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We index full-text journals with open access platforms in our NEW Asia-Studies Full-Text Plus section. Here is the list of journals available.

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

July, 2017 Current Topics

 

Source

 

 

 

 

Thailand's Triple Threat, July 2017. King Vajiralongkorn’s elevation to the Chakri throne comes after decades of whispers that he is an unsuitable king for Thailand. Despite these concerns, the military leadership has swung behind their new monarch. But the potential for future turbulence under the government led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha is high. The fluid situation in Bangkok is complicated by the potential escalation and expansion of separatist violence in southern Thailand. The question is how will Thailand respond to the triple threat of King Vajiralongkorn’s ascension, the entrenchment of military rule, and the potential escalation of separatist violence emanating from the southern provinces...

 

Lowy

Should Thailand Join the TPP? July 2017. This paper reviews the potential gains and losses for Thailand if the country joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Had the United States remained a member of TPP, the preferential market access to the country would be a major source of gains. However, the intellectual property right (IPRs) provisions in the TPP may have adverse impact on pharmaceutical expenditure in Thailand. While there are other issues covered in TPP, these are likely to be either non-binding constraints (e.g. investment agreement) or having effects that are difficult to be quantified across time and space (e.g. government procurement, environmental agreement). While there is belief that the TPP and cumulative ROO in particular could alter supply chain of production network, this is unlikely to occur due to a number of exceptions in the TPP itself.

 

ISEAS

Impact of TPP-11 on Japanese Manufacturing Affiliates in ASEAN, July 2017. This paper discusses how tariff reductions through TPP may affect Japanese manufacturing affiliates in ASEAN countries. Without the U.S., there is some uncertainty in the impact of TPP on the investment and expansion plans of Japanese affiliates in Malaysia and Vietnam’s textile and footwear industries. Similarly, it is also uncertain that Japanese affiliates in ASEAN non-TPP member countries will shrink their business in these industries. In the case of other industries, the TPP-11 will not affect Japanese affiliates because market access will not be different between TPP and non-TPP member countries.

 

ISEAS

Dynamics of Ride Sharing Competition, July 2017. This paper studies the dynamics of ride-sharing competition. Ride-sharing is modelled as a spatial two-sided market with heterogeneous passengers and drivers, both located on a Salop (1979) circle. The model is simulated to study four aspects of ride-sharing competition:(i) price distribution and dynamics, (ii) strategic pricing, (iii) fixed pricing vs. surge pricing, and (iv) information-sharing. Dynamic platform competition in a spatial setting can generate distinct and persistent bands of fluctuating prices. Space and stochastic luck can mitigate winner-take-all effects in price competition...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #7: The Traditionalist Response to Wahhabi-Salafism in Batam. The rise of Wahhabi-Salafi ideology in neighbouring Batamis causing concern in Singapore. There are worries that some Singapore Muslims are being radicalized by Batam’s Islamic radio station Hang FM, which openly promotes Wahhabi-Salafi teachings. The uncovering by Batam police of a plan by five Indonesians to launch a missile from the island, targeting Singapore’s Marina Bay, and the arrest of some individuals linked to ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) in Batam in August 2016 strengthen these fears...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #6: Old Stereotypes, New Convictions: Pribumi Perceptions of Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia Today. Despite improvements in the position of ethnic Chinese in the reformasi era, critical and negative perceptions of them persist among prominent pribumi personalities, particularly in recent years. These include leaders of several Islamic organizations, nationalists who harbour suspicions about foreign powers, and some who were in mid-career and/or were well placed in the last years of the Suharto era. This latter group consists of retired senior military officers, senior scholars, as well as current and former senior government officials. The ethnic Chinese are often portrayed as outsiders who are already dominant economically, and who are trying to be politically dominant as well. Furthermore, it is often claimed that ethnic Chinese tend to be loyal towards China...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #5: The Natunas: Territorial Integrity in the Forefront of Indonesia–China Relations. In May 2017 the Indonesian military conducted a large-scale exercise in the Natuna Islands. This was in the wake of three incidents in 2016 that involved Chinese fishing boats. Jakarta accused the vessels of stealing fish within the Indonesian EEZ but Beijing considered these boats to be carrying out regular activities in Chinese traditional fishing grounds. Both Beijing and Jakarta acknowledge that the Natuna Islands belong to Indonesia. But while the Chinese avoid mentioning the issue of the islands having an EEZ, Jakarta openly claims that the islands definitely do have an EEZ...

 

ISEAS

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2017Q3, July 2017. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 3.6% in 17Q2, when compared with the same period in 2016, moderate from the 4.3% growth in 17Q1. In 17Q3, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 3.2% when compared with the same period last year. Comparing to the 2.0% growth in 2016, we expect Hong Kong GDP will pick up and grow between 2.8% to 3.6% in 2017, upward revised by 0.7 percentage point comparing to our previous forecast reflecting strong domestic demand.

 

HKU

Australia and Germany: A New Strategic Energy Partnership, July 2017. his STRATEGY paper evaluates the prospects for the development of a strategic energy partnership between Australia and Germany based on the potential for Australia to emerge as Europe’s major supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG). At first glance, Australia’s growing export capacity, backed by its reputation as a safe, reliable and secure supplier, seems to be a perfect fit in Europe’s quest for new suppliers and in Germany’s search for new sources of electricity. Despite these potential synergies, this paper argues that Australia is unlikely to emerge as an LNG supplier to Germany in the foreseeable future. However, there’s much value for Australia and Germany in strengthening the broader energy relationship.

 

ASPI

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XX, Number 2, 2016  

IJKS

Low Fertility in Japan - No End in Sight, June 2017.  After more than 40 years of very low birth rates, Japan now has one of the oldest populations in the world. Sustained low birth rates mean that there are few children in the population and eventually few working-age adults to drive economic growth and support the relatively large proportion of elderly, who were born in a previous era when fertility was higher. But why are young Japanese having so few children? One reason appears to be the uncertain employment prospects for young men, which make them poor candidates for marriage...

 

EWC

Japanese Investments Are Instrumental to India's Act East Policy, June 2017. Monika Chansoria, Resident Visiting Fellow at The Japan Institute of International Affairs, explains that “Japan’s role in developing infrastructure in India’s northeastern region will be one of the key yardsticks to measure the “confluence” of India’s Act East initiative with Japan’s Indo-Pacific strategy.”

 

EWC

India, Japan, and the Indo-Pacific: Breaking Out of the Middle Power Status, June 2017 . Nidhi Prasad, Researcher at Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, explains that “India and Japan refuse to be caught in binary choices and are gradually creating room within which other Asian countries can maneuver.”

 

EWC

The Background to the First Ever Visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister, June 2017. Efraim Inbar, Founding Director of Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, explains that “The two nations share a common threat: the radical offshoots of Islam in the greater Middle East.”

 

EWC

Japan-India Development and Security Cooperation Should be Steady, not Rushed, May 2017. Shutaro Sano, Professor and Deputy Director at the Center for International Exchange, National Defense Academy of Japan, explains that “Tokyo’s position is consistent with Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, which aim to establish reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure within India and between India and its neighboring countries. ”

 

EWC

Asia Bond Monitor, June 2017. Continued improvement in global economic prospects helped drive yields lower in most markets in emerging East Asia amid positive investor sentiment. Between 1 March and 15 May, yields for both 2-year and 10-year government bonds declined in most emerging East Asian markets. Among all bond markets in emerging East Asia, Indonesia experienced the largest decline in yields during the review period, driven by positive investor sentiment and an expected credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings. Financial stability has improved as evidenced by declines in emerging East Asia’s credit spreads...

 

ADB

The Asian Bond Markets Initiative: Policy Maker Achievements and Challenges, Published 2017. The Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI) was launched in December 2002 by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea—collectively known as ASEAN+3 to strengthen financial stability and reduce the region’s vulnerability to the sudden reversal of capital flows. This paper also provides recommendations for addressing new sources of market volatility and other challenges within and outside the framework of the Asian Bond Markets Initiative.

 

ADB

2017 Pacific Energy Update. ADB is supporting access to energy, renewable energy generation, efficient use of resources, and strengthening public and private sector institutions in the Pacific. ADB works across the Asia and Pacific region to strengthen communities and improve lives by supporting governments, businesses, and infrastructure to operate more effectively. Clean energy is an essential resource for driving low-carbon economic growth and for enhancing the quality of life for people in the region. The Pacific Energy Update 2017 describes ADB’s work in the energy sector; it highlights how technical assistance and energy sector projects are helping to build resilient, low-carbon economies, while increasing access to clean, reliable power in the Pacific...

 

ADB

Modeling Eldercare by Children and Children-in-Law: The Role of Marriage Institutions, June 2017. Children and potential children-in-law make individual decisions regarding the provision of eldercare. They respond to incentives: the more they can get paid for taking care of a needy parent-in-law the more they are likely to assist. Informal eldercare is often supplied by family members, more so in Asia than in the West...

 

ADB

The People’s Republic of China in the Middle-Income Trap? June 2017. In 2011, the People’s Republic of China's economy started to decline, raising concerns that the country could suffer severe growth slowdown or fall into the middle-income trap. Over the last decade, a growing body of literature dealing with the phenomenon of the “middle-income trap” (MIT) has emerged. The term MIT usually refers to countries that have experienced rapid growth and thus reached the status of a middle-income country in a very short period, but have not been able to further catch up with the group of high-income economies...

 

ADB

Costs and Potential Funding of Expanded Public Pension Coverage in Asia, June 2017. Many Asian economies are facing rapidly aging populations, which will dramatically raise pension and other old-age-related spending. Public pension burdens in most emerging Asian economies are still relatively small. However, there are a number of reasons to believe that they will increase markedly in the coming years...

 

ADB

Digital Trade Facilitation: Paperless Trade in Regional Trade Agreements, June 2017. Most regional trade agreements now feature one or more measures for electronically exchanging trade-related data and information. Digital trade facilitation refers to the application of modern information and communication technologies to simplify and automate international trade procedures. It is becoming essential to maintaining trade competitiveness and enabling effective participation in cross-border e-commerce...

 

ADB

Trans-Pacific Partnership Rules for Digital Trade in Asia, June 2017. Trans-Pacific Partnership members have successfully created a trade agreement with digital trade provisions that go beyond existing arrangements. Digital trade is upending the way consumers and companies do business. Digital trade and e-commerce have become major drivers of economic development by enhancing productivity and lowering costs of trade in goods...

 

ADB

The Impact of the TPP on Trade Between Member Countries—A Text-As-Data Approach, June 2017. With World Trade Organization negotiations in deadlock, countries are increasingly turning to preferential trade agreements to integrate their economies into the global trading system. We propose a new method to predict the impact of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on trade and welfare, taking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as a case study...

 

ADB

International Single Window Environment: Prospects and Challenges, June 2017. An international single window environment will allow information sharing for both public and private sector stakeholders in global supply chains. Various international institutions have supported the implementation of national/regional single windows. The next logical step would be to internationalize and make them interoperable to allow for greater collaborative information sharing...

 

ADB

The Imminent Obesity Crisis in Asia and the Pacific: First Cost Estimates, June 2017. Overweight and obesity cost Asia and the Pacific 0.78% of their GDP or US$166 billion annually. Over the past two decades, Asia and the Pacific have not only experienced rapid growth, but in parallel saw a rapid increase in overweight and obese people. The latest available data indicated that over 40.9% of adults in the region are overweight compared to 34.6% in 1990. It is well documented that obesity and overweight are one of the main risk factors of non-communicable diseases...

 

ADB

Can Online Markets Make Trade More Inclusive? May 2017. Technology-driven online trade reduces income inequality and makes trade more inclusive. To fully realize these new gains from trade, governments and export promotion agencies need to address remaining barriers to e-commerce...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2017.

 

VRAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, June 2017. GDP growth in Q1 2017 was higher than expected. The Singapore economy expanded by 2.7% in Q1 2017, which was higher than the median forecast of 2.6% reported in the March 2017 Survey. The economy is forecast to expand by 2.5% in 2017. For 2017 as a whole, the respondents expect the economy to grow by 2.5%, above the 2.3% in the previous survey...

 

MAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #4: The Emergence of Pork-Barrel Politics in Parliamentary Myanmar. In 2014 Myanmar introduced a constituency development fund (CDF) to sponsor small public works and development projects in each of the country's 330 electoral constituencies. As a form of "pork-barrel" spending, CDF programmes have long remained controversial among international donors, anti-corruption agencies and civil society watchdogs for their potential for corruption, embezzlement, waste of public money, vote-buying and other clientelistic behaviours. The CDF has however emerged in as an extremely popular instrument for lawmakers, in offering new opportunities for meeting the basic infrastructure and development needs of local communities...

 

ISEAS

Decoding the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), May 2017. Singapore is witnessing structural shifts in the global economic environment, characterised by rapid technological change, subdued and uneven global growth, and a rise of anti-globalisation sentiments. To prepare the Singaporean workforce and to make our businesses resilient to a future that is increasingly volatile and uncertain, seven mutually reinforcing strategies were recommended by the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE). The purpose of this research is to elucidate and analyse the underlying thinking behind the CFE strategies in order to determine potential gaps that could arise as the strategies are implemented in policies and operationalised in various government initiatives...

 

IPS

Can Russia Afford to Be a Great Power? June 2017. Russia wants to be recognised as a great power, and has sufficient economic power and potential to encourage it to behave accordingly. However, under its current leadership it recognises that there are economic limits to its behaviour. There is a consistent commitment to budget discipline and a measured allocation of resources among key claimants — the social and development sectors, as well as defence and security. That limits the allocation of resources to power projection, particularly of the hard variety, even if such allocation is at a level high enough to cause considerable discomfort in the West...

 

Lowy

China and the United States as Aid Donors: Past Trends and Future Trajectories, May 2017. Patrick Kilby, Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “Zhou Enlai enunciated his eight principles of Chinese Economic and Technical Assistance. These emphasized mutual benefit rather than 'unilateral alms', non-interference in the recipient government's policy and politics, and self-reliance.”

 

EWC

US Opportunities for Positive Engagement with Thailand and the Philippines, May 2017. David Lee, Researcher at the East-West Center in Washington, explains that “The central strategic task for policymakers is to maintain strong relationships with our partners in light of domestic challenges.”

 

EWC

Policy Response to Low Fertility in China: Too Little, Too Late? April 2017. In 1970, Chinese women were having an average of nearly six children each. Only nine years later, this figure had dropped to an average of 2.7 children per woman. This steep fertility decline was achieved before the Chinese government introduced the infamous one-child policy. Today, at 1.5 children per woman, the fertility rate in China is one of the lowest in the world. Such a low fertility level leads to extreme population aging--expansion of the proportion of the elderly in a population, with relatively few children to grow up and care for their aging parents and few workers to pay for social services or drive economic growth. China’s birth-control policies are now largely relaxed, but new programs are needed to provide healthcare and support for the growing elderly population and to encourage young people to have children. It will be increasingly difficult to fund such programs, however, as China's unprecedented pace of economic growth inevitably slows down...

 

EWC

Border Security Lessons for Australia from Europe’s Schengen Experience, May 2017. This Strategic Insights report explores Calum Jeffray’s key observations in his report Fractured Europe: the Schengen Area and European border security and analyses them through an Australian and then an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) border security lens. It also provides recommendations for Australian border security policymakers based on the lessons learned from the Schengen experience. It examines the implications of Schengen for ASEAN member states in the development of the ASEAN Economic Community.

 

ASPI

Asian Development Outlook 2017: Transcending the Middle-Income Challenge (Full Report, Highlights) covering Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and The Pacific. Developing Asia has continued to perform well, even as recovery in the major industrial economies remains weak. The region is forecast to expand by 5.7% in 2017 and 2018, nearly the 5.8% growth achieved in 2016. Decades of rapid growth transformed developing Asia from a low-income region to middle income. Sustaining growth to power the transition to high income will depend on much greater improvement in productivity. Innovation, human capital, and infrastructure are the three pillars of productivity growth. Supportive institutions and policies, underpinned by macroeconomic stability, can strengthen all three pillars. Asia’s dynamic track record suggests that attaining high income status, while challenging, is achievable.

 

ADB

Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank, Published 2017. This book is a history of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development bank established 50 years ago to serve Asia and the Pacific. Focusing on the region’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB itself, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific raises several key questions: What are the outstanding features of regional development to which ADB had to respond?

 

ADB

Divergent Monetary Policies and International Dollar Credit: Evidence from Bank-Level Data, May 2017. The US dollar's role in driving global financial stability is unmatched. We use a comprehensive and detailed bank-level data set to study how the divergence of central bank balance sheet policy in the US vis-à-vis the euro area and Japan affects the supply of international US dollar loans by global banks. Our empirical findings support the view that the contractionary effect of US monetary normalization on global dollar liquidity would be offset by an expansionary effect from a continued supply of US dollar loans by euro area and Japanese banks...

 

ADB

Central Banking below Zero: The Implementation of Negative Interest Rate Policies in Europe and Japan, May 2017. Negative interest rates are nothing new and markets react differently depending on the implementation. We provide an overview of the operational implementation of negative interest rates in Europe and Japan, drawing attention to the fact that there is precedent for negative policy rates and negative money market rates. We then address conceptual issues and summarize measures which define negative interest rate policies...

 

ADB

Why Do Children Take Care of Their Elderly Parents? Are the Japanese Any Different? May 2017. Japanese people care for elderly parents if they expect a bequest, but altruism and social norms determine their caregiving behavior. We conduct a theoretical and empirical analysis of why children live with or near their parents and provide care and assistance to them using microdata from a Japanese household survey, the Osaka University Preference Parameter Study...

 

ADB

Household Consumption Risk and Coping Strategies in Tajikistan: Evidence from Household Surveys, May 2017. igher exposure to financial risk is linked to lower household consumption and higher rates of poverty in Tajikistan. Forward-looking poverty analyses are essential for targeting and implementing poverty prevention interventions. In the presence of uncertainty and risk, the current poverty status of households is not a good indicator of whether they will be poor in the future. We examine consumption risk and risk-coping strategies in the case of Tajikistan, a country where frequent negative risks and adverse shocks are faced by its people...

 

ADB

Are Dragons and Tigers Catching Up? May 2017. The Asian “Dragon” economies have grown at a rate fast approaching the United States, while the Asian “Tiger” economies have shown less success. We study the catching-up process in per capita income of the so-called Asian Dragons and Tigers. First, we test the catching-up hypothesis using the longest time span ever considered, from 1870 to 2014. Second, we document the experiences of these two groups of economies and provide potential explanations for them...

 

ADB

Growth Slowdowns, Middle-Income Trap, and Demographic Profile in South Asia, May 2017. Investment in human capital is critical for innovation. The middle-income trap (MIT) is a scenario of rapidly growing economies that experience sudden stops and ultimately lead to stagnation at the middle-income level. Economic growth depends on changes in the demographics of a country. Conversely, the demographic change in economic growth has both positive and negative relationships, according to the literature. Further, testing a neoclassical model of economic growth is not adequately estimated in the field of demographic and growth slowdowns in South Asia...

 

ADB

Trade and SDG 13 – Action on Climate Change, May 2017. limate change policies do not operate in isolation. Other policy areas such as trade can influence whether climate objectives are achieved. We assess the interaction of international trade with climate policies, and the influence of trade on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on climate change. Although international trade contributes directly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increased trade can help to achieve development goals in a GHG-efficient manner, provided that GHG emissions are correctly priced everywhere...

 

ADB

Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Inequality: Evidence from the People’s Republic of China, May 2017. The inflow of foreign direct investment creates a wage gap between foreign and domestic firms in the People’s Republic of China. Based on theoretical analysis of the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the wage gap between foreign firms and domestic firms in the host country, we use data from the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database to measure these effects. Theoretical results show that the wage gap between foreign firms and domestic firms in the host country caused by the FDI labor transfer effect and technology spillover effect tends to increase then decrease, which implies an inverted U curve track...

 

ADB

The Evolving Multilayered Global Financial Safety Net: The Case of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations+3 Regional Financial Safety Net and the International Monetary Fund, May 2017. he Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+3 regional financial safety net (RFSN) is unlikely to prevent and manage crises. It needs more structured cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We argue that in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, the centralized international monetary architecture or the global financial safety net set up at the Bretton Woods conference is evolving towards a more decentralized...

 

ADB

Education, Globalization, and Income Inequality in Asia, May 2017. Higher levels of schooling increase income equality, while unequal education opportunities increase income inequality. We consider how education and globalization affect income inequality in Asia, using unbalanced panel data. The evidence supports the validity of Kuznets’ inverted-U hypothesis for the connection between income level and income inequality. However, when more variables are integrated into the model, the consistency of the inverse U-shaped curve becomes weaker...

 

ADB

Relationship between Infrastructure and Population Agglomeration in Urban India: An Empirical Assessment, May 2017. Better urban infrastructure does not necessarily increase population, but it improves a city's contribution to national economic growth. Deficiency of urban infrastructure facilities is one of the main problems behind the low rate of urbanization in India. It has also unfavorably affected the realization of the full potential of the urban sector’s contribution to national gross domestic product in India. From this perspective, by considering the population in Class I cities (cities with more than 100,000 people)...

 

ADB

Using Input–Output Analysis Framework to Explain Economic Diversification and Structural Transformation in Bangladesh, May 2017. Understanding the interlinkages of firms and sectors in the production process and how that leads to higher value added and trade growth has attracted increasing interest. Existing literature on economic growth and structural change relies on trade data to make pronouncements about a country’s competitiveness and long-term growth prospects through the acquisition of capabilities...

 

ADB

The Debate About the Sources of Growth in East Asia After a Quarter of a Century: Much Ado About Nothing, May 2017. The 1990s witnessed perhaps one of the most important debates in the history of growth and development on the sources of growth in East Asia. This paper reviews what the profession has learnt during the last 25 years about East Asia’s growth using growth accounting exercises and estimations of production functions...

 

ADB

Asia-Pacific Regional Integration Index: Construction, Interpretation, and Comparison, April 2017. The study develops an index to measure the degree of regional integration in Asia and the Pacific (48 economies in six subregions). The index comprises 26 indicators in six dimensions of regional integration, i.e., trade and investment, money and finance, regional value chains, infrastructure and connectivity, free movement of people, and institutional and social integration...

 

ADB

LED Street Lighting Best Practices, April 2017. Providing street and public lighting can account for up to 38% of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in some cities. New energy-efficient technologies and design can cut street lighting costs dramatically (up to 60%) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount. These savings can reduce the need for new generating plants and redeploy scarce capital to delivering energy access to populations in remote areas. The savings also allow municipalities to expand street lighting coverage to additional areas that include low-income and other underserved areas...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Journalists Shaped American Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Japan’s Military Seizure of Korea in 1905, Published 2017. By Daniel A. Métraux, Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA.

 

VRAS

The Palm Oil Global Value Chain: Implications for Economic Growth and Social and Environmental Sustainability, Published 2017. There is abundant literature focusing on the palm oil sector, which has grown into a vigorous sector with production originating mainly from Malaysia and Indonesia, and on increased palm oil consumption in many countries around the globe, particularly European Union states, China and India. This sector expansion has become quite controversial, because while it has negative social and environmental impacts, it also leads to positive benefits in generating fiscal earnings for producing countries and regular income streams for a large number of large- and small-scale growers involved in palm oil production. This document reviews how the social, ecological, and environmental dynamics and associated implications of the global palm oil sector have grown in complexity over time, and examines the policy and institutional factors affecting the sector’s development at the global and national levels...

 

CIFOR

Overview of Forest Tenure Reforms in Indonesia, Published 2017. Forest tenure reforms in Indonesia have evolved through dynamic, interactive, collaborative processes that have involved both State and non-State institutions. Both the processes and the products (such as policies and programs) of forest tenure reforms in Indonesia, such as the 1999 reforms that resulted in social forestry schemes, have not been effectively implemented in Indonesia due to the: onerous process of obtaining a permit; lack of direction and motivation of staff within implementing agencies in supporting social forestry; limited capacity and resources among both communities and implementing agencies to comply with the technical requirements to process the permit; and macro-level economic prioritization of extractive activities that concentrate benefits in the corporate sector. Moreover, women and marginal members of indigenous peoples and local communities have been largely left out...

 

CIFOR

Trends in Southeast Asia 2017 #3: Johor’s Forest City Faces Critical Challenges. The Forest City project in Johor, Malaysia is part of a larger plan to elevate Johor to development success, similar to Shenzhen’s evolution from Hong Kong’s backwaters to being a modern metropolis. However the project was embroiled in controversy from the beginning. The mixed development was meant to create sustainable homes, recreational areas, schools and business infrastructure that would house about 700,000 people, generate annual revenues of about RM30 million for the state, and create more than 60,000 jobs, including a substantial number for locals through a quota...

 

ISEAS

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Macroeconomic Review, Volume XVI, Issue 1, April 2017 (Full Report, Presentation Slides for Briefing):  

MAS

High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2017Q2, April 2017. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 3.3% in 17Q1, when compared with the same period in 2016, slightly faster than the 3.1% growth in 16Q4. In 17Q2, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 2.6% when compared with the same period last year. Comparing to the 1.9% growth in 2016, we expect Hong Kong GDP will pick up and grow between 2.1% to 2.9% in 2017, upward revised by 0.5 percentage points comparing to our previous forecast reflecting strong domestic demand.

 

HKU

American Global Primacy and the Rise of India, March 2017. As China asserts itself economically and militarily, the United States is faced with maintaining a balance of power in East Asia and safeguarding its global dominance. In contrast to its competitive position with China, the US relationship with India—projected to be the third-largest economy by 2030—is set on a more collaborative course. American support for a rising India aligns with its broader security and strategic goals. India, for its part, remains intent on achieving a position of regional primacy, but welcomes the US presence in the South Asia/Indian Ocean region. The two nations, for example, have signed an agreement giving each other access to military facilities, and they conduct many bilateral military exercises. These developments are a far cry from the mid–twentieth century, when Jawaharlal Nehru called for the removal of all foreign militaries from Asia. What factors pushed the India-US relationship in this new direction? And what shared interests and goals does the partnership reinforce?

 

EWC

North Korea Policy: Failure is the Only Option, April 2017. Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, explains that “The expectation that the superpower United States should always be able to impose its preferred solution upon international strategic problems is unrealistic.”

 

EWC

Uncertainty in ASEAN-China-US Relations on the South China Sea, April 2017. Nong Hong, Executive Director, Institute for China-America Studies, explains that “Sino-US strategic competition in the region is becoming inevitable, with Southeast Asian countries recognizing that they cannot opt out of such competition.”

 

EWC

The Trump Presidency and the Future of Indo-US Relations, April 2017. Pradeep S Mehta and Kyle Cote, Secretary General and Policy Analyst, respectively, at CUTS International, explain that “The bilateral relationship is expected to be dictated chiefly by business considerations and less by shared values or cultural connections; something for Indian representatives to consider when trying to maintain progress in Indo-US relations.”

 

EWC

Upgrade or Replace: a Cost Comparison of Australian Warship Service Live, April 2017. This analysis of warship service life options comes at a time when Australia is planning to embark upon a substantial naval shipbuilding venture. The Australian Government is first and foremost seeking a domestic build for the next generation of warships, but more broadly intends to stand up an indefinitely sustainable domestic shipbuilding industry. Australia has for several decades pursued a stop–start warship acquisition process, in which most vessels serve for about 30 years, generally including a major mid-life upgrade. The decision to pursue a continuous shipbuilding program now provides a chance to consider alternative models for the provision of warfighting capability. This Strategic Insights looks at the implications of warship service life for the overall cost-of-ownership and the operation of the RAN as an enterprise, and proposes options for consideration in the development of the future submarine and frigate programs...

 

ASPI

Resource Nationalism in Post-Boom Indonesia: the New Normal? April 2017. During the global commodity boom, Indonesia emerged as an exemplar of resource nationalism. The government introduced a range of nationalist policies in the mining sector, ranging from export bans to forced foreign divestment. Once commodity booms end, however, analysts generally predict that resource-rich states such as Indonesia will abandon the nationalist position with a view to attracting foreign investment. Indeed, historically, economic nationalism in Indonesia has peaked during the good times of a resources boom, and faded during an economic downturn. But the situation in Indonesia today seems to challenge these market-cycle theories. This Analysis examines the durability of contemporary resource nationalism in Indonesia. It argues that structural features of the post-Suharto political economy have sustained the nationalist policy trajectory that emerged during the boom...

 

Lowy

Emerging Indonesian Data Center Market and Energy Efficiency Opportunities, April 2017. Global data center energy use was estimated at 1.1% of total energy use in 2012 and is expected to increase to 2.5% by 2020. Indonesian data centers used an estimated 1.5% of total electricity generating capacity in 2014 and are expected to use between 2.0% and 3.0% by 2017. This report shows how Indonesia and other developing countries can attain up to 30% energy savings and improve the effectiveness, sustainability, and global competitiveness of data centers by adopting internationally proven energy efficiency measures.

 

ADB

Latest Asian Development Bank Institute working papers:  

ADB

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program Powering Asia in the 21st Century, Published 2017. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka can tap each other’s strength and potentially propel Asia’s future growth. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) vision provides the premise that SASEC countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka—which have grown robustly in recent years, can tap each other’s strength to realize their potential of propelling Asia’s future growth. They can harness their individual comparative advantages by cooperating better in facilitating trade and enhancing connectivity, and providing the subregion’s produce, better access to global and regional markets...

 

ADB

ADB Annual Report 2016 and ADB Financial Report 2016. The 2016 Annual Report reviews the significant economic transformation in Asia and the Pacific over the past 50 years, and the role played by ADB to support the region’s development to improve people’s lives. The report notes that while the region’s economic growth and success in reducing poverty have exceeded the most optimistic forecasts, there remain significant challenges to be addressed...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

Journal of Bhutan Studies, Volume 33, Winter 2015 and Volume 34, Summer 2016  

Bhutan

Latest Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Discussion Papers:  

PIDS

Latest Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Policy Notes:  

PIDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Investment Chapter and ISDS in the TPP: Lessons from Southeast Asia, April 2017. The investment chapter and investor-state dispute settlement provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership attracted significant media and public attention. This paper shows that ISDS-backed investment treaty commitments, aimed to liberalising and protecting FDI, are already widespread across Southeast Asian countries. However, these countries have been subjected to comparatively few ISDS claims and (very recently) two adverse treaty-based arbitration awards. Meanwhile, investors from Malaysia and Singapore have initiated claims. This backdrop partly explains not only why those two states and the other existing TPP signatories (Vietnam and Brunei) were willing to agree to ISDS-backed commitments in that FTA. It also makes it quite likely that ISDS provisions are not likely to become deal breakers for countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and even Indonesia in future trade agreements...

 

ISEAS

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, March 2017. The Singapore economy expanded by 2.9% in Q4 2016, which was higher than the median forecast of 0.8% for the quarter reported in the last survey. For 2016 as a whole, the economy recorded GDP growth of 2.0%, coming in above the respondents’ median forecast of 1.4%. The economy is forecast to expand by 2.3% in 2017. In the latest survey, the forecasters expect growth to be around 2.3% in 2017, up from the previous forecast of 1.5%...

 

MAS

Jati, Local Public Goods and Village Governance: Private Actions and Public Outcomes, Published 2017. This paper purports to understand whether voting along narrow parochial lines in
socially and ethnically fragmented societies has measurable gains. Using data from rural India, we establish that identity based voting, driven by membership in social and informal networks, will lead to enhanced participation in welfare programs, which in turn leads to increased consumption growth...

 

ASARC

Party Problems and Factionalism in Soviet Uzbekistan: Evidence from the Communist Party Archives, Published 2017. This paper examines party problems and factionalism in Soviet Uzbekistan, covering the period from the creation of the republic in 1924-1925 to independence in 1991. More specifically, it focuses on the social basis of politics, the existence of place-based elite networks, faultlines of conflict within the Uzbek elite, the prevalence of national and/or regional solidarities, and centralization and decentralization of appointment power. The prevailing theory on the subject is that politics in Soviet Uzbekistan was defined by indigenous “clans” or regional “solidarity networks”, resulting from traditionally strong family bonds and a clan-based social structure...

 

ISDP

Women, Peace and Security: the Way Forward, March 2017. The articles in this Strategic Insights paper, originally published on the ASPI Strategist website throughout March 2017, include analysis about what women, peace and security (WPS) means for Australia’s defence and national security. While ASPI has been fortunate to have some great analyses from contributors on WPS on The Strategist in the past, there’s always scope for more. With Australia’s National Action Plan on WPS up for review ahead of 2019, this year’s International Women’s Day provided an opportune time to build on those contributions and examine the way forward. Within the context of defence, it’s evident that strengthening women’s participation in the security sector and integrating gender perspectives contributes to capability and operational effectiveness. Yet it’s still an issue plagued with misconceptions and that needs to be better understood...

 

ASPI

Tiptoeing Around the Nine-Dash Line: Southeast Asia After Asean, February 2017. Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions on the planet, and its geopolitical importance is on the rise. While individual states in this part of the world have been strategically significant in the past, Southeast Asia now finds itself thrust into the limelight of international affairs as a result of the competition currently occurring between the US and China. Those developments have placed greater strategic weight and heightened attendant stresses on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the principal group representing the 10 countries in the region. Even as ASEAN’s strategic pertinence steadily increases, the member states of the grouping face a dilemma over collective action that challenges not only perceptions of ASEAN’s efficacy but also the overall security of Southeast Asia. How they and other interested actors—including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the US, Australia and Japan—choose to act now will shape the region for decades to come...

 

ASPI

Understanding China’s Belt and Road Initiative, March 2017. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (also known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR)) is one of President Xi’s most ambitious foreign and economic policies. It aims to strengthen Beijing’s economic leadership through a vast program of infrastructure building throughout China’s neighbouring regions. Many foreign policy analysts view this initiative largely through a geopolitical lens, seeing it as Beijing’s attempt to gain political leverage over its neighbours. There is no doubt that is part of Beijing’s strategic calculation. However, this Analysis argues that some of the key drivers behind OBOR are largely motivated by China’s pressing economic concerns. One of the overriding objectives of OBOR is to address China’s deepening regional disparity as the country’s economy modernises...

 

Lowy

The Two Levels of Russia's South China Sea Policies, March 2016. Alexander Korolev, Research Fellow at the Center on Asia and Globalization at the National University of Singapore, explains that “For Russia, the South China Sea issue is where two levels of its policies – systemic anti-hegemonic balancing and non-systemic regional hedging – intersect.”

 

EWC

Saudi King Salman's Visit to Indonesia: Bound by Ties of Islam, March 2017. Endy Bayuni, Editor-In-Chief at The Jakarta Post, asks “If it has taken this long for a Saudi leader to visit Indonesia, what is the true state of relations between the two countries?”

 

EWC

Japan's Security Policy Reform: Institutional Changes Facilitating a Larger Role in Regional Security, March 2017. Marta Ross, recent Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi International Affairs Fellow, explains that “These reforms are fundamentally reshaping how Japan communicates, thinks about, and implements national security policy by establishing a new institutional culture.”

 

EWC

Australian Defense Policy in the Trump Era, February 2017. Andrew Davies and Mark Thomson, Director of the Defence and Strategy Program, and Senior Analyst of Defence Economics, respectively, at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), explain that “It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration has what is needed to ‘underpin stability’ in the Pacific… Australia looks to the United States for leadership, but will not follow it blindly down the rabbit hole.”

 

EWC

Asia Bond Monitor, March 2017. Yields in advanced economies rose while yields fell in most emerging East Asian bond markets due to heterogeneous economic fundamentals and changes in risk appetite. Emerging East Asia has shown signs of improving economic growth and rising inflation and a decline in LCY government bond yields was seen in most markets given improving investor confidence. The improved outlook could also strengthen emerging East Asia’s financial markets against the possible reversal of capital flows in response to the Federal Reserve’s expected monetary policy normalization. The notable exception to the regional trend of declining yields was the People’s Republic of China, where 2-year and 10-year yields rose between 31 December and 15 February as the People’s Bank of China engaged in tightening measures to protect against asset and credit risks...

 

ADB

Asian Development Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2017 (Full Report):
Topics discussed in this issue of the Asian Development Review include growth convergence paths in Asia and the middle-income trap, impacts of minimum wage on employment and earnings for men and women in India, working conditions in developing economies, total factor productivity growth in manufacturing and services, the effect of undervaluation on economic growth in the presence of borrowing constraints, the movement of migrants between Southeast Asian economies, and determinants of household energy choices in Timor-Leste.

  ADB

Macroprudential Policy Frameworks in Developing Asian Economies, March 2017. This paper presents a general macroprudential policy framework that highlights important aspects for conducting policy. It also provides an overview of how some Asian economies, New Zealand, and the euro area implement their macroprudential policies. It reviews existing macroprudential policy frameworks of five high-growth developing economies—Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam—identifying improvements and continuing challenges for their financial systems, which will likely grow more complex. Identifying and addressing key issues will help improve their existing macroprudential policy frameworks.

 

ADB

Leverage and Capital Structure Determinants of Chinese Listed Companies, January 2017. This paper assesses the financial fragility of the Chinese economy by looking at risk factors in the corporate nonfinancial sector. Total debt in the People’s Republic of China has increased significantly in recent years, mostly on account of nonfinancial corporate debt. Earning and the financial performance of corporate firms have weakened, and so has the asset quality of the financial sector. In this paper, quantile regressions are applied to a rich dataset of Chinese listed companies contained in Standard & Poor’s IQ Capital database...

 

ADB

Green Growth Opportunities for Asia, January 2017. his paper assesses the low-carbon economy in Asia: how large it is today and how well it will fare in the future. Using patent and trade data, it analyzes the potential of Asian economies to capture value from the design and export of low-carbon technologies, acknowledging that these are only two dimensions of a multidimensional low-carbon economy. It conducts country-level analysis to identify which technologies different countries can specialize in and potentially scale up...

 

ADB

Agricultural Trade and Structural Change: The Case of Paraguay, March 2017. International trade is crucial to the employment structure in Paraguay. We study the effect of agricultural trade on structural change. For this purpose, we calibrate a three-sector general equilibrium model to quantify the role of trade in explaining the pattern of structural change in Paraguay. Paraguay experienced a significant rise in net agricultural exports as a percentage of aggregate output during the period 1962–2012...

 

ADB

Trade and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Promoting “Life on Land” through Mandatory and Voluntary Approaches, March 2017. Trade can promote sustainable wildlife trade. Sustainable Development Goal 15 deals with “Life on Land.” Its nine targets and three means of implementation cover a vast array of environmentally sensitive issues related to land-based renewable natural resources. We explore the channels through which trade can address them. Approaches are categorized as mandatory or voluntary...

 

ADB

Exchange Rate Behavior with Negative Interest Rates: Some Early Negative Observations, March 2017. Negative interest rates appear to have little effect on exchange rates. We examine exchange rate behavior during the recent period with negative nominal interest rates. We use a daily panel of data on 61 currencies from January 2010 through May 2016, during which five economies—Denmark, the European Economic and Monetary Union, Japan, Sweden, and Switzerland—experienced negative nominal interest rates...

 

ADB

Economic Influences on Child Growth Status, from the Children’s Healthy Living Program in the US-Affiliated Pacific Region, March 2017. The US-affiliated Pacific region needs policies that promote an active lifestyle and healthy food environment. Mean obesity level of the 2–8-year-old children in the region was 14.4%, 14.1% were overweight, 2.7% were underweight, 1.4% were stunted, and 6.8% were stunted at birth. Acanthosis nigricans prevalence was 5%, an indicator of pre-diabetes...

 

ADB

Trade and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): How Can Trade in Education Services Contribute to the SDGs? March 2017. International trade agreements can help promote the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ensuring inclusive and quality education. While trade can greatly contribute to providing more educational opportunities in the development world, its potential has not been fully exploited so far. We examine how international trade can help increase supply of and investment in higher education, thereby enhancing access and quality in support of the SDGs...

 

ADB

Impact of Macroeconomic Factors on Income Inequality and Income Distribution in Asian Countries, March 2017. Initial increases in gross domestic product redistribute income from the poor to the rich, but long term increases redistribute income from the rich to the poor. We examine the macroeconomic determinants of income inequality using dynamic panel data analysis based on the generalized method of moments over 1990–2013 across 33 Asian countries. In addition to the macroeconomic factors, we incorporate a series of political economic and demographic factors to provide more realistic estimates...

 

ADB

Salvaging the Trans-Pacific Partnership: Building Blocks for Regional and Multilateral Trade Opening? March 2017. United States (US) withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a setback for multilateral trade opening in the 21st century, but the TPP could still be useful for negotiating a new trade agenda. High hopes that the TPP would open up trade across the Pacific were dashed by the decision of the new US Government under President Trump to withdraw from the agreement in January 2017...

 

ADB

Financial Deepening and Innovation Efficiency: The Role of Political Institutions, March 2017. Financial deepening promotes innovation efficiency only when a country’s political institutions are sufficiently democratic. We investigate the effects of financial deepening on innovation efficiency for various democratic levels of political institutions using panel data from 69 countries spanning 1970–2010. Banking market deepening is associated with increased innovation efficiency only when political institutions are sufficiently democratic...

 

ADB

Measuring the Effects of Commodity Price Shocks on Asian Economies, March 2017. Greater integration and dependence on exports made Asia more vulnerable to external shocks. Commodity prices have become volatile over the past 2 decades, and their recent sharp decline has decreased the consumer price index inflation rates for most economies. While many Asian economies have benefited from low international oil and food prices, commodity exporters have suffered...

 

ADB

External Debt Sustainability and Vulnerabilities: Evidence from a Panel of 24 Asian Countries and Prospective Analysis, March 2017. External debt in many Asian countries has been sustainable. We assess the external debt sustainability in a panel of 24 emerging and developing Asian countries divided into four sub-panels, namely the regions of Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Central Asia, and the Pacific over the period 1993–2014...

 

ADB

Decreased Effectiveness of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan’s Aging Society, March 2017. As retirees make up more and more of the population, fiscal and monetary policies become less effective. We study how an aging population affects economic performance and the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies. We develop a New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous households, workers, and retirees...

 

ADB

The Transmission of Interest Rates Shocks to Asia – Are Effects Different Below the Zero Lower Bound? March 2017. Under positive eurozone interest rates, monetary policy shocks trigger positive spillovers to industry, and house and stock prices in Asia. We use a non-linear factor-augmented vector-autoregressive model to evaluate international effects of an unexpected decrease in euro area policy rates. Given the current environment of ultra low or negative interest rates,..

 

ADB

Inclusive Growth: Decomposition, Incidence, and Policies—Lessons for Asia, March 2017. Strong growth in agriculture is critical to making growth more inclusive. We examine dynamic measures of growth inclusiveness derived from growth incidence curves. These curves help identify the extent to which each decile of households benefits from growth. We discuss the main features of growth incidence curves, their design, computation, data requirements, and interpretation...

 

ADB

Different Faces of Inequality across Asia: Decomposition of Income Gaps across Demographic Groups, March 2017. Education, geographic location, and household composition are important drivers of economic inequality. Substantial evidence exists that economic inequality in Asia has been growing, but the dimensions of this inequality and its growth are far less clear. We evaluate inequality in household incomes per capita across various demographic groups in income surveys from six middle- and high-income countries across Asia: the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (2002); India (2004); Japan (2008); Republic of Korea (2006); the Russian Federation (2004, 2007, and 2010); and Taipei,China (2005, 2007, 2010)...

 

ADB

Structure Change and Urban Inequality in the People’s Republic of China, March 2017. Developments in the service industry helped decrease urban inequality in the People's Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is thought to be one of the most unequal economies in the world, but very few studies ever touched on the determinants and the evolution of its urban inequality...

 

ADB

Are Global Shocks Leading Indicators of A Currency Crisis in Viet Nam? March 2017. Global financial shocks and domestic credit growth rate are leading indicators of a currency crisis in Viet Nam. We aim to identify leading indicators of a currency crisis in Viet Nam based on an early warning system for the period 1996–February 2016...

 

ADB

Corporate Pension Plans and Investment Choices: Bargaining or Conforming? March 2017. Defined-benefit pension plans affect firms’ decisions on capital expenditure and choice of investment industries and locations. We investigate the impacts of defined-benefit (DB) pension plans on the corporate investment choices between diversifying and non-diversifying investments...

 

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

  

 
 

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