silvia Lavagnini
    Abstract: We derive a series expansion by Hermite polynomials for the price of an arithmetic Asian option. This series requires the computation of moments and correlators of the underlying price process, but for a polynomial jump-diffusion, these are given in closed form, hence no numerical simulation is required to evaluate the series. This allows, for example, for the explicit computation of Greeks. The weight function defining the Hermite polynomials is a Gaussian density with scale $b$. We find that the rate of convergence for the series depends on $b$, for which we prove a lower bound to guarantee convergence. Numerical examples show that the series expansion is accurate but unstable for initial values of the underlying process far from zero, mainly due to rounding errors.
    Date: 2021–04
  14. By: Koch, Melanie (DIW Berlin); Menkhoff, Lukas (HU and DIW Berlin); Schmidt, Ulrich (University of Kiel and ifW Kiel)
    Abstract: We develop and implement a new measure for inequality aversion: two peers are endowed with identical binary lotteries and the only choice they make is whether they want to play out the lotteries independently or with perfect positive correlation (coupling). Coupling has no other effect than preventing outcome inequality. We implement the method in a survey in rural Thailand as well as a supplemental sample in a lab in Germany. As theoretically expected, coupling is related to being more risk averse, to having social status concerns, and to relying more often on formal and informal insurance. However, coupling is not related to giving in the dictator game.
    Keywords: inequality aversion; correlated risk; social status concerns;
    JEL: D63 D91 D81
    Date: 2019–09–18
  15. By: Ari Pramono; Harmen Oppewal
    Abstract: This paper introduces on-the-way choice of retail outlet as a form of convenience shopping. It presents a model of on-the-way choice of retail outlet and applies the model in the context of fuel retailing to explore its implications for segmentation and spatial competition. The model is a latent class random utility choice model. An application to gas station choices observed in a medium-sized Asian city show the model to fit substantially better than existing models. The empirical results indicate consumers may adopt one of two decision strategies. When adopting an immediacy-oriented strategy they behave in accordance with the traditional gravity-based retail models and tend to choose the most spatially convenient outlet. When following a destination-oriented strategy they focus more on maintaining their overall trip efficiency and so will tend to visit outlets located closer to their main destination and are more susceptible to retail agglomeration effects. The paper demonstrates how the model can be used to inform segmentation and local competition analyses that account for variations in these strategies as well as variations in consumer type, origin and time of travel. Simulations of a duopoly setting further demonstrate the implications.
    Date: 2021–04
  16. By: Eichengreen, Barry (University of California, Berkeley); Park, Donghyun (Asian Development Bank); Ramayandi, Arief (Asian Development Bank); Shin, Kwanho (Korea University)
    Abstract: The insulating properties of flexible exchange rates have long been a highly contentious issue in emerging markets—not least in Asian emerging markets. A number of recent theoretical and empirical studies question whether a trade-off exists between rigid exchange rate regimes and insulation from foreign shocks when the degree of international capital mobility is high. On the other hand, Obstfeld, Ostry, and Qureshi (2017) find that countries with flexible exchange rate regimes experience less real and financial instability in the face of global financial volatility. We contribute to this empirical debate by significantly extending their analysis. Overall, our findings are broadly consistent with their results, suggesting that flexible exchange rate regimes are better at insulating emerging markets from external shocks. There are, however, a few subtle differences. In particular, we find somewhat less robust evidence that limited flexibility is enough to insulate emerging markets from shocks.
    Keywords: exchange rate; exchange rate regime; fixed; flexible; insulate; intermediate; shock
    JEL: F31
    Date: 2020–02–26
  17. By: Emile Cammeraat (OECD); Mariagrazia Squicciarini (OECD)
    Abstract: This work proposes an analysis of the statistical properties and distributional characteristics of Burning Glass Technologies’ (BGT) data on online job openings from platforms and companies, at the occupation level. BGT data are compared to official data on employment by occupation to assess their occupation-specific representativeness. This work further proposes weighting schemes aimed at making BGT-based analysis fully representative at the occupation and country levels, where appropriate. The analysis encompasses six economies – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States – for the period 2010-19. Overall, it finds that BGT data exhibit good statistical properties and are a useful source of timely information about labour market demand, especially for high-skill occupations and recruitment processes that are more likely to happen online.
    Keywords: Labour Demand, Occupations, Online Job Posting, Representativeness, Statistics
    Date: 2021–04–28
  18. By: Buckley , Ross (University of New South Wales); Avgouleas, Emilios (University of Edinburgh); Arner , Douglas (University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Fragility that periodically erupts into a full-blown financial crisis appears to be an integral feature of market-based financial systems in spite of the emergence of sophisticated risk management tools and regulatory systems. If anything, the increased frequency of modern crises underscores how difficult it is to diversify away systemic risk and that perceptions of perfectly stable financial systems are normally flawed, even if the source of the next crisis remains well concealed to the expert eye. Although it is impossible to forecast a financial crisis with a high degree of accuracy and certainty, earlier crises always leave lessons useful in preparation for future crises, from whatever source. It is thus clear that the best way to deal with preventing and addressing major financial crises is to build the defenses of the financial system, including effective institutions, while at the same time trying to identify potential sources of crisis. We should take every opportunity to learn and work to build stronger and more effective financial systems. This paper compares and contrasts the three major crises of the past 3 decades, both to distill the lessons to be learned from them and to identify what more can be done to strengthen our financial systems. As the world addresses the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the centrality of these lessons is clear.
    Keywords: Asian financial crisis; COVID-19 crisis; eurozone debt crisis; financial stability; global financial crisis; systemic risk
    JEL: F31 F34 G01 G32
    Date: 2020–06–19
  19. By: Oh, Eun Young (University of Portsmouth); Rosenkranz, Peter (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: To explore the determinants of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending expansion, this study examines factors that impact P2P lending using a sample of 62 economies over the period 2015–2017. We investigate the effects of financial development and financial literacy on the expansion of P2P lending. The level of development of financial institutions is assessed by access, efficiency, and depth. We find that financial institutions’ efficiency, financial literacy, and lower branch and ATM penetration are positively related with the expansion of P2P lending. This finding suggests that P2P lending can fill funding gaps in economies where traditional financial institutions may be less available, and thus promote financial inclusion. We also find that better information technology infrastructure and high new business density are positively associated with the expansion of P2P lending, suggesting that physical infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for it, while this is more likely to happen in dynamic business environments.
    Keywords: financial development; financial literacy; fintech; peer-to-peer lending
    JEL: E51 G23 G53 N20 O33
    Date: 2020–03–19
  20. By: Bartoš, Vojtěch (LMU Munich); Bauer, Michal (CERGE-EI Prague); Cahlíková, Jana (MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance Munich); Chytilová, Julie (CERGE-EI Prague)
    Abstract: Intergroup conflicts represent one of the most pressing problems facing human society. Sudden spikes in aggressive behavior, including pogroms, often take place during periods of economic hardship or health pandemics, but little is known about the underlying mechanism behind such change in behavior. Many scholars attribute it to scapegoating, a psychological need to redirect anger and to blame an out-group for hardship and problems beyond one's own control. However, causal evidence of whether hardship triggers out-group hostility has been lacking. Here we test this idea in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on the common concern that it may foster nationalistic sentiments and racism. Using a controlled money-burning task, we elicited hostile behavior among a nationally representative sample (n = 2,186) in a Central European country, at a time when the entire population was under lockdown and border closure. We find that exogenously elevating salience of thoughts related to Covid-19 pandemic magnifies hostility and discrimination against foreigners, especially from Asia. This behavioral response is large in magnitude and holds across various demographic sub-groups. For policy, the results underscore the importance of not inflaming racist sentiments and suggest that efforts to recover international trade and cooperation will need to address both social and economic damage.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; scapegoating; hostility; inter-group conflict; discrimination; experiment;
    JEL: C90 D01 D63 D91 J15
    Date: 2020–05–14
  21. By: Kim, Jeongbin (National University of Singapore); Lim, Wooyoung (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Schweighofer-Kodritsch, Sebastian (HU Berlin)
    Abstract: We generalize the Rubinstein (1982) bargaining model by disentangling payoff delay from bargaining delay. We show that our extension is isomorphic to generalized discounting with dynamic consistency and characterize the unique equilibrium. Using a novel experimental design to control for various confounds, we then test comparative statics predictions with respect to time discounting. All bargaining takes place within a single experimental session, so bargaining delay is negligible and dynamic consistency holds by design, while payoff delay per disagreement round is significant and randomized transparently at the individual level (week/month, with/without front-end delay). In contrast to prior experiments, we obtain strong behavioral support for the basic predictions that hold regardless of the details of discounting. Testing differential predictions of different forms of discounting, we strongly reject exponential discounting in favor of present-biased discounting.
    Keywords: alternating-offers bargaining; time preferences; present bias; laboratory experiments;
    JEL: C78 C91 D03
    Date: 2020–08–14

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