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 Sep 2013 | Publication

    International Transmission of Food Prices and Volatilities: A Panel Analysis

    High and volatile food prices pose a significant policy challenge around the world, and an understanding of the dynamics of food price inflation and volatility is essential in designing appropriate policy responses. Using the panel data for 72 countries from 2000 to 2011, the paper assesses the international transmission of food price inflation and volatilities as well as the effects of various internal and external factors on domestic food price inflation and volatility. The paper offers evidence in support of the international transmission of food price inflation and volatility.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    Rice Trade and Price Volatility: Implications on ASEAN and Global Food Security

    This paper highlights the thinness of rice trade relative to wheat and maize, and the contrasting price volatility and tradability relations for wheat and maize, which display a positive correlation, and for rice, which show an inverse relation. The paper focuses on Southeast Asia, which hosts the world's biggest rice exporters and rice importers.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    International Trade and Risk Sharing in the Global Rice Market: The Impact of Foreign and Domestic Supply Shocks

    In recent years, rising food prices have returned as a concern for policy makers especially in developing countries. In this context, this paper examines how supply shocks, both domestic and foreign, have mattered to imports and consumption in the global rice market over 1960-2010. Such an investigation is important in assessing the role of trade in compensating for domestic shocks. If shortages lead countries to impose trade restrictions, then trade may not be allowed to play an important role in stabilizing consumption.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    Bilateral Trade and Food Security

    The authors analyze the relationship between food security and trade, focusing on food importers' exposure to sudden market failures from relying on a narrow range of international suppliers. They compute a bilateral import penetration index (BIPI), which gauges the degree to which a country depends on another for food imports.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    The Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing Industry: Diversity and Challenges in Asia

    Some countries and regions have been more successful than others in developing information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) services industries. India and the Philippines in particular have offered educated human resources at low cost, attractive fiscal incentives, and industrial parks although these factors alone do not explain the rapid growth of the industry there as other countries also had these strengths but failed to develop industries as rapidly.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    Overcoming Critical Constraints to Sustaining Productivity Growth in Key Commodities of Asia and the Pacific

    Two trends on yields have been observed for rice, wheat, and even edible oils in Asia. The deceleration of yield growth is one of these trends. The other relates to the differential yield increases across countries in the region. This study provides explanations for both trends and relates these to the exhaustion of the yield potential of current technology, emerging threats posed by climate change and other disturbances, varying levels of development across countries and hence the development of infrastructure, among others.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    The Transformation of Rice Value Chains in Bangladesh and India: Implications for Food Security

    This paper reports the survey findings that rice value chains are transforming in Bangladesh and India. The main elements of the transformation are as follows: First, rice value chains in both countries have begun to "geographically lengthen" and "intermediationally shorten." Second, farmers capture about 60% of the final urban retail price of rice; this can be compared to about 23% in 1998 and 37% in 1980 in the United States. Third, the corollary is that about 40% of the value chain is formed by the postharvest segments of the rice value chain - in milling, trading, and retailing.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    Poverty and Food Security in India

    This paper is an attempt to analyze the impact of two of India's largest food security interventions - the Public Distribution System (PDS) and the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM) - on poverty outcomes and on nutritional intake. This paper offers a simple methodology to take into account the impact of food-based transfers by including the implicit transfers from these schemes along with generating consumption expenditure estimates consistent with the transfers.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    Safety Nets and Food Programs in Asia: A Comparative Perspective

    Many countries adopted safety net programs to deal with the food crisis of 2008. However, such programs are often beset with targeting errors, inefficiencies, and fraud. Despite this, there is no systematic comparative analysis of safety nets. The objective of this paper is to identify generic issues germane to safety net design and their role in determining success. It examines the performance of safety net programs in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in terms of people covered, food distributed, and income support provided.
  • 01 Sep 2013 | Publication

    Leveraging Service Sector Growth in the Philippines

    The Philippines is often referred to as a country from which export of services rather than manufactured goods is the principal engine for economic growth, as the share of the service sector in gross domestic product has exceeded that of the industry sector since the mid-1980s. Three major opportunities for leveraging service sector growth stands out. One is expanding the scale and scope of the export and domestic markets for information technology-business process outsourcing and other modern services in urban areas.

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