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 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Trends, Persistence, and Volatility in Energy Markets

    This paper conducts a study on the underlying price dynamics of energy prices and its impact on the macroeconomy of Asian countries. The paper studies underlying trends to help identify the time series path of nonrenewable energy resources and determine the persistence of oil price shocks. The study also examines the causal relation between oil prices and the macroeconomy allowing for nonlinear models that have been recently advocated in the literature. The study describes the relation between oil prices and agricultural commodities.
  • 01 Sep 2011 | Publication

    Evaluating Social Protection Programs in Tajikistan

    This paper examines the impacts of Tajikistan's public transfer programs on poverty reduction, with the aim of identifying key challenges. As the government provides these public transfers mainly as pensions, these programs merit an in-depth analysis of whether or not they reach their intended beneficiaries. This study argues for the need to apply a targeted approach to Tajikistan's public transfer programs, including noncontributory pension schemes aimed at the most vulnerable populations.
  • 01 Sep 2011 | Publication

    The Role of South-South FDI in the Economies of Developing Asia

    This paper describes the size of South-South foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing East Asia and the trends in it, and the characteristics of the investing countries and the investments themselves. It summarizes findings about industrial composition of FDI; effects on host countries; and effects on host-country firms' productivity, wages, and employment. The analysis shows that the increased presence of South FDI in East and Southeast Asia might have different effects on host economies from those of FDI from the North.
  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    Creating Good Employment Opportunities for the Rural Sector

    This paper examines the potential for sector-specific productivity growth, human capital, credit markets, and infrastructure to contribute to the development of stable, well-paid employment in rural areas of low-income countries. Particular emphasis is placed on the way that different sectors of the rural economy interact with each other and with local and regional product markets.
  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    South-South Economic Linkages: An Overview

    This paper surveys the expanding South-South international economic linkages in recent decades and notes the growth in the areas of trade and investment relations; and in various other forms of economic relationships as well such as through labor markets, technology, policy coordination, and regional cooperation. Looking ahead, the prospects are that the changing architecture of international economic relations that South-South cooperation reflects will continue to gain in importance and will contribute to growth across the developing world.
  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    Effects of Trade and Services Liberalization on Wage Inequality in India

    India's economic reforms of the 1990s are widely credited with having raised India's rates of economic growth. They are also believed to have contributed to a widening of inequality. This paper uses labor force survey data from India to examine the extent to which trade and services liberalization - key components of India's economic reforms - have contributed to increases in wage inequality.
  • 01 Aug 2011 | Publication

    Foreign Direct Investment, Technology Diffusion, and Host Country Productivity Growth

    This paper investigates whether foreign direct investment (FDI) has statistically significant effects on host countries' economic performance, such as total factor productivity. It evaluates whether these spillover effects depend on the sending countries' income levels, and shows that the impacts of FDI from developed countries, North - South effects, are more prevalent, but not the South - South effects.
  • 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.