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  • Author: Jeong Hyung-Gon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Since the global economic crisis triggered in the United States in 2008, the East Asian economic region has received particular attention as it achieved relatively solid economic growth compared to developed countries, which struggled with recession. The discussion on economic cooperation and economic liberalization within East Asia has mainly focused on the RCEP, with this discussion being led by ASEAN as it calls for ASEAN centrality. ASEAN is currently the second-largest overseas investment destination and second-largest trading partner for South Korea, making it an important partner in economic cooperation for South Korea. Particularly, as China is openly implementing economic retaliatory measures against South Korea for the deployment of THAAD missiles in the nation, South Korea has become more interested in the ASEAN market as it strives to diversify its trade and investment portfolio. Under this background, this research examines the characteristics of ASEAN FDI by income level and doing business conditions, then conducts an empirical analysis of determination factors to draw policy implications for stronger economic cooperation with ASEAN.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Lee Sooyoung
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The last decade of the world trade has been marked by an unprecedented collapse, quick recovery, slowdown, another drop, and recovery. To study cyclical and structural aspects of the recent trend of trade, I use both aggregate and disaggregated trade statistics of a small open economy, South Korea, whose economic success and growth have been heavily dependent on exports. The aggregate trend of the country is surprisingly similar to that of the world, which is why the trend of Korea's export is called a proxy for the world. I show that while the last drop of trade after 2015 has cyclical aspects, there is evidence that the continued slowdown from 2012 is structural: (1) the so-called `China factor' is found in the analysis of trade-income elasticity of the world and China for imports from Korea. (2) The bilateral trade barriers between Korea and its important trading partners are universally tightening. I also show that the firm sizes, destination countries, and the mode of transactions affect disaggregated trade flows during the slowdown periods. It is advisable to diversify main export products to lower the effect of oil prices on export prices and to strengthen the cooperation with ASEAN countries, whose trade barriers have exceptionally diminished throughout the last decade.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Kim Sujin
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Even at near-zero interest rates for a prolonged period since the financial crisis, why has business investment in advanced economies remained persistently below its pre-crisis level? This paper investigates empirically the roots of this investment puzzle from the global megatrend perspective. The empirical model of this study augmented the uncertainty-finance accelerator investment model with megatrend variables of a transition to service industry, ageing population and a rise in income inequality. The main estimation results show that they have affected negatively the business investment over the period 1980-2014. The shift-to-service driven investment fall is the price-dominant effect during the transition, which is not necessarily pessimistic news, while the suppressing effects from ageing and a rise in income inequality require adequate policy reactions. In addition, the analysis finds significant negative spillover effects of trade partners' ageing and income inequality on a country's own private investment. Based on the empirical results, I expect that the G20’s efforts in inclusiveness with structural reforms will stimulate global business investment.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • 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: Kim Young Gui
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: There have been voluminous contributions such as Daudin et al. (2011), Johnson and Noguera (2012), Koopmans et al. (2010), and Trefler and Zhu (2010) in measuring value added trade based on input-output tables as generalizations of the vertical specialization measures following Hummels et al. (2001). These studies focused on trade in intermediate goods as a key feature of recent global trade. In the case of Korea, about 50% of total exports and 70% of its total imports are intermediate goods trade. This paper contributes to the discussion about the trade in intermediate goods and productivity by revisiting Basu (1995), Jones (2011), and Lee and Pyo (2007) to examine implications of trade in intermediate goods for macroeconomic business cycles and productivity and welfare at the current stage of Korean development. The major revision of the Basu (1995) model is attempted by decomposing intermediate goods into domestically produced intermediate inputs and imported intermediate inputs to investigate implications of the model in a small open economy. The major finding is that the procyclicality of the intermediate goods usage relative to labor usage and TFP changes in both value added and gross-output regressions are significantly weaker in a small open economy like Korea than the large economy of the United States. We also investigate the effects of misallocation and multiplier effects due to intermediate goods on industrial productivity and efficiency following the model of Jones (2011). Since the effects of misallocation can be intensified through the industrial input-output structure of the economy, we calculate the intermediate goods multiplier by Korea's 29 manufacturing industries. We find technical changes and the degree of inefficiency are related with the magnitude of multipliers, but we leave a fundamental identification problem to future research
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Korea
  • Author: Justyna Szczudlik
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Asia could be described as the world’s great construction site, and is already the focus of a scramble for infrastructure projects. Among countries competing for investments are not only China with its Silk Road initiative, but also Korea, Japan, India and ASEAN, which have prepared their own infrastructural strategies. The plethora of initiatives may have a positive impact on Asia, offering diverse solutions to the infrastructural bottleneck and reforms of existing institutions and modes of assistance. But there is also the risk that fierce competition may result in unprofitable projects, while economic slowdown could cause a decline in funding. For Europe these initiatives create opportunities to take part in new projects, but the EU should be aware that the projects will be implemented mainly in Asia and by Asian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: J. Jackson Ewing
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: FACING UP TO CLIMATE CHANGE IS A KEY CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME. We are on pace in 2016 to again record the warmest global temperatures ever measured; a distinction that now appears to be an annual occurrence. Weather is becoming less predictable, storms more intense, and drought and flooding more pervasive. This destroys livelihoods, impedes economic progress, and undermines the sustainable development gains we are working hard to achieve. Slowing down and ultimately reversing climate change requires us to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. And effectively pricing carbon emissions is a vital place to start. Pricing carbon through markets creates incentives, sets clear rules, and encourages regulated organizations to lower emissions in flexible ways that work for them. Like much in the current climate change arena, the main action on carbon markets is happening beneath the global scale. After years of chasing global mechanisms to price and trade carbon emissions credits, the landmark Paris Agreement of December 2015 both recognizes and provides political and policy space for efforts at local, state, and regional levels. The relevance of carbon markets is growing apace; almost doubling in scale since 2012 with forty states and twenty-three cities, regions, and provinces pricing emissions worth some $50 billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global Focus
  • 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