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  • Author: Saori N. Katada
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: In 2015, two mega-initiatives took shape that will affect economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region: the US-promoted Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Although they address different needs, both are expected to have profound effects on Asia's economic governance in the near future, and will shape economic norms in the Asia Pacific and beyond. Japan has joined the TPP but stayed out of the AIIB, decisions that might seem counterintuitive considering its history of resisting trade liberalization and of promoting infrastructure investment. Is Japan simply favoring its US ally over rival China? Or is it that Japan's position on the TPP and AIIB aligns with its own economic priorities, and enhances its geo-economic advantage? With a US-China competition over economic ideas and regional strategies, Japan occupies a unique position that may allow it to influence the direction of Asia-Pacific economic governance, which is now being battled out by the two "titans."
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The relationship between the European Union (EU) and Asia is in flux. The EU intensified its economic ties to Asia and boosted its security cooperation in the region in 2011 and 2012. But new challenges, including the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, have made it difficult to sustain this incipient momentum. There are a number of steps that EU and Asian governments can and should take to continue to strengthen their relations.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Opinion surveys demonstrate that a majority of Americans consider Asia the most important region to U.S. interests and a majority of Asian experts support the Obama administration's goal of a “pivot” or “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region.1 Yet doubts have also grown about whether the pivot can be sustained by a president politically weakened by the 2014 midterm results, constrained by budget sequestration, and pulled into crises from Ukraine to Iraq and Iran. On issues from immigration to Cuba policy, the Obama administration and the incoming Republican Congress appear set for confrontation. Yet Asia policy remains largely bipartisan—perhaps the most bipartisan foreign policy issue in Washington. It is therefore critical—and practical— to ask that the White House and the Republican leadership in the Congress chart a common course on policy toward Asia for the next two years. This report outlines concrete areas for action on trade, China, defense, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Rajeswari Sengupta, Abhuit Sen Gupta
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Gross capital inflows and outflows to and from emerging market economies have witnessed a significant increase since the early 2000s. This rapid increase in the volume of flows, accompanied by sharp swings in volatility, has amplified the complexity of macroeconomic management in emerging economies. This paper focuses on capital flows in selected emerging Asian economies, analyzing surge and stop episodes as well as changes in the composition of flows across these episodes, then evaluating the policy measures undertaken by these economies in response to the surge and stop of capital flows. This kind of analysis is highly relevant, especially at a time when emerging economies around the world are facing the repercussions of a potential monetary policy normalization in the United States and continuing quantitative easing measures by the European Central Bank, either of which could once again heighten the volatility of cross-border capital flows, thereby posing renewed macroeconomic challenges for major EMEs.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Adam S. Posen, Nicolas Veron
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Given no generally accepted framework for financial stability, policymakers in developing Asia need to manage, not avoid, financial deepening. This paper supports Asian policymakers' judgment through analysis of the recent events in the United States and Europe and of earlier crisis episodes, including Asia during the 1990s. There is no simple linear relationship between financial repression and stability—financial repression not only has costs but, so doing can itself undermine stability. Bank-centric financial systems are not inherently safer than systems that include meaningful roles for securities and capital markets. Domestic financial systems should be steadily diversified in terms of both number of domestic competitors and types of savings and lending instruments available (and thus probably types of institutions). Financial repression should be focused on regulating the activities of financial intermediaries, not on compressing interest rates for domestic savers. Cross-border lending should primarily involve creation of multinational banks' subsidiaries in the local economy—and local currency lending and bond issuance should be encouraged. Macroprudential tools can be useful, and, if anything, are more effective in less open or less financially deep economies than in more advanced financial centers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Daniele Fattibene
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia’s “pivot to Asia” has come to the fore in the wake of the crisis over Ukraine. Growing tensions with the West over the common neighbourhood, coupled with economic sanctions, have accelerated this trend, with China gaining in strength as both an economic and military partner to Moscow. The Kremlin’s propaganda has sought to convince the broader public that Russia’s strategies in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Arctic region are a complement to China’s new Silk Road Economic Belt. Nonetheless, behind the headlines huge potential problems jeopardise the emergence of a durable Sino-Russian consensus in Eurasia. Against this backdrop, the EU should opt for “strategic patience.” This would be a far more effective policy choice than finger pointing, which only deepens the mutual ideological clash between the EU and Russia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-69-9
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Tomas Hellebrandt, Paolo Mauro
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Over the next two decades the structure of world population and income will undergo profound changes. Global income inequality is projected to decline further in 2035, largely owing to rapid economic growth in the emerging-market economies. The potential pool of consumers worldwide will expand significantly, with the largest net gains in the developing and emerging-market economies. The number of people earning between US$1,144 and US$3,252 per year in 2013 prices in purchasing power parity terms will increase by around 500 million, with the largest gains in Sub-Saharan Africa and India; those earning between US$3,252 and US$8,874 per year in 2013 prices will increase by almost 1 billion, with the largest gains in India and Sub-Saharan Africa; and those earning more than US$8,874 per year will increase by 1.2 billion, with the largest gains in China and the advanced economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Ajai Chopra
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Growth in developing Asia will need to rely more on improvements in productivity growth and less on capital deepening. Although there is no single reform path to spur productivity growth, financial system deepening is central to a more efficient allocation of capital across sectors and can facilitate innovation and technology transfer. But malfunctioning financial systems can also result in the misallocation of resources, making it important that policymakers focus less on increasing the size of the financial sector and more on improving its intermediation function. Chopra discusses the steps to mobilize Asia's ample private savings for long-term financing, especially to tackle the region's infrastructure deficit and improve access to financing for small and medium enterprises, which can help raise productivity. As many countries in Asia shift from a development model based on technology absorption to one that promotes innovation, specialized finance and investors can play a critical role in allowing innovative firms to conduct research, adopt technologies necessary for inventions, and ultimately commercialize innovations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The financial sectors in Asian emerging-market economies are now relatively unlikely to provoke new financial crises, either because of reforms after the East Asian financial crisis in the later 1990s or because of the dominance of state-owned banks not subject to bank runs. Financial intermediation is surprisingly high and is consistent with higher rates of saving and investment and hence growth in the main economies of the region (as compared to, say, counterparts in Latin America). Nonetheless, there are sharply diverging patterns (e.g., high foreign ownership of banks in Korea versus minimal presence in China) and differing national structures (bank dominated, portfolio oriented, and diversified) within Asia. Cline recommends establishing long-term plans to improve efficiency in state-owned banks or reduce their dominance and pursuing bank capitalization targets at least as ambitious as those of Basel III. Cline also calls for ensuring adequate regulation of growing nonbank intermediaries, reversing a recent trend toward national barriers to foreign banks in some economies, and improving the legal security of bank regulators.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Zhao Minghao
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Council has mandated the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to draft a Global Strategy by June 2016. Given Europe’s status as a global power, such a strategy must respond to Europe’s own challenges as well as to the new grand strategies of other major players in world politics, like China. To better understand the central tenets of the Chinese leadership’s strategic thinking, two keywords are most important – the “Four Comprehensives” and the “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR). As an initiative mainly focusing on promoting Eurasian integration and reshaping Chinese geo-economic advantages, the OBOR is highly consequential to China’s interactions with Europe and the rest of the world at large in the decades to come. How to take advantage of the OBOR, create new EU-China synergies, and tackle relevant challenges are questions the EU leaders should be attentive to.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-61-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Roman Muzalevsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: China’s emergence as a global actor has questioned the position of the United States as the strongest power and the future of the Washington-led global order. To achieve the status of a truly global player wielding influence in all dimensions of power would require China to leverage its regional influence in Central Asia. This region is increasingly representing China’s western leg of economic expansion and development, and is of a growing strategic importance for Beijing. It is also a region that should be of greater strategic importance to Washington, which seeks to preserve its leading position in the international system and ensure China’s peaceful integration in the global political, security, and economic architecture.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Global Markets, Global Security
  • Political Geography: China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines the key strategic risks that shape the stability and security of the Indian Ocean Region or IOR. This means examining risks that cut across a vast span of territory that directly affects both the global economy and some 32 nations–some within the limits of the Indian Ocean, but others that play a critical role in shaping the security of the nations in the IOR region and the security of its sea lanes and petroleum exports.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Bruce Jones, David Steven, Emily O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On December 16, 2013, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's powerful former intelligence chief, gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. He was speaking out after a turbulent four months in Middle East and Persian Gulf diplomacy, diplomacy that culminated in an interim nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers. Prince Turki, long a close friend to the United States, used the interview to blast American policy. He was critical of U.S. strategy in the region as a whole, but particularly vehement about leaving Saudi Arabia out of the loop as the United States engaged in secret bilateral diplomacy with Iran. "How can you build trust when you keep secrets from what are supposed to be your closest allies?" he fumed.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Malcolm Cook
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Northeast Asia is one of the most important crucibles of global economic and strategic change, and it is far from a stable one. The modern histories of China, Japan and South Korea were forged by Japan's colonisation of China and Korea and the Korean War that divided the peninsula and saw China on the side of North Korea and Japan on the side of South Korea. This recent history has left the bilateral relations on each side of this turbulent triangle strained by a lack of trust, popular antipathy and unresolved territorial disputes. As noted in the project's Beijing workshop, the stalled trilateral free trade agreement negotiations between the three Northeast Asian neighbours, launched with great hope in 1997, have been the victim of this turbulence and strain.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Nick Holdstock
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: On March 1st 2014 a knife-wielding group of ten people attacked passengers and passers-by in the railway station in Kunming, capital of China's south-western Yunnan province. Twenty-eight were killed and 113 injured. By the following day the government was describing the incident as a "separatist" attack perpetrated by "terrorists from Xinjiang". The attack in Kunming is the latest in a series of violent incidents in China that the government attributes to radical Islamist organisations that aim to promote what it calls the "Three Evils" of "terrorism, separatism and religious extremism". These acts have predominantly occurred in China's far western Xinjiang region, most recently in January and February 2014. Incidents in other parts of China have been attributed to the same forces.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Communism, Economics, Human Rights, Islam
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Chris Alden
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: China is on course to becoming more deeply involved in Africa's security landscape. While the motivation behind Chinese involvement remains primarily economic, the growing exposure of its interests to the vagaries of African politics, as well as pressures to demonstrate greater global activism, are bringing about a reconsideration of Beijing's approach to the continent. China faces threats on three fronts to its standing in Africa: reputational risks derived from its assocation with certain governments; risks to its business interests posed by mecurial leaders and weak regulatory regimes; and risks faced by its citizens operating in unstable African environments. Addressing these concerns poses challenges for Beijing, whose desire to play a larger role in security often clashes with the complexities of doing so while preserving Chinese foreign policy principles and economic interests on the continent.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Elling N. Tjønneland
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Much has been written about the role of the rising or emerging powers and their accelerating economic engagement in Africa. Much less is known about how they contribute to or impact on the African peace and security agenda. This report takes a comparative look at the roles of China, India, Brazil and South African in relation to the African Union and its African Peace and Security Architecture. Each of these four countries has a distinct commercial and corporate approach to Africa, despite a shared political commitment to South-South cooperation. However, as they extend their economic engagement they are becoming more sensitive to insecurity and volatility. The Asian and Latin American countries, which traditionally have strongly emphasised non-intervention, are gradually becoming more involved in the African security agenda. They are increasingly concerned about their image and reputation and the security of their citizens and business interests, and are becoming more prepared to act multilaterally and to work with others in facilitating security and stability. As an African power, South Africa plays a more direct role and has emerged as a major architect of the continent's evolving peace and security architecture. This report summarises elements from a broader research project on rising powers and the African peace and security agenda undertaken by CMI in cooperation with NOREF.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Wai-Mun Chia, Pradumna B. Rana
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that contrary to popular belief, in the bygone era, there was not one but two Silk Roads in Asia - the Northern and the less well-known South-western Silk Road (SSR). The SSR connected South/Central Asia with southern China and present day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). After enjoying a rich history of around 1,600 years, the Silk Roads went into disrepair. Now, for various economic, security, and political reasons, land connectivity is once again making a comeback in Asia. These include the (i) "Go West" and the recent "New Silk Roads" policies of China; (ii) "Look East" policies of South Asia; (iii) opening of Myanmar, a node between South Asia and East Asia; and (iv) growing importance of supply-chain trade. The focus has, however, been mainly on reviving the Northern Silk Road with relatively few actions being initiated to revive the SSR. Mirroring the on-going efforts in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Central Asian region, this paper proposes four economic corridors for Pan-Asian connectivity that is to connect South/Central Asia with southern China and ASEAN. The paper argues that the revival of land connectivity in Asia is making Maritime Asia of the past, more continental-based. One implication is that regional institutions focusing solely on Maritime Asia, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), may be losing some of their relevance vis-à-vis say the more continental-based China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The other is that the influence of the West in Asia's security may be declining relative to that of China, India, and Russia.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Rohinton Medhora, David Malone
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The familiar world of international organizations principally devoted to development has been upended by two phenomena. First is the emergence of sustained economic success in the developing world (mostly in Asia, but increasingly also in Africa and, in a less spectacular way, Latin America) amid compelling, continuing need among the world's poor. Second, the slow-moving, serious financial and economic crisis of the industrialized world since 2008 has reordered priorities in many of their capitals toward domestic spending and away from costly international projects.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Daniel H. Rosen, Thilo Hanemann
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: WHILE CHINA STARTED INVESTING AROUND THE WORLD in the early 2000s, the first waves of Chinese overseas investment targeted mostly extractive mining activities in developing countries and resource-rich advanced economies such as Australia and Canada. Over the past five years, however, Chinese capital has begun to flow into non-extractive sectors in advanced economies, increasingly targeting technology- and innovation-intensive industries. Initially, the surge of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) in the United States largely responded to opportunities in energy and real estate, but access to technology and innovation is now becoming an important driver. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, Chinese investors announced high-tech deals worth more than $6 billion, including the takeovers of Motorola Mobility, IBM's x86 server unit, and electric carmaker Fisker.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, America, Canada, Asia, Australia
  • Author: James A. Haley
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and subsequent Argentine default, the international community debated how to best promote the timely, effective restructuring of sovereign debt. The debate then focused largely on the relative merits of a so-called statutory approach for sovereign restructurings, with features of domestic bankruptcy regimes, versus the voluntary use of contractual terms designed to facilitate restructurings. At the time, the statutory approach did not have the support necessary to move from proposal to policy and efforts to improve the framework of sovereign debt restructuring rested on the contractual approach.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China is poised to become a major strategic rival to the United States. Whether or not Beijing intends to challenge Washington's primacy, its economic boom and growing national ambitions make competition inevitable. And as China rises, American power will diminish in relative terms, threatening the foundations of the U.S.-backed global order that has engendered unprecedented prosperity worldwide. To avoid this costly outcome, Washington needs a novel strategy to balance China without containing it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Shuja Nawaz, Mohan Guruswamy
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan, born out of a single British-ruled entity in 1947, have continued an implacable rivalry marked by periodic wars and hostilities as well as through proxies. This unending conflict has led them to invest heavily in their militaries and even to choose nuclear weaponry as a deterrence on the part of Pakistan toward India and on India's part toward both Pakistan and China. Although there have been occasional moves toward confidence building measures and most recently toward more open borders for trade, deep mistrust and suspicion mark this sibling rivalry. Their mutual fears have fuelled an arms race, even though increasingly civil society actors now appear to favor rapprochement and some sort of an entente. The question is whether these new trends will help diminish the military spending on both sides.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014.The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union.The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless, this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine, the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues. The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Wenhua Shan, Lu Wang
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Since China and the European Union (EU) announced their decision to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) at the 14th China-EU Summit in February 2012, the two sides have engaged in two rounds of negotiations. If successful, it will be the first standalone EU BIT, a BIT between the world's largest developed economy and the world's largest developing economy, and will occupy a unique place in the history of BIT negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Chinese foreign investment declined through mid-2014 for the first time since the financial crisis. By sector, energy draws the most investment, but a slump in energy spending means that metals and real estate have been more prominent so far in 2014. The United States has received the most Chinese investment since 2005, followed by Australia, Canada, and Brazil. China invests first in large, resource-rich nations but has also diversified by spending more than $200 billion elsewhere. Chinese investment benefits both China and the recipient nation, but host countries must consider thorny issues like Chinese cyberespionage and subsidies.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, Brazil, Australia
  • Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Between the late 1980s and the late 2000s, many countries in Southeast Asia were viewed, by global democracy analysts and Southeast Asians themselves, as leading examples of democratization in the developing world. By the late 2000s, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore all were ranked as "free" or "partly free" by the monitoring organization Freedom House, while Cambodia and, perhaps most surprisingly, Myanmar had both taken sizable steps toward democracy as well. Yet since the late 2000s, Southeast Asia's democratization has stalled and, in some of the region's most economically and strategically important nations, gone into reverse. Over the past ten years, Thailand has undergone a rapid and severe regression from democracy and is now ruled by a junta. Malaysia's democratic institutions and culture have regressed as well, with the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition cracking down on dissent and trying to destroy what had been an emerging, and increasingly stable, two-party system. Singapore's transition toward contested politics has stalled. In Cambodia and Myanmar, hopes for dramatic democratic change have fizzled. Only the Philippines and Indonesia have stayed on track, but even in these two countries democratic consolidation is threatened by the persistence of graft, public distrust of democratic institutions, and continued meddling in politics by militaries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Tang Xiaoyang
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Asian investors' impact on Africa's cotton, textile, and apparel sectors may have profound consequences for the continent's industrialization and development. As southeast African countries seek to industrialize and build indigenous cotton-textile-apparel value chains, the interactions between Asian—particularly Chinese—investors and African companies become more and more complex. Indeed, Asian investors present both a challenge to and an opportunity for local industries, and southeast African countries need a clear vision and tailored policies to make the most of the opportunities. Asian investors' impact on Africa's cotton, textile, and apparel sectors may have profound consequences for the continent's industrialization and development. As southeast African countries seek to industrialize and build indigenous cotton-textile-apparel value chains, the interactions between Asian-particularly Chinese-investors and African companies become more and more complex. Indeed, Asian investors present both a challenge to and an opportunity for local industries, and southeast African countries need a clear vision and tailored policies to make the most of the opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Innwon Park
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Both intra - and inter-regional trade agreements are proliferating in East Asia. Deepening regional interdependence through trade and investment, and the necessity for stability and revitalization of the regional economy since the East Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s led the East Asian countries to adopt discriminatory RTAs. Accordingly, East Asian commercial policy stance has shifted from unilateral to bilateral to mega-lateral liberalization. This report attempts to assess the East Asian countries' efforts to liberalize the regional market by cooperating with each other. We investigate (i) why RTAs have been proliferating in East Asia, (ii) what the main characteristics of East Asian RTAs are, (iii) whether the East Asian countries are natural trading partners for each other to enhance welfare gains from RTAs, and (iv) whither East Asian RTAs. From our analysis, we recommend following policy options. First, East Asian RTAs should follow an expansionary RTA path (for example, AFTA and five ASEAN+1 FTAs → RCEP and/or TPP → FTAAP). Second, as we consider the high dependence on external economies through global trade and investment, East Asia needs to cooperate with major external trading partners by forming cross-regional RTAs with the EU and US. Third, in order to enable East Asian economies to take the more desirable expansionary RTA path, harmonizing or simplifying ROO, the cumulation of value contents among the RTA members in East Asia, and enhancing trade facilitation should be a prerequisite considering the complicated web of RTAs, regional production networks, and the consolidation of the FTAAP.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Bowman Kimberly
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report summarizes an internal review of Women‟s Economic Leadership (WEL) programming in Asia. Conducted by an internal MEL advisor in 2013–2014, the review draws upon project documentation, evaluation reports, site visits and staff and partner interviews to try and reflect how WEL programming is being implemented by Oxfam and partners in Asia. Part of a formative evaluation activity, the report aims to help gather and consolidate good practice, based on what Oxfam project teams and partners have learned through recent experience and evaluation. There are at least four distinct topics covered in this report that may be of specific interest to readers.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Robert Nalbandov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph analyzes the interconnections between the democratic institutionalization of the newly independent states of Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus, their political (in)stability, and economic development and prosperity. By introducing the concept of regime mimicry into the field of public administration, this monograph extends the epistemological frameworks of the democratization school to the phenomenon of political culture. Successes and failures of the democratic institutionalization processes in these countries largely depend on the ways their institutional actors reacted to internal and external disturbances of their domestic political, econmic, and cultural environments. While Georgia's political culture revealed the highest degree of flexibility in accepting the externally-proposed institutional frameworks and practices, the bifurcate political culture in Ukraine impeded its democratic institutionalization, while the rigid political culture in Belarus completely stalled the process of institutional transformations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Asia, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China's new strategy to upgrade its semiconductor industry (outlined in the "Guidelines to Promote National Integrated Circuit Industry Development," June 24, 2014), seeks to move from catching-up to forging ahead in semiconductors, by strengthening simultaneously China's integrated circuit (IC) design industry and domestic IC foundry services.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global fi nancial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global fi nancial crises and fi nd that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also fi nd that higher private credit, more fi nancial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confi rms that eff ective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Economics, Global Recession, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Eleonora Poli
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Before the 1997 economic crisis in Asia, the institutional evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was very different from the European model. The economic downturn in the late 1990s and the global shift toward a neo-liberal economic era urged ASEAN countries to rethink their regional integration strategy and to mimic some of the institutional models in Europe. In light of this, this paper analyses the rationale behind the evolution of ASEAN since the late 1990, evaluating how and why the organization on a surface replicated aspects of the EU model without engaging in meaningful supranational institutionalization.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lant Pritchett, Yamini Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We combine newly created data on per student government expenditure on children in government elementary schools across India, data on per student expenditure by households on students attending private elementary schools, and the ASER measure of learning achievement of students in rural areas. The combination of these three sources allows us to compare both the “accounting cost” difference of public and private schools and also the “economic cost”—what it would take public schools, at their existing efficacy in producing learning, to achieve the learning results of the private sector. We estimate that the “accounting cost” per student in a government school in the median state in 2011/12 was Rs. 14,615 while the median child in private school cost Rs. 5,961. Hence in the typical Indian state, educating a student in government school costs more than twice as much than in private school, a gap of Rs. 7,906. Just these accounting cost gaps aggregated state by state suggests an annual excess of public over private cost of children enrolled in government schools of Rs. 50,000 crores (one crore=10 million) or .6 percent of GDP. But even that staggering estimate does not account for the observed learning differentials between public and private. We produce a measure of inefficiency that combines both the excess accounting cost and a money metric estimate of the cost of the inefficacy of lower learning achievement. This measure is the cost at which government schools would be predicted to reach the learning levels of the private sector. Combining the calculations of accounting cost differentials plus the cost of reaching the higher levels of learning observed in the private sector state by state (as both accounting cost differences and learning differences vary widely across states) implies that the excess cost of achieving the existing private learning levels at public sector costs is Rs. 232,000 crores (2.78% of GDP, or nearly US$50 billion). It might seem counterintuitive that the total loss to inefficiency is larger than the actual budget, but that is because the actual budget produces such low levels of learning at such high cost that when the loss from both higher expenditures and lower outputs are measured it exceeds expenditures.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Privatization, Reform
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Sabrina Zajak
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on the role of democratic participation in complex systems of governance. It takes a process-oriented constructivist approach asking how transnational activism over time contributes to the construction of access and voice from below and uses the Asia-Europe Meetings (ASEM) to analyze how interactions between civil society and global governance institutions shape concrete forms of participation. The paper shows that transnational activism triggers both discursive and institutional changes within the official ASEM process leading to an informal, fragmented, and fragile institutionalization of civil society participation. However, the paper reveals a division between civil society organizations with some, such as business representatives, having preferential access and voice in comparison to more contentious organizations. The paper explains this fragmented form of democratization as the result of three interrelated processes: the particular history and economic origins of the ASEM; international developments particularly in the ongoing economic crisis; and domestic developments within individual countries (in particular China) which have begun to favor controlled access for civil society participation.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Economics, History, Governance, Developments
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sarah Norgrove
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The possibilities for future Asia-Pacific security cooperation between Australia and Canada are promising. Economic development and population growth mean that security challenges present themselves as opportunities. Australia and Canada are well positioned to influence regional approaches to transnational challenges such as crime, terrorism, piracy and environmental degradation, and to contribute to food, energy and cyber security. This paper explores the current state of security cooperation between Australia and Canada in the Asia-Pacific, and identifies opportunities to extend the relationship, focussing on collaborative efforts like economic and maritime cooperation, which may help tackle transnational security challenges.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: Asian cities are often cited as being particularly susceptible to extreme events, shifting weather patterns and environmental decline. They are the economic and social hubs of the region's developing countries, yet are highly exposed to risks that can weaken and damage critical urban systems and undermine progress on development goals.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Demographics, Economics, Environment, Migration
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Tetsuji Yamada, Chia-Ching Chen, Chie Hanaoka, Seiritsu Ogura
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Background: For the past two decades, more and more women in certain European countries, Japan, and the United States are giving birth to their first child at a considerably later age than ever before. It remains unclear as to what extent this age-related general fertility decline is affected by changing social and cultural norms. Method: The Global Centers of Excellence Survey was conducted by Osaka University in Japan (n=5313) in 2009. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine the impact of psychosocial norms, cultural differences, and economic conditions on the perception of childbearing. Results: The findings suggest that a subjective measure of happiness has a significant influence on childbearing. A society with income inequalities between classes discourages childbearing. It is observed that women's higher labor force participation generates a negative impact on motherchild relations which causes discouragement of childbearing. A higher female labor force participation stemmed from a transition of a traditional society into a modern and marketoriented society discourages childbearing. Conclusions/implications: A woman's decision to delay childbearing is based on her perception of psychosocial norms with surrounding economic environment and her own value of opportunity in the market oriented society. Childbearing also imposes psycho-economic burdens on the working population under mix of a traditional, patriarchal society, and a modern market oriented framework. Childbearing incentives could be a strategic policy to encourage positive attitudes of childbearing in general and proper welfare policy, labor law(s), employment conditions, and social security system for a working mother with a child or children.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Health, Poverty, Social Stratification, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Europe, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Marjorie Pajaron
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: This paper shows that the individual's bargaining power within the household, proxied by gender and educational attainment of household head, affects how remittances sent by Overseas Filipino Workers are spent in the Philippines. Gender of the household head, not of the remitter, matters in the allocation of remittances. As remittances increase, female heads with absent spouses spend less on alcohol and tobacco while male heads with absent spouses spend more on these goods; regardless of gender, household heads with less education allocate more to education than those with more education.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Upon taking office in January 2009, Obama administration officials proclaimed a U.S. “return to Asia.” This pronouncement was backed with more frequent travel to the region by senior officials (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first trip was to Asia) and increased U.S. participation in regional multilateral meetings, culminating in the decision to sign the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and to participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) at the head-of-state level. The strategic “rebalance to Asia” announced in November 2011 builds on these earlier actions to deepen and institutionalize U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Scott Miller
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Economic integration has been a focus of Asia-Pacific affairs for the last quarter century. To support and strengthen economic ties, governments in the region have pursued an array of integration initiatives, from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum launched in 1989 to bilateral and regional trade negotiations currently underway. APEC has been the most successful tool of regional trade and investment integration thus far and has the potential to continue bridging differences between various integration efforts in the region. This report, with input from a wide variety of regional and topical experts, posits that developing a common, high-standard policy approach to value chains could pull together the various integration efforts to the substantial economic benefit of the entire region. The report offers eight recommendations for a broad-based APEC initiative building on existing work in the region on supply chains and connectivity.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Stephen J. Blank
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States Army War College educates and develops leaders for service at the strategic level while advancing knowledge in the global application of Landpower.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership Plan of Action (2010- 2015) represents the latest effort in a relationship that dates back to 1977, the year that Canada became one of the first countries to be designated a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. According to the Plan of Action, ASEAN and Canada will 'work and consult closely in responding to regional and international challenges, and in building an ASEAN-centred regional architecture which is open and inclusive'. They will also 'promote the development of enhanced ASEAN connectivity which will help foster the building of an ASEAN Community by 2015'.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Canada, Asia
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Martin Kessler
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper describes seven salient features of trade integration in the 21st century: Trade integration has been more rapid than ever (hyperglobalization); it is dematerialized, with the growing importance of services trade; it is democratic, because openness has been embraced widely; it is criss-crossing because similar goods and investment flows now go from South to North as well as the reverse; it has witnessed the emergence of a mega-trader (China), the first since Imperial Britain; it has involved the proliferation of regional and preferential trade agreements and is on the cusp of mega-regionalism as the world's largest traders pursue such agreements with each other; and it is impeded by the continued existence of high barriers to trade in services. Going forward, the trading system will have to tackle three fundamental challenges: In developed countries, the domestic support for globalization needs to be sustained in the face of economic weakness and the reduced ability to maintain social insurance mechanisms. Second, China has become the world's largest trader and a major beneficiary of the current rules of the game. It will be called upon to shoulder more of the responsibilities of maintaining an open system. The third challenge will be to prevent the rise of mega-regionalism from leading to discrimination and becoming a source of trade conflicts. We suggest a way forward—including new areas of cooperation such as taxes—to maintain the open multilateral trading system and ensure that it benefits all countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The European and Asian financial crises are the two most recent major regional crises. This paper compares their origins and evolution. The origins of the two sets of crises were different in some respects, but broadly similar. The two sets of crises also shared similarities in their evolution, but here the differences were more significant. The European crisis countries received more external financial support, despite the fact that they involved more solvency issues while the Asian crises involved more liquidity issues. On balance, the reform programs in the European crises were less demanding and rigorous than in the Asian crises. Partly as a consequence, the negative impacts on the global economy have been larger. I draw three lessons from this analysis: First, history will repeat itself; there will be other external financial crises. Second, other countries have a stake in appropriate crisis management. Third, the IMF and other countries were mistaken in treating the European crises as individual country crises rather than as a crisis for the euro area as a whole that demanded policy conditionality on all members of the euro area.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: David E. Brown
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The frenetic search for hydrocarbons in Africa has become so intense and wide ranging that there is planned or ongoing oil and gas exploration in at least 51 of the continent's 54 countries. Knowledge about Africa's geology is improving rapidly, generating great optimism about the continent's energy future. Onshore and offshore rifts and basins created when the African continent separated from the Americas and Eurasia 150 million years ago are now recognized as some of the most promising hydrocarbon provinces in the world. Offshore Angola and Brazil, Namibia and Brazil, Ghana and French Guyana, Morocco and Mexico, Somalia and Yemen, and Mozambique and Madagascar are just a few of the geological analogues where large oil fields have been discovered or are be-lieved to lie. One optimistic but quite credible scenario is that future discoveries in Africa will be around five timestheir current level based on what remains un-explored on the continent versus currently known sub-soil assets. If proven true, this could have a pro-foundly positive impact on Africa's future growth and strategic position in the global economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, America, Eurasia, Asia, Brazil, Yemen, Mozambique, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, Angola, Ghana, Namibia, Guyana, Moldavia
  • Author: Andrew Paterson, Walter Howes
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Global energy demand will increase substantially in the coming decades under pressure from global trends, including an increasing population that will reach 9 billion by 2040, and, for the first time in history, will be overwhelmingly urban. Meeting basic global energy needs will require the use of all available sources of energy while addressing and minimizing environmental and climate impacts. Nuclear energy is an established part of the world's electricity mix, and provides large-scale, reliable, base-load electricity demand. As such, it seems to be well matched to fit into an increasingly urban world that aims to mediate environmental challenges.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Carlos Montoro
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The financial systems in emerging market economies during the 2008–09 global financial crisis performed much better than in previous crisis episodes, albeit with significant differences across regions. For example, real credit growth in Asia and Latin America was less affected than in Central and Eastern Europe. This paper identifies the factors at both the country and the bank levels that contributed to the behavior of real credit growth in Latin America during the global financial crisis. The resilience of real credit during the crisis was highly related to policies, measures and reforms implemented in the pre-crisis period. In particular, we find that the best explanatory variables were those that gauged the economy's capacity to withstand an external financial shock. Key were balance sheet measures such as the economy's overall currency mismatches and external debt ratios (measuring either total debt or short-term debt). The quality of pre-crisis credit growth mattered as much as its rate of expansion. Credit expansions that preserved healthy balance sheet measures (the “quality” dimension) proved to be more sustainable. Variables signalling the capacity to set countercyclical monetary and fiscal policies during the crisis were also important determinants. Moreover, financial soundness characteristics of Latin American banks, such as capitalization, liquidity and bank efficiency, also played a role in explaining the dynamics of real credit during the crisis. We also found that foreign banks and banks which had expanded credit growth more before the crisis were also those that cut credit most. The methodology used in this paper includes the construction of indicators of resilience of real credit growth to adverse external shocks in a large number of emerging markets, not just in Latin America. As additional data become available, these indicators could be part of a set of analytical tools to assess how emerging market economies are preparing themselves to cope with the adverse effects of global financial turbulence on real credit growth.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Barbara Kotschwar
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In Latin America, inadequate transportation infrastructure has been identified as an increasingly important impediment to the region's further integration in global trade and a significant factor preventing countries from properly taking advantage of the multitude of regional, plurilateral, and bilateral trade agreements signed in the past decade and a half. This paper examines transport and communications infrastructure initiatives in Latin American and Asian regional trade arrangements and finds several lessons Asia can teach Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Huasheng Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China holds clear, coherent, but relatively low-profile positions on Afghanistan. While staying largely with the mainstream of the international community on the issue of Afghanistan, China maintains an independent policy that reflects the peculiarities of Chinese interests, concerns, and priorities in Afghanistan. China has multiple interests in Afghanistan; however, domestic concerns about the security and stability of the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang overwhelm all others. China maintains normal and good relations with the Afghan government, takes active part in the country's economic rebuilding, and provides Afghanistan financial aid and other assistance. China supports the international community in its efforts in Afghanistan, but stays away from direct military involvement. China refrains from criticizing America's involvement in the war in Afghan- istan, but it doubts the war's efficacy, and China refuses to join the American Northern Distribu- tion Network (NDN) to Afghanistan. China dislikes the Taliban because of its close relations with the “East Turkistan” organization—a Uyghur separatist group—but China deals with the Taliban cautiously, trying to avoid direct conflict. China favors an Afghanistan governed by Afghans and hopes that the “Kabul process”—the transition to greater Afghan responsibility and ownership in both security and civilian areas—will have a successful end. At the same time, China also prepares for unexpected outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Christopher G. Baker
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The rapid hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin brings with it a growing number of security challenges for state and regional policymakers. While the interrelated challenges range from local, human security issues, to regional-level concerns, all stem from the externalities brought about by hydro-development. This paper analyses the ramifications of the current 'hydropower gold-rush' on and around the Mekong. By specifically examining the non-traditional security concerns of food and water security and how these threaten to drive human insecurity, migration and instability within the region, it is able to challenge the dominant development and economic mindset that continues to encourage development at the cost of livelihoods. Instead of an economic hydro-boom as anticipated by many, continued dam building on the Mekong and its tributaries could result in a non-traditional security disaster characterised by severe food shortages, destruction of livelihoods and large irregular movements of people.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The new government in Myanmar has made a series of liberalising gestures over the past year, raising hopes that it is serious about meaningful political reform. Coming after national elections in November 2010, the release from house-arrest of the pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, and by-elections in 2012, many observers are concluding that Myanmar is finally embarking on a process of genuine democratisation. Aung San Suu Kyi is among those who have expressed optimism over future changes in the country, with her confidence bolstered by the release of hundreds of political prisoners in recent months. As ties with Western governments slowly thaw, there is now a high probability that sanctions and other restrictions on trade and investment will be lifted over the next year or so, and foreign investors are taking note of the opportunities that could soon present themselves.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Nigel Purvis, Abigail Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity (one in five people), while unreliable electricity networks serve another 1 billion people. Roughly 2.7 billion—about 40 percent of the global population—lack access to clean cooking fuels. Instead, dirty, sometimes scarce and expensive fuels such as kerosene, candles, wood, animal waste, and crop residues power the lives of the energy poor, who pay disproportionately high costs and receive very poor quality in return. More than 95 percent of the energy poor are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia, while 84 percent are in rural areas—the same regions that are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Asia
  • Author: Christopher Freise
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Much attention has been devoted to the Obama Administration's “Pacific Pivot” and the vocal reassertion of an upgraded security, economic, and diplomatic presence in East Asia by the United States. Commentators have ascribed various rationales to these efforts, including speculation that this is part of a “containment” strategy towards China, a reaction to the US presidential election cycle, or, more benignly, an effort to forestall concerns of American withdrawal from the region. These explanations have some elements of truth, but also fall short of fully describing or understanding the strategic rationale behind these moves.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Jennifer Clapp, Sophia Murphy, David Burch
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report is composed of two parts. The first introduces the four big commodity traders – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill, and Louis Dreyfus – which are the focus of this study. Collectively, these trading companies are often referred to as 'the ABCD companies' because of the coincidence of their initials. Part 2 then looks at these traders in relation to a number of the global issues pressing on agriculture: the 'financialization' of both commodity trade and agricultural production; the emergence of global competitors to the ABCDs, in particular from Asia; and some of the implications of large-scale industrial biofuels, a sector in which the ABCDs are closely involved. It includes a discussion of how smallholders in developing countries are affected by some of these changes, and highlights some development policy implications, given the importance of the ABCDs in shaping the world of food and agriculture.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sean T. Mann, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a little over two years the US and its allies plan to hand over security and other responsibilities to the Afghan government as part of a process labeled “Transition.” Afghanistan is still at war and will probably be at war long after 2014. The political, governance, and economic dimensions of this Transition, however, will be as important as any developments in the fighting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of “independence,” including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP – in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – versus 6-7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Asia
  • Author: Amy Myers Jaffe, Meghan L. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Some of the most dramatic energy developments of recent years have been in the realm of natural gas. Huge quantities of unconventional US shale gas are now commercially viable, changing the strategic picture for the United States by making it self-sufficient in natural gas for the foreseeable future. This development alone has reverberated around the globe, causing shifts in patterns of trade and leading other countries in Europe and Asia to explore their own shale gas potential. Such developments are putting pressure on longstanding arrangements, such as oil-linked gas contracts and the separate nature of North American, European, and Asian gas markets, and may lead to strategic shifts, such as the weakening of Russia's dominance in the European gas market.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ulrike Lorenz
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: In the past ten years, the long-standing trade relations between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries have experienced radical transformations. The negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and seven regional groupings formed by the ACP countries have led to the EU being maneuvered into an unexpectedly weak position. For the first time, European negotiators had to substantially leave their pre-agreed negotiation path and positions due to the immense pressure from ACP countries, regional organizations, and non-state actors – and still have not been able to finalize negotiations that had initially been expected to only take five years until the end of 2007.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Caribbean
  • Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In a region largely bereft of regional organizations and long divided by the Cold War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been the most significant multilateral group for the past forty-five years. Since the end of the Cold War, ASEAN has grown increasingly influential. While much of the West and most emerging markets continue to suffer because of the 2008 global recession, the leading ASEAN economies have recovered and are thriving. Perhaps most important, ASEAN has helped prevent interstate conflicts in Southeast Asia, despite several brewing territorial disputes in the region.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper argues that developing Asia is overlooking an opportunity for increased growth and development through trade in business services. Developing Asia would benefit from liberalizing services trade as it has benefited from liberalizing goods trade. This argument rests on these key findings: business services are important for growth, developing Asia is relatively under-endowed with business services, many business services are tradable, and developing Asia has relatively high barriers to services trade.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Donghyun Park, Kwanho Shin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The underdeveloped services sector in Asia has the potential to become a new engine of economic growth in developing Asia, which has traditionally relied on export-oriented manufacturing to power its growth. In this paper, Park and Shin empirically analyze the prospects for the services sector in Asia. Their analysis of 12 Asian countries indicates that the services sector has already contributed substantially to the region's growth in the past. Somewhat surprisingly, in light of the difficulty of achieving productivity gains in services, they also find that services labor productivity grew at a healthy pace in much of the region. Overall their analysis provides substantial cause for optimism about the role of the services sector as an engine of growth in Asia. However, they caution that some Asian countries where the services sector is currently struggling, such as Korea and Thailand, will find it more challenging to develop the sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Martin Kessler
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A country's rise to economic dominance tends to be accompanied by its currency becoming a reference point, with other currencies tracking it implicitly or explicitly. For a sample comprising emerging market economies, we show that in the last two years, the renminbi has increasingly become a reference currency which we define as one which exhibits a high degree of co-movement (CMC) with other currencies. In East Asia, there is already a renminbi bloc, because the renminbi has become the dominant reference currency, eclipsing the dollar, which is a historic development. In this region, 7 currencies out of 10 co-move more closely with the renminbi than with the dollar, with the average value of the CMC relative to the renminbi being 40 percent greater than that for the dollar. We find that co-movements with a reference currency, especially for the renminbi, are associated with trade integration. We draw some lessons for the prospects for the renminbi bloc to move beyond Asia based on a comparison of the renminbi's situation today and that of the Japanese yen in the early 1990s. If trade were the sole driver, a more global renminbi bloc could emerge by the mid-2030s but complementary reforms of the financial and external sector could considerably expedite the process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey J. Schott, Julia Muir, Minsoo Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Trade and investment in services are difficult to measure, and the regulatory barriers that inhibit the free flow of services are hard to quantify. As a result, very little attention has been paid to dismantling barriers to services trade and investment. Rather, free trade negotiations tend to focus on liberalizing merchandise trade. This paper examines what has been achieved in both regional and multilateral compacts by surveying international precedents involving Asian countries in which services reforms have been included in bilateral and regional trade pacts. The authors then assess the prospects for services trade negotiations and explore how services trade negotiations could be pursued over the next decade through two distinct channels: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a plurilateral approach among groups of WTO countries. The authors find that in the case of developing Asia, free trade agreements have largely excluded services or have only committed to "lock in" current practices in a narrow subset of service sectors. This is also the case in agreements negotiated between developing countries, which have produced less substantial commitments to liberalize services than those negotiated between developing and developed countries. Multilateral negotiations on services have also underperformed, as substantive negotiations on services in the Doha Round never really got underway. To that end, the authors advocate a stronger effort by developing Asian countries to prioritize services negotiations in their regional arrangements and to expand coverage of services in those pacts to a broad range of infrastructure services that are included in other FTAs in force or under construction in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In this paper Kirkegaard presents new micro-level data consisting of individual greenfield investment projects and mergers and acquisitions as a source for detailed analysis of services sector cross-border investment flows among the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regional membership in Asia. The new transactional foreign direct investment (FDI) data are methodologically distinct from traditional BPM5-compliant FDI data but found to yield generally comparable aggregates, when compared with the latest available International Monetary Fund (IMF) data from the Comprehensive Direct Investment Survey for the ADB regional membership. The services sectors are found to receive considerably larger amounts of foreign investment, when compared with the Asian region's manufacturing and raw materials sectors. OECD countries account for roughly three-quarters of total recorded inward services sector FDI of about $2 trillion, relatively evenly split between the United States, the EU-27, and regional OECD-level-income countries. The presence of sizable regional "upward flowing" services sector investments into OECD-level-income economies is verified. Kirkegaard draws preliminary policy conclusions based on the new transactional FDI data results concerning prospects for regional services sector liberalization, threshold income levels for inward services sector FDI, upward-flowing regional services FDI, and preferred modes of services sector investments.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Murray Hiebert, Ernest Z. Bower, David Pumphrey, Gregory B. Poling, Molly A. Walton
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia will be the next big growth engine in Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, with a population of 525 million and a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion (when measured by purchasing power parity), are expected to grow almost 6 percent between now and 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank. For years, they have been eclipsed by China and India, but now their combined GDP is catching up with India and they could overtake Japan in less than two decades. For U.S. firms, these five members of the Association of South East Asian Nations—hereafter the ASEAN-5—are a trade, energy, and environment story.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jiayi Zhou
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In the two decades after independence, Georgia's open economy and lax immigration policies have engendered, for the first time, immigration from far outside of the region. On the streets of Tbilisi, the most conspicuous of these migrants are from India, China, and the countries of Africa. Of those from India, a substantial number are students of medicine, or enrolled in other professional courses. Africans in Georgia are mostly driven by work opportunity with a few students in higher education institutions. Chinese immigrants, on the other hand, are almost entirely driven by economic opportunities. A modern Chinese presence in Georgia began in the 1990s with the beginning of Chinese state-owned investment ventures in the region, as well as a burgeoning restaurant scene. In 2000s, this expanded to encompass a trickle and then an influx of Chinese migrant shop owners and market vendors. The third wave of migration occurred in 2010 as a result of contract construction workers. As of today, there are around 1,000 Chinese now divided into five groups: specialists, businessmen, shopkeepers, contract workers, and those in the restaurant and catering sector. This paper will focus on the history of Chinese migrants in Georgia, driving causes, their level of integration (or lack thereof), vulnerabilities, and their status in Georgian society. It will also cover increasingly large-scale economic ventures in the country, the status of Chinese as a foreign language in Georgia, and the role of the PRC Embassy in the Chinese community.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration, Immigration, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Ed Gerwin
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: By 2020, the Asia-Pacific's $10 trillion import market will present vast opportunities to support U.S. economic growth and wider prosperity for America's Middle Class. But, over the past decade, the U.S. share of key Asia-Pacific markets has actually plummeted–by over 40%. Retaking America's share of these rapidly expanding economies—beginning with trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)—could pay huge dividends: over a half trillion dollars in additional U.S. exports, supporting millions of good American jobs.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council promotes constructive US leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community in meeting the international challenges of the 21st century. The Council embodies a nonpartisan network of leaders who aim to bring ideas to power and to give power to ideas by stimulating dialogue and discussion about critical international issues with a view to enriching public debate and promoting consensus on appropriate responses in the Administration, the Congress, the corporate and nonprofit sectors and the media in the United States and among leaders in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Through its diverse networks, the Council builds broad constituencies to support constructive US leadership and policies. Its program offices publish informational analyses, convene conferences among current and/or future leaders, and contribute to the public debate in order to integrate the views of knowledgeable individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and experiences.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Military Strategy, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Asia, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Sino-Japanese relationship is a highly complex one, marked both by Japan's aggressive wars from the 1930s on and the present economic interdependence between the two countries. Focusing on the role of the territorial conflict in the East China Sea, this DIIS Report considers how China's leaders handle anti-Japanese nationalism by adopting a Janusian stance and pursuing both China's basic interest in close economic relations with Japan and also domestic stability. After a review of Chinese and Japanese sovereignty claims in the area and of the rise of nationalism since the early 1980s, four crises over the East China Sea are examined to identify the character of and changes in China's policy. For the last ten years China's leaders have attempted to conduct a more pragmatic policy towards Japan and evade the pernicious shadow of history. But this policy faces critical problems both in a growing popular nationalism in China and in the Japanese government's lack of willingness to restrain their own nationalists and the absence of legal possibilities for them to do so.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Kilbinder Dosanjh
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The human cost Many companies (Sony, Toyota) have shut factories in affected area As much as 10% of national power production temporarily down Rolling blackouts will continue until end-April.
  • Topic: Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Khalil Hamdani
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Pakistan's large domestic market and policy environment are generally attractive to foreign direct investment, but terrorist violence and natural disasters are keeping investors at bay. Pakistan was the tenth largest recipient of inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) in Asia in 2006-2008. Pakistan has also been successful in attracting investment from other developing countries. There are successful joint ventures with parastatals. The policy regime is investorfriendly, and doing business in Pakistan is easier than in any of its neighboring countries. These advantages notwithstanding, inward FDI flows shrank by 60% in 2009-2010, a reflection of global trends and internal difficulties. Governance and terrorism are overriding preoccupations. Retaining the confidence of both foreign and domestic investors is vital. Determined efforts are needed to realize the country's considerable market potential.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Peter Warr
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Thailand's development strategy has been strongly market-oriented and open to trade and investment flows with the rest of the world. Since the late 1950s, its growth performance has been outstanding. Poverty incidence has declined dramatically, but economic inequality has increased. Economic progress has been reflected in very significant improvement in non-economic indicators of well-being such as life expectancy, infant and maternal morality, and literacy. Nevertheless, the performance of the education system is chronically poor. Environmental problems and institutional failures in resource management are ongoing. Reform is needed in several areas, including political and corporate governance, regulation of industry, and in the education and health systems.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Emerging Markets, Poverty, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Philip Abbott, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Vietnam has been among the most successful East Asian economies, especially in weathering the external shocks of recent globalization crises—the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the 2008-09 great recession, financial crisis and collapse of global trade. Its success contradicts its characterization as an example of export-led growth and highlights the role of the state, particularly in maintaining and influencing investment. Examination of economic performance and policy responses shows rising dependence on foreign finance around each crisis, and actions by the government to counteract that dependence and bolster the domestic economy while continuing to restructure the economy toward greater emphasis on the private sector. Growth, employment and poverty alleviation have been maintained at the expense of renewed inflation, larger budget deficits, and currency depreciation. The 'stop-go' nature of present …
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Nina Korte
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Indonesia has long been associated with neopatrimonialism, corruption, collusion, and nepotism as the main modi operandi of politics, economics and public administration. Despite various measures and initiatives to fight these practises, little evidence for a significant decline can be found over the years. Rather, longitudinal analysis points to changes in the character of neopatrimonialism. Based on more than 60 in-depth interviews, focus-group discussions, and the analysis of both primary and secondary data, the aim of this article is, first, to describe the changes that have taken place, and, second, to investigate what accounts for these changes. Political economy concepts posit the amount and development of economic rents as the explanatory factor for the persistence and change of neopatrimonialism. This study's findings, however, indicate that rents alone cannot explain what has taken place in Indonesia. Democratisation and decentralisation exert a stronger impact.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The build up in government debt in response to the 'great recession' has raised a number of policy dilemmas for individual countries as well as the world as a whole. Where the government fiscal stimulus was seen as necessary to restore confidence to markets and stimulate deteriorating economies in the aftermath of the 'great recession' by 2010 the massive fiscal stimulus programs and associated run-up in debt had, for many economies, become a confidence sapping exercise. This need for a change of fiscal policy stance has fuelled another debate that has two related aspects. One is the impact of fiscal consolidation on economies that are tightening and the flow-on effects to the world economy. The other debate is how much tightening there should be and how quickly.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Kang Wu, Fereidun Fesharaki
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Energy security ranks as one of the highest-priority issues in Asia and the Pacific. The East and South Asia region is the fastest-growing oil consumer in the world, and because this region has such a small percentage of the world's oil reserves, it is the most highly dependent on oil imports of any world region. In the future, Asia will become even more dependent on imports as its energy needs expand with changing life styles and overall economic growth. Asia's increasing energy needs have important implications for energy security throughout the world, and particularly in the United States. Like Asia, the United States is a large and growing importer of crude oil and petroleum products. It is also becoming a direct competitor with the East Asian economies for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). This volume is intended to provide Asians and Americans with the factual information they need for clear understanding, informed policy dialogue, and effective cooperation on issues related to energy security. The United States and Asia have much in common in terms of their basic energy situation. Both regions have enormous hydrocarbon reserves in the form of coal, but both must import huge quantities of liquid hydrocarbons in the forms of oil and natural gas. The United States has an economy and a life style highly dependent upon imported energy, and increasingly, so does Asia. The environmental implications of energy use are of growing concern in both regions. Both share a common stake in an assured supply of oil and natural gas, in price stability in international energy markets, in efficient and sustainable use of oil and gas products, and in the development of technologies and fuel alternatives that can alleviate energy security and environmental concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have become a prominent feature of the international financial landscape. They are sufficiently diverse in their origins, structures, and objectives that generalizations are perilous. However, legitimate concerns have been raised in home and host countries about the management, behavior, and interactions of these funds. Many of those concerns can be addressed via increased accountability and transparency. The Santiago Principles are a good start in doing so, but Edwin M. Truman's SWF scoreboard points to areas where these principles can be improved. Meanwhile, SWF compliance must be further increased. At the same time, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) effort to address concerns from the host-country side has not resulted in the erection of new barriers to that form of cross-border investment, but the OECD failed to reverse the creeping financial protectionism of the past decade. Because of their size and the source of their funding, some Asian funds are different. As a result, they will be held to a higher standard of accountability and transparency even as their government owners press for more openness to cross-border investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Hugo Dobson
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As a result of the emergence of the G20 as the self‐appointed “premier forum for international economic cooperation”, Asia's expanded participation in G‐summitry has attracted considerable attention. As original G7 member Japan is joined by Australia, China, Indonesia, India and South Korea, this has given rise to another alphanumeric configuration of the Asian 6 (A6). Resulting expectations are that membership in the G20 will impact Asian regionalism as the A6 are forced into coordination and cooperation in response to the G20's agenda and commitments. However, by highlighting the concrete behaviours and motivations of the individual A6 in the G20 summits so far, this paper stands in contrast to the majority of the predominantly normative extant literature. It highlights divergent agendas amongst the A6 as regards the future of the G20 and discusses the high degree of competition over their identities and roles therein. This divergence and competition can be seen across a range of other behaviours including responding to the norm of internationalism in promoting global governance and maintaining the status quo and national interest, in addition to claiming a regional leadership role and managing bilateral relationships with the US.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Asia, South Korea, Australia
  • Author: Peter A. Petri, Michael G. Plummer, Fan Zhai
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Two emerging tracks of trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific—one based on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and an Asian track—could consolidate the “noodle bowl” of current smaller agreements and provide pathways to a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). We examine the benefits and strategic incentives generated by these tracks over 2010-2025. The effects on the world economy would be small initially but by 2025 the annual welfare gains would rise to $104 billion on the TPP track, $303 billion on both tracks, and $862 billion with an FTAAP. The tracks will be competitive but their strategic implications are constructive: each would generate incentives for enlargement. Over time, strong economic incentives would emerge for the United States and China to consolidate the tracks into a region-wide agreement. Each track would bring a different template to such consolidation and can be viewed as defining a “disagreement point” in the Asia-Pacific bargaining game. The study is based on an analysis of 48 actual and proposed Asia-Pacific trade agreements and models impacts on variables including sectoral trade, output, employment and job shifts in 24 world regions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: South Korea is arguably the premier development success story of the last half century. For 47 years starting in 1963, the economy averaged 7 percent real growth annually, and experienced only two years of economic contraction: 1980 after the second oil shock and the assassination of President Park Chung-hee, and 1998 at the nadir of the Asian financial crisis. At the start of that period South Korea had a per capita income lower than that of Mozambique or Bolivia; today it is richer than Spain or New Zealand, and was the first Asian and first non-G7 country to host a summit of the G20, the unofficial steering committee of the world economy.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, South Korea, Spain, Mozambique, New Zealand, Bolivia
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Until recently, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been an effective framework for cooperation because it has continually adapted to changing economic realities. The current Doha Agenda is an aberration because it does not reflect one of the biggest shifts in the international economic and trading system: the rise of China. Even though China will have a stake in maintaining trade openness, an initiative that builds on but redefines the Doha Agenda would anchor China more fully in the multilateral trading system. Such an initiative would have two pillars. First, a new negotiating agenda that would include the major issues of interest to China and its trading partners, and thus unleash the powerful reciprocal liberalization mechanism that has driven the WTO process to previous successes. Second, new restraints on bilateralism and regionalism that would help preserve incentives for maintaining the current broad non-discriminatory trading order.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: J. Jackson Ewing (ed), Alistair D.B. Cook (ed)
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The year 2011 has seen the further prioritisation of nontraditional security (NTS) issues throughout research and policymaking circles in the Asia-Pacific region. Regional trends and events have highlighted the need for strategies that can help people, communities, states and organisations address multifarious security challenges, thus propelling the NTS platform to a higher stratum of political and institutional discourse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Health, Poverty, Natural Disasters, Food
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper addresses two central questions for Asia and the world: (1) What is the purpose of Asian regional policy coordination going forward? (2) Will Asian regional policy coordination substitute or complement global policy coordination? The paper examines the potential coverage and content of such policy coordination, what is meant by Asia in this context, and how Asia fits in with global policy coordination processes. Truman addresses three related aspects of Asian regional policy coordination: macroeconomic policies, reserve management, and crisis management. He concludes that while the countries in the Asian region have not completely exploited the scope for regional policy coordination, more ambitious efforts focused on close integration are not likely to bear fruit, in particular, if they are conceived and promoted under the banner of Asian exceptionalism. These conclusions are based on two main considerations: First, Asian economies differ, and will continue to differ, sufficiently in size and stage of development such that it is difficult to conceive of a successful voluntary blending of their interests. Second, the central lesson of the global financial crisis and its current European coda is that global economic and financial integration has advanced sufficiently that countries can run but they cannot hide individually or in sub-global groups of countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: C. Randall Henning, Mohsin S. Khan
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Currently, Asia's influence in global financial governance is not consistent with its weight in the world economy. This paper examines the role of Asia in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Group of Twenty (G-20). It looks in particular at how the relationship between East Asian countries and the IMF has evolved since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 and outlines how Asian regional arrangements for crisis financing and economic surveillance could constructively interact with the IMF in the future. It also considers ways to enhance the effectiveness of Asian countries in the G-20 process.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: John Whalley, Chunding Li, Jing Wang
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The term "mega deal" has been widely used in relation to two large prospective trade deals between the United States and Europe – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — and in Asia and the Pacific — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This paper starts by exploring a possible description of trade mega deals by making an inventory of mega deals in place, under discussion or negotiation, and deals yet to be considered under different criteria. This paper also calculates the trade volume coverage and trade barrier coverage for potential mega deals, and the results show the potential impact of mega deals on trade and growth performance is large.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The historically coveted region of Abkhazia has become even more dependent on Moscow since Russia's controversial recognition a year and a half ago. Russia is financing half the region's budget, and against vigorous Georgian protests, it is spending $465 million to refurbish existing and build new military installations in the picturesque Black Sea coastal area. Virtually the entire population holds Russian citizenship, and almost all trade is with the northern neighbour. It will take constructive, creative thinking on the part of Georgian, Russian, Abkhazian and international actors alike to restore even a modicum of confidence between the parties to the conflict. Given Abkhazia's unrealistic insistence that Georgia recognise it as independent and the equally unrealistic prospect that Sukhumi will acknowledge Georgia's sovereignty, the two parties should focus on creating economic and humanitarian links without status preconditions in order to benefit both, build stability and give momentum to a long reconciliation process.
  • Topic: Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Asia
  • Author: Heike Holbig, Bruce Gilley
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The contemporary politics of China reflect an ongoing effort by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to claim the right to rule in light of the consequences of economic development, international pressures, and historical change. China stands out within the Asian region for the success the regime has achieved in this effort. By focusing on the changes in China elite discourse during the reform period and particularly during the last decade, this paper aims to elaborate on the relative importance of various sources of legitimacy as they shift over time, as well as on their inherent dilemmas and limitations. There is evidence of an agile, responsive, and creative party effort to relegitimate the post-revolutionary regime through economic performance, nationalism, ideology, culture, governance, and democracy. At the same time, the paper identifies a clear shift in emphasis from an earlier economic‐nationalistic approach to a more ideological-institutional approach.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Durgesh K. Rai
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: As the Asian economies have grown larger and become more complex, they have also be-come more integrated at both the regional and the subregional level. Yet although economic integration has increased, regionalism in the sense of economic cooperation at both the pan-Asian and subregional levels has lagged behind. Regionalism or economic cooperation in terms of bilateral or multilateral FTAs is a relatively new phenomenon, but one that has in-creased rapidly in recent years. However, the progress of Asian regionalism faces several challenges. Also, the increasing number of FTAs could lead to a "spaghetti-bowl effect" and reduce trade volume instead of increasing it. In addition to resolving the existing challenges, actors in the region need to convert some of the existing FTAs into a broader one that can serve as a hub for further integration. Given the potential economic gains and future eco-nomic dynamism of the region, this paper suggests the pursuit of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) rather than the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA).
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the agenda for the Group of Twenty (G-20) leaders' meeting in Seoul, Korea in November 2010. This is an opportunity and challenge for Asian leaders in particular. Their test will be, first, to demonstrate that they can responsibly advance economic recovery. They must also deliver on institutional reform, in particular of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I advocate a substantial expansion of the IMF's role as lender of last resort that is integrated with the surveillance role of the IMF in the form of comprehensive prequalification for IMF assistance and policy advice and a substantial increase in the IMF's financial resources. I also propose an approach to meaningful reform of the distribution of IMF quotas along with limiting European seats on the IMF executive board.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Melissa Murphy, Wen Jin Yuan
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After a decade of negotiations revolving around regional monetary cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan, and South Korea (ASEAN+3) finally reached agreement to establish a regional foreign reserve pool in February 2009. The launch of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) came amid the global financial crisis, when the ASEAN nations hit so hard during the 1997 Asian financial crisis were once again reminded of the utility of a joint policy initiative to ensure regional financial stability.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Alejandro Foxley
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: While middle-income countries have pursued regional trade agreements since the 1960s, these ties are becoming more important as the global economic crisis curtails demand from the United States and other major markets. With the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks stalled, regional trade agreements (RTAs) offer an alternative approach to increase trade, spur stronger economic growth, and lower unemployment rates in participating countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As he prepares to visit India in November, President Obama faces criticism that his administration has done too little to enhance U.S.–Indian relations. Pundits of this persuasion in Washington and New Delhi complain that Obama\'s team has tried too hard to cooperate with China in addressing regional and global challenges and has not done enough to bolster India.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, India, Asia, New Delhi
  • Author: Brad W. Setser, Arpana Pandey
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: China reported $1.95 trillion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of 2008. This is by far the largest stockpile of foreign exchange in the world: China holds roughly two times more reserves than Japan, and four times more than either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Moreover, China's true foreign port- folio exceeds its disclosed foreign exchange reserves. At the end of December, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)—part of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) managed close to $2.1 trillion: $1.95 trillion in formal reserves and between $108 and $158 billion in “other foreign assets.” China's state banks and the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China's sovereign wealth fund, together manage another $250 billion or so. This puts China's total holdings of foreign assets at over $2.3 trillion. That is over 50 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), or roughly $2,000 per Chinese inhabitant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Israel, Asia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Tom Slayton
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world rice market was aflame last spring and for several months it looked as if the trading edifice that had exhibited such resilience over the last two decades was going to burn to the ground. World prices trebled within less than four months and reached a 30- year inflation-adjusted high. Many market observers thought the previous record set in 1974 would soon be toast. The fire was man-made, not the result of natural developments. While the governments in India, Vietnam, and the Philippines did not to set the world market on fire, that was the unintended result of their actions which threatened both innocent bystanders (low-income rice importers as far away as Africa and Latin America) and, ultimately, poor rice consumers at home. This paper describes what sparked the fire and the accelerants that made a bad situation nearly catastrophic. Fortuitously, when the flames were raging at peak intensity, rain clouds appeared, the winds [market psychology] shifted, and conditions on the ground improved, allowing the fire to die down. It remains to be seen, however, if the trading edifice has been seriously undermined by the actions of decision makers in several key Asian rice exporting and importing countries. In describing the cascading negative effects of these seemingly rational domestic policies, this paper aims to help policy makers in the rice exporting and importing nations to avoid a repeat of the disastrous price spike of 2008.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, India, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: David Roodman, Jonathan Morduch
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The most-noted studies on the impact of microcredit on households are based on a survey fielded in Bangladesh in the 1990s. Contradictions among them have produced lasting controversy and confusion. Pitt and Khandker (PK, 1998) apply a quasi-experimental design to 1991–92 data; they conclude that microcredit raises household consumption, especially when lent to women. Khandker (2005) applies panel methods using a 1999 resurvey; he concurs and extrapolates to conclude that microcredit helps the extremely poor even more than the moderately poor. But using simpler estimators than PK, Morduch (1999) finds no impact on the level of consumption in the 1991–92 data, even as he questions PK's identifying assumptions. He does find evidence that microcredit reduces consumption volatility. Partly because of the sophistication of PK's Maximum Likelihood estimator, the conflicting results were never directly confronted and reconciled. We end the impasse. A replication exercise shows that all these studies' evidence for impact is weak. As for PK's headline results, we obtain opposite signs. But we do not conclude that lending to women does harm. Rather, all three studies appear to fail in expunging endogeneity. We conclude that for non-experimental methods to retain a place in the program evaluator's portfolio, the quality of the claimed natural experiments must be high and demonstrated.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia