nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2024‒04‒01
nine papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar, Asian Development Bank

  1. Trade Networks, Heroin Markets, and the Labor Market Outcomes of Vietnam Veterans By Jakub Lonsky; Isabel Ruiz; Carlos Vargas-Silva
  2. Cooling the Tropics Sustainably: Evidence from a Choice Experiment on Energy Efficient Air Conditioners in the Philippines By Miwa Nakai; Naonari Yajima; Majah-Leah Ravago
  3. Multi-objective auctions for utility-scale solar battery systems: lessons for ASEAN and East Asia By Natsuko Toba; Tooraj Jamasb; Luiz Maurer; Anupama Sen
  4. Area Conditions and Positive Incentives: Engaging Local Communities to Protect Forests By Warnes, Xavier Sebastian; de Zegher, Joann F.; Iancu, Dan A.; Plambeck, Erica
  5. Why is there no investor-state dispute settlement in RCEP? Bargaining and Contestation in the Investment Regime By Elsig, Manfred; Ganeson, Kirthana; Jusoh, Sufian; Lugg, Andrew
  6. Do Consumers Shop in Tiktok? The TAM Perspective By Nguyen Thanh Luan
  7. Análisis de las fluctuaciones de los precios del café en América Latina a partir de las noticias By Martínez Torres, Hugo
  8. The Changing Drivers of Food Inflation – Macroeconomics, Inflation, and War By Algieri, Bernardina; Kornher, Lukas; von Braun, Joachim
  9. Unilateral Dominance and Social Discounting By Xiangyu Qu; Bach Dong Xuan

  1. By: Jakub Lonsky; Isabel Ruiz; Carlos Vargas-Silva
    Abstract: The role of ethnic immigrant networks in facilitating international trade is a well-established phenomenon in the literature. However, it is less clear whether this relationship extends to illegal trade and unauthorized immigrants. In this paper, we tackle this question by focusing on the case of the heroin trade and unauthorized Chinese immigrants in the early 1990s United States. Between mid-1980s and mid-1990s, Southeast Asia became the dominant source of heroin in the US. Heroin from this region was trafficked into the US by Chinese organized criminals, whose presence across the country can be approximated by the location of unauthorized Chinese immigrants. Instrumenting for the unauthorized Chinese immigrant enclaves in 1990 with their 1900 counterpart, we first show that Chinese presence in a community led to a sizeable increase in local opiates-related arrests, a proxy for local heroin markets. This effect is driven by arrests for sale/manufacturing of the drugs. Next, we examine the consequences of Chinese-trafficked heroin by looking at its impact on US Vietnam-era veterans – a group particularly vulnerable to heroin addiction in the early 1990s. Using a triple-difference estimation, we find mostly small but statistically significant detrimental effects on labor market outcomes of Vietnam veterans residing in unauthorized Chinese enclaves in 1990.
    Keywords: Trade networks, heroin markets, Vietnam veterans, labor market outcomes
    JEL: F16 F22 J15 K42
    Date: 2022–03
  2. By: Miwa Nakai (Faculty of Economics, Fukui Prefectural University, 4-1-1, Matsuoka Kenjojima, Eiheiji-cho, Fukui, 910-1195, Japan); Naonari Yajima (Faculty of Economics, Seijo University, 6-1-20, Seijo, Setagata-ku, Tokyo, 157-0066, Japan); Majah-Leah Ravago (Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University, Room 409, Leong Hall, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines 1108)
    Abstract: Energy efficiency of home appliances plays a crucial role in climate mitigation policies, especially considering the increasing energy consumption in developing countries. Particularly in countries with high temperatures such as the Philippines, switching to energy efficient air conditioners (ACs) can make a substantial contribution to both climate mitigation and sustainable development. We conducted a field survey among households with a choice experiment in the Philippines. We investigated the attributes that influence the decision to purchase ACs and to understand the variations in preferences among consumers in the tropics. Utilizing primary data with a broad range of socio-economic characteristics, we find that households have higher willingness-to-pay for energy efficient models. Moreover, in terms of preference variability, certain consumer groups such as AC owners, younger age segments, higher income brackets, and those with higher environmental awareness displayed higher willingness-to-pay. Furthermore, our survey reveals the potential for a significant rebound effect in AC use if households purchase an energy efficient model. Therefore, we emphasise the importance of combining the transition to energy efficient ACs with additional policy measures to reduce wastage and consume energy efficiently across other domains, as a country transitions to more sustainable and cleaner energy.
    Keywords: Appliance labelling, Energy-saving behaviour, Choice experiment, Air conditioner, Tropical climate, Philippines
    JEL: D12 R11 Q56
    Date: 2024–03
  3. By: Natsuko Toba; Tooraj Jamasb; Luiz Maurer; Anupama Sen
    Keywords: Renewable energy, solar power, battery storage, auction design
    JEL: D0 D4 D8 L0 L1 L9
    Date: 2023–06
  4. By: Warnes, Xavier Sebastian (Stanford U); de Zegher, Joann F. (MIT); Iancu, Dan A. (Stanford U); Plambeck, Erica (Stanford U)
    Abstract: Tropical deforestation for agriculture causes alarming CO2 emissions and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. To prevent this, various governments and multinational commodity-buyers offer a positive incentive for locals conditional on no deforestation in a specified area. As an alternative to the area no-deforestation condition, we propose a weaker "regeneration condition": if forest is cleared on land in the specified area, locals prevent its economic use, enabling the forest to regenerate. With innovation in cooperative game theory, we characterize the best condition (area no-deforestation vs. area regeneration) and feasible incentives to prevent deforestation and to compensate each local for his missed economic opportunity. The regeneration condition is best in an area with the potential for entrants to engage in deforestation. Without entrants, if locals can cooperate, the area no-deforestation condition is best, and works with any incentive that is more valuable for locals collectively than deforestation. By surveying smallholder palm farmers in 58 villages of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, we fit our model with a price premium for palm fruit as the incentive, in each village as the area. A price premium is an imperfect incentive, having least value for a farmer with the least land and, correspondingly, high temptation to engage in deforestation. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) price premium is too low. Still, with a moderate price premium, our area regeneration condition prevents deforestation in most villages and is remarkably robust to deter potential entrants.
    Date: 2023–10
  5. By: Elsig, Manfred; Ganeson, Kirthana; Jusoh, Sufian; Lugg, Andrew
    Abstract: Abstract The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is one of the most important mega-regional trade agreements signed to date. Yet, it failed to include an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism in its investment chapter. What explains this omission? To unpack this, we examine international negotiations as a two-step process. In the first stage, we theorize that initial preferences towards ISDS are based on countries’ orientation toward foreign direct investment (FDI), experience with ISDS, and past treaty practice. Second, we theorize that during protracted negotiations, adverse regime developments and domestic politics can have a profound impact on treaty design. To test our framework, we examine the RCEP negotiations. Our analysis shows that mounting cases as well as the eroding norm of ISDS in other treaties lowered support for ISDS as the negotiations progressed. Then, a change of government in Malaysia shifted that country’s position dramatically, which tipped the balance against ISDS in the final round of negotiations. Our findings have important implications for the international investment regime. They highlight the factors that determine countries’ initial preferences while also demonstrating the importance of developments during the negotiations, which can lead to the abandonment of the institutional status quo.
    Date: 2024–03–19
  6. By: Nguyen Thanh Luan
    Abstract: Today's society is increasingly developing, leading to the improvement and advancement of technology, which has made the shopping needs of consumers more enhanced. The fact that consumers choose to shop online on e-commerce platforms is gradually becoming more popular and diverse. Especially not Shoppe, Lazada or Tiki but recently Tiktok is also gradually becoming a place for people to entertain, shop and it is quite popular. This creates a lot of opportunities and challenges as well as promotes the creativity and potential of businesses. Therefore, this study was created with the aim to find out and explore the factors affecting the intention to shop online on Tiktok of consumers in Ho Chi Minh City through the Public Acceptance Model Theory. Turmeric (TAM). The research method used is conditional sampling. A questionnaire will be used to collect data from consumers who often shop online to clarify the factors affecting their decision on Tiktok, namely Perceived usefulness (PUF), Perceived ease of use (PEU), Acceptance attitude (ACA), Consumer confidence (CCF), Subjective standards (SJS), Intention to use (ITU). The experts checked through the questions established through the face value and the content value to ensure the validity and reliability of the survey tool. The findings show the difference in the positive impact of surrounding factors on consumers' shopping intention on Tiktok social network in Ho Chi Minh City.
    Keywords: Online shopping, Tiktok social network, consumer trust, TAM
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Martínez Torres, Hugo
    Abstract: En este trabajo, se ofrece una mirada cualitativa a los determinantes de las variaciones de los precios del café, que complementa diversos trabajos cuantitativos anteriores sobre el tema. En concreto, se revisan 861 noticias recopiladas por el sitio web Perfect Daily Grind, especializado en la industria del café, entre julio de 2021 y enero de 2023, para comprobar si existe o no una correlación entre las variaciones de precios, por una parte, y las noticias sobre los factores que las originan, por otra. En las noticias analizadas, se hace referencia a la sobreoferta del Brasil y de Viet Nam como causas claras de los bajos precios del café observados. Además, surgen otros posibles determinantes del precio de café. En cuanto a la demanda, se mencionan el precio del té, como producto sustituto; la difusión de envases o cápsulas para café, como producto complementario, y la diversificación de productos a disposición del consumidor (nuevas presentaciones y más cafeterías). En cuanto a la oferta, se mencionan el precio y la disponibilidad de mano de obra para la recolección de café, cambios en el precio de los fertilizantes y fenómenos climáticos extremos.
    Date: 2024–01–29
  8. By: Algieri, Bernardina; Kornher, Lukas; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: The inflation surge in recent years is having profound social, economic, and political consequences. With food price changes being an integral part of inflation, low income segments of the population are strongly impacted. What makes this period so unusual is the breadth of price pressures that are affecting both low and high-income countries. In essence, this phenomenon shows that inflation is increasingly synchronised across borders. This study examines price developments across countries and over time and investigates the driving factors behind food price hikes. Our analysis reveals that a complex mix of causes has led to the soaring food prices seen in 2021-2022. The spread of COVID-19 produced disruptions in the world’s supply chains, pushing the cost of producing and transporting food upward. The increase in fertilizer and energy prices has further exacerbated production costs for agricultural products. Adverse climatic phenomena (e.g., La Niña), generated droughts in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, damaged harvests, and fuelled inflation. The war in Ukraine and the associated trade blockade of grain exports made things worse. Additional pressures included speculative activities in financial markets, which were already at play before the Russia-Ukraine war. In spite of all these increases in costs, inflation could perhaps have been kept under control by immediate, sufficiently restrictive monetary policies by Central Banks. Most likely, the main cause of the strong inflationary surge in several countries seems to have been the failure of some Central Banks to rapidly intervene to counteract the effects of overall price increases including key staples. Soaring inflation is continuing to make vulnerable countries hungrier and poorer and, therefore, prompt actions are necessary to help them.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2024–03–05
  9. By: Xiangyu Qu (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Bach Dong Xuan (UEL - University of Economics and Law [Vietnam National University, HCM] - VNU-HCM - Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City / Đại học Quốc gia TP. Hồ Chí Minh)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the intricate challenge of establishing social discount rates across far-reaching generations, particularly in the face of divergent social viewpoints. We propose a principle of future-improved unilateral dominance to characterize social discount rates. Despite its divergence from traditional principles, our principle prioritizes the welfare of distant generations, resonating with a minority concern within society. Our findings indicate that society adhering to this principle exhibit greater patience and future-oriented concern than any individual. TThis approach, contingent upon the preferences of current generations, offers theoretical pathways to enhance considerations for the welfare of the distant future in the context of long-term environmental projects or activities.
    Keywords: Social discounting, future-improved unilateral dominance, long-term environmental projects
    Date: 2024

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