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

    Impact of Population Aging on Asia's Future Growth

    This paper examines the quantitative impact of population aging on economic growth in 12 developing Asian economies that make up the bulk of the region's population and output. This document finds that the demographic dividend that contributed to growth is set to decline visibly in 2011-2030. In fact, the dividend will turn into a tax that reduces growth in the region's older countries.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Quality Employment and Firm Performance Evidence from Indian Firm-Level Data

    This paper examines the relationship between quality employment and firm performance using multiple measures of employment quality. This document finds that greater employment compensation leads to higher profit, labor productivity, and capital productivity. However, providing more direct employment leads to lower profits and productivity, and increases in gender equality negatively affects labor productivity.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    The Economic Life Cycle and Support Systems in Asia

    This paper finds that family transfers remain a significant source of old-age income support in many Asian economies. Since public transfers are still relatively underdeveloped, the region has an opportunity to build sound transfer systems free from unsustainable obligations. A healthy degree of reliance on asset accumulation can also support living standards via capital deepening.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Exports and Employment in Indonesia: The Decline in Labor-Intensive Manufacturing and the Rise of Services

    Employment generation has been a challenge in Indonesia since the Asian financial crisis, especially in labor-intensive manufacturing. This paper examines the impact of exports on jobs based on an analysis of input-output tables over the period 1995-2005. This document finds that fewer jobs were created through exports in manufacturing industries in 2005 than before the crisis.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Winners and Losers of Multinational Firm Entry into Developing Countries: Evidence from the Special Economic Zones of the People's Republic of China

    This paper examines the success of the People's Republic of China's special economic zones (SEZs) at attracting high-productivity firms and whether this has led to higher wages for workers. The paper finds that the SEZ experiment effectively attracted foreign capital and high-productivity domestic firms. However, the results indicate modest real wage gains for workers, suggesting firms have captured majority of benefits of SEZs through higher profits.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Population, Wealth, and Economic Growth in the Asia and Pacific Region

    This paper shows how changes in population age structure have been favorable to improved living standards throughout developing Asia during recent decades. However, over the decades, growth in the oldest age groups could serve as a serious drag on economic growth. Given appropriate development policies, however, population aging can lead to increased capital, greater investment in education and health, and continued economic growth.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Why Does Population Aging Matter So Much for Asia? Population Aging, Economic Growth, and Economic Security in Asia

    This paper describes the region's old-age support systems, and highlight the socioeconomic implications of the demographic transition. Aging populations present two fundamental challenges to Asian policymakers: (1) developing socioeconomic systems that can provide economic security to growing numbers of elderly while (2) sustaining strong economic growth over the next few decades. Successfully addressing these two challenges will be vital for ensuring Asia's continued economic success in the medium and long term.
  • 01 Oct 2011 | Publication

    Population Aging and Aggregate Consumption in Developing Asia

    This paper examines the effect of old-age dependency ratio on the share of consumption in gross domestic product, and test for a possible difference of this relationship in Asian economies relative to the rest of the world. The findings suggest that the positive effect of the old-age dependency ratio on consumption share in Asia is weaker than that for the rest of the world, implying that the aging population in Asia may not be contributing as significantly to robust consumption and domestic demand as it does in the rest of the world.
  • 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.