The ADB Economics Working Paper Series is a forum for stimulating discussion and eliciting feedback on ongoing and recently completed research and policy studies undertaken by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) staff, consultants, or resource persons. The series deals with key economic and development problems, particularly those facing the Asia and Pacific region; as well as conceptual, analytical, or methodological issues relating to project/program economic analysis, and statistical data and measurement. The series aims to enhance the knowledge on Asia's development and policy challenges; strengthen analytical rigor and quality of ADB's country partnership strategies, and its subregional and country operations; and improve the quality and availability of statistical data and development indicators for monitoring development effectiveness.
Rice Trade and Price Volatility: Implications on ASEAN and Global Food Security
This paper highlights the thinness of rice trade relative to wheat and maize, and the contrasting price volatility and tradability relations for wheat and maize, which display a positive correlation, and for rice, which show an inverse relation. The paper focuses on Southeast Asia, which hosts the world's biggest rice exporters and rice importers.
International Trade and Risk Sharing in the Global Rice Market: The Impact of Foreign and Domestic Supply Shocks
In recent years, rising food prices have returned as a concern for policy makers especially in developing countries. In this context, this paper examines how supply shocks, both domestic and foreign, have mattered to imports and consumption in the global rice market over 1960-2010. Such an investigation is important in assessing the role of trade in compensating for domestic shocks. If shortages lead countries to impose trade restrictions, then trade may not be allowed to play an important role in stabilizing consumption.
Bilateral Trade and Food Security
The authors analyze the relationship between food security and trade, focusing on food importers' exposure to sudden market failures from relying on a narrow range of international suppliers. They compute a bilateral import penetration index (BIPI), which gauges the degree to which a country depends on another for food imports.
The Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing Industry: Diversity and Challenges in Asia
Some countries and regions have been more successful than others in developing information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) services industries. India and the Philippines in particular have offered educated human resources at low cost, attractive fiscal incentives, and industrial parks although these factors alone do not explain the rapid growth of the industry there as other countries also had these strengths but failed to develop industries as rapidly.
Overcoming Critical Constraints to Sustaining Productivity Growth in Key Commodities of Asia and the Pacific
Two trends on yields have been observed for rice, wheat, and even edible oils in Asia. The deceleration of yield growth is one of these trends. The other relates to the differential yield increases across countries in the region. This study provides explanations for both trends and relates these to the exhaustion of the yield potential of current technology, emerging threats posed by climate change and other disturbances, varying levels of development across countries and hence the development of infrastructure, among others.
Empirical Determinants and Patterns of Research and Development Investment in Asia
This paper investigates the financial determinants of research and development (R&D) investment in Asia, where innovation is naturally seen as the key driver of future (high) economic growth. Listed nonfinancial firms from eight economies in region (the People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; the Philippines; and Singapore) are sampled for the period 2002-2011 using the Oriana database.
Housing and Housing Finance - A Review of the Links to Economic Development and Poverty Reduction
The paper provides a review of the literature that links housing, housing finance, and economic development. The housing sector may support poverty reduction and inclusive growth in two general ways. First, housing construction contributes to economic output, creates employment, and generates a demand for materials and related services. Second, improved housing raises the standard of living of occupants.
Agriculture and Structural Transformation in Developing Asia: Review and Outlook
Relative to other developing regions, developing Asia has experienced a slower decline in employment share in agriculture, compared to its output share; a rapid growth in labor and land productivity; and a shift from agricultural output from traditional to high-value products. The most successful Asian economies have pursued an agricultural development-led industrialization pathway. Nevertheless, agriculture remains the largest employer in many large Asian countries, hence future structural transformation must take into account agricultural transformation.
Globalization, Labor Market Regulation, and Firm Behavior
The paper analyzes the link between firm characteristics and labor market regulation in five Asian economies - Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. Labor market policies and labor standards do not only affects workers, but also influence firms' investment and employment decisions. The empirical analysis uses information from enterprise surveys. Empirical results describe systematic differences in the perceived level of labor market regulation.
Development Imperatives for the Asian Century
Despite Asia’s remarkable economic success in the last half century, income inequality has worsened substantially and the region has become the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases. Should Asia simply continue on its established growth path? How can Asian governments pursue growth strategies that are socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable?