Economics Working Papers

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.

  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    Energy Security and Economics of Indian Biofuel Strategy in a Global Context

    The emergence of biofuel as a renewable energy source offers opportunities for climate change mitigation and greater energy security for many countries. At the same time, biofuel represents the possibility of substitution between energy and food. For developing countries like India, which imports over 75% of its crude oil, fossil fuels pose two risks - global warming pollution and negative economic impacts of oil price hikes.
  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    On the Concept of Equity in Opportunity

    Measuring the equity of opportunity in a given society is an essential ingredient in the formulation of policies and programs that promote inclusive growth. This paper defines and measures equity of opportunity through the theoretical framework of the social opportunity function, a concept similar to the social welfare function. The measures proposed in the study are used to analyze changes in the opportunities in education and health care in the Philippines from 1998 to 2007.
  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    Poverty in Asia and the Pacific: An Update

    This paper updates poverty estimates for Asia and the Pacific from 2005 to 2008. It is found that those living below the $1.25 poverty line decreased from 903.4 million to 753.5 million and those below the $2 poverty line from 1.8 billion to1.63 billion. However, Asia and the Pacific region remains home to the majority of the global poor. And performance of poverty reduction varied considerably across subregions and countries, with poor economies generally lagging behind.
  • 01 Jul 2011 | Publication

    South-South Trade: An Asian Perspective

    This paper examines trends and patterns of South-South trade in Asian economies, with emphasis on the implications of the growing importance of global production sharing and the rise of the People's Republic of China. The findings suggest that growth of South-South trade of Asian economies has not lagged behind what one would expect in terms of the standard determinants of trade potential, and that South-South trade is largely complementary to, rather than competing with, South-North trade.
  • 01 Jul 2011 | Publication

    Asia's Changing Role in World Trade: Prospects for South-South Trade Growth to 2030

    This paper projects the world economy to 2030 to demonstrate the extent to which developing Asia's rapid economic growth is likely to further shift the global industrial center of gravity away from the North Atlantic to Asia, increase the importance of Asia in world trade, and boost South-South trade.
  • 01 Jun 2011 | Publication

    Mapping Vertical Trade

    The paper develops a method to map global networks of production sharing and processing trade. Relying on highly detailed bilateral trade data across a matrix of 75 countries, a network index gauges countries' interdependence according to the extent of trade in parts and components for further processing and assembly of final export goods. The set of bilateral network relations is then subjected to an algorithm that lays it out for visualization as a world map of vertical trade networks.
  • 01 Jun 2011 | Publication

    When Fast Growing Economies Slow Down: International Evidence and Implications for the People's Republic of China

    Using international data starting 1957, this paper constructs a sample of cases where fast-growing economies slow down. The evidence suggests that rapidly growing economies slow down significantly, in the sense that the growth rate downshifts by at least 2 percentage points when their per capita incomes reach around $17,000 in year-2005 constant international prices, a level that the People's Republic of China should achieve by or soon after 2015. Among more provocative findings is that growth slowdowns are more likely in countries that maintain undervalued real exchange rates.
  • 01 Jun 2011 | Publication

    Can Skill Diversification Improve Welfare in Rural Areas? Evidence from the Rural Skills Development Project in Bhutan

    This paper investigates the short-term effects and the determinants of participation in a vocational skills training program that was intended to diversify incomes outside of agriculture. It finds limited positive impacts of the program along various economic, social, and psycho-social dimensions with the exception of diversifying household incomes into the skill areas. Females are significantly less likely to participate.
  • 01 Jun 2011 | Publication

    Effectiveness of Capital Restrictions: Do Regional and Income Differences Matter?

    This study examines the differences in the effectiveness ofde jurecapital restrictions across economies in different regions (Asia versus non-Asia) and with varying income levels. It uses a panel of 45 economies over the period 1995 - 2007. The results show that differences in regional and income levels matter for the effectiveness of capital restrictions.
  • 01 May 2011 | Publication

    Effects of Financial Market Imperfections on Indian Firms' Exporting Behavior

    This paper investigates the impact of financial constraints on the exporting behavior of Indian manufacturing firms using data from more than 6,000 manufacturing firms in India for 1996-2008. The authors find empirical evidence that Indian manufacturing firms tend to self-finance their exporting without relying too much on external finances, which indicates that firms face financial constraints. Recent financial liberalization in India still does not seem to allow the financial system to meet the stronger demand for funds by firms.