nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2022‒01‒10
fourteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Maternal employment and children's outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia By Ervin Dervisevic; Maria C. Lo Bue; Elizaveta Perova
  2. Comparative Review of the Human Capital Development Journeys of Vietnam and Sri Lanka By Amarasekara, Chandranath; Venuganan, Poongothai
  4. Natural Trading Partners Versus Empires in East and Southeast Asia Regional Integration (1840-1938) By Alejandro Ayuso-Díaz
  5. An Extended Quarterly Projection Model: Credit Cycle, Macrofinancial Linkages and Macroprudential Measures: The Case of the Philippines By Mr. Philippe D Karam; Mr. Jan Vlcek; Mikhail Pranovich
  6. Robust Estimation of Average Treatment Effects from Panel Data By Sayoni Roychowdhury; Indrila Ganguly; Abhik Ghosh
  7. Regional Financial Cooperation in East Asia from a New Perspective By An, Sungbae; Kim, Subin
  8. Securitized reception: revisiting contexts confronting Afghan and Vietnamese forced migrants By Phi Hong Su; Hameed Hakimi
  9. Does the ‘Boost for Mathematics’ Boost Mathematics? A Large-Scale Evaluation of the ‘Lesson Study’ Methodology on Student Performance By Grönqvist, Erik; Öckert, Björn; Rosenqvist, Olof
  10. 미국의 스위스 환율조작국 지정 원인 분석 및 평가 (On the U.S. 2020 Designation of Switzerland a Currency Manipulator) By Joe, Dong-Hee; Oh, Taehyun; Lee, Hyun Jean
  11. When a Pandemic Strikes: Balancing Health and Economy toward Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery By Balisacan, Arsenio M.; dela Cruz, Russel Matthew M.
  12. Gifted & Talented Programs and Racial Segregation By Owen Thompson
  13. A New Barometer of Global Supply Chain Pressures By Gianluca Benigno; Julian di Giovanni; Jan J. J. Groen; Adam I. Noble
  14. Inequality and occupational change in times of Revolution: The Tunisian perspective By Mohamed Ali Marouani; Phuong Le Minh

  1. By: Ervin Dervisevic; Maria C. Lo Bue; Elizaveta Perova
    Abstract: Is maternal employment beneficial or harmful for child development? Maternal employment generates income, which is needed to provide core inputs for children's health and education. However, maternal employment comes at the cost of time spent with children, which is also a critical input into children's development. The net impact is therefore theoretically ambiguous. Maternal employment, through mothers' exposure to wider social networks and greater bargaining may also be associated with how the family uses income.
    Keywords: Child development, Indonesia, Female labour force participation, Health outcomes, Child education
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Amarasekara, Chandranath; Venuganan, Poongothai
    Abstract: Since its independence, Sri Lanka has been lauded by researchers and policymakers for its human capital outcomes and has consistently been ahead of its regional peers. On the other hand, Vietnam continued to struggle with conflicts and other economic bottlenecks which hindered the development of its human capital base, particularly until the initiation of the Doi Moi reform process in the mid 1980s. Accordingly, a comparative assessment is undertaken of the significantly different human capital development journeys of Vietnam and Sri Lanka to understand the course of progress that both countries have experienced especially in the last three decades. Such an assessment paves way to identify developmental lessons that policymakers of both countries can draw upon to further augment their human capital which will be pivotal to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth amid the short-run challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the medium-run challenge of the ‘middle-income trap.’
    Keywords: Comparative Studies, Human Capital, Health, Education, Poverty, COVID-19 Response
    JEL: I1 I15 I18 I2 I24 I25 I28 I3 I31 I38 O1 O15
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Gaygysyz Ashyrov; Helen Poltimäe
    Abstract: Energy efficiency is an important issue for developing countries like Vietnam, where the economy is thriving, but energy efficiency is still low. Firms should invest in energy efficiency measures, but the desired level is not reached. While the economic determinants of firms’ investments in energy efficiency have been researched, the role of the institutional setting has not gained so much attention. By employing data from Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises that has been administered in 2015, this article investigates how corruption, as a sign of institutional dysfunctionality, is associated with the energy efficiency in firms. Results of a bivariate binary probit estimation revealed that bribery increases the likelihood of energy efficiency environmentally friendly investments. However, findings from instrumental variable two stage least squares estimations demonstrate that bribery increases the cost of the investments. Hence, in the long run, corruption might have a deterring effect on energy efficiency investments by firms.
    Keywords: corruption, energy efficiency, institutional setting, Vietnam
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Alejandro Ayuso-Díaz (CUNEF Universidad, Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: This paper tries to contribute to the literature dealing with the history of regional integration in East and Southeast Asia, reconciling the arguments defending that those territories are natural trading partners, those supporting that Western Empires enabled integration, and the ones claiming that it was the Japanese Empire which expanded regional trade. With this purpose, we reconstruct the region’s bilateral imports before the establishment of Free Trade Areas. This work is pioneering in the econometric analysis of the main drivers of the commercial integration of East and Southeast Asia during the high colonial era (1840-1938). Our results show that countries' specific economic and cultural characteristics made them natural trading partners. However, intra-Asian trade acceleration during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries was possible by the British free trade imperialism and the planned industrialization of the Japanese empire.
    Keywords: natural traing partners, informal empire, transit trade, regional integration
    JEL: B17 B27 C12 F15
    Date: 2021–12
  5. By: Mr. Philippe D Karam; Mr. Jan Vlcek; Mikhail Pranovich
    Abstract: We extend a modern practical Quarterly Projection Model to study credit cycle dynamics and risks, focusing on macrofinancial linkages and the role of macroprudential policy in achieving economic and financial stability. We tailor the model to the Philippines and evaluate the model’s properties along several dimensions. The model produces plausible dynamics and sensible forecasts. This along with its simplicity makes it useful for policy analysis. In particular, it should help policymakers understand the quantitative implications of responding to changes in domestic financial conditions, along with other shocks, through the joint use of macroprudential and monetary policies.
    Keywords: Philippines, Forecasting and Policy Analysis, Quarterly Projection Model, Monetary Policy, Macroprudential Policy, Credit Cycle, Leverage Ratio; credit cycle dynamics; policy analysis; projection model; model property; Quarterly Projection model; Credit; Macroprudential policy; Central bank policy rate; Credit gaps; Business cycles; Global
    Date: 2021–10–22
  6. By: Sayoni Roychowdhury; Indrila Ganguly; Abhik Ghosh
    Abstract: In order to evaluate the impact of a policy intervention on a group of units over time, it is important to correctly estimate the average treatment effect (ATE) measure. Due to lack of robustness of the existing procedures of estimating ATE from panel data, in this paper, we introduce a robust estimator of the ATE and the subsequent inference procedures using the popular approach of minimum density power divergence inference. Asymptotic properties of the proposed ATE estimator are derived and used to construct robust test statistics for testing parametric hypotheses related to the ATE. Besides asymptotic analyses of efficiency and powers, extensive simulation studies are conducted to study the finite-sample performances of our proposed estimation and testing procedures under both pure and contaminated data. The robustness of the ATE estimator is further investigated theoretically through the influence functions analyses. Finally our proposal is applied to study the long-term economic effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami on the (per-capita) gross domestic products (GDP) of five mostly affected countries, namely Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and Maldives.
    Date: 2021–12
    Abstract: Following the Asian financial crisis of 1998, there was a need to improve regional financial cooperation, including liquidity support. The Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (hereinafter, CMIM) and the Asian Bond Market Initiative (hereafter, ABMI) are two of the outcomes, but it is difficult to find countries that are actively using these mechanisms. Against this backdrop, we will first examine the limitations of existing systems and propose ways to overcome those limitations, as well as new ways to strengthen East Asian financial cooperation. We suggest three ways to strengthen financial coopera-tion in East Asia from a new perspective: 1) monetary cooperation through Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) 2) establishment of development financial institution in Northeast Asia 3) financial cooperation with Central Asia and Mongolia. Of course, more precise planning is required to implement these alternatives, and it is also recognized that the topics covered in this study represent only a subset of regional financial and monetary cooperation. However, by overcoming the limitations thus far, it is hoped that it can be a contribution that provides at least a glimmer of thought, which can hopefully become more concrete in future studies.
    Keywords: East Asia; regional financial cooperation; CMIM; CBDC
    Date: 2021–12–15
  8. By: Phi Hong Su; Hameed Hakimi
    Abstract: In a 2017 UNU-WIDER project, 'Forced migration and inequality', one of us collaborated on a comparison of Afghan and Vietnamese refugee resettlement across four Western countries. In the light of the Taliban return to power in August 2021, we revisit the contributions of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies special issue that resulted from that earlier project. In doing so, we re-evaluate the framework of contexts of reception that shape the resettlement of (forced) migrants: governance policies, labour markets, and coethnic communities.
    Keywords: Afghanistan, Context of reception, Middle East and South Asia, Migration, Refugees, Securitization
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Grönqvist, Erik (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Öckert, Björn (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Rosenqvist, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: Students in East-Asian countries consistently score in the top in international assessments. One possible explanation for this success is their use of ‘Lesson study’ to enhance teaching practices, but evidence on its effectiveness is still scant. We evaluate a national teacher development pro-gram in Sweden – the ‘Boost for Mathematics’ – containing core elements of Lesson study, in-cluding weekly peer group meetings with an external tutor for an entire academic year. Exploiting the gradual roll-out of the program across compulsory schools, we find that it improves teaching practices and boosts students’ mathematics performance. The positive effect on student performance persists also long after the intervention has ended. In addition, we show that the program passes a cost-benefit test. The educational strategies of Asian countries can, thus, be successfully modified and adapted to Western contexts by national policy.
    Keywords: Teacher development; Student performance; Mathematics; Lesson study
    JEL: I21 I28 J45
    Date: 2021–12–20
    Abstract: Korean Abstract: 미국 재무부는 2020년 12월 환율보고서에서 스위스를 환율조작국으로 지정한 바 있다. 본 연구는 현황조사와 문헌조사를 통하여 스위스에 대한 환율조작국 지정의 원인을 분석하고 정당성을 평가하였다. 스위스의 상품 수출은 기술집약도가 높은 고부가가치 상품에 집중되어 있어서, 스위스 프랑화 환율이 스위스의 총수출, 특히 주요 수출품인 기술집약도가 높은 고부가가치 상품에 미치는 영향은 미미한 것으로 보인다. 국제금융시장에서 안전자산으로 고려되는 스위스 프랑화는 세계적인 경제위기 시마다 급격한 평가절상을 겪어왔다. 이러한 외생적인 평가절상은 스위스의 국내 물가를 낮추고 경제주체들의 선택을 교란시켜온 것으로 보인다. 이러한 특징을 감안할 때, 최근 스위스 중앙은행의 외환시장 개입은 자국의 수출경쟁력을 높이기 위한 것이기보다는, 물가상승률과 정책금리가 이미 상당 기간 음(陰)인 상황에서 국내 물가의 하방압력을 완화하기 위한 것이었다고 평가할 수 있다. 바이든 행정부의 첫 환율보고서 또한 이러한 평가를 바탕으로 스위스에 대한 환율조작국 지정을 해제하였다. 이러한 점을 감안할 때 바이든 행정부의 향후 환율보고서가 스위스를 환율조작국으로 재지정할 가능성은 낮아 보인다. English Abstract: In December 2020, the U.S. Treasury designated Switzerland, together with Vietnam, currency manipulators in its biannual report Macroeconomic Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States to the congress. The report conducts an enhanced analysis on each country exceeding certain thresholds in three criteria: trade surplus with the U.S., current account surplus and foreign exchange market intervention. Based on this analysis, the Treasury can designate the country a currency manipulator. Switzerland met the three criterion during the period of the analysis of the December 2020 report, from the third quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, and the Treasury’s decision was the result of an enhanced analysis. During the period of the analysis, Switzerland had negative interest rates and deflation; and the Swiss Franc (CHF), considered to be a safe asset in the international financial market, severely appreciated following the outbreak of COVID-19. The report acknowledged the need for foreign exchange market intervention in such a situation to counter the pressure on CHF. However, it claimed that the magnitude of the intervention was excessive; that is, at least some of it was to improve the competitiveness of Swiss products. This study aims at evaluating the U.S. Treasury’s decision to designate Switzerland a currency manipulator, by surveying related empirical evidences. To evaluate the claim that Swiss intervention in the foreign exchange market was to improve the country’s price competitiveness, we survey the empirical evidences on the sensitivity of Swiss exports to the exchange rate of CHF. To evaluate the legitimacy of Swiss intervention in the foreign exchange market, we survey the empirical evidences on the impact of sudden exogenous appreciation of CHF on the country’s domestic economy. (the rest omitted)
    Keywords: U.S.; Switzerland; currency manipulator; Biden administration
    Date: 2021–12–15
  11. By: Balisacan, Arsenio M.; dela Cruz, Russel Matthew M.
    Abstract: COVID-19 has made it undeniably clear that governance and policy choices in the health sector have come at very high costs to lives and the economy. The pandemic plunged the Philippine economy in 2020 into its most severe contraction in the postwar era, pushing about five million workers out of jobs, eroding three to five years of gains in poverty reduction, and inflicting scars that threaten the economy’s long-term potential for inclusive growth. The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities and created new ones. The burden of employment contraction has fallen disproportionately on lower-skilled and less-educated workers. The gaps in access to health care, education, and mobility services—already present during normal times—have further widened between the haves and the have-nots. The health crisis has also hastened workplace digitization and artificial intelligence, but the benefits have been limited for workers with little or no education and those without access to reliable and affordable internet services, particularly the poor. The resulting loss of organizational and information capital, lost years of schooling and hunger impairing human capital, investment foregone due to heightened uncertainty, and rising inequality have scarred the economy. Such scarring weakens the prospects for long-term productivity growth and inclusive economic development. The road to sustained and inclusive recovery demands a strategic and timely deployment of policy tools that will strengthen the public health system and protect livelihoods and the most vulnerable population groups. The goal is to quickly recover to the pre-pandemic levels of employment and income to avoid deeper economic scarring and steer back the economy to its previous high-growth trajectory. Beyond recovery, the policy imperative must be to strengthen the resilience of the health-economy system, enabling it to withstand future health shocks and other challenges, such as those related to climate change.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Health, Inequality, Poverty, Government Policy, Economic Development, Philippines
    JEL: I14 I15 I38 O15 O53
    Date: 2021–12–21
  12. By: Owen Thompson
    Abstract: Racial segregation can occur across educational programs or classrooms within a given school, and there has been particular concern that gifted & talented programs may reduce integration within schools. This paper evaluates the contribution of gifted & talented education to racial segregation using data on the presence and racial composition of gifted & talented programs at virtually all US elementary schools over a span of nine school years. I first show that, consistent with widespread perceptions, gifted & talented programs do disproportionately enroll white and Asian students while Black, Hispanic and Native American students are underrepresented. However, I also show that accounting for the within-school racial sorting caused by these programs has little or no effect on standard measures of overall racial segregation. This is primarily because gifted & talented programs are a small share of total enrollments and do enroll non-negligible numbers of under-represented minority students. I also estimate changes in race-specific enrollments after schools initiate or discontinue gifted & talented programs, and find no significant enrollment changes after programs are eliminated or initiated. I conclude that gifted & talented education is a quantitatively small contributor to racial segregation in US elementary schools.
    JEL: I24 J15
    Date: 2021–12
  13. By: Gianluca Benigno; Julian di Giovanni; Jan J. J. Groen; Adam I. Noble
    Abstract: Supply chain disruptions have become a major challenge for the global economy since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Factory shutdowns (particularly in Asia) and widespread lockdowns and mobility restrictions have resulted in disruptions across logistics networks, increases in shipping costs, and longer delivery times. Several measures have been used to gauge these disruptions, although those measures tend to focus on selected dimensions of global supply chains. In this post, we propose a new gauge, the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI), which integrates a number of commonly used metrics with an aim to provide a more comprehensive summary of potential disruptions affecting global supply chains.
    Keywords: supply chain disruption; inflation; pandemic; COVID-19; global shocks
    JEL: F0
    Date: 2022–01–04
  14. By: Mohamed Ali Marouani (UMR Développement et Sociétés, IRD/Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and DIAL); Phuong Le Minh (UMR Développement et Sociétés, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and IRD ; The Centre for Analysis and Forecast, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the evolution of employment and earnings distributions before and after the Tunisian Revolution, focusing on the impact of public wage and employment policy changes. A recentered-influence function (RIF) decomposition is performed to decompose the change in earnings in wage structure and composition effects and to assess the contribution of various determinants of inequality. We find that earnings inequality decreases significantly during the period of investigation in Tunisia, mainly due to the decreases in public–private wage gap and sector wage gap on the demand side and the decreasing education premia on the supply side. The increase in marginal returns to low wage and average routine-task intensity jobs, the falling return to experience, and the decreasing regional wage gap were partly responsible for the decline in overall earnings inequality.
    Keywords: wage inequality, Revolution, occupational change, education premium, public wage policy
    JEL: J21 J23 J24 J32 J45
    Date: 2021–11

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