ADBI Research Current Topics | Asian Development Bank

At the forefront of growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

ADBI Research Current Topics

  • Adjustments to Trade Opening

    How should trade adjustment policies be designed to achieve inclusive outcomes? International trade can create jobs, enhance economic growth, and reduce poverty. However, not everyone benefits equally from more open trade regimes; some groups might suffer from adverse effects. This project aims to better understand the process of adjustment to trade opening, in order to ensure that trade becomes an engine of economic growth and inclusive development. More

  • Finance and Innovation

    Productivity is critical in driving cross-country differences in economic growth and per capita income. A large part of it can be explained by endogenous innovation. We will bring to the forefront issues related financing innovative firms and motivating innovation, and explore institutional, legal, and financial developments that affect innovation, their rate of success, the dynamism of firms, and their contribution to economic development. More

  • Financial Inclusion, Regulation, and Education

    Access to affordable financial services for low-income households and small businesses in some Asian countries remains low, impeding economic development and contributing to inequality of income and opportunities. Research in this area identifies and evaluates policy options for expanding financial inclusion while maintaining financial stability. More

  • Globalization and Economic Stability

    There is a strong and well-justified theoretical assumption that globalization improves welfare. Yet many observers have noticed that domestic financial crises and income inequality have grown alongside globalization. In addition, the engine of globalization has faltered since 2008. This project aims to highlight issues of balancing growth and stability in an uncertain global economic environment with increasing protectionism, and to explore various institutional, legal, and financial tools that may help reduce economic volatilities and income inequalities arising from globalization and anti-globalization. More

  • Globalization, Environment, and Climate Change

    The human impact on our planet is unprecedented. Long-term changes in the earth’s environment and climate system are significant. The danger posed by air pollution and climate change is enormous. More and more countries and global bodies now understand that air pollution is a modern plague in developing countries, killing more people than wars, hampering economic development, and endangering the health of urban populations. We will highlight issues related to globalization, environment, and climate change, and explore institutional, legal, and financial mechanisms that may help reduce emissions and promote sustainable development. More

  • Housing Policy for Inclusive Growth in Asia

    To mitigate income disparities in emerging Asian countries, housing policy is an important means to support adequate housing for lower-income and middle-income groups. Research in this area examines various ways in which government policy can support housing investment with important implications for the financial stability of advanced and developing countries. More

  • Human Capital Development for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity

    Despite the strong economic growth enjoyed by most Asian countries in the past decades, some groups of people are falling behind—in many cases with widening gaps between income and wealth. Improvement in shared prosperity requires growth to be inclusive of those who are less well-off. More

  • Income Inequality in Asia

    Rapid economic growth in Asia in recent decades has greatly helped reduce poverty but has also been accompanied by a growing income gap in many countries. We analyze the extent of income inequality in Asia, its drivers, and what to do about it. More

  • Middle-Income Trap in Asia

    The middle-income trap refers to the phenomenon where rapidly growing economies stagnate at middle-income levels and fail to transition into a high-income economy. We analyze the factors that may lead a country to fall into the middle-income trap and examine measures that could prevent it. Cross-country studies are conducted to draw lessons and experiences. More

  • Overweight and Obesity

    In recent years, Asia has not only recorded high rates of economic growth but also of accelerating prevalence of overweight and obesity, which are important risk factors for various chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers. This project aims to better understand the determinants of the growth of overweight and obesity in Asia and the Pacific and to estimate their costs for health systems and the economy. More

  • Structural Change and Inclusive Growth

    In recent years, there has been renewed interest in finding the real cause of income and wealth inequality. At the same time, structural transformation, as seen in the movement out of agriculture, remains commonplace and creates enormous potential for growth, particularly in Asia and Africa. This project examines the link between structural transformation and inequality. More

  • Sustainable Development Goals and Trade

    In September 2015, United Nations members agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will guide development efforts until 2030. Trade is recognized as an important means to achieve these goals. This project aims for a triple win: good trade policy that spurs international trade, contributes to development-friendly outcomes, and supports the achievement of the SDGs. More