Economics Working Papers

The Economics Working Papers series is a forum for stimulating discussion on research and policy studies that deal with economic and development problems facing the Asia and Pacific region.

  • 01 Dec 2012 | Publication

    Performance of the Service Sector in the Republic of Korea

    There is a widespread perception that the Republic of Korea's service sector lags behind its dynamic world-class manufacturing sector. We empirically analyze the past performance of the Republic of Korea's service sector in order to assess its prospects as an engine of growth. Our analysis resoundingly confirms the conventional wisdom of an underperforming service sector. In light of the Republic of Korea's high income and development level, the poor performance of modern services is of particular concern.
  • 01 Dec 2012 | Publication

    Inclusive Growth and Gender Inequality

    This study examines gender inequality in labor markets in Asia and the Pacific, with a focus on the structural drivers of women's labor force participation. Demographic survey data indicate that in Asia's lower-income countries, economic necessity is an important push factor behind women's employment. Also, being married and having young children both reduce the likelihood that a woman is employed. In a separate analysis for Taipei,China, this disincentive effect from young children on women's employment has increased over time.
  • 01 Dec 2012 | Publication

    Is Growth in Asia and the Pacific Inclusive?

    Inclusive economic growth challenges governments to achieve a high, sustainable rate of economic growth and to share opportunity equitably across society. It brings with it an operational challenge of finding an approach to performance measurement that captures the richness of the concept. This study applies one approach to assess the growth experience of 22 developing economies in Asia and the Pacific region. Special attention is paid to 11 economies - Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam.
  • 01 Nov 2012 | Publication

    Transactions: A New Look at Service Sector Foreign Direct Investment in Asia

    This paper presents new micro-level data consisting of individual greenfield investment projects and mergers and acquisitions as a source for detailed analysis of service sector cross-border investment flows among the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional members.
  • 01 Nov 2012 | Publication

    Developing the Service Sector as Engine of Growth for Asia: An Overview

    The maturing of the manufacturing sector in many Asian countries, combined with the relative backwardness of its service sector, has made service sector development a top priority for developing Asia. Our central objective is to broadly survey and analyze the current landscape of the region's service sector so as to assess its potential to serve as an engine for inclusive economic growth. Our analysis indicates that services are already an important source of output, growth, and jobs in the region.
  • 01 Nov 2012 | Publication

    Assessing Factors Affecting M&As versus Greenfield FDI in Emerging Countries

    A host of external (global and regional) and internal (country-specific) factors affect Multinational Enterprises' Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) decisions. Differentiating the two entry modes of FDI (mergers and acquisitions [M&A] and Greenfield investment), this paper aims to empirically assess whether or not being a part of global emerging market economies or any specific emerging regions affects investors' decisions of FDI flows to an emerging country in addition to various country-specific factors.
  • 01 Nov 2012 | Publication

    Prospects for Services Trade Negotiations

    Trade and investment in services are difficult to measure, and the regulatory barriers that inhibit the free flow of services are hard to quantify. As a result, very little attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to services trade and investment. Rather, free trade negotiations tend to focus on liberalizing merchandise trade.
  • 01 Nov 2012 | Publication

    Is Timor-Leste's Growth Inclusive?

    The newly independent Timor-Leste has established itself as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the Pacific. A concentration of economic activity in the capital has, however, raised the concern that the better off members of society are capturing most of the benefits. This study examines the first decade of the restoration of independence to assess if Timor-Leste's economic growth has been inclusive. Opportunity is found to have been provided to a larger share of the population, with those on lower as well as higher living standards enjoying more opportunity.
  • 01 Nov 2012 | Publication

    Valuing Electricity Service Attributes: A Choice Experiment Study in Madhya Pradesh, India

    This paper presents the results of a choice experiment study undertaken to value electricity service attributes in Madhya Pradesh, India. Primary data was collected from 2,083 households using stratified random sampling method. Results show that existing service is very poor and consumers have substantial willingness to pay (WTP) for changing the status quo. Amongs the studied service attributes, hours of supply captures the highest WTP and WTP declines significantly with reduced hours of supply.
  • 24 Oct 2012 | Publication

    Reducing Disparities and Enhancing Sustainability in Asian Pension Systems

    The paper highlights the need to undertake systematic pension reform to provide affordable, adequate, and sustainable economic security to Asia's large and growing elderly population.