nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2024‒03‒11
seventeen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar, Asian Development Bank

  1. Philippines – Preserving economic stability, financing development and anticipating climate issues By Benoît Jonveaux
  2. Impacts of capital intensity on family formation and gender equality in Vietnam By Vu, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
  3. Transit-oriented development and accessibility By ITF
  4. The Intersection of Journalism and Health Policy in Indonesia’s Political Campaign By Ridlo, Ilham Akhsanu
  5. Who Pays the Bill? Distributional and Fiscal Consequences of Elevated Inflation in Thailand By Piyaporn Chote; Ms. Corinne C Delechat; Thanaphol Kongphalee; Vatsal Nahata; Mouhamadou Sy; Pym Manopimoke; Tamon Yungvichit
  6. Philippines - Préserver la stabilité économique, financer l’émergence et anticiper les enjeux climatiques By Benoît Jonveaux
  7. Did Violence Against Asian-Americans Rise in 2020? Evidence from a Novel Approach to Measuring Potentially Racially-Motivated Attacks By Aleksei Knorre; Britte Van Tiem; Aaron Chalfin
  8. Public debt and growth in Asian developing economies: evidence of non-linearity and geographical heterogeneity By Doojav, Gan-Ochir; Baatarkhuu, Munkhbayar
  9. Supply chains in a modern geopolitical environment By Fargher, Ben
  10. Food systems solutions for healthier diets, better nutrition and health amidst climate change By Lee, Warren TK
  11. Elective Monarchy: The Legacy of French Colonization in Cambodia By Nathaporn Thaijongrak
  12. How COVID-19 Pandemic has Impacted the Supply Chain in the Electronics Industry By Christopher Lim
  13. Education: a key to women's agricultural productivity in Cambodia By James Manley
  14. Rich by Accident: the Second Welfare Theorem with a Redundant Asset Under Imperfect Foresight By Shurojit Chatterji; Atsushi Kajii
  15. Unraveling the Effects of Indonesia’s Oil Palm Export Ban on Global Stock Markets By Ölkers, Tim
  16. Optimal Monetary Policy, Tariff Shocks and Exporter Dynamics By Masashige Hamano; Francesco Pappadà; Maria Teresa Punzi
  17. Campaigning Against Populism Emotions and Information in Real Election Campaigns By Cesi Cruz; Julien Labonne; Francesco Trebbi

  1. By: Benoît Jonveaux
    Abstract: Referred to as the “sick man of Asia” during the last third of the 20th century, the Philippines has recorded dynamic economic growth since the mid-2000s and is beginning to catch up with the more advanced economies of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). This catching-up has come about through macroeconomic stability, combining fiscal discipline external accounts consolidation, and financial system strengthening. To preserve the Philippine economic model, it is essential to maintain this stability, in particular to limit financing requirements and bolster investor and consumer confidence.
    Keywords: Philippines
    JEL: E
    Date: 2024–02–15
  2. By: Vu, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: We examine whether changes in capital intensity from Vietnamese firms during 1999-2019 influence family formation and gender inequality, using panel data of communes. We use the recorded trajectories of cyclones to create a damage index as an instrumental variable. We find that higher capital intensity is associated with a higher share of single people and a lower share of families with multiple generations living together. Also, women prepared for high capital intensity industries by increasing their educational attainment. However, the results also indicate the sex ratio at birth is more skewed in communes with high capital intensity.
    Keywords: Capital intensity, Gender inequality, Family formation, Cyclones, Vietnam
    JEL: I24 J12 J16 O15 R23
    Date: 2024–01
  3. By: ITF
    Abstract: This report assesses the potential of transit-oriented development (TOD) to improve accessibility in three Southeast Asian cities: Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila. It outlines the challenges of applying TOD practices in developing countries and presents three case studies of successful implementation of TOD, which capture the various forms that TOD can take.
    Date: 2023–10–09
  4. By: Ridlo, Ilham Akhsanu (Universitas Airlangga)
    Abstract: This commentary article explores the complex relationship between journalism, health policy, and political campaigning in Indonesia that merits deepening as a scholarly endeavor. The paper highlights the important role of journalism in informing public discourse and decision-making on health policy while recognizing the challenges posed by misinformation and the erosion of public trust in the media. The paper discusses how journalism (digital and social media) has influenced health policy advocacy and public opinion, underscoring the media's impact on health communication campaigns and policy reform. By analyzing the various roles of (media) journalism as a health policy advocate, the article shows how journalism serves as a bridge between health policy experts and the public, facilitating a more informed democratic engagement with health policy. The conclusion emphasizes the importance of fostering a relationship between journalism that upholds democratic values and health policy advocacy to promote public health priorities in Indonesia.
    Date: 2024–02–04
  5. By: Piyaporn Chote; Ms. Corinne C Delechat; Thanaphol Kongphalee; Vatsal Nahata; Mouhamadou Sy; Pym Manopimoke; Tamon Yungvichit
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the distributional impacts of inflation in Thailand. For that aim, the paper uses rich micro-survey data on 46, 000 Thai households to study the effect of the recent elevated inflation on poverty, its distributional effects on different income levels, and the fiscal cost to compensate households from real income losses. To study the multidimensional impact of inflation, the paper also studies how inflation differentially affects households through the consumption, income, and wealth channel. The analysis shows that under a baseline scenario, poverty in Thailand could increase by 1.3 percentage points—about 900, 000 people—in the absence of government intervention. Targeted fiscal support to only compensate households that are below the national poverty line from rising inflation amount to 0.05 percent of GDP. However, fiscal support to compensate relatively rich households, defined as those above the median of the income distribution, amount to 1.4 percent of GDP. Moreover, due to high levels of debt, richer households benefit from inflation relative to poorer households. Finally, the paper also delves into policy responses undertaken by the Thai government and Asian and emerging economies to mitigate elevated inflation.
    Keywords: Inflation; poverty; inflation dynamics; income effect; fiscal cost.
    Date: 2024–02–02
  6. By: Benoît Jonveaux
    Abstract: Qualifiées d’« homme malade de l’Asie » pendant le dernier tiers du XXe siècle, les Philippines présentent depuis le milieu des années 2000 une croissance économique dynamique et commencent à rattraper leur retard vis-à-vis des économies plus avancées de l’ASEAN (Association des nations de l'Asie du Sud-Est). Ce rattrapage a notamment été possible grâce à une stabilité macro-économique, conjuguant discipline budgétaire et consolidation des comptes externes et du système financier. Le maintien de cette stabilité est indispensable à la préservation du modèle économique philippin, en particulier pour limiter les besoins de financement et soutenir la confiance des investisseurs et des consommateurs.
    Keywords: Philippines
    JEL: E
    Date: 2024–02–15
  7. By: Aleksei Knorre; Britte Van Tiem; Aaron Chalfin
    Abstract: Did anti-Asian violence rise after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic? Efforts to answer this question are compromised by the inherent difficulty of measuring racially-motivated crimes as well as concerns that reporting of racially-motivated hate crimes may have changed due to their increased salience during the pandemic. We pursue an alternative approach to studying whether anti-Asian violence rose after March 2020 that addresses each of these concerns. Using data from the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System, we study inter-race violence occurring in public spaces. While public violence declined among all Americans after March 2020, the share of public violence directed at Asian-Americans by people who were previously unknown to them – or were acquaintances – rose more than it did for other Americans. While this relationship did not hold among an auxiliary sample of large US cities, the national evidence is consistent with a modest increase in racially- motivated violence directed towards Asian-Americans.
    JEL: K4 K40 K42
    Date: 2024–02
  8. By: Doojav, Gan-Ochir; Baatarkhuu, Munkhbayar
    Abstract: This paper examines the non-linear effects of public debt on economic growth in Asian developing economies using panel Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) regressions and panel vector autoregression (VAR) models. We find a statistically significant non-linear effect of public debt (as a percent of GDP) on GDP per capita growth, with a turning point at 52 percent and 50 percent of GDP for all Asian developing and Asian coastal developing economies, respectively. It is found that asymmetric mutual feedback effects exist between the growth and the public debt depending on the public debt level. The two-way effects are statistically significant and more evident when the public debt exceeds its threshold level. Our results also show evidence of geographical (cross-country) heterogeneity in the mutual feedback effects. These findings have important policy implications, including the need to use geographic (or region)-specific debt threshold levels and asymmetric response coefficients in public debt policy analysis.
    Keywords: Public debt, economic growth, Asian developing countries, sustainability of debt, non-linearity, geographical heterogeneity
    JEL: C23 E62 F34 H63 O11 R11
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Fargher, Ben
    Abstract: Global food security in a riskier world is a vitally important topic. Nearly 830 million people are food insecure – there are real and urgent challenges facing the global food system. Topics such as market access and the empowerment of people, especially as it relates to smallholder agriculture in the Asia Pacific region, are critical. As Cargill sits at the centre of the global agricultural supply chain, working alongside farmers, producers, manufacturers, retailers, governments, and other organisations, the presentation will raise solutions for resilient food and nutrition systems, with particular emphasis on the supply chain. It will explain the Cargill experience of the implications for farmers of disruptions to global supply chains in a modern geopolitical environment including from rising demand, climate and geopolitical conflict. Experiences from COVID-19 lockdowns and the more recent disruptions due to the war in Ukraine, have had significant implications for farmers and agribusiness and strategies for diversification of markets, more flexible and resilient supply chains, and planning for resilience to reduce future vulnerability for the benefit of consumers and growers will be considered. One if not the most urgent challenge is the climate crisis. Cargill is committed to reducing the climate impact of agriculture and agriculture is part of the solution to this challenge. Working with suppliers, customers, and partners, action-oriented, lasting solutions and several practical examples will be outlined.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2024–02
  10. By: Lee, Warren TK
    Abstract: Food systems have a great potential to fulfill food security and nutrition for providing year-round healthy and affordable diets for all. Currently, however, our food systems have not yet delivered their full potential, leaving billions of people food insecure and unable to afford healthy diets; millions of children are stunted and wasted; and there is rising prevalence of obesity and non-communicable diseases. Hence, food systems in many parts of the world fail to deliver their missions! In the Asia-Pacific, the situation is exacerbated by population growth, urbanisation, changing consumption patterns, COVID-19, and the Ukraine war, and it is further complicated by climate change leading to unhealthy diets, poor nutrition and health, as well as unsustainable livelihoods and environment. Climate affects agri-food production which, however, is also a contributor to climate change. One-third of GHG emissions are generated from food systems. Climate change influences the entire food systems: poor soil fertility and reduced crop yield, biodiversity loss, pest diseases, reduced density and bioavailability of nutrients in foods, etc. Thus, climate change may increase malnutrition and health risks, deteriorate livelihoods and unsustainable environment. Sustainable and resilient food systems transformation coupled with nature-positive solutions, including climate-smart agriculture aligned with contextual ecosystem function, biodiversity and environmental conservation are warranted to ensure healthier diets and optimal health, and to mitigate and adapt the impact of climatic and food system interactions on diet, health and environment. Food systems transformation can harness the power of food systems to benefit humanity and the earth.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2024–02
  11. By: Nathaporn Thaijongrak (Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand)
    Abstract: The Cambodian monarchy has a long tradition as a symbol of the continuity of the nation. However, it was abolished in the 1970s due to a change in the form of government of the Republic country, and it was reestablished according to the 1993 constitution. The Cambodian monarchy stabilized under French rule. Initially, the French set up the elective monarchy system for Cambodia by colonial authority, in contrast to a hereditary monarchy, which was automatically passed down as a family inheritance. This pattern makes the power succession unusual from Cambodia's royal traditions. The research aims to study the factors and background events in the French colonization period that changed the monarchy system and the result to the Cambodian monarchy until the present day, using historical methods mainly based on primary and secondary documents. The results show that the idea of electing a king put in place by France was considered appropriate, partly because the selection of King Sihanouk to the throne ended quarrels within the royal family over his reign, and in the Constitution 1947 preciously specifies those who have the right to reign. It must be inherited from King Ang Doung, King Norodom, and King Sisowath, chosen by The Royal Council of The Throne, a nine-member council of Cambodia responsible for selecting the Cambodian monarch. When Cambodia became independent, every constitution with a constitutional monarchy regime stipulated the elective Monarchy by insisted on establishing the Royal Council of the Throne.
    Keywords: Elective Monarchy, French colonization, Cambodia
    Date: 2023–11
  12. By: Christopher Lim (San Jose State University, USA)
    Abstract: For many decades, a relatively stable supply chain has endured for global industries. The Thailand floods, Japan’s Tsunami leading to a nuclear plant leak in 2011, and Iceland’s volcano eruption in the same year severely disrupted the global supply chain with the electronics manufacturing companies, but only for a short period of time. These natural disasters were confined to certain geographical sectors and the operational interruptions were short-lived. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, presented companies with a radical set of challenges that will require a transformational shift in the supply chain strategy and operations management for all industries. By associating the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) theoretical framework with the global supply chain challenges experienced in the COVID-19 pandemic, research hypotheses regarding future supply chain strategies for the electronics and semi-conductor industry players were developed and tested. Sample data was gathered with industry practitioners utilizing a convenience sampling. The results demonstrate that industry practitioners, research institutions, and the Biden administration have touted the need to re-shore manufacturing and reduce dependency on foreign countries. Outsourcing decisions justified through a cost-benefit-risk analysis must constantly be applied. Just-In-Time (JIT) and Lean, a prevalent strategy, has turned into an Achilles heel during the COVID-19 pandemic times. The trade-off analysis to maintain a safety stock of critical components has become an essential variable for decision-making. Single-sourcing is abhorred, while multiple-sourcing supported by increased data visibility with effective ERP systems has become a strategic imperative. Partnerships with vendors, suppliers, logistics providers, and all stakeholders must be strengthened and continuously enhanced in the VUCA supply chain for the years to come. The primary takeaway from the research is that top management and supply chain leaders must focus their efforts on building an agile and resilient global supply chain network as the days of relying on offshore manufacturing and an absolute JIT and Lean strategy is behind us.
    Keywords: electronics, manufacturing, supply chain, outsourcing, lean
    Date: 2023–11
  13. By: James Manley (Department of Economics, Towson University)
    Abstract: As women comprise a larger share of land managers, it is important to discern factors that limit their success. Using nationally representative data from Cambodia we compare factors associated with productivity among female headed households as opposed to male headed households. OLS regressions show that household size, education, vocational training, land area, an index of non-agricultural capital, and the income share from agriculture are positively related to all types of agricultural revenue. However, when we use a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to separately consider revenue from crop production and rice production (as opposed to animal husbandry) we see that after the primacy of land access, the years of education are the next most important, and that differences between endowments explain all of the difference between male and female-headed households. We conclude that there are high returns to investment in education for girls and women in Cambodian agriculture.
    Keywords: Cambodia, education, Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, agricultural productivity, FAO, 50x2030.
    JEL: Q12 J16 J31
    Date: 2024–02
  14. By: Shurojit Chatterji (Singapore Management University); Atsushi Kajii (Kwansei Gakuin University)
    Abstract: We consider a multiperiod (T-period) model with no uncertainty where short term bonds co-exist with a long term bond. Markets are complete with just the short term bonds so that under the usual hypothesis of perfect foresight, the long term bond is redundant by no arbitrage in that it has no allocational implications. We dispense with perfect foresight, derive appropriate no arbitrage conditions and show that the presence of the long term bond has significant allocational implications. Specifically, in the model with just the short term bond, we show that a T dimensional subset of efficient allocations can arise as Walrasian equilibria whereas the dimension of efficient allocations is one less than the number of households (assumed to be much larger than T). In the model with the both types of bonds essentially all efficient allocations can arise as Walrasian equilibria; minute errors in forecasting prices can generate all income transfers that are consistent with efficiency. We argue that the beneficiaries of such unanticipated income transfers are determined not by the superiority of forecasts but rather by accident.
    Keywords: General equilibrium; E¢ cient temporary equilibrium; Endogenous price forecasts; Redundant Assets
    JEL: D51 D53 D61
    Date: 2024–01
  15. By: Ölkers, Tim
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2023–12
  16. By: Masashige Hamano (Waseda University); Francesco Pappadà (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Paris School of Economics); Maria Teresa Punzi (Sim Kee Boon Institute, Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the response of optimal monetary policy to uncoordinated trade policies (foreign tariff shocks). We first provide a simple model of open economy with heterogeneous firms and derive a closed-form solution for the optimal monetary policy response to tariff shocks in presence of nominal rigidities. We show that optimal monetary policy is expansionary following foreign tariff hikes. Under nominal rigidities, uncertainty about foreign tariff hikes induces sluggish adjustments in the labor market reallocation between exporters and domestic firms, leading to an incentive for monetary authority to intervene and mitigate the impact of tariff shocks. In an extended model, we then show the response of our economy to a tariff shock under the Ramsey monetary policy, a Taylor Rule and a fixed exchange rate regime. Finally, we provide empirical evidence for the response of domestic monetary policy to foreign tariff shocks using data on Global Antidumping from the US.
    Keywords: Optimal Monetary Policy; Tariff Shocks; Exporter Dynamics
    JEL: E3 E6 Q54 R1
    Date: 2023–12
  17. By: Cesi Cruz; Julien Labonne; Francesco Trebbi
    Abstract: Populist politicians have leveraged direct connections with voters to win elections worldwide, often using emotional rather than policy appeals. Do these forms of campaigning work for programmatic politicians as well? We partner with a mainstream opposition political party to implement a field experiment during the 2019 Philippine Senatorial election to test the effectiveness of: (i) direct in-person appeals providing policy information; (ii) the addition of an activity designed to engender positive emotion. We show that direct engagement providing policy information increases vote share for the party, even in a clientelistic context. Additionally, while the emotional activity increases engagement with the campaign in the short term, the information-only treatment was more effective. Last, we present evidence that the treatments operated through learning and persuasion channels: treated voters were more likely to know the party, more certain about their knowledge, and gave higher ratings to the party’s quality and proposed policies.
    JEL: D7 D73 P0
    Date: 2024–02

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