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  • 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: Christian von Luebke
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The relationship between economic concentration and governance remains controversial. While some studies find that high economic concentration strengthens collective action and reform cooperation, others stress dangers of rent-seeking and state capture. In this paper I argue that effects are neither strictly positive nor negative: they are best described as an inverted-u-shaped relationship, where better governance performance emerges with moderate economic concentration. Decentralization reforms in Indonesia and the Philippines Q unprecedented in scope and scale Q provide a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis. Subnational case studies and cross-sections, from both countries, indicate that moderately concentrated polities are accompanied by better service and lower corruption. The presence of Scontested oligarchiesT Q small circles of multi-sectoral interest groupsQ creates a situation where economic elites are strong enough to influence policymakers and, at the same time, diverse enough to keep each other in check. The results of this paper suggest that contested oligarchies compensate for weakly-developed societal and juridical forces and can become a stepping stone to good governance.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Israel, Asia, Philippines
  • Author: Kyoko Ii
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The objective of this research is to pinpoint the key determining factors that managers in multinational semiconductor firms use to decide upon a location to expand their business. Interviews were conducted with seventeen executives at eight companies, at both the U.S. and Japanese headquarters. Based on these interviews, the author analyzed the data to determine the strengths and weaknesses of Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture, in particular, as a semiconductor investment location. One important research finding is an assessment of these strengths and weaknesses, their importance to foreign executives, and how Kumamoto can capitalize on them in order to attract more business to the region.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Iran, Asia
  • Author: Dennis Arroyo
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Major economic reforms are often politically difficult, causing pain to voters and provoking unrest. They may be opposed by politicians with short time horizons. They may collide with the established ideology and an entrenched ruling party. They may be resisted by bureaucrats and by vested interests. Obstacles to major economic reform can be daunting in democratic and autocratic polities alike.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand
  • Author: Fangbin Qiao, Jim Wilen, Jikun Huang
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The goal of this study is to discuss why China and perhaps other developing countries may not need a refuge policy for Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton. We describe in detail the different elements that a nation—especially a developing one—should be considering when deciding if a refuge policy is needed. Drawing on a review of scientific data, economic analysis of other cases and a simulation exercise using a bio-economic model that we have produced to examine this question, we show that in the case of Bt cotton in China, the approach of not requiring special cotton refuges is defensible.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jikun Huang, Qiuqiong Huang, Richard Howitt, Jinxia Wang
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: As water becomes scarcer in northern China, designing policies that can induce water users to save water has become one of the most important tasks facing China's leader. Past water policies may not be a solution for the water scarcity problem in the long run. This paper looks at a new water policy: increasing water prices so as to provide water users with direct incentives to save water. Using a methodology that allows us to incorporate the resource constraints, we are able to recover the true price of water with a set of plot level data. Our results show that farmers are quite responsive if the correct price signal is used, unlike estimates of price elasticities that are based on traditional methods. Our estimation results show that water is severely under priced in our sample areas in China. As a result, water users are not likely to respond to increases in water prices. Thus as the first step to establishing an effective water pricing policy, policy makers must increase water price to the level of VMP so that water price reflects the true value of water, the correct price signal. Increases in water prices once they are set at the level of VMP, however, can lead to significant water savings. However, our analysis also shows that higher water prices also affect other aspects of the rural sector. Higher irrigation costs will lower the production of all crops, in general, and that of grain crops, in particular. Furthermore, when facing higher irrigation costs, households suffer income losses. Crop income distribution also worsens with increases in water prices.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Tetsufumi Arita
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: For the past five years, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has employed an unconventional monetary easing policy, called quantitative monetary easing. Under a zero interest rate regime, the BOJ shifted its tool for monetary easing from interest rates to quantity of money, thus providing the money market with much more money than it needs. It is difficult to find evidence that this monetary easing has contributed to the current economic recovery. What we can show is that this quantitative easing diluted the functions of interest rates in the money market, with the following consequences: quantitative easing hid the risks of the huge amount of fiscal debt and supported troubled commercial banks. Hence it helped to prevent both fiscal and financial crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Douglas Webster, Jianming Cai, Binyi Luo, Larisa Muller
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Hangzhou Municipality is the provincial capital of Zhejiang, on China's east coast. It forms part of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region. Hangzhou was “opened up” in the mid-1980s, following Deng Xiaoping's visit to the South, resulting in an almost immediate flood of foreign and domestic investment in manufacturing. This initial investment was significantly in the peri-urban areas, i.e., outside the built-up area. The authors have been following development in the Hangzhou extended urban region, with emphasis on peri-urbanization processes, since 2000. A previous APARC discussion paper describes findings of preliminary field research on the Hangzhou–Ningbo Corridor, conducted in August 2000 and March 2001. The present paper zooms in on two peri-urban clusters in the Hangzhou extended urban region, and assesses their development over time. The goal of the research is to better understand how a peri-urban region changes—particularly in terms of firm evolution, labor characteristics, and spatial dynamics—as it becomes more economically and demographically mature. This paper also examines such changes in the context of the increasing cost structures and emerging competitors, primarily from other areas in China, that the Hangzhou peri-urban region now faces.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Maryland
  • Author: Douglas Webster, Jianming Cai, Binyi Luo, Annemarie Schneider, Karen C. Seto
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, has undergone rapid transformation during China's post-reform period between 1978 and 2003. One of the leading cities in southwest China, Chengdu is second only to Chongqing in population. Chengdu anchors one end of the Chongqing-Chengdu urban corridor, the fourth most populous urban cluster in China. Although the upgrading of Chongqing Municipality to the equivalent of provincial status in 1997 has increased the city's profile and potential as an administrative, land transportation, and manufacturing center, it is expected that Chengdu's regional and strategic importance as a service and high-tech center will increase in the future. With increased economic specialization among Chinese cities, it is expected that Chengdu and Chongqing cities will increasingly complement each other in terms of function, both enhancing their developmental prospects as a result. Further, the development of western China is a major objective of the Tenth Five Year Plan. The “Go West” policy was introduced in 1999.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Chongqing, Chengdu
  • Author: Lawrence J. Lau, Guijuan Wang
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy has had the highest rate of growth in the world in the past two decades. However, despite its rapid growth and the significant improvements in its financial system, serious risks and problems still exist in both the commercial banking sector and the stock market, that may potentially threaten the stable development and growth of the entire economy. In this paper, these risks and problems in the stock market and the commercial banking sector are identified. Possible solutions are then discussed. Finally, tax reforms are proposed that have the effects of (1) eliminating the double taxation on cash dividends from corporate profits; (2) encouraging the substitution of new equity for existing debt by corporations, which can lower the P/E ratios without lowering the stock prices and improve quality of commercial bank assets by reducing the probability of new nonperforming loans; and (3) attracting new and longer-term investors, both domestic and foreign, to the Chinese stock market. It is also shown that the proposed tax reforms will not result in a significant reduction in total fiscal revenue.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mary Comerford Cooper
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: This paper considers two questions. First, why did the Chinese government establish stock markets? Second, how have political interests shaped the key features of these markets? Based on both interviews and statistical analysis, the paper argues that China's top Party-State leaders attempted to create stock market institutions that allow the state to maintain control over listed companies, and over “the market” as a whole.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Mary Comerford Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: This paper examines a key aspect of the politics of stock markets in China—the distinct differences in interests between central government leaders and local governments. Central government leaders have a powerful incentive to promote macroeconomic stability and good performance of the stock market. Local leaders, for their part, are less concerned with the overall performance of the stock market than with gaining access to the stock market for companies under their own jurisdiction. The paper demonstrates that company listing brings tangible economic benefits to municipalities. Listed companies are associated with higher levels of gross domestic product (GDP), budgetary revenue, and industrial and commercial tax revenue. Therefore, it is not surprising that local officials put substantial effort into lobbying for the right to list additional companies on the national stock exchanges.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Andrew G. Walder
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Despite skepticism about official economic statistics, there is little doubt that China since 1978 has undergone an economic transformation of historic proportions. This outcome stands in stark opposition to arguments that were once widely accepted in several scholarly communities, and which are still highly influential even today. In the early 1980s there was wide agreement that “partial” reform, under a single party dictatorship that sought indefinitely to preserve public ownership, was a recipe for failure. China specialists, students of comparative economic systems, and economists who advised governments and international agencies about postcommunist restructuring in Eurasia were initially in broad agreement on this point.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mary Comerford Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Does the World Trade Organization promote democracy? A large part of the heated and protracted debate over China's application for WTO membership revolved around this question. Prior to China's WTO accession in December 2001, this debate had dragged on for nearly fifteen years. While one side argued that WTO membership would promote democratization in China, others argued that the wealth generated through economic integration would provide the resources to maintain authoritarian rule. Only time will tell whether WTO accession will contribute to pressures for democratization in China. In the meantime, however, this paper examines the empirical basis for these competing claims about the effects of GATT/WTO memberships on domestic political systems. Based on statistical analysis of a global data set, this paper concludes that members of the international trade regime are more likely than nonmembers to be democracies. However, there is little evidence that WTO membership in itself can promote democratic transition. Instead, it appears to be the case that democratic countries are more likely to seek to join the WTO.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Andrew G. Walder
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Command economies gave communist-era elites administrative control and material privilege but severely restricted money income and private wealth. Markets and privatization inject new value into public assets and create unprecedented opportunities for elite insiders to extract incomes or assume ownership. These opportunities vary with the extensiveness of regime change and the barriers to asset appropriation. Within these limits, they further vary with the concentration and form of economic assets and structural changes induced by reform. Elite advantages are smallest where regime change is extensive and barriers to asset appropriation are high, and in small-scale economies that grow rapidly. In China, there has been no regime change and privatization has been delayed and slow. In the rural economy, elites keep their posts as a source of economic advantage, while low entry barriers to household enterprise and rapid growth have created new entrepreneurial elites. After two decades, rural officials nonetheless enjoy large net income advantages that grow along with the expansion of labor markets and private entrepreneurship. These are not generic outcomes of market reform, but the product of market reform in distinctive political and structural conditions.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Gi-Wook Shin
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Some months ago a Stanford freshman came to ask for help on his project on Korea. At the time, I thought he was a Korean American, given that his command of both English and Korean is excellent. To my surprise, I learned that he was educated until high school in Korea and had never been to the United States before coming to Stanford. He surprised me further when he told me about his high school, the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy (KMLA). Located in a remote area of Kwangwon province—arguably the more underdeveloped region in South Korea—KMLA aspires to be Korea's version of Eton. The school's goal is to produce Korea's future leaders, and to instill in them a strong national identity (see its website at http://www.minjok.hs.kr). Fascinated by what he told me, I made a visit to his high school in fall 2002.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Andrew G. Walder, Litao Zhao
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: For more than two decades after the demise of Maoist collectivism, a resurgent market economy has deeply transformed the social structure of rural China. By the mid-1980s, peasant households had already returned to historical marketing patterns of agricultural produce and other sidelines and services. By the turn of the century, almost 140 million individuals, or 30 percent of the rural labor force, earned regular incomes from wage labor outside agriculture. Twenty million rural households had registered individual family enterprises, and two million of them had already grown into substantial private firms. A massive rural industrial sector grew up under public ownership in the 1980s, employing more than 80 million at its height. It was then extensively privatized in the 1990s, and is now less than half its former size. While these developments have been widely noted in studies of rural industrialization and income inequality, it is still far from clear how they have altered the structure and wealth of village political and economic elites.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Kyounglim Yun, Heejin Lee, So-Hye Lim
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: In recent years, Korea has seen a remarkable diffusion in broadband Internet connections. This paper explores the actions and factors contributing to this diffusion from three viewpoints: public sector, private sector, and social. We suggest that the matching of demand and supply is the most important factor in the fast diffusion of broadband in Korea. In particular, fierce infrastructure competition has led to quality services at a low fixed price. We also consider two challenges that lie ahead: take-up of retail e-commerce applications, and the need to bridge the digital divide.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Andrew G. Walder
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The ideal types that motivate research on transitional economies have led to a neglect of the varied mechanisms that generate social change. One example is the implicit treatment of privatization as a single process whose initial impact will become more pronounced through time. Privatization in fact occurs via distinct mechanisms that have different consequences across types of assets and through time, as shown in an analysis of career trajectories over two decades in rural China. During the first decade, when privatization proceeded via the rapid expansion of household enterprise, ordinary individuals with nonagricultural work experience were the most likely to become private entrepreneurs. Village officials, their relatives, and public enterprise managers did not enter the private sector at rates higher than others. However, during the second decade the privatization of public enterprises began to transfer collective assets to individual ownership. During this period, public enterprise managers and the relatives of cadres emerged as the most likely to become private entrepreneurs. Private entrepreneurs, however, have yet to move into cadre posts, and cadres have yet to move into private entrepreneurship, at rates higher than others. Administrative elites have therefore proven resilient in the face of private-sector expansion, and the benefits of privatization have gradually shifted in their favor.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nicole Pole
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Foreign banks have long faced difficulties in attempting to enter certain Japanese financial markets. This is due partly to regulatory practices and partly to specific Japanese socioeconomic conditions, for instance the system of relationship banking. While retail banking is still a sector in which almost no foreigners have been able to succeed, some foreign financial institutions have been able to gain market share in investment and wholesale banking.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Robert Thomas Crow
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The rate of investment sufficient to provide developing Asia with a reasonably adequate supply of electricity is immense, ranging from a World Bank estimate of 2000 megawatts (MW) each month (which translates into an annual investment of about $35 billion per year) to even higher estimates. All of the larger countries of developing Asia have been looking for foreign direct investment (FDI) to provide a significant amount of the needed capital. In 1996, financial closings for new power projects in developing Asia reached $13.7 billion, or almost 40 percent of the lower range of the estimated requirement. Although data on the foreign share of the monetary value of financial closings is not available, it is likely to be over 80 percent. Thus, the foreign share of total direct investment in power projects in developing Asia appeared to have been around 30 percent before the East Asian currency crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: C.H. Kwan
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The currency crisis that started in Thailand in the summer of 1997 was followed by repercussions on the currencies of neighboring countries, culminating in a crisis infecting most countries in East Asia. Japan and China, which have developed strong ties with the rest of Asia through trade and investment, have not been exempted from this contagion. This paper looks at the latest currency crisis in Asia from the perspectives of these two regional giants.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Sang-Mok Suh
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Just like many other crises, the Korean currency crisis came suddenly. In mid–November 1997, headlines in the Korean press consisted mostly of presidential election stories. At that time the presidential race was very close; the Grand National Party candidate, Lee Hoi–Chang, was making a dramatic comeback, while the National Congress for New Politics candidate, Kim Dae–jung, was making his best effort to maintain his narrow lead. Thus, when President Kim Young Sam announced on November 19 his decision to fire key economic policy–makers on the grounds of mismanaging the economy, most Koreans were surprised at the news and questioned the president's motivation. Two days later they were completely shocked to learn that the Korean government was asking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for emergency standby loans because the Korean foreign reserve level was very low at $7.3 billion and most foreign financial institutions were unwilling to roll over their short–term loans to Korea.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Donald Emmerson, Henry Rowen, Michel Oksenberg, Daniel Okimoto, James Raphael, Thomas Rohlen, Michael H. Armacost
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, the power and prestige of the United States in East Asia have suffered a worrisome degree of erosion. The erosion is, in part, the by-product of long-run secular trends, such as structural shifts in the balance of power caused by the pacesetting growth of East Asian economies. But the decline has been aggravated by shortcomings in U.S. policy toward East Asia, particularly the lack of a coherent strategy and a clear-cut set of policy priorities for the post-Cold War environment. If these shortcomings are not corrected, the United States runs the risk of being marginalized in East Asia--precisely at a time when our stakes in the region are as essential as those in any area of the world. What is needed, above all, is a sound, consistent, and publicly articulated strategy, one which holds forth the prospect of serving as the basis for a sustainable, nonpartisan domestic consensus. The elements of an emerging national consensus can be identified as follows:
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia