Agriculture and rural development, Infrastructure, Regional Cooperation

Perspectives on Mekong-Japan cooperation for inclusive growth and mutual benefits

Perspectives on Mekong-Japan cooperation for inclusive growth and mutual benefits
Rapid economic development in recent decades has transformed Southeast Asia and prepared the region to join international production networks, which allow greater exports of manufacturing products, textiles, and other primary high-quality valued added products to the international market. This economic development has been achieved thanks to investments from around the globe into the region as a result of a favorable labor force, connectivity and innovation growth, and regional political stability as driven by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) vision.

Economics, Trade

Productivity spillovers from services firms in low- and middle-income countries: What is the role of firm characteristics and services liberalization?

Productivity spillovers from services firms in low- and middle-income countries: What is the role of firm characteristics and services liberalization?
It has been widely acknowledged that services play an important role for other industries, in particular manufacturing. A study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds that services represent at least 30% of the value added in manufacturing exports (OECD 2014). Another study by the World Bank suggests that countries with a higher services content in their downstream economies are also those producing more complex goods (Saez et al. 2015).

Economics

Does skilled emigration matter for real exchange rate volatility?

Does skilled emigration matter for real exchange rate volatility?
While more than two-thirds of skilled migrants are directed to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, they come from more than 100 countries. Skilled emigration opens many indirect general equilibrium questions in the source country. Does skilled emigration matter for volatility in real exchange rates?

Economics

Kuznets beyond Kuznets: Structural transformation and income distribution in the era of globalization in Asia

Kuznets beyond Kuznets: Structural transformation and income distribution in the era of globalization in Asia
Inequality persists and so does the global concern over it. Kuznets’ views about the inverted-U relationship between inequality and development and the subsequent transformation process have been under the lenses of researchers for a long time. Kuznets’ theory proposed the inverted-U relationship through (i) a declining share of agriculture in total output and (ii) migration from the low-income agricultural sector to the high-income industrial sector (Kuznets 1955).

Gender, Industry and Trade

Is female entrepreneurship a coping strategy during crises?

Is female entrepreneurship a coping strategy during crises?
The recent global economic crisis, with its peak in 2008, resulted in a decline in global gross domestic product. It led to unstable financial markets and a lag in private sector demand (World Bank 2010). Its consequences, especially for the labor market, have been most unfortunate. In many countries, workers lost their jobs, wage earnings declined, and work hours shortened (World Bank 2011).

Education, Population, Sanitation

“Theory of change” as a solution to the global sanitation crisis

“Theory of change” as a solution to the global sanitation crisis
The most exciting part of my journey here at the Asian Development Bank Institute is that I get to meet inspiring leaders who have contributed immensely to helping solve the pressing challenges related to sustainable development. This time it was an interaction opportunity with the world-renowned “Mr. Toilet”, i.e., Mr. Jack Sim. If it were not for the efforts of Mr. Toilet and the World Toilet Organization (WTO), the United Nations would not have recognized 19 November as World Toilet Day, an effort by the global agency to mainstream the discussion on wastewater.

Energy

Do solar lights help kids do better in school?

Do solar lights help kids do better in school?
Rural areas of Asia and Africa where children lack access to high-quality educational opportunities tend to also be energy poor. Solar lanterns and other small solar energy products, commonly termed “picoPVs”, have been promoted as a promising first step toward improving both lighting in homes and educational outcomes. Rural households throughout Asia and Africa have bought over 100 million picoPVs since 2010, with India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian markets being among the most “vibrant” (and receiving significant market development support from governments and development agencies).

Urban

International partnerships for catalyzing the growth of India’s Smart Cities

International partnerships for catalyzing the growth of India’s Smart Cities
The Smart Cities Mission, launched by the Government of India, aims to transform the urban governance ecosystem, especially urban local bodies (ULBs). It is hoped that the mission will help attract innovation, expertise, and financial resources for the holistic development of the ever-expanding urban areas. The creation of sector-focused, region-specific “special purpose vehicles” (SPVs) is an attempt to unleash the potential of a consortium-based approach in delivering the interdisciplinary ideation and implementation of projects.

Health

Universal health coverage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Universal health coverage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
In October 2018, the world will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the seminal Declaration of Alma-Ata where the aspiration of “health care for all” was boldly declared. The realities have sadly fallen far short of the rhetoric—half the world lacks access to essential health services and 100 million people fall into financial catastrophe due to medical bills.

Economics, Poverty Reduction

Structural transformation, growth, and inequality: Evidence from Viet Nam

Structural transformation, growth, and inequality: Evidence from Viet Nam
Economic development and growth entail large-scale structural transformation of economies. Many Asian and African economies are now undergoing such structural transformation—typically from agriculture to manufacturing and service sectors. This transformation inevitably involves reallocation of workers from the primary sector to the manufacturing and service sectors. One of the important questions arising is whether such growth led by structural transformation helps the poor. On the one hand, growth may lift people out of poverty and therefore improve living standards for everyone. On the other hand, growth may increase income inequality by benefiting the rich more than the poor.