Publications and Documents

Explore our data-rich research, policy analysis, toolkits, guidelines, and other resources on economics and key development topics. Our operational documents are also available in this section.

Economic Staff Papers


  • Poverty Line: Eight Countries' Experiences and the Issue of Specificity and ConsistencyPapers and Briefs |

    Poverty Line: Eight Countries' Experiences and the Issue of Specificity and Consistency

    This paper aims to revive the discussion about two practical issues of poverty line estimation; specificity or relevance and consistency or comparability

  • Poverty and Inequality in Indonesia Estimates, Decomposition, and Key IssuesPapers and Briefs |

    Poverty and Inequality in Indonesia Estimates, Decomposition, and Key Issues

    This article argues that the decline in the incidence of poverty in Indonesia during the past two decades, as shown by the official estimates, is statistically as well as practically significant.

  • Social Consequences of the Financial Crisis in AsiaPapers and Briefs |

    Social Consequences of the Financial Crisis in Asia

    This paper assesses the social impact of the Asian financial crisis, drawing on the results of studies in six countries, namely, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. The impacts appear to be less than were anticipated early in the crisis. However, it seems too early to draw conclusions about the eventual social consequences. First, the data on which the present is based were collected at a relatively early stage in the crisis. There was a lag of several months between the economic effects and the social impacts of the crisis. Second, many of the coping mechanisms used by poor households to maintain current consumption levels are likely to have deleterious consequences in the future. Third, due to data limitations, the study is incomplete in some areas.

  • The Asian Crisis: An Alternate ViewPapers and Briefs |

    The Asian Crisis: An Alternate View

    The paper argues that the macro focus of the literature on the Asian crises is not helpful in understanding the causes of the crises. The actual causes lie deeper in the operation of the corporate sector. In this context, the paper analyzes the micro behavior of individual firms. Risk loving behavior of revenue-maximizing firms, engendered by the policy environment and the working of the financial sector, leads domestic producers to expect a continuation of specific incentives and expansions in demand. Capacity expansion and capital increases, tools used for diversification and grabbing larger market shares, are financed by raising debt, resulting in high gearing ratios and making firms critically dependent on unimpeded cash flow and availability of credit.

  • Economic Analysis of Health Sector Projects - A Review of Issues, Methods, and ApproachesPapers and Briefs |

    Economic Analysis of Health Sector Projects - A Review of Issues, Methods, and Approaches

    The paper asserts that project designs and benefit valuation in the health sector are much more complex than in other sectors that traditionally apply economic cost-benefit analysis. Economic analysis should therefore begin at the early stage of project development. Improved project economic analysis provides a strong basis for choosing between project alternatives and program and project approaches. The selected option to meet the likely demand for project activities is further evaluated to examine their worth from the point of view of the national economy and long-term sustainability. Increased attention to the extent of cost recovery and the analysis of budgetary implication issues likewise enhance prospects for project impact and sustainability.

  • Urban-Rural Differences in Costs of Living and their Impact on Poverty MeasuresPapers and Briefs |

    Urban-Rural Differences in Costs of Living and their Impact on Poverty Measures

    This note demonstrates empirically the importance of urban–rural price differences and inflation figures in poverty analysis in Indonesia.

  • Challenges for Asia's Trade and EnvironmentPapers and Briefs |

    Challenges for Asia's Trade and Environment

    The recent rapid growth in Asia's trade and the degradation of its environment, together with discussions in international fora such as the World Trade Organization, have highlighted the linkages between the region's trade and environment. Trade policy is a relatively inefficient method of achieving environment objective but is one of the few peaceful means of influencing the environment in other countries, which may affect the domestic environment or industrial competitiveness. Similarly, environmental policies often have implications for international trade. In particular, there are widespread concerns that environmental instruments such as product standards or ecolabeling may be used as protectionist measures.

  • Aspects of Urban Water and Sanitation in the Context of Rapid Urbanization in Developing AsiaPapers and Briefs |

    Aspects of Urban Water and Sanitation in the Context of Rapid Urbanization in Developing Asia

    The problem of access to urban water and sanitation services is becoming all too obvious in developing Asia, especially in the less developed economies. Rapid urbanization in the coming years implies that the problem can only worsen under a "business-as-usual" sort of policy regime. Clearly, a redoubling of efforts is called for to deal with the situation. This paper attempts to examine some relevant key issues and identify ways of addressing them.

  • The Emerging Global Trading Environment and Developing AsiaPapers and Briefs |

    The Emerging Global Trading Environment and Developing Asia

    This paper is being carried out in two phases: the first focusing on a region wide analysis and the second on an in-depth examination of possible country-specific strategies for ten Asian developing countries (ADC). It provides a summary of the results emerging from the first phase of the study. Included here are the agreements relating to the Multifibre Arrangement, intellectual property rights, antidumping, safeguards, and dispute settlement understanding.

  • Growth Triangles: Conceptual Issues and Operational ProblemsPapers and Briefs |

    Growth Triangles: Conceptual Issues and Operational Problems

    This paper examined the major costs and benefits associated with growth triangles. It is possible to conclude that members must minimize start-up costs, if possible by taking advantage of existing infrastructure facilities. In terms of benefits, long-term considerations such as regional development and human capital development may be more important than traditional concerns such as foreign exchange earnings and employment generation. Growth triangles may also be useful in demonstrating the importance of overall economic reforms that reduce distortions. Finally, with trade blocks and protectionist trends emerging in other parts of the world, the growth triangle may well be seen as a means for Asian countries to protect themselves against harsh global realities while promoting cost competitiveness in exports.

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