nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2024‒02‒12
27 papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar, Asian Development Bank

  1. Creating Gender-Responsive Literacy Programs toward Health and Social Security Systems Inclusion of Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers in East Asia By Celero, Jocelyn O.; Garabiles, Melissa R.; Katigbak-Montoya, Evangeline O.
  2. Electricity Supply Interruptions and Its Impact on Local Economies By Francisco, Kris A.; Abrigo, Michael R.M.
  3. Policy Reform in Indonesia and the Asian Development Bank's Financial Sector Governance Reforms Program Loan By Abonyi, George
  4. The Evolution of Reforms and the State of Competition in Public Procurement in the Philippines By Navarro, Adoracion M.
  5. Human Capital Development for Cybersecurity: Examining BSSN's Contributions in the Indonesia-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue (2018-2020) By Shiddique, Muhammad Rafi; Juned, Mansur
  6. Poverty Transitions and the Near-Poor in the Philippines By Albert, Jose Ramon G.
  7. Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education for All: How Does the Philippines Fare and What Needs to Be Done? By Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Vizmanos, Jana Flor V.; Muñoz, Mika S.; Basillote, Lovelaine B.; Alinsunurin, Jason, P.; Hernandez, Angelo C.
  8. Assessing the Adoption of Circular Economy among Women-Led MSMEs in Metro Manila: A Pilot Study By Katigbak, Jovito Jose P.; Villaruel, Jemimah Joanne C.
  9. Mapping the Energy Sector Issues in the Philippines By Navarro, Adoracion M.; Camara, Jethro El L.
  10. Capital diversion in Vietnamese state-owned enterprises By Cuong Le-Van; Ngoc-Anh Nguyen; Ngoc-Minh Nguyen; Phu Nguyen-Van
  11. Impacts of Conditionality on Consumption: Evidence from the Family Hope Program in Indonesia By Hartarto, Romi Bhakti; LeMay-Boucher, Philippe
  12. Investment in Research and Development in an Asian emerging economy: An overview and policy implications By , Le Thanh Tung
  13. The Influence of Strategic Maneuverability Practices on The Financial Performance of Bumiputera Contractors By Nur Aida Binti Hussin
  14. Men's premarital migration and marriage payments: Evidence from Indonesia By Champeaux, Hugues; Gautrain, Elsa; Marazyan, Karine
  15. Revitalizando el Crecimiento Potencial de Colombia By Clavijo, Sergio
  16. Where Have the Workers Gone since the COVID-19 Pandemic? By Epetia, Ma. Christina F.; Ocbina, John Joseph S.; Librero, Kimberly R.
  17. Estimating Regional Integration Using the Bayesian State-Space Approach By Albis, Manuel Leonard; Tayag, Mara Claire; Kang, Jong Woo
  18. Gendering the Informal Tourism Sector toward Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: The Case Study of Boracay Island By Carlos, Jean Clarisse T.; Gutierrez, Eylla Laire M.; Bautista, Marie Jel D.
  19. Transforming Philippine Agri-Food Systems with Digital Technology: Extent, Prospects, and Inclusiveness By Briones, Roehlano M.; Galang, Ivory Myka R.; Latigar, Jokkaz S.
  20. Will Food Be Affordable to Filipinos by 2030? Alternative Expenditure Policies toward Ending Hunger by 2030 By Briones, Roehlano M.; Angeles-Agdeppa, Imelda; Espineli, Isabel B.; Bouis, Howarth E.; Maniego, Ma. Lynell V.
  21. The Impact of Capital Structure on Business Performance of Vietnamese Enterprises During the Covid 19 Pandemic By Hung, Dang Ngoc
  22. The Importance of Existing Social Protection Programs for Mental Health in Pandemic Times By Cho, Yoonyoung; Molina, Teresa
  23. Toward Measuring Soft Skills for Youth Development: A Scoping Study By Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Vizmanos, Jana Flor V.; Muñoz, Mika S.; Bernardo, Allan B. I.
  24. Comparison of Markowitz Model and Single-Index Model on Portfolio Selection of Malaysian Stocks By Zhang Chern Lee; Wei Yun Tan; Hoong Khen Koo; Wilson Pang
  25. Automation and Gender: Implications for Occupational Segregation and the Gender Skill Gap By Cortes, Patricia; Feng, Ying; Guida-Johnson, Nicolás; Pan, Jessica
  26. Household inequality and remittances in rural Thailand: a life-cycle perspective By Disney, Richard; Mckay, Andy; Shabab, C Rashaad
  27. Volume, Risk, Complexity: What Makes Development Finance Projects Succeed or Fail? By Eilers, Yota; Kluve, Jochen; Langbein, Jörg; Reiners, Lennart

  1. By: Celero, Jocelyn O.; Garabiles, Melissa R.; Katigbak-Montoya, Evangeline O.
    Abstract: This research aims to examine the gender-responsiveness of the current health care and social protection systems in the Philippines and East Asia. It also seeks to assess the level of health and social security systems literacy of Filipino migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, as well as the Philippines. This study resulted in the development of survey tools that included seven measures on the systems literacy of Filipino MDWs. Four of the seven tools were about Philippine government agencies whose mandate includes providing health and social security protection to Filipino MDWs. These agencies are the OWWA, SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund. The other three tools focused on the laws and policies regarding health care and social protection for Filipino migrant domestic workers in three destination countries or territories, namely, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, and Japan. Findings from the interviews with government agencies and NGO leaders in destination areas, as well as pilot surveys, suggest that while still in the destination countries, Filipino migrant domestic workers sometimes tend to disregard Philippine-based programs and policies that seek to protect their health and social welfare. As a result, the level of literacy in Philippine systems fluctuates. In contrast, the literacy level in receiving country systems tends to improve the longer Filipino domestic workers live and work in East Asia, gradually alienating them from the Philippine systems. Yet, despite the availability of health and social pension benefits in the receiving context, Filipino domestic workers who are aging, part-timers, and low-wage may face greater vulnerabilities and barriers to attaining systems literacy than other female migrant workers. The study recommends integrating gender into existing health care and social protection policies to ensure that they match the specific experiences of different categories of female migrant workers. It further suggests that the Philippine government must periodically update and strengthen the promotion of services and programs on various platforms. To raise the level of Filipino MDWs’ systems literacy in Philippine health and social security, the government must strengthen awareness of their policies and services and improve coordination between the Philippine consulates and embassies regarding labor and legal systems in destination countries that may have implications on the portability of healthcare and social protection programs for overseas Filipino workers. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: Philippines;Japan;Singapore;Hong Kong;health security systems;social security systems;systems literacy;gender-responsive
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Francisco, Kris A.; Abrigo, Michael R.M.
    Abstract: Electricity serves as a crucial input to many businesses and household activities. As such, the government has historically focused its efforts on expanding the populations’ access to electricity. By contrast, electricity reliability has received less attention from policymakers despite the economic disruption caused by electricity supply interruptions. This paper seeks to deepen the discussion on electricity reliability in the Philippines by providing empirical evidence on the impact of electricity supply interruptions on local economies. Our results show that frequent electricity supply interruptions lead to lower local government income due to reductions in receipts from economic enterprises, business taxes, and real estate taxes. We also found that, consequently, the local government’s ability to provide services related to housing and community development, as well as labor and employment, is constrained, placing the local population at a disadvantage. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: electricity reliability;electricity supply interruptions;local economies
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Abonyi, George (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies)
    Abstract: This paper presents a case study of the Asian Development Bank's Financial Sector Governance Reforms Development Program Loan (the Program) to the Government of Indonesia. The case study focuses on the political economy dimension of policy reform and its implications, rather than on Program details. Launched in June 1998, the Program was part of a multi-donor effort led by the International Monetary Fund, to help Indonesia respond to the Asian economic crisis and undertake reforms in the financial sector. The design and implementation of the Program took place in an environment characterized by an unexpected, deep, and sustained economic crisis, accompanied by social instability, and political and institutional uncertainty and change. Against this backdrop, the case study examines the context of Indonesia's policy reforms in the financial sector and the general design of the Program. It touches on the implementation of selected reforms and sustainability of the reform process. The purpose is to draw lessons that can assist in the more effective preparation and implementation of such reforms, and design of policy-based lending. In order to help structure the case study, a framework is introduced for the analysis of the political economy dimension of policy reform. This framework is proposed as a useful general tool both for the ex post understanding of the political economy dimension of policy reform, as well as an analytic tool for assisting in the ex ante design of specific policy reform programs and related policy-based lending.
    Keywords: financial sector governance; Indonesia; development program loan; policy reform; political economy
    JEL: G28 O53 P16
    Date: 2024–01–16
  4. By: Navarro, Adoracion M.
    Abstract: In the literature on Philippine public procurement, knowledge gaps exist in terms of coverage of the period of reform implementation and the scope of reform application. This study helps close these gaps by analyzing Philippine public procurement history up to the years of application of the 2016 implementing rules and regulations of the General Procurement Act and using data for the usual three procurement categories: civil works, consulting services, and goods procurement. It also suggests a logit model of procurement specifically for the Philippines, given the available data in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS). The study finds that persistent issues include delays in procurement, non-conformance with procedures, poor bid design and evaluation, weak capacity to implement procurement procedures, and corruption. It also describes new challenges, such as the use of digital payments and the promotion of innovations. Running the logit model using PhilGEPS data, the study finds a general tendency toward weaker competition despite the 2016 reforms. The study then offers recommendations to improve the PhilGEPS, minimize corruption, improve procurement capacity, and address emerging challenges. It also recommends future areas of research, namely, procurement policies outside the GPRA, bid rigging, red flags of corruption, and procurement of scientific, scholarly, or artistic work. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: procurement;public procurement;logit model;logistic regression;corruption
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Shiddique, Muhammad Rafi; Juned, Mansur
    Abstract: The rapid development of technology poses threats in cyberspace, including in Indonesia. This type of threat is relatively new to Indonesia, especially since 2020. One of the challenges faced by Indonesia in dealing with cyber threats is the need for more competent human resources. In 2018, Indonesia and Australia collaborated in the form of the Indonesia-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue, one of which is Capacity Building and Strengthening Connection. This research aims to discover how the Indonesian government, through BSSN, improves human resources by cooperating with Australia. The author uses a qualitative approach and descriptive research type in this research. The author also uses the concepts of international cooperation and cybersecurity to analyze this problem. The results of this study show that through BSSN, Indonesia has great potential to improve national cyberspace because it gets direct knowledge and practice from Australia. The potential of BSSN is expected to answer the need for more competent human resources in Indonesia to secure national cyberspace.
    Date: 2024–01–08
  6. By: Albert, Jose Ramon G.
    Abstract: This study provides an in-depth analysis of poverty dynamics in the Philippines, focusing on the period from 2003 to 2009. Utilizing panel data from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) to examine transitions into and out of poverty, it pays special attention to the near-poor population—those whose incomes hover just above the poverty line. Despite the Philippines experiencing an average growth of 4.8 percent in real gross domestic product during this period, the overall poverty incidence remained stagnant, highlighting a disconnect between economic growth and poverty reduction. This phenomenon is partly attributed to the country's low growth elasticity of poverty, indicating that economic growth has not been sufficiently inclusive or propoor. The study delves into the characteristics of the poor and near-poor, revealing that these groups have similar profiles: they are predominantly located in rural areas and face vulnerabilities such as labor and employment shocks, price shocks, and natural disasters. The study also explores the socioeconomic dimensions affecting Filipino households, including family size, employment type, education levels, and exposure to natural and man-made disasters. A significant contribution of this research is its analysis of poverty spells and transitions using the FIES panel data. It uncovers that while some households have escaped poverty, others have fallen into it, with the near-poor being particularly susceptible to downward mobility. The study also discusses the resilience and vulnerability of different household types to poverty, offering insights into the factors that enable sustained escapes from poverty. The findings underscore the importance of targeted social protection strategies and policy interventions to support the poor and vulnerable, especially the near-poor, in improving their livelihood prospects and mitigating the impacts of various shocks. The study's comprehensive analysis provides valuable input for policymakers in formulating effective measures to address poverty and inequality in the Philippines. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: panel data;poverty;near-poor
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Vizmanos, Jana Flor V.; Muñoz, Mika S.; Basillote, Lovelaine B.; Alinsunurin, Jason, P.; Hernandez, Angelo C.
    Abstract: The Global Goal of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all promotes equality in access to quality learning, supports economic development, improves health outcomes, empowers women and girls, and fosters global citizenship and peace. By reducing inequities in education, both in terms of access and quality, we can help to build a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable world. This study provides a detailed examination of the progress of the Philippines in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It sets the stage by outlining the Philippine educational policy landscape, including its legal and institutional frameworks. The analysis then progresses to a target-by-target review of SDG 4, highlighting the nation's accomplishments and ongoing challenges. Notable achievements include nearly universal primary education enrollment and increased secondary education participation. However, issues like high dropout rates and subpar learning outcomes remain. The Philippines has also seen growth in early childhood development (ECD) and pre-primary education enrollments, yet access for disadvantaged children is still limited. The country has policies to enhance access to affordable technical, vocational, and higher education, but the quality of these programs and their alignment with future skills needs improvement. Inclusive education initiatives exist, such as programs for learners with disabilities and indigenous communities, but challenges in ensuring universal quality education persist. A shift in education outcomes in favor of girls is observed, with boys now more likely to drop out than girls across various educational levels and girls doing better than boys in learning. While literacy rates appear high, the need to redefine literacy measurements, considering issues like digital skills, is evident. Progress in school infrastructure development is significant, especially with the K-12 rollout, but enhancing learning environments, including using technology for learning, remains crucial. The Philippines boasts a large teaching workforce, yet there is a pressing need to elevate teacher training quality and align it with future skill requirements. The study pinpoints critical improvement areas, including addressing the root causes of learning deficits, implementing an open data policy, and refining teacher training and workload. Concluding with a call to action, the study underscores the necessity of a comprehensive strategy to tackle educational challenges holistically, with integrated planning among the three main government agencies tasked to manage the sector. It suggests developing specific targets for inclusive quality education. This comprehensive review offers valuable insights and practical recommendations for stakeholders to ensure the Philippines fulfills its commitment to quality education for all by 2030. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: education;basic education;higher education;TVET;quality education;technical and vocational education and training
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Katigbak, Jovito Jose P.; Villaruel, Jemimah Joanne C.
    Abstract: Buoyed by favorable developments at the global and regional levels, circular economy (CE) has been emerging in the Philippines due to an increasing call for the effective mainstreaming of sustainable principles and practices across various economic sectors. Often characterized as an industrial system regenerative or regenerative by design, CE presents guidelines that enable business-, society-, and environment-friendly economic development. This is vital for the Philippines as it seeks to address waste management issues and reduce carbon emissions by advancing Sustainable Development Goal 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. The government has enacted and implemented several laws, policies, and regulations to steer the country towards cleaner production. The private sector and external partners similarly promote CE through their respective programs, projects, and activities. Notwithstanding the current initiatives, there is a need to focus national thrust and efforts on the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as they comprise over 99 percent of all businesses in the Philippines. This is especially true for women-led MSMEs (WMSMEs), which composed around 60 percent of business name registrations in 2019. Hence, this pilot study sought to assess the level of CE adoption among WMSMEs in Metro Manila through a survey questionnaire, which garnered 58 responses. It found a low level of awareness regarding CE principles and CE-related government programs among the respondents and a lack of demand for circular goods/services by the customers. These translate to misalignment between CE principles and their firm’s strategy and business model. The results also show that most of the WMSMEs in Metro Manila still practice linear methods, as evidenced by the non-use of renewable resources, lack of resource recovery strategies and post-sales services, and absence of ecodesign. The respondents exhibited somewhat positive performance in waste management. In addition, WMSMEs do not engage in CE-oriented partnerships and collaborations with their co-enterprises and customers. Accordingly, the Philippine government may consider a multi-level approach in mainstreaming CE among (W)MSMEs. Micro-level initiatives may include advocacies on CE, training programs for MSMEs, provision of incentives, and business support schemes. At the meso level, smart regulation and mini eco-parks may be explored. Lastly, developing a national framework and monitoring mechanism may be critical undertakings at the macro level. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: circular economy;Philippine Development;Sustainable Development Goals;SMEs;women-led MSMEs
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Navarro, Adoracion M.; Camara, Jethro El L.
    Abstract: Given the frequent observation that the Philippine energy sector is complex, this study provides a structured review of issues in the sector. The structured review method is usually employed to systematically introduce readers to the complexities of a broad topic, such as the convolutions of a problem, the intricacies of a theme or sector, or the conjectures about a new trend or technology. The study starts with a discussion of the physical flows of energy via a Sankey diagram of energy flows in the Philippines, and then proceeds to describe the upstream oil, gas, and coal industry, the downstream oil industry, the renewable energy development industry, and the electric power industry. The discussion includes the market structure, regulatory framework, and issues in each industry. As the analysis shows, structuring the understanding of the energy sector by component industry is a useful approach to untangling the complexities of the sector. As part of the concluding remarks, the study claims that another useful approach is to look at problems in the energy sector as cross-cutting concerns or cutting across several industries, such as the energy affordability problem. All the issues identified in the study can be considered future research areas by public and private entities interested in Philippine energy sector research because all those issues are affecting the country’s energy security. Nevertheless, what may be considered as priority future research areas at present are energy affordability concerns and issues that can be addressed by amending the EPIRA. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: energy;upstream industry;downstream oil industry;renewable energy;electric power industry;energy security;energy affordability;clean energy transition
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Cuong Le-Van; Ngoc-Anh Nguyen; Ngoc-Minh Nguyen; Phu Nguyen-Van (EconomiX - EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Purpose The authors estimated the hidden overhead (capital diversion or wasteful use of capital) of Vietnam state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Design/methodology/approach The authors used a panel data set of 10, 200 Vietnam SOEs observed over the period 2010–2018. The authors modeled and estimated the hidden overhead by using a stochastic production frontier. The hidden overhead parameter is modelled as the technical inefficiency in the production function. Findings Vietnam SOEs are very capital intensive. The hidden overhead (or the wasteful use of capital) is very high with an average rate of 69%. Research limitations/implications Alternative estimation methods should be used to account for endogeneity in production inputs. Lack of comparison with the Vietnam private firms. Originality/value The paper proposes an original way to quantify hidden overhead (or capital diversion) in the Vietnam SOEs. The finding (a capital diversion rate of 69% on average) is astonishing. It calls for an urgent and profound reform of the Vietnam SOEs.
    Date: 2023–11–14
  11. By: Hartarto, Romi Bhakti; LeMay-Boucher, Philippe
    Abstract: Research has shown that the Indonesian Family Hope CCT Program aimed at improving children's health and education of poor households, has had significant impacts. Using different data, we assess whether it changed recipients' behaviour along other metrics. Despite checks and constraints on how transfers can be spent, low-income families can still spend some of their extra cash on frivolous goods, rather than health and education as intended. Our results show that the program leads recipients to mildly decrease their levels of frivolous consumption and increase their share of spending on education (not for health) when compared to non-participants.
    Keywords: CCT, Indonesia, Consumption Allocation, Frivolous Good
    JEL: O10 O12 I22 I24
    Date: 2024
  12. By: , Le Thanh Tung
    Abstract: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking place strongly and affecting the production systems of countries worldwide. Investment in research and development (R&D) is seen as a pivotal strategy to promote economic growth and improve the competitiveness of the economies. This paper aims to analyze the investment in R&D in Vietnam, an emerging country that has successfully maintained robust economic growth in recent years. The study result shows that R&D investment in this economy has been still quite limited compared to the other countries in Asia. The low value of R&D investment would lead to a low level of technology in domestic production systems. Therefore, this evidence concludes a huge challenge for promoting high economic growth in the coming period. Finally, the paper provides some policy implications to promote investment in research and development in Vietnam in the coming period.
    Date: 2023–10–31
  13. By: Nur Aida Binti Hussin (Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), Malaysia Author-2-Name: Salina Daud Author-2-Workplace-Name: Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), Malaysia Author-3-Name: Author-3-Workplace-Name: Author-4-Name: Author-4-Workplace-Name: Author-5-Name: Author-5-Workplace-Name: Author-6-Name: Author-6-Workplace-Name: Author-7-Name: Author-7-Workplace-Name: Author-8-Name: Author-8-Workplace-Name:)
    Abstract: " Objective - There are limited studies on the impact of strategic maneuverability on the financial performance of construction companies, especially concerning Bumiputera contractors in Malaysia. The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of strategic maneuverability practices on the financial performance of Bumiputera contractors in Selangor. Methodology – A questionnaire survey was distributed to 50 Bumiputera contractors in Selangor. The data was analyzed using SmartPLS 4 as part of the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Findings – The analysis of the feedback from the 50 respondents revealed a strong and positive relationship between the implementation of strategic maneuverability practices and the financial performance of Bumiputera contractors. Therefore, it is imperative for companies to possess strategic maneuverability in order to navigate the ever-changing business landscape of the construction industry effectively. Novelty – The findings of this study will encourage Bumiputera contractors to adopt strategic maneuverability practices to survive and remain competitive in the challenging environment of the construction industry. Type of Paper - Empirical"
    Keywords: Strategic planning; strategic maneuverability; financial performance; flexible; Bumiputera contractors.
    JEL: L25 M20
    Date: 2023–12–31
  14. By: Champeaux, Hugues; Gautrain, Elsa; Marazyan, Karine
    Abstract: Bride price customs are widespread in many developing countries. While the economic literature has widely investigated the implications of such transfers on women's welfare, little is known about their consequences on men's premarital behavior. In this paper, we exploit a quasi-natural experiment of a school-building program in Indonesia (INPRES) to investigate the relationship between marriage norms and the internal migrations of young men in age to marry. Based on empirical and theoretical settings of the literature, we rely on the effects of the INPRES program on girls' education and the parents' expectations on their daughters' bride price. Combining anthropological, administrative, and individualbased datasets, we implement a triple-difference approach. We find that men with bride price customs were more likely to migrate to areas more economically attractive than their district of origin. In contrast, no evidence exists of such behavior for men from ethnic groups without marriage payments. We interpret these results as evidence for the fact that men migrate to accumulate resources at destination to meet the parents' bride price expectations and marry at home. We also highlight that these migration strategies are implemented by the less advantaged males in their origin marriage market (latter-borns or from lower social class). These findings suggest that the interaction between marital norms and policies can result in unintended consequences, such as increasing premarital migration.
    Keywords: migration, marriage market, cultural norms, Indonesia, marriage payments
    JEL: I15 J1 J12 O15 Z10
    Date: 2024
  15. By: Clavijo, Sergio (Universidad de los Andes)
    Abstract: El énfasis en temas puramente redistributivos, olvidándose de obtener un crecimiento sostenible del PIB-real a tasas de por lo menos un 4% anual, ha venido empeorando el bienestar de la sociedad Latinoamericana. En Colombia se llegó a plantear que la solución frente a la transición energética también pasaba por promover la desaceleración económica y los obstáculos a las alianzas público privadas arriesgan con conseguirlo. Este documento analiza el desempeño del PIB-real per-cápita del mundo emergente (contrastando Asia con América Latina) durante 1965-2022. Aquí destacamos los ciclos de integración al comercio mundial, pasando por Japón (1950-1965); siguiendo con Corea del Sur, Taiwán, Singapur, y Hong-Kong; después con Indonesia, Malasia y Tailandia (1965-1980); y, por último, con China y Vietnam (1979-2022). Es claro que el éxito de Asia ha sido la apertura al comercio internacional, con índices de apertura superiores al 80%, mientras el promedio de América Latina es la mitad (exceptuando México y Chile). Esto ha implicado duplicación del ingreso per-cápita cada 15 años en momentos de auge en Asia, mientras en América Latina ocurre cada 40 años y con productividades que son un tercio de aquellas en países desarrollados. Aquí explicamos cómo TLCs con Estados Unidos llevaron a duplicar el valor exportaciones/PIB en México y Chile, pero en Colombia cayó a la mitad (6% al 3% del PIB), debido a alta dependencia de commodities. Colombia llegó tarde al ciclo exportador y fracasó en temas de “agenda interna”. Planteamos entonces alternativas exportadoras agro-industriales, como las desarrolladas por Chile y Perú; y cerramos con propuestas gerenciales y de mejoras en infraestructura y logística en Colombia.
    Keywords: Crecimiento económico; América Latina; Historia del Desarrollo
    JEL: N16 O47 O54
    Date: 2024–01–25
  16. By: Epetia, Ma. Christina F.; Ocbina, John Joseph S.; Librero, Kimberly R.
    Abstract: This study seeks to investigate how labor markets in the Philippines responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by decomposing the change in average annual hours of work per person and analyzing the extent of reallocation across occupations, sectors, classes of work, and nature of work. It finds that the declining average work hours before the pandemic was primarily due to the extensive margin. However, the huge fall in work hours in the first year of the pandemic is attributed to the intensive margin to a larger extent and the extensive margin to a lesser degree. Although work hours moderately increased later into the pandemic, the larger contribution of the change occurring at the intensive margin persisted. The same implication can be observed even when the difference in average hours of work is examined by gender and age group, except for the old age bracket among women, where the change at the extensive margin consistently dominated the difference in average hours of work. Furthermore, lower reallocations across occupations and sectors were seen during the pandemic, contrasting the spike in reallocations in developed countries. That is, labor markets in the Philippines appear to be less dynamic in the face of huge economic shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Although higher reallocation across work classes was observed for women during the pandemic, this was due to the rising employment shares of paid and unpaid family workers. Higher reallocation across the nature of work is also associated with the increasing share of short-term employment. With limited social safety nets that protect worker income amid economic shocks, there appears to be little leeway for workers to adjust in the labor market. Workers and households should be adequately supported to protect their income and welfare, especially during economic downturns. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: labor market;COVID-19 pandemic;decomposition of hours worked;reallocation index
    Date: 2023
  17. By: Albis, Manuel Leonard (University of the Philippines); Tayag, Mara Claire (Asian Development Bank); Kang, Jong Woo (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: Estimating regional integration faces challenges because of incomplete data from missing values and insufficient time spans. A key advantage of a dynamic factor model estimated using the Bayesian state-space approach is its ability to handle missing values and aggregation of the regional integration indicators. This approach yields estimates of bilateral economic integration (BEI) using regional integration indicators on four dimensions: trade, foreign direct investments, finance, and migration. The regional integration index (RII) is derived by applying network density to the BEI estimates to represent the strength of regional integration within Asia and the Pacific. The BEI indexes not only serve to estimate the overall RII but enable the identification of economy pairs and dimensions that are driving regional integration in Asia and the Pacific. The estimated RII for Asia and the Pacific declined slightly in recent years, and the integration network became more centered around the People’s Republic of China.
    Keywords: Bayesian state-space model; network density; regional integration index
    JEL: C11 C80 F02 F15
    Date: 2024–01–17
  18. By: Carlos, Jean Clarisse T.; Gutierrez, Eylla Laire M.; Bautista, Marie Jel D.
    Abstract: Boracay Island, Malay, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. Over the years, its sustained growth as a top tourist destination has been substantially supported by the Island’s informal tourism sector, which is primarily women-dominated. While both men and women provide tourism products and services, differences are observed in their occupational choices and the options made available to them. For this reason, concerns about the sustainability of tourism development vis-à-vis gender inclusivity have been raised. To bridge this gap, this study investigated the involvement of women in the informal tourism of Boracay Island. This study specifically looked into their working conditions, their challenges and issues, and the national policies that govern and regulate their participation in the informal economy. The macro, meso, and micro dimensions of women’s involvement in the informal tourism economy were analyzed using the Women’s Economic Empowerment Framework. To do so, the authors conducted key informant interviews in three phases: first, with members of the local government units (LGUs) of the Municipality of Malay and the Boracay Island; second, with women informal workers serving in the food and beverages, souvenirs, excursions, and services sector in the Boracay Island; finally, with experts in tourism and informal economy at the national level. The study’s findings suggest that informal workers on the Island are organized, recognized, and registered under the LGU. Despite attempts to facilitate their transition to the formal economies, these women workers were found to prefer to operate under the informal economy for two reasons: first, their educational background forces them to engage in informal work to help provide for their families; second, their personal choice to engage in informal work given the flexible and convenient work arrangements it offers them. For these workers, concerns about their dependence on the seasonality of tourism activities prevailed. Policy recommendations are outlined to provide a better understanding of women’s involvement in the informal economies in Boracay Island. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: tourism;informal sector;gender and development;value chain analysis;inclusive growth
    Date: 2023
  19. By: Briones, Roehlano M.; Galang, Ivory Myka R.; Latigar, Jokkaz S.
    Abstract: This study presents a rapid assessment of the adoption of digital technology in Philippine agriculture and its implications for smallholder farmers. Modernization of agriculture, a perennial goal in agricultural policy, is increasingly linked with digital technologies, as outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and underscored by Industry 4.0’s transformative impacts on markets, trade, and manufacturing. Digital agriculture offers significant potential benefits, including enhanced productivity, market access, and sustainability. However, it also presents the risk of exacerbating the “digital divide, ” potentially leaving vulnerable rural populations further behind. The assessment explores the current application of digital technologies in agricultural value chains, the prospects for further adoption, and whether these technologies are benefiting the most vulnerable farmers and fisherfolk. Findings reveal that while certain digital agriculture components like advisory apps and online retail networks are widespread, others remain in early development or at prototype stages. Government priorities and stakeholder interests (farmers, fisherfolk, agribusiness companies) suggest promising prospects for expanding digital agriculture tools, including decision support systems and online marketplaces. The study also identifies strategies to bridge the digital divide, such as community organizing, development of rental markets, and investments in rural connectivity. Key policy recommendations include harmonizing government data and advisory services, creating a single government portal for digital agriculture, integrating digital solutions into farm management, expanding decision support for diversification and climate resiliency, and establishing a centralized e-commerce platform. Emphasizing the importance of government-led initiatives, the study advocates for exploring public-private partnerships to enhance the commercialization and accessibility of digital agricultural technologies. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: digital agriculture;agri 4.0;precision agriculture;smart farming;e-commerce;fintech;digital divide
    Date: 2023
  20. By: Briones, Roehlano M.; Angeles-Agdeppa, Imelda; Espineli, Isabel B.; Bouis, Howarth E.; Maniego, Ma. Lynell V.
    Abstract: The current inflationary period has placed the spotlight on hunger and food insecurity, as the current Philippine Development Plan has strongly emphasized the attainment of food affordability for all Filipinos. This study offers a scenario analysis using computable general equilibrium modeling of household purchasing power and affordability of a diet with sufficient energy, protein, and Vitamin A. Scenarios posited are as follows: Reference scenario, which projects forward from recent past trends; the Subsidy scenario, based on producer support; and Productivity, which is a long-term government investment focusing on general services. The scenario analysis finds the following: Under current economic trends, most Filipino households will be able to afford adequate levels of energy and protein by 2030, but not Vitamin A. The Reference scenario is also associated with higher relative consumer and producer prices, as well as far greater levels of output. Despite attenuation of sharp changes in the consumer price of Rice & corn, changes in energy/nutrient intakes under the Subsidy scenario are just equal to those of the Reference scenario. The Productivity scenario entails significantly faster increases in energy, protein, and Vitamin A intake compared with the previous scenarios. The Productivity scenario also leads to smaller changes in price and greater changes in quantity compared with the other scenarios. Implications for policy may be summarized as follows: a) Maintaining overall growth in the range of 5 – 6 percent per year is key to improving diet quality and thereby an affordable energy- and protein-sufficient diet; b) The slightly favorable impact of rice subsidies on the price of rice and on energy/nutrient intake of households may not be worth the added risk of fiscal instability; c) The scenario analysis tend to justify investing in general services such as R&D and infrastructure, as the preferred strategy to achieving affordable diets. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: computable general equilibrium;food security;scenario analysis;agricultural subsidy;producer support;general services support
    Date: 2023
  21. By: Hung, Dang Ngoc
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of capital structure on business performance of Vietnamese enterprises during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study focuses on key performance indicators such as return on total assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE), and earnings per share (EPS). The analysis employs the table data regression method using a dataset comprising 5747 enterprise observations for the period of 2019 to 2022. The findings indicate that capital structure has a significant negative influence on the business performance of Vietnamese enterprises. Moreover, the study highlights the substantial effect of capital structure on business performance when considering different aspects and debt structures, particularly within the framework of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on these research findings, the article recommends that business administrators carefully consider the optimal capital structure to enhance business efficiency, especially given the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 pandemic
    Date: 2024–01–05
  22. By: Cho, Yoonyoung (World Bank); Molina, Teresa (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: When it comes to mental health, do social protection programs matter more in times of crisis? Using panel data from the Philippines around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study compares depression rates among beneficiaries of an existing conditional cash transfer program to those of non-beneficiaries of similar socioeconomic status. Depression rates were almost identical for the two groups in late 2019, but significantly lower for conditional cash transfer beneficiaries by July 2020, after the initiation of strict quarantine measures and a large emergency cash transfer program. One interpretation of the increased importance of the conditional cash transfer program during the pandemic is that these transfers have larger protective effects in times of vulnerability. Another possible reason is that the existing infrastructure of the program, by allowing for more timely distribution of the emergency cash, enhanced the effectiveness of the government's pandemic response for conditional cash transfer beneficiaries. This paper finds evidence supporting both explanations.
    Keywords: social protection, cash transfers, crisis, mental health, COVID-19
    JEL: I38 I31 H12
    Date: 2024–01
  23. By: Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Vizmanos, Jana Flor V.; Muñoz, Mika S.; Bernardo, Allan B. I.
    Abstract: Rapid technological advancements and shifting economic paradigms in the 21st century also continuously change the nature of work, wherein more complex and sophisticated skill sets are required. There is a growing recognition of soft skills' pivotal role in preparing the youth for this evolving environment. However, a notable gap remains in identifying what comprises these soft skills or Transversal Competencies (TVC). The study aims to contribute to policy discussions to support the government in enhancing its understanding of soft skills building and formulating strategies to cultivate a well-prepared workforce for the future. The study utilized different interrelated methodological approaches: scoping review and key informant interviews (KIIs), with distinct data-collection methods. The results of the scoping review and KIIs suggest there was no clear common definition of the concept or its dimensions. However, the Philippine articulations of TVCs commonly identify these three categories: (a) critical thinking and other cognitive skills, (b) interpersonal skills, and (c) intrapersonal skills. While these dimensions are prioritized, the data were less clear about the priorities in which TVC concepts and skills should be assessed. To lay the groundwork for potential assessments, the study's recommendation involves formulating a multicomponent assessment of soft skills aligned with basic and higher education curricula. Co-creating a systematic approach to developing assessments of TVCs may include stakeholder consultations, cost-benefit analyses, and meticulous test development phases to ensure technical expertise and appropriateness to local contexts. These assessments may also be leveraged for human resource development and learning in various employment sectors. Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email
    Keywords: 21st century skills;soft skills;transversal competencies
    Date: 2023
  24. By: Zhang Chern Lee; Wei Yun Tan; Hoong Khen Koo; Wilson Pang
    Abstract: Our article is focused on the application of Markowitz Portfolio Theory and the Single Index Model on 10-year historical monthly return data for 10 stocks included in FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, which is also our market index, as well as a risk-free asset which is the monthly fixed deposit rate. We will calculate the minimum variance portfolio and maximum Sharpe portfolio for both the Markowitz model and Single Index model subject to five different constraints, with the results presented in the form of tables and graphs such that comparisons between the different models and constraints can be made. We hope this article will help provide useful information for future investors who are interested in the Malaysian stock market and would like to construct an efficient investment portfolio. Keywords: Markowitz Portfolio Theory, Single Index Model, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, Efficient Portfolio
    Date: 2024–01
  25. By: Cortes, Patricia (Boston University); Feng, Ying (National University of Singapore); Guida-Johnson, Nicolás (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana); Pan, Jessica (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: We examine the differential effects of automation on the labor market and educational outcomes of women relative to men over the past four decades. Although women were disproportionately employed in occupations with a high risk of automation in 1980, they were more likely to shift to high-skill, high-wage occupations than men in over time. We provide a causal link by exploiting variation in local labor market exposure to automation attributable to historical differences in local industry structure. For a given change in the exposure to automation across commuting zones, women were more likely than men to shift out of routine task-intensive occupations to high-skill, high wage occupations over the subsequent decade. The net effect is that initially routine-intensive local labor markets experienced greater occupational gender integration. College attainment among younger workers, particularly women, also rose signicantly more in areas more exposed to automation. We propose a model of occupational choice with endogenous skill investments, where social skills and routine tasks are q-complements, and women have a comparative advantage in social skills, to explain the observed patterns. Supporting the model mechanisms, areas with greater exposure to automation experienced a greater movement of women into occupations with high social skill (and high cognitive) requirements than men.
    Keywords: automation, gender, occupational segregation, gender skill gap
    JEL: J16 J24
    Date: 2023–12
  26. By: Disney, Richard; Mckay, Andy; Shabab, C Rashaad
    Abstract: This article studies the dynamics of income inequality among a panel of rural households in Thailand. In contrast to the many cross-section studies of income inequality, the article exploits a long panel data set to examine lifetime trajectories of household inequality. It finds that income inequality is decreasing over time within cohorts delineated by decennial birth dates of heads of household. This decline in inequality primarily arises from differences in receipt of remittances from adult children of the head of household who live outside the village of origin. On average, poorer households receive remittances from a larger number of children, the annual amount remitted per child is a greater proportion of household income than in richer households, and the importance of remittances in household incomes grows as the head of household ages.
    JEL: D10 D31 O15
    Date: 2023–07–13
  27. By: Eilers, Yota (University of Oxford); Kluve, Jochen (KfW Development Bank); Langbein, Jörg (World Bank); Reiners, Lennart (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: In 2022, governments around the world committed USD 211 bn. to official development assistance. Despite these high contributions, systematic assessments of the determinants of success - or failure - of development aid projects remain limited, particularly for bilateral development aid. This paper provides such a systematic, quantitative analysis: we construct a unique database covering 5, 608 evaluation results - success ratings - for bilateral development aid projects financed through one of the biggest global donors, KfW Development Bank. Detailed data on project characteristics allow us to link success ratings to five clusters of key explanatory factors along the entire project life-cyle and context: (a) In terms of project financing, we find a statistically significant positive association between the financial budget volume of the project and its success ratings, ceteris paribus. Second, concerning the (b) project structure, the type of project partner - government, private sector, multilateral organizations - shows no significant association with project success, suggesting that project implementation works equally well with different partners. (c) Project complexity as measured by both technical complexity and longer implementation duration exerts a negative influence on success ratings. Regarding (d) project risks, a highly relevant and significant predictor for less successful projects is the share of ex-ante identified risks that eventually materialized - suggesting that project designs correctly identify the relevant risks in advance, but are not able to mitigate (all of) them during execution. Finally, concerning (e) the project context there is some indication that higher GDP growth rates are positively associated with project success.
    Keywords: development finance, OECD DAC evaluation criteria, meta analysis
    JEL: C40 F35 O10 O19
    Date: 2023–12

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