Economic Staff Papers

  • February 2001

    Poverty Line: Eight Countries' Experiences and the Issue of Specificity and Consistency

    'Specificity or relevance' of a poverty line refers to the extent to which the poverty line could reflect the specific characters of an area. 'Consistency or comparability' concerns with the ability of the poverty lines to indicate comparable level of 'welfare' across space and time. The paper presents eight countries' experiences in deriving their poverty lines. It particularly pays attention to the above two issues.
  • December 2000

    Poverty and Inequality in Indonesia Estimates, Decomposition, and Key Issues

    This article argues that the decline in the incidence of poverty in Indonesia during the past two decades, as shown by the official estimates, is statistically as well as practically significant. Decomposition results using the official estimates indicate that intra-sectoral effects, in particular the decline in rural poverty in the 1980s, were the largest contributor to the drop in aggregate poverty. The decomposition also shows an unexpected result that population shift did not have a positive impact on poverty reduction.
  • November 1999

    Social Consequences of the Financial Crisis in Asia

    This paper assesses the social impact of the Asian financial crisis, drawing on the results of studies in six countries, namely, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. The impacts appear to be less than were anticipated early in the crisis. However, it seems too early to draw conclusions about the eventual social consequences. First, the data on which the present is based were collected at a relatively early stage in the crisis. There was a lag of several months between the economic effects and the social impacts of the crisis.
  • July 1999

    The Asian Crisis: An Alternate View

    The paper argues that the macro focus of the literature on the Asian crises is not helpful in understanding the causes of the crises. The actual causes lie deeper in the operation of the corporate sector. In this context, the paper analyzes the micro behavior of individual firms. Risk loving behavior of revenue-maximizing firms, engendered by the policy environment and the working of the financial sector, leads domestic producers to expect a continuation of specific incentives and expansions in demand.
  • March 1999

    Economic Analysis of Health Sector Projects - A Review of Issues, Methods, and Approaches

    The paper asserts that project designs and benefit valuation in the health sector are much more complex than in other sectors that traditionally apply economic cost-benefit analysis. Economic analysis should therefore begin at the early stage of project development. Improved project economic analysis provides a strong basis for choosing between project alternatives and program and project approaches. The selected option to meet the likely demand for project activities is further evaluated to examine their worth from the point of view of the national economy and long-term sustainability.
  • February 1999

    Urban-Rural Differences in Costs of Living and their Impact on Poverty Measures

    This note demonstrates empirically the importance of urban-rural price differences and inflation figures in poverty analysis in Indonesia. Using data from the National Socio-Economic Survey (Survei Sosial Ekonomi Nasional, widely known as Susenas), it shows that the urban-rural food price differential during the period 1987-1996 was 13-16%, not 28-52% as implied by the 'official' food poverty lines. The urban-rural poverty comparisons and the components of change in simulated poverty estimates presented here therefore differ from those based on the 'official' figures.
  • January 1998

    Challenges for Asia's Trade and Environment

    The recent rapid growth in Asia's trade and the degradation of its environment, together with discussions in international fora such as the World Trade Organization, have highlighted the linkages between the region's trade and environment. Trade policy is a relatively inefficient method of achieving environment objective but is one of the few peaceful means of influencing the environment in other countries, which may affect the domestic environment or industrial competitiveness. Similarly, environmental policies often have implications for international trade.
  • September 1997

    Aspects of Urban Water and Sanitation in the Context of Rapid Urbanization in Developing Asia

    The problem of access to urban water and sanitation services is becoming all too obvious in developing Asia, especially in the less developed economies. Rapid urbanization in the coming years implies that the problem can only worsen under a "business-as-usual" sort of policy regime. Clearly, a redoubling of efforts is called for to deal with the situation. This paper attempts to examine some relevant key issues and identify ways of addressing them.
  • July 1996

    The Emerging Global Trading Environment and Developing Asia

    This paper is being carried out in two phases: the first focusing on a region wide analysis and the second on an in-depth examination of possible country-specific strategies for ten Asian developing countries (ADC). It provides a summary of the results emerging from the first phase of the study. Included here are the agreements relating to the Multifibre Arrangement, intellectual property rights, antidumping, safeguards, and dispute settlement understanding.
  • February 1994

    Growth Triangles: Conceptual Issues and Operational Problems

    This paper examined the major costs and benefits associated with growth triangles. It is possible to conclude that members must minimize start-up costs, if possible by taking advantage of existing infrastructure facilities. In terms of benefits, long-term considerations such as regional development and human capital development may be more important than traditional concerns such as foreign exchange earnings and employment generation. Growth triangles may also be useful in demonstrating the importance of overall economic reforms that reduce distortions.