nep-sea New Economics Papers
on South East Asia
Issue of 2024‒04‒29
fourteen papers chosen by
Kavita Iyengar, Asian Development Bank

  1. Setting the course after elections in Indonesia: President Prabowo Subianto and the complex legacy of Jokowi By Heiduk, Felix
  2. Farmer Inclusion in School-Based Food and Nutrition Programs in Southeast Asia: Strengthening the Nutrition-Education-Development Nexus By Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel; Bernice Anne C. Darvin-De Torres; Gerlie T. Tatlonghari
  3. Vietnam's Way To Global Leadership in Sustainable Energy By Minh Ha-Duong
  4. Digital Governance in the 21stCentury: The LiTCoDE Framework for Transparency, Leadership, and Technological Evolution A Comparative Study of Mexico and Vietnam By Medel-Ramírez, Carlos; Medel-López, Hilario; Lara-Mérida, Jennifer
  5. Characterization of MSME outlet types in Viet Nam By Ceballos, Francisco; de Brauw, Alan; Soneja, Payal
  6. Description of MSME Survey in Viet Nam By de Brauw, Alan; Ceballos, Francisco; Le, Ly; Soneja, Payal
  7. Measuring labour market transitions of youths in Thailand evidence from rotation groups (2012–21) in the Labour Force Surveys By Hawley, Joshua D.,; Wichitaksorn, Nuttanan,
  8. Outsource agrifood service MSMEs facilitating pivoting by fruits & vegetables farmers, wholesalers, and retailers By Reardon, Thomas; Awokuse, Titus; Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O.; Minten, Bart; Nguyen, Geneviève; Qanti, Sara; Swinnen, Johan; Vos, Rob; Zilberman, David
  9. Inclusive Growth, The Cordillera Corridor Tea Trade Treaty By Molintas, Dominique Trual
  10. Limited Commitment, Social Control and Risk-Sharing Coalitions in Village Economies By Juan Daniel Hernandez; Fernando Jaramillo; Hubert Kempf; Fabien Moizeau; Thomas Vendryes
  11. Digital Payment, Household Consumption Behavior, and Financial Literacy By Anusorn Minphimai
  12. Process of Learning Paradox in the Japanese Context - Embedded Paradox and Modernization in Work Place By Miyako Imamura
  13. Call of Duty: Industrial Policy for the Post-Oil Era By Reda Cherif; Fuad Hasanov; Madi Sarsenbayev
  14. Multi-Sector Bond Funds: New Evidence on Global and Domestic Drivers and Effectiveness of Capital Account Measures By Rogelio Mercado Jr.; Luca Sanfilippo

  1. By: Heiduk, Felix
    Abstract: In mid-February, the world's largest elections took place in Indonesia over the course of a single day. Around 205 million eligible voters were called to the polls to elect a new president, vice president and almost 20, 000 representatives for the national, pro­vincial and district parliaments. The spotlight was largely centred on the presidential election, as the president plays a prominent role in the country's political system, and according to the official results released on 20 March, General Prabowo Subianto will be assuming office in October. His election as head of state is seen by some observers as a threat to Indonesian democracy or even a return to dictatorship. However, it is much more likely that Prabowo will maintain the policies of his predecessor Jokowi, who prioritised the economic development of the country. Nonetheless, democratic institutions and procedures are likely to be further weakened. Germany and the EU should be prepared for Indonesia to adopt a more active and self-confident foreign policy stance under Prabowo as Jakarta will likely come to be driven by a decidedly transactional understanding of international cooperation.
    Keywords: Indonesia, elections, General Prabowo Subianto, Joko Widodo ("Jokowi"), Gerindra Party, Golka Party, Sukarnoputri Megawati
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel; Bernice Anne C. Darvin-De Torres; Gerlie T. Tatlonghari
    Abstract: This paper draws from the regional policy forum From Farms to Schools: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive School-Based Food and Nutrition Programs in Southeast Asia. The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) organized the forum in partnership with the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (i.e., AFA) in April 2023. Participants represented Southeast Asian education ministries, international development organizations, academic institutions,  as well as farmers’ and civil society organizations. The presentations, plenary discussions, and breakout group discussions served as the main inputs for this paper. The paper briefly discusses the benefits of and challenges to school-based food and nutrition programs (SBFNPs), particularly on the meaningful inclusion of smallholder farmers or family farmers. It includes recommendations for policy and action to improve farmer participation in the SBFNPs and strengthen the nutrition-education-development nexus.
    Keywords: smallholder farmers inclusion, education, nutrition, Southeast Asia, school-based nutrition
    Date: 2024
  3. By: Minh Ha-Duong (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The main message is that Vietnam aspires to become a global role model in sustainable development, particularly in building a green economy, ensuring social equity during the energy transition, and leading climate action on the international stage. Vietnam has potential to inspire other nations and suggests concrete actions to attract investment, develop human resources, and collaborate with international partners, especially France and Europe, in the field of renewable energy. The vision for Vietnam is to harness its strategic advantages, such as its location, vibrant economy, and commitment to green growth, to showcase how a country can achieve rapid economic development while transitioning to a low-carbon future. The interview discusses key strategies, policies, and initiatives that Vietnam should prioritize, with a focus on green finance, innovation, just energy transition, international cooperation, and capacity building in the energy sector.
    Date: 2024–03–23
  4. By: Medel-Ramírez, Carlos; Medel-López, Hilario; Lara-Mérida, Jennifer
    Abstract: In today's fast-paced digital landscape, the spotlight is on the pursuit of transparent governance as a critical facet of global public administration. As we immerse ourselves in the digital era, brimming with endless opportunities, it becomes essential to reflect on the convergence of governance, clarity, and technological innovation. By exploring the journeys of Mexico and Vietnam, nations with diverse backgrounds and administrative paradigms, we present the LiTCoDE Framework. This model offers a fresh perspective on addressing transparency challenges of the modern age. The LiTCoDE Framework, symbolizing Leadership, Transformative Public Management, Collaboration, and Digital Evolution, stands out as a guidepost for nations aiming to amalgamate technology with their governance strategies, ultimately nurturing a transparent ethos. This approach posits that while digital tools play a pivotal role, genuine transparent governance stems from a leadership dedicated to openness, an ethos of teamwork, and a relentless drive for public management renewal. Although Mexico and Vietnam differ in terms of geography and cultural backdrop, they converge in their goals: to bolster their administrative frameworks amidst digital metamorphosis and champion transparency as a core value. Their tales, marked by both hurdles and achievements, offer an insightful comparative analysis. This exploration dives deep into the intricacies of policy execution, leadership dynamics, and the catalytic impact of united endeavors in both countries. Yet, every path of transformation is dotted with challenges. The digital revolution, despite its promise of vast knowledge accessibility, brings with it substantial barriers. From the looming shadows of fake news and security breaches to the task of guaranteeing universal tech access, the journey towards transparency remains intricate. Herein lies the essence of our discourse: to unearth the challenges, unravel the strategies adopted by Mexico and Vietnam, and thereby forge a roadmap that other nations might emulate. In dissecting the experiences of these two nations, we don't merely present a comparative study but a tapestry woven from threads of trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Through the lens of the LiTCoDE Framework, we aim to glean actionable insights that transcend borders, offering a blueprint for nations worldwide. The objective isn't just academic elucidation but the fostering of an international collaborative spirit, an ethos of shared learning, and mutual growth. The narrative of transparency in the digital age is a tale of endless possibilities, punctuated by challenges but illuminated by the beacon of hope that frameworks like LiTCoDE represent. Through a meticulous exploration of Mexico and Vietnam's experiences, this presentation aspires to light the path for nations and leaders, reaffirming the belief that in the confluence of leadership, technology, and collaboration, lies the promise of a transparent and accountable future.
    Keywords: Transparent Governance Digital Era LiTCoDE Framework Leadership Dynamics Comparative Analysis
    JEL: C00 H00 O33 O35
    Date: 2023–09–26
  5. By: Ceballos, Francisco; de Brauw, Alan; Soneja, Payal
    Abstract: During 2023, researchers from Work Package 2 (WP2) of the Sustainable Healthy Diets through Food Systems Transformation (SHiFT) initiative conducted three linked surveys to learn more about micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that currently supply foods within urban, peri-urban, and rural locations in Viet Nam and devise ways to foster their supply of sustainable nutritious foods (SNFs). The surveys had three linked goals—to better characterize the business environment in which MSMEs operate; to understand any constraints they face in selling more SNFs; and to help inform interventions with scaling potential that could increase the availability of SNFs for consumers. The first survey consisted of a listing exercise (or the “short audit†), the second survey was a longer survey targeting outlets from the listing that had a higher chance of being MSMEs and could potentially modify their food offerings, and the third survey was targeted at suppliers of those MSMEs, with the objective of identifying any potential constraints at the supplier level for expanding the offering of SNFs. The sample for the third survey was derived from the MSME sample. Ceballos et al. (2023) describe in detail the data collection efforts conducted, including sampling strategies, overall sample composition, and implementation of the three surveys. This document presents selected results from these three surveys, with a focus on the second MSME survey. The next section describes the typology of outlets enumerated in the different surveys, and the final outlet groupings used in the analyses in this note. The MSME survey results section discusses the main findings from the MSME survey in terms of general ownership characteristics, employment patterns, business skills and access to finance, food offerings, and nutrition knowledge and interest in offering more SNFs to clients, distinguishing across outlet groups and vendor clusters. The Supplier survey results section presents the main findings from the supplier survey, in terms of food offerings, the composition of their client portfolio, their level of formalization, business skills, and credit use, and their interest in selling more nutritious foods. The final section summarizes the findings and concludes.
    Keywords: production; microenterprises; food supply; small and medium enterprises; food supply chains; Vietnam; South-eastern Asia; Asia
    Date: 2024
  6. By: de Brauw, Alan; Ceballos, Francisco; Le, Ly; Soneja, Payal
    Abstract: During the first half of 2023, researchers associated with Work Package 2 (WP2) of the CGIAR Research Initiative on Sustainable Healthy Diets through Food Systems Transformation (SHiFT) conducted three linked surveys to learn more about micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that currently supply foods within urban, peri-urban, and rural locations in Viet Nam and contribute to developing ways to foster their supply of sustainable nutritious foods. 1 Therefore, the surveys had three linked goals—to better characterize the business environment in which MSMEs operate; to understand any constraints they face in selling more sustainable nutritious foods; and to help inform interventions with scaling potential that could increase the availability of sustainable nutritious foods for consumers. The first survey was a listing exercise (or a short audit, as it is called by Work Package 1 of SHiFT). This listing exercise was almost exclusively an observational exercise, taking place within selected areas of the urban, peri-urban, and rural sites. The idea was to understand the proportion of different types of businesses available, what was sold at those businesses, and to understand if people could sit down at the establishment or not (particularly for restaurants). The second survey was a longer survey targeting outlets from the listing exercise that had a higher chance of being MSMEs and could potentially modify their food offerings. This MSME survey inquired about labor use, sources of foods or ingredients for foods sold, asset holdings of the business, access to and use of financial instruments, degree of formality, and perceptions of and desire to sell more sustainable nutritious foods. The MSME survey, in turn, was used to seed a third survey, targeted at suppliers, with the objective of identifying any potential constraints at the supplier level for expanding the offering of sustainable nutritious foods. Outlets participating in the MSME survey were asked to share the contact information of some of their suppliers, and a subset of these were reached by phone and administered a reduced version of the MSME questionnaire, inquiring about their businesses and perceptions. A secondary goal of the survey was to understand to what extent employment of women and youth relates to MSME activity. In particular, when devising interventions to help MSMEs offer more sustainable nutritious foods, we want to ensure that those interventions have either a positive or neutral effect on employment among women and youth; in other words, we want to ensure that they do not have a negative effect on employment among these populations.
    Keywords: foods; surveys; employment; enterprises; sustainability; nutrition; small and medium enterprises; Vietnam; South-eastern Asia; Asia
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Hawley, Joshua D.,; Wichitaksorn, Nuttanan,
    Abstract: Using data from Thailand’s Labour Force Survey from 2012 to 2021, the differences over time were investigated for the likelihood of youths moving between employment states, such as unemployment, employment and out of the labour force. Additional transitions were calculated for groups moving between vulnerable and non-vulnerable employment and with respect to education level and part- or full-time work. This analysis is useful to understand trends in the Thai labour force and showcase a unique method using panel data with national- level surveys from the National Statistical Office.
    Date: 2024
  8. By: Reardon, Thomas; Awokuse, Titus; Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O.; Minten, Bart; Nguyen, Geneviève; Qanti, Sara; Swinnen, Johan; Vos, Rob; Zilberman, David
    Abstract: There is an important gap in the literature regarding evidence about the emergence of outsource agrifood services. We contend that there are few studies on outsource services for differentiated product value chains, particularly in developing countries. To some extent, also, there is a knowledge gap regarding the use and effectiveness of eco-certification and labeling compliance-assisting services in developed countries. The bulk of attention on outsource services is centered at the commodity phase (such as with bulk grains) and the modern stage, and less attention is being paid to the product differentiation phase. To fill these voids, we focus on three country illustrations, ranging in the product cycle phases from transitional to transitional-modern to modern, and from early differentiating case in Ethiopia (on basic quality) to intermediate differentiating case in Indonesia (on advanced quality and variety differentiation in mangoes), to advanced-differentiating case in France (on eco-labeling and certification). We focus on horticulture as it is rapidly growing, and rapidly differentiating both in developed and developing countries. We conclude that policies and public investments facilitating the formation of these services are important. Importantly, we found that without these emerging outsource services, farmers would not have been able to be resilient to the shocks of market requirements and climate change.
    Keywords: agrifood systems; value chains; developing countries; horticulture; Ethiopia; France
    Date: 2024
  9. By: Molintas, Dominique Trual
    Abstract: This instrument posits the GCC equation to outline the parameters of the Cordillera Corridor, Tea Trade Treaty. A tea corridor is the strategy for resource use of rugged mountain terrain in the Cordillera, Philippines; and the GCC equation substantiates the rudiments for cross-border competence. GCC would mean the “Gateway to Cross-border Competence” defined in a mathematical construct. The equation has specific relevance in the conjectures of tea cultivation, for the empowerment of Accession. GCC EQUATION = χYZ The strategy significantly underscores trade as a function of equity. With reason of, the research is a manifestation of the theory of change by illustration of the theory of competition. Inclusion and facilitation are the mechanisms of development, construed though farm support infrastructure, investing in health and wellness. Facilitation introduces the earmarking of Tea Tariffs for compulsory university schooling of the generation next. Trade escalates Government liquidity and institutionalizes stable farmer earnings. Given so, good life for these smallholder farmers is achievable. A special section captures the smallholder farmer opinion and sentiment in written and conversational exchange of ideas. Despite the uncalled hyperbole of a Cordillera Corridor intentions for manipulation, the section exposed the farmers' gung-ho to participate in tea cultivation for trade, that can only be curtailed by dearth of expertise and capital.
    Keywords: Cordillera, economic corridor, smallholder farmer, equity, tea, treaty accession
    JEL: B41 C02 C2 C26 J00
    Date: 2023–03–13
  10. By: Juan Daniel Hernandez (Université Paris Saclay, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, CEPS); Fernando Jaramillo (Universidad del Rosario, Bogota, Colombia); Hubert Kempf (Université Paris Saclay, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, CEPS); Fabien Moizeau (Université de Rennes, CNRS, CREM-UMR62111, F-35000 Rennes, France); Thomas Vendryes (Université Paris Saclay, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, CEPS)
    Abstract: The need to insure against idiosyncratic income risk leads to the formation of risksharing groups in village economies where formal financial markets are absent. We develop a theoretical model to address the impact of limited commitment and social control on the extent of informal risk-sharing when agents are induced to form such risk-sharing coalitions. Social control increases the prospect of the future punishment of present defectors and thus mitigates the absence of commitment. A defection-proof core-partition exists, is unique, and is homophilic. Riskier societies may not be more segmented and may not pay a higher cost for insurance. A higher social control leads to a less segmented society but does not necessarily lead to a lower price for sharing risk. We provide evidence, based on data on Thai villages, that consumption smoothing conforms with our theoretical result of homophily-based coalitions and that social control contributes to a lesser segmentation of a society.
    Keywords: Risk Sharing, Informal Insurance, Group Formation, Social Control, Risk Heterogeneity, Homophily, Dyadic Models, Thailand
    JEL: C71 D81 O12 O17
    Date: 2023
  11. By: Anusorn Minphimai
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of innovations in the payment system on household finance, focusing on consumption behaviors and financial literacy among low-income households. The investigation utilizes Thailand’s introduction of the cashless State Welfare Card to low-income households in 2017 as a quasi-experiment setting. The primary data sources for this study include the large-scale countrywide household socioeconomic survey (SES) conducted by Thailand’s National Statistical Office (NSO) and survey data from individuals in four provinces of Thailand. The empirical strategy in this study is primarily fuzzy regression discontinuity design. The results of the study reveal that individuals who receive the cashless State Welfare Card experience effective increases in consumption of the food and beverage items that are the target of the policy. Contrary to concerns about adverse impacts, such as overconsumption or using the card for unintended items like cigarettes, there is no evidence supporting these claims. Instead, people using the state welfare card exhibit better financial literacy and reduced risk-taking consumption behavior. The result underscores the importance of financial literacy training provided alongside the card. However, the study does not find sufficient evidence to suggest a significant impact on trust in the financial system.
    Keywords: Household Finance; Financial Technology; State Welfare Card; Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: E12 D12 D14
    Date: 2024–04
  12. By: Miyako Imamura (School of Management, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: This study clarifies how people working in Japan learn the paradox theory based on the outcome of a series of online training sessions on paradoxical leadership. Paradox theory has been the focus of attention in management studies, and its philosophy originates in Asian cultures. Therefore, Japanese workplaces can be seen as complicated places that have been embedded in Japanese culture; they have the effect of Western working culture at the same time. Paradox is embedded in Japanese company activity because of its cultural context; however, the scope of each job is becoming narrower and language use is becoming more explicit because of modernization Therefore, the paradox is seen as a problem for Japanese working people . The observation of the participants’ discussion and the outcome of their report also shows that they see the paradox as a “problem to be solved†and wish to learn a solution when the training starts. They gradually understand the idea of paradox theory: each condition relies on the other, goes back and forth, and synergizes with each other but never disappears. Participants then became interested in methods for navigating paradoxes, such as guardrails and gradually achieved a positive image of the paradox.
    Keywords: paradox, Japan anese context, modernization
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2024–04
  13. By: Reda Cherif; Fuad Hasanov; Madi Sarsenbayev
    Abstract: Oil-exporting economies face the risk of an acceleration in the energy transition. A risk-based approach calls for urgent preparation for the post-oil era by diversifying exports and transforming the prevailing growth model. We outline the principles of industrial policy to achieve this objective based on the experience of the Asian Miracles and propose a sketch of the strategy required to transform these principles into practice. The key component of the strategy is to select sectors along two dimensions—proximity to the current production structure or capabilities set and a timeframe for results to materialize. The three strategies—snail crawl, leapfrogging, and moonshots—determine how far from the current production structure the selected sectors are. These sectors need to show results both in the short run to jumpstart growth and ensure policy continuity—“quick wins”—and the long run to create a new growth model—“transformative gains.” We argue that the strategy should focus on supporting the exports of sophisticated sectors in both manufacturing and services while capitalizing on complex tasks and activities in existing industries but should leave non-sophisticated sectors such as tourism and non-tradable services to the private sector.
    Keywords: Diversification; Industrial Policy; Energy Transition; Oil Exporters
    Date: 2024–03–29
  14. By: Rogelio Mercado Jr. (The South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre); Luca Sanfilippo (International Finance Corporation)
    Abstract: Portfolio bond flows to emerging and developing market economies (EDMEs) from multi-sector bond funds (MSBFs) are volatile and highly concentrated, rendering them potentially risky. This paper uses a recent MSBF flows dataset to shed more light on capital flow push and pull factors and to provide new evidence on the effectiveness of capital account tightening measures in reducing volatile MSBF flows. The results show: (i) higher U.S. monetary policy rates and global risk aversion significantly reduce aggregate MSBF flows and those denominated in hard currencies, while stronger global commodity price growth and global liquidity significantly increase them; (ii) global and domestic GDP growth (surprisingly) have a countercyclical impact on MSBF flows during our sample period, and, importantly, (iii) capital account tightening measures that target fixed income investment funds are effective in reducing MSBF flows to EDMEs, especially during periods of increased stress. Together, these results provide new insights into multi-sector bond funds and the importance of designing and implementing targeted capital control measures.
    Keywords: multi-sector bond funds, portfolio bond flows, and capital controls
    JEL: G23 F21 F38 F41
    Date: 2024–04

This nep-sea issue is ©2024 by Kavita Iyengar. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.