nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2022‒08‒08
25 papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar
Asian Development Bank

  1. Repositioning Indonesia in the post-COVID-19 global value chains By Andree Surianta; Arianto A. Patunru
  2. Trade policy in Indonesia and Thailand By Hal Hill; Jayant Menon
  3. The Philippines in global manufacturing value chains: A tale of arrested growth By Prema-chandra Athukorala
  4. Some reflections on Indonesia and the resource curse By Hal Hill; Donny Pasaribu
  5. Talent Conceptualisation and Talent Management Practices within the Banking Sector in Vietnam By Mai, Nhat Chi
  6. Chinese-backed FinTech Lending Boom: How did Indonesia Respond? By Angela Tritto; Yujia He; Victoria Amanda Junaedi
  7. Problems with recording the spread of COVID-19 in developing countries: Evidence from a phone survey in Indonesia By Budy P. Resosudarmo; Rus'an Nasrudin; Pyan A. Muchtar; Usep Nugraha; Anna Falentina
  8. Out of communal land: Clientelism through delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts By Takashi Kurosaki; Saumik Paul; Firman Witoelar
  9. Firms' responses to foreign demand shock: The case of Indonesia and the GFC By Sulistiyo K. Ardiyono; Arianto A. Patunru
  10. Philippine economic development, looking backwards and forward: An interpretative essay By Hal Hill
  11. IFAD Research Series 74: Women’s empowerment, food systems, and nutrition By Quisumbing, Agnes; Heckert, Jessica; Faas, Simone; Ramani, Gayathri; Raghunathan, Kalyani; Malapit, Hazel; The pro-WEAI for Market Inclusion Study Team
  12. Unpacking the process of overseas knowledge recontextualisation in returnee entrepreneurship - a learning perspective : a study of returnee entrepreneurs in Vietnam By Mai, Nhat Chi
  13. Targeting the Asian Citrus Psyllid By Bonning, Bryony
  14. Traditional Norms, Access to Divorce and Women's Empowerment By Bargain, Olivier; Loper, Jordan; Ziparo, Roberta
  15. Research and productivity in Indonesian agriculture By Peter Warr
  16. Irrigation inequality, rice farming productivity and food insecurity in rural Cambodia By Budy P. Resosudarmo; Kimlong Chheng
  17. Spillover Effects of Foreign and Domestic Exporting Firms on Export Decisions of Local Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Viet Nam By Arlan Brucal; Shilpita Mathews
  18. Innovation Begets Innovation and Concentration: The Case of Upstream Oil & Gas in the North Sea By Janssen, Aljoscha
  19. Spillover Effects of Foreign and Domestic Exporting Firms on Export Decisions of Local Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Viet Nam By Quang Hoan Truong; Van Chung Dong
  20. Legal aspects and business ethics in the national film industry By Nuryadi Wijiharjono
  21. The Determinants of Unemployment Rate in Developing Economies: Does Banking System Credit Matter? By Chukwuebuka Bernard Azolibe; Stephen Kelechi Dimnwobi; Chidiebube Peace Uzochukwu-Obi
  22. Estimating the Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves By Matthew Ferranti
  23. The Fragility of Urban Social Networks - Mobility as a City Glue - By Pierre Magontier, Maximilian v. Ehrlich, Markus Schläpfer
  24. The International Monetary Fund and capital flows By Stephen Grenville
  25. ANNUAL REPORT Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security, Policy Research, Capacity and Influence October 2020 - September 2021 By Tschirley, Dave

  1. By: Andree Surianta; Arianto A. Patunru
    Abstract: As the Global Value Chains (GVC) struggle to restructure around COVID-19 transport restrictions and its economic fallout, Indonesia faces an uphill battle to restart its economy and stave off ballooning unemployment. With stagnant economic growth now turning into recession, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo pushes for the biggest regulatory reform in recent history through the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. Many have hoped that the amendment to thousands of articles in old laws will finally remove barriers to foreign direct investment; however, this legislation seems to have morphed from one seeking to bolster inward investment into one extending massive support to micro and small enterprises. In a rudimentary nod to the GVC model, the law urges supply chain partnerships between small businesses and large corporations. However, an overreaching implementing regulation may turn this partnership push into a new investment barrier for large multinationals, undermining the goal of deeper integration into the global production networks.
    Keywords: Indonesia, COVID-19, global value chain, foreign direct investment
    JEL: O14 O19 O53 F23
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Hal Hill; Jayant Menon
    Abstract: This paper provides an analytical survey of trade policy in Indonesia and Thailand, in the context of the key findings of the WTO’s 2020 Trade Policy Reviews. These are historically dynamic economies that are integrated within the outward-looking ASEAN protocols and the China-centred East Asian trade and investment networks. Over the past decade there have been no major changes in the two countries’ trade and commercial policy settings, with Thailand maintaining its more open economic settings and Indonesia continuing its more hesitant embrace of globalization. The major drivers of domestic policy settings have therefore been global factors, including the continuing rise both of China in the regional and global economies and of the increasingly China-centred global supply chains. Both WTO reports provide comprehensive examinations of trade patterns and policies, although there is room to strengthen the analytical foundations of future reports.
    Keywords: Indonesia, Thailand, ASEAN, regional integration, trade policy, global supply chains.
    JEL: F13 N45 O24
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Prema-chandra Athukorala
    Abstract: This paper aims to broaden our understanding of how the overall investment climate of a country conditions its potential for export-oriented industrialization through global production sharing by examining the Philippines’ experience from a comparative Southeast Asian perspective. In the early 1970s, the Philippines had promising preconditions for benefiting from the regional spread of Singapore-centered electronics production networks: deep-rooted colonial ties with US investors, geographical location, a large relatively better educated labour pool with widespread English-language proficiency, and an education system with potential for generating the required technical manpower. However, the industrialisation trajectory over the subsequent years has not lived up to the initial expectations. Manufacturing exports from the country have become increasingly reliant on low-end assembly process undertaken within export processing zones (EPZs) against the backdrop of deteriorating comparative performance within global production networks. The upshot of the analysis is that the lack-luster performance record is rooted in the dualistic incentive structure of the economy that ‘arrested’ the country’s participation in global production networks within the enclave EPZs. The EPZs, which were initially conceived as a harbinger of global integration of domestic manufacturing, eventually became ‘enclaves’ within the economy.
    Keywords: Global production sharing, global manufacturing value chain (GMVC), foreign direct investment (FDI), free trade zones (FTZs), the Philippines, industrialization.
    JEL: F13 F21 F23 O14 O53
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Hal Hill; Donny Pasaribu
    Abstract: Natural resources – blessing or curse? Indonesia provides an excellent case study for an examination of this question. It is a major commodity exporter; the fourth most populous country in the world; and the world’s largest archipelagic state with huge mineral, forest and maritime resources. Indonesia also has three distinctive features that are particularly relevant for such a study. First, with the exception of the Asian financial and pandemic crises it has had at least moderately strong economic performance for the past half century. This distinguishes it from the majority of resource-rich developing countries, and therefore there are lessons to be learnt from its management of these boom and bust episodes, particularly the latter. Second, Indonesia has experienced two rather different resource booms: the first based mainly on oil and gas in the 1970s and the second based primarily on coal, palm oil and gas over the years 2005-11. The economic, social and environmental impacts of these two booms have differed significantly. Third, the country experienced major regime change in 1998-99, from the centralized, authoritarian Soeharto regime 1966-98, which presided over the first boom, to the subsequent democratic, decentralized regime during the second boom. The very different political and institutional arrangements had important implications for the management of the boom and its distributional impacts. We examine these issues in comparative context, employing as reference points two very large natural resource exporters, Brazil and Nigeria, and Malaysia, a smaller, more dynamic East Asian comparator.
    Keywords: Indonesia, resource curse, natural resources, political economy
    JEL: Q33 O11 N15 N55
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Mai, Nhat Chi
    Abstract: Talent management (TM) is still an emerging issue in Vietnam. Generally, recent human resource managment studies have found that human resource (HR) development is associated with key stages of the country’s economic development. Conversely, limited research has focused on TM in the country’s context. A few studies investigated ways of attracting and/or retaining Vietnamese talent without a clear focus on the conceptualisation of talent and TM or influencing factors for TM flow. This gives rise to a need for an empirical study which explores the relevant talent concepts, TM practices and the challenging factors influencing TM flow (the process from talent conceptualisation to TM outcomes) in the Vietnamese banking sector.
    Date: 2021–07–07
  6. By: Angela Tritto (Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Division of Public Policy; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Yujia He (Assistant Professor; Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky); Victoria Amanda Junaedi (Research Assistant; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Peer-to-peer (P2P) online lending has the potential to boost innovation and financial inclusion in emerging markets, yet it can also incur investment and borrower-related risks, such as privacy breaches. Driven by regulation control in China, Chinese investments flocked to Indonesia, causing a rapid expansion of online lending platforms. Similar to what happened in China prior to the regulatory crackdown, the P2P lending boom in Indonesia saw a rise in unethical and illegal business practices. The government responded by creating new regulations and institutions to mitigate risks without stifling the potential for financial inclusion. A proactive approach towards monitoring and regulating emerging high-tech industries should be sought by strengthening links with industry and civil society, and through international cooperation for policy and knowledge sharing.
    Date: 2022–07
  7. By: Budy P. Resosudarmo; Rus'an Nasrudin; Pyan A. Muchtar; Usep Nugraha; Anna Falentina
    Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic governments in developing countries tended to underestimate the actual spread of the pandemic due to limited number of tests. To provide alternative to the government announced COVID-19 figures, many non-governmental agencies/individuals used various methods to gather data on the spread of the pandemic. One of the methods applied is phone survey approach of directly asking respondents whether they are infected and how the sickness impacts on their livelihood. This paper focuses on evaluating the reliability and usefulness of this approach by carefully conducting a phone survey on our own. The findings suggest that by developing a careful algorithm, a phone survey might be able to provide a better estimate than those announced by the government in developing countries where capabilities of conducting COVID-19 test are limited. Nevertheless, our findings also reveal that the reliability of a phone survey could be low when the response rate is too low.
    Keywords: Indonesia, COVID-19 pandemic, phone survey, developing countries
    JEL: I18 I15 C83 H12
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Takashi Kurosaki; Saumik Paul; Firman Witoelar
    Abstract: Do local institutions influence the nature of political clientelistic exchange? We find a positive answer in the context of a village institution prevalent in Java since the Dutch colonial rule, where democratically elected village heads receive usufruct rights over a piece of communal village land (bengkok land) as a compensation for their service in lieu of salary. To formulate how limited-term private ownership of bengkok land promotes clientelism, we model a timely delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts to villagers-cum-voters as an incumbent re-election strategy. Based on a household survey fielded in 2018 across 130 villages in Java, Indonesia, we find that the chances of a bengkok plot being rented out increase by 6 percentage points as the time of the next election becomes closer by one year, and sharecropping is preferred to a fixed-rental contract as the election approaches. The empirical results are statistically significant and remain largely unchanged against a series of robustness checks. We also find suggestive evidence of short-term efficiency loss from clientelistic politics over bengkok land.
    Keywords: tanah bengkok, political budget cycle, clientelism, agricultural tenancy, electoral competition, Indonesia.
    JEL: D72 H77 H83 O17 O18
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Sulistiyo K. Ardiyono; Arianto A. Patunru
    Abstract: Export-oriented manufacturing generally create jobs. But a few recent studies on Indonesian manufacturing based on input-output tables reported a declining power of this sector in creating jobs. Using firm-level data to examine manufacturing employment during the global financial crisis (GFC), we find that a 10% increase in the degree of export orientation rises the manufacturing employment by about 1% on average, depending on the firm’s capital intensity. The low sensitivity to foreign demand shock and the economy’s low exposure to the global market explain the mild effect of the Global Financial Crises (GFC) on the Indonesian economy. An examination of the inter-related adjustments of labour, capital, and intermediate input confirms that the changes in employment are not independent of the adjustments of other factor inputs such as capital and material inputs. The results are robust when external and internal instruments are used in instrumental variable (IV) and GMM estimations, respectively.
    Keywords: GFC, manufacturing sector, employment, foreign demand shock
    JEL: F16 J23 D22 L60
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Hal Hill
    Abstract: Over the past decade, the Philippine development story has attracted international attention as it transformed from being the “Sick Man of Asia” to “Asia’s Rising Tiger”. However, the country’s strong growth momentum was abruptly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to cast a huge shadow over its development outlook. With the country now at the crossroads, this paper reflects on and draws lessons for economic development and policy by examining the country’s three main economic episodes over the post-independence era: (a) the period of moderately strong growth from 1946 to the late 1970s, (b) the tumultuous crisis years from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, and (c) the period from the early 1990s to the 2019 when it rejoined the dynamic East Asian mainstream. Through comparative analysis, the paper also seeks to understand the country’s development dynamics and political economy. We conclude by highlighting elements of a recovery and reform agenda in the post-pandemic era.
    Keywords: Philippines, economic development, economic history, political economy, institutions, COVID-19, ASEAN, comparative analysis.
    JEL: E02 I0 N15 O10 O43 O53 P52
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Quisumbing, Agnes; Heckert, Jessica; Faas, Simone; Ramani, Gayathri; Raghunathan, Kalyani; Malapit, Hazel; The pro-WEAI for Market Inclusion Study Team
    Abstract: This background paper examines the linkages and interactions between women’s empowerment, food systems, and nutrition. It examines: How women’s empowerment and gender equality relate to a range of nutrition outcomes across various levels in six countries in Asia and Africa. The factors that are conducive to greater empowerment of women and gender equality based on a literature review and analysis of data on women’s empowerment in agricultural value chains in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Benin, and Malawi. Three case studies from rural Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Nigeria that were gender sensitive and aimed to improve nutritional status or food security. Engaging in formative research to understand the challenges women face and explicitly including gender-transformative strategies in intervention design can improve their performance.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2022–05–01
  12. By: Mai, Nhat Chi
    Abstract: International entrepreneurship research has recently been directed towards returnee entrepreneurship, a phenomenon in which individuals who acquire knowledge in overseas developed markets return to start businesses in their home emerging markets. Returnee entrepreneurs serve as knowledge brokers in their home country. However, research has yet to explain how they transform their overseas knowledge, which is contextually bound, into entrepreneurial outcomes – a process termed overseas knowledge recontextualisation. The thesis positions itself at the intersection of returnee entrepreneurship, international knowledge transfer, and entrepreneurial learning, and explores the phenomenon from both a learning and a socio-cognitive perspective. It approaches the recontextualisation process at an individual entrepreneurial level to answer three research questions: (1) What constitutes the knowledge brought back by returnee entrepreneurs?; (2) What is the process by which returnee entrepreneurs recontextualise their overseas knowledge?; and (3) How do returnee entrepreneurs learn to facilitate the process of overseas knowledge recontexualisation? A qualitative exploratory approach was employed comprising 14 in-depth cases of returnee entrepreneurs in three cities in Vietnam - an emerging economy in South East Asia where returnee entrepreneurship has become increasingly prevalent. To ensure the rigour and validity of the research, multiple data sources were used for triangulation. Given the dynamics of the recontextualisation process and the aim to build a data driven theory, the analysis was underpinned by process thinking and grounded theory principles. The thesis contributes to three distinctive strands of literature. First, it extends the returnee entrepreneurship literature by unpacking the holistic process model of knowledge recontextualisation which involves sensemaking, experimenting, and integrating knowledge, each of which is facilitated by the respective learning mechanisms and intertwined with entrepreneurial outcomes. Second, it adds new understanding at an individual entrepreneurial level to international knowledge transfer literature by highlighting the idiosyncratic role of returnees as simultaneous transferors and receivers of knowledge. Specifically, it elucidates mixed-embedded knowledge structures of returnees and identifies key recontextualisation practices pertaining to returnee entrepreneurship. Third, it adds on entrepreneurial learning literature by unpacking the complex learning mechanisms that facilitate the process of recontextualisation. Finally, it proposes that, throughout the recontextualisation process, returnees not only enact the overseas knowledge per se, they also transform themselves and influence the home country through cognitive, social, psychological and behavioural processes which denote the micro-foundations of the entrepreneurial dynamic capability displayed by returnees.
    Date: 2020–07–06
  13. By: Bonning, Bryony
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2021–02
  14. By: Bargain, Olivier (Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV); Loper, Jordan (GATE, University of Lyon); Ziparo, Roberta (Aix-Marseille University)
    Abstract: Social norms can mitigate the effectiveness of formal institutions, in particular the way legal reforms may affect women's autonomy. We examine this question in the context of ethnic variation in traditional post-marital cohabitation, i.e. matrilocality versus patrilocality. We use within-country variation in ethnic kinship practices in Indonesia, exploiting a major legal reform that exogenously fostered women's access to justice and their ability to divorce. We theoretically establish that compared to women of patrilocal tradition, matrilocal women should divorce relatively more after the reform and, for those in stable marriages, experience a relative increase in empowerment. We test these predictions using double-difference estimations with fixed effects. We confirm the relative increase in divorce among matrilocal women and, for those who stay married, a relative improvement in a wide range of outcomes for them and their children. We also predict higher benefits for matrilocal women experiencing a larger drop in divorce costs, which we test with triple-difference estimations exploiting the distance to courthouses. Our results encourage tailored policies that may transcend cultural contexts and overcome the adherence to informal laws.
    Keywords: legal reforms, divorce, ethnic norms, intra-household decision-making
    JEL: D13 I15 I38 J16 K36 Z13
    Date: 2022–06
  15. By: Peter Warr
    Abstract: Total factor productivity growth contributed 38 per cent of Indonesia’s agricultural output growth from the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s. This study uses time series data analysed with the error correction mechanism to examine the contribution of Indonesian publicly funded agricultural research to this outcome, allowing for other possible determinants of productivity growth, including international agricultural research, extension, government price policy and weather. The results imply a 27% real annual rate of return from a marginal increase in Indonesian agricultural research expenditure. Indonesia’s public agricultural research explains virtually all of its agricultural total factor productivity growth between 1975 and 2006.
    Keywords: Agricultural research; Indonesia; error correction mechanism.
    JEL: O13 O33 C22
    Date: 2022
  16. By: Budy P. Resosudarmo; Kimlong Chheng
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of inequality access to irrigation on rice farming productivity as measured by rice yield and revenue per hectare and on food insecurity among rice farmers in rural Cambodia. Using our own household survey administered in 2014 to 251 rice farming households in 32 rural villages in four provinces, we show that better irrigation access, particularly reservoir, dike, or canal irrigation, provide households with significantly higher rice production and revenue. We also show that productivity of rice farming is significantly and negatively associated with household food insecurity. Hence, developing irrigation networks such as reservoirs, dikes, or canals to reduce irrigation inequality is a key policy option to tackle food insecurity in Cambodia.
    Keywords: irrigation, inequality, rice farming productivity, food insecurity.
    JEL: D33 I31 O12 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Arlan Brucal (University of Exeter Business School, Exeter); Shilpita Mathews (London School of Economics and Political Science, London)
    Abstract: By combining plant-level data from the Indonesian Manufacturing Survey and localised disaster data from the Emergency Events Database for the period 1990–2015, we were able to exploit both temporal and spatial variation to investigate the global market entry, survival, and exit of plants in the aftermath of a major flood event at the kabupaten (regency) level. Results from the combined propensity score matching and difference-in-difference approach suggest no strong evidence of instantaneous and persistent detrimental effects of initial experience of flooding on overall and female employment, but with delayed effect on output and output per worker. Plants that are connected and foreign-owned experienced a persistent decline in output per worker relative to their domestic counterparts in the aftermath of a flooding event. On average, flooding was not found to have a significant impact on plant entry. The results highlight that international trade has unintended consequences for firm resilience to flooding. Trade-offs and complementarities between globalisation and other SDGs, such as gender equality and poverty reduction, are discussed.
    Keywords: Development; Flooding; Globalisation; Indonesia; Resilience; Sustainable development; Trade
    JEL: F18 F23 Q56 O19
    Date: 2021–12–16
  18. By: Janssen, Aljoscha (Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of technology adoption on competition by leveraging a unique dataset on production, costs, and asset characteristics for North Sea upstream oil & gas companies. Relying on heterogeneity in the geological suitability of fields and a landmark decision of the Norwegian Supreme Court that increased the returns of capital investment in Norway relative to the UK, we show that technology adoption increases market concentration. Firms with prior technology-specific know-how specialize more in fields suitable for the same technology but also invest more in high-risk-high-return fields (e.g., ultra-deep recovery), diversifying their technology portfolio and ultimately gaining larger shares of the North Sea market. Our analyses illustrate how technology adoption can lead to market concentration both directly through specialization and indirectly via experimentation.
    Keywords: Innovation; Adoption; Market structure; Competition; Specialization; Experimentation; Upstream oil and gas markets; North Sea
    JEL: D40 O33 Q40
    Date: 2022–06–08
  19. By: Quang Hoan Truong (Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS)); Van Chung Dong (Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS))
    Abstract: Our paper investigates the spillover effects generated by foreign and domestic exporting firms on export decisions of local manufacturing firms in Viet Nam – a developing economy – over 2010–18. In the export participation, we find positive spillover effects from foreign and domestic exporting firms on domestic firms’ export participation, while negative spillover effects are detected with the backward channel. Estimation shows the positive forward spillover effects from domestic exporting firms on domestic counterparts’ export participation; on the contrary, the forward spillover effects generated by foreign direct investment exporting firms are negative. In addition, we discover the opposite spillover effects from foreign direct investment and domestic exporting firms on the probability of export exit of domestic firms, with the negative impact under the horizontal channel and the positive one under the backward channel. There are also effects of firms’ characteristics such as labour productivity, wage, firm size, and capital intensity on the export participation and export exit of domestic firms. From empirical evidence, the paper provides policy implications to strengthen linkages between foreign and domestic exporting firms with local firms in Viet Nam.
    Keywords: Spillover Effects; export status; foreign and domestic exporting firms; Viet Nam
    JEL: F15 F23
    Date: 2021–12–15
  20. By: Nuryadi Wijiharjono (UHAMKA - Universitas Muhammadiyah Prof Dr Hamka)
    Abstract: The revolution of information technology also has implications for the national film market. From the legal aspects and business ethics, this is especially true for pirated products, which can harm the national film industry. In fact, it was not only the film industry that was hit, but a series of industries were also hit. Film influence people's behavior and culture. There is a need for law enforcement and ethical commitments that are based on nation's moral values from all parties, especially among filmmakers, in producing film so that quality films are produced, not only artistically but also commercially. The purpose of this this paper is to examine the business environment of the national film industry from the perspective of law and business ethics.
    Keywords: Indonesian films,business ethics,law,film censorship,national film industry
    Date: 2022–05–02
  21. By: Chukwuebuka Bernard Azolibe (Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria); Stephen Kelechi Dimnwobi (Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria); Chidiebube Peace Uzochukwu-Obi (Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria)
    Abstract: In developing countries, banks play a major role by acting as a conduit for the effective mobilization of funds from the surplus sectors of an economy for onward lending to the deficit sectors for productive investments that will in turn increase the level of employment and economic growth. There has being a rising trend in unemployment rate in Nigeria and South Africa and hence, the need for the study to assess the effectiveness of banking system credit in curbing unemployment rate by making a comparative analysis of Nigeria and South Africa covering period of 1991 to 2018. The study employed the unit root test, Johansen cointegration test, vector error correction model and VAR impulse response function in determining the relationship between the variables. The major findings revealed that banking system credit matters in curbing unemployment rate in South Africa than in Nigeria. Also, other macroeconomic factors such as lending rate, inflation rate, Government expenditure and population growth were significant enough in influencing unemployment rate in South Africa than in Nigeria. While foreign direct investment was a significant factor in reducing unemployment rate in Nigeria than in South Africa. The cointegration test showed a long-run relationship between the variables in both countries while the speed of adjustment coefficient of the vector error correction model is faster in South Africa than in Nigeria. Previous empirical studies on the relationship between banking system credit and unemployment rate have focused much on other regions such as Asia and Europe. Thus, the study is unique as it focused on the African region and also made a comparative analysis by testing the Keynesian theory of employment, interest and money on two emerging African economies which are Nigeria and South Africa.
    Keywords: Banking system credit, unemployment rate, macroeconomic factors, comparative analysis
    JEL: E51 E24 E6
    Date: 2022–01
  22. By: Matthew Ferranti
    Abstract: Central banks manage over \$12 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, influencing global exchange rates and asset prices. However, some of the largest holders of reserves report minimal information about their currency composition, hindering empirical analysis. I develop a Hidden Markov Model to estimate the composition of a central bank's reserves by relating the fluctuation in the portfolio's valuation to the exchange rates of major reserve currencies. I apply the model to China and Singapore, two countries that collectively hold over \$3.5 trillion in reserves and conceal their composition. The results underscore the U.S. dollar's predominance in foreign exchange reserves.
    Date: 2022–06
  23. By: Pierre Magontier, Maximilian v. Ehrlich, Markus Schläpfer
    Abstract: Social interactions are crucial to a city's cohesion, and the high frequency of interaction reflects many benefits of density. However, adverse environmental conditions, such as pollution or pandemics, may critically affect these interactions as they shift preferences over meeting locations and partners. Some interactions may be shifted to the virtual space, while other non-planned interactions may disappear. We analyze spatial interaction networks in Singapore covering about half of the adult population at a fine-grained spatial resolution to understand the importance of population mixing and places' amenities for urban network resilience. We document that environmental shocks negatively affect total interactions. Still, conditional on meeting physically, the number and type of location options may crucially impact the intensity and type of social interactions. The interplay between preferences for meetings partners, locations, and mobility determines population mixing and the fragility of urban social networks.
    Keywords: Urban interactions, networks, mobility, environmental shocks
    JEL: R1 R2 L14
    Date: 2022–07
  24. By: Stephen Grenville
    Abstract: Controls on international capital flows were a central issue for the International Monetary Fund at Bretton Woods in 1944. But by the 1970s, mainstream thinking was encouraging open capital flows. A succession of damaging crises followed: Latin America in the 1980s, Mexico again in 1994 and Asia in 1997. Fund policies were tweaked, but the causes were seen as being largely in the recipient countries. Capital controls were specifically rejected. Nevertheless, the Fund’s view began to shift, probably encouraged by the 2008 global financial crisis. There was a growing recognition that the capital-flow surges at the heart of these crises were often externally driven, reflecting global factors. The appropriate response would include capital flow management (CFM). The Fund recognized this in its 2012 Institutional View, but CFM was at the bottom of the policy toolbox, surrounded by conditions and constraints, maintaining the stigma on CFM. Meanwhile many emerging economies were enhancing their ability to cope with excessive capital flows, although at some cost (slower growth, tighter fiscal policy, large foreign-exchange reserves). At the same time the flows were increasing, with a bigger component of flighty portfolio flows. CFM measures still have an important place in this new environment, but the Fund’s reluctance to embrace them means that a deep discussion on operationalizing effective CFMs is still lacking.
    Keywords: International Monetary Fund; capital flow management; economic crises
    JEL: F32 F33 F34 F42 F65
    Date: 2021
  25. By: Tschirley, Dave
    Abstract: During Year 2, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, & Influence (PRCI) consolidated its operations under the continuing limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the year ended, the Lab was beginning to see the reduction of COVID risks that could allow it to re-start travel and enter a new, hybrid phase of operations that promises even greater efficiency and effectiveness in what we do. PRCI exceeded targets in all five of the indicators for which targets had been set for Year 2. In addition, the Lab achieved five institutional architecture milestones and had 18 studies in phase 1 of policy development (“under research”) and 11 in Phase 3 (“made available for update”). The Lab completed its first cohorts of mentored research and training under the Core Center program and under the STAAARS+ fellowship program. A new STAAARS+ competition was held, four new teams of fellows were selected, and mentors and co-mentors were assigned to each. Mentors for cohort 2 expanded to include representatives from all three stateside PRCI partners: Cornell, MSU, and IFPRI. For cohort 2 Core Center technical training, program leaders conducted a qualitative needs assessment and began laying out a technical training program that responded to these needs while taking advantage of the publicly accessible material developed for cohort 1. Buy-ins were a major story for PRCI in Year 2. The Lab wrapped-up its buy-in with the Mozambique mission with a report that was very well received and that the mission made available to every bidder on its agricultural and nutrition sector RFAs. The Lab received research-oriented buy-ins of $500,000 each from the RFS Center for Nutrition for work (being done in collaboration with Tegemeo Institute and other partners) on food systems and nutrition, and from the Center for Resilience for work (shared with IFPRI) on policies and programmatic investments to promote resilience to climate change. As the year was closing, two buy-ins, each for $1 million, were received. One featured joint funding from the Center for Resilience and the Africa Bureau for CACCI – the Comprehensive Africa Climate Change Initiative that will build capacity and spur action on the ground to help African countries respond to their climate commitments under the Paris Agreement while increasing the resilience of their food and agricultural value chains. The second $1 million buy-in was from the USAID/Malawi mission to continue previous support under other funding to MwAPATA, a local policy research center started two years ago with technical support from MSU. This set of buy-ins will dramatically increase PRCI’s research footprint. PRCI’s partners in Asia and Africa increased their capacity and extended their reach for policy influence and building of capacity in their region, both key goals of PRCI. PRCI saw a big advance in its Asia training and research during Year 2. Professionals from five centers (in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Laos) used the training they had received on trade flow analysis at the end of Year 1 to develop research papers (all nearly finalized by the end of Year 2 but posted publicly only at the beginning of Year 3) on locally decided topics. Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand played a major role in the training, beginning the process of extending its engagement regionally – a key objective of KU under PRCI and in keeping with the Lab’s approach of “building capacity to build capacity”. KU also began planning, with PRCI support, a second step in its regional outreach – leading the preparation of a regional conference in May 2022 that draws on those involved in PRCI research and beyond. ReNAPRI saw a major rise in its profile on the continent thanks in part to PRCI support. The strategic planning that PRCI supported in Year 1 segued to detailed research planning at the start of Year 2. With an effective Secretariat in place due to PRCI financial support, ReNAPRI was able to serve as co-leader of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA’s) 2021 African Agricultural Status Report (AASR), as co-leader of preparations for the Abuja II summit of fertilizer and soil health, and as leader of an AGRA-sponsored study of policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic finished by the end of 2020. As the year was closing, ReNAPRI was chosen as a co-lead, with AKADEMIYA2063 and under the auspices of the African Union Commission, of CACCI. As a result of its strategic planning under PRCI’s institutional capacity strengthening effort (PICA), CPEEL in Nigeria was able to realize the vision it first laid out in its winning proposal to PRCI in year 1 to launch PiLAF – the Innovation Lab for Policy Leadership in Agriculture and Food Security as a unit within CPEEL focusing on the food and agriculture sector. PiLAF launched its activities with extensive structured engagement with stakeholders in the country’s poultry value chain as a precursor to research it is planning in that area. Capping off the institutional strengthening portion of PRCI’s work, the Lab wrapped-up the intensive phase of the PICA Process, working with all three CPLs to finalize their strategic plans and budgets. Full funding based on this work was put I place for all three CPLs early in Year 3.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2022–01–31

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