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Economics, Education, Governance, Poverty Reduction

Why is Income Distributed Unequally? A Comparison of Japan and the United States

Why is Income Distributed Unequally? A Comparison of Japan and the United States
Japan and the United States (US) are at similar levels of economic development, yet their income distributions are considerably different. Whereas Japan has a relatively equal income distribution, the US is marked by a high level of income inequality. What are the sources of income inequality in both countries? Our latest research aims to uncover the sources on income inequality in both countries by exploiting detailed household panel survey. Read more.

Economics, Finance, Governance

Ultra-low interest rates and wandering overinvestment cycles in East Asia

Ultra-low interest rates and wandering overinvestment cycles in East Asia
In the 1960s, Kaname Akamatsu (1961) described the gradual relocation of industries from the advanced industrialized countries in East Asia to the less advanced countries during the latter’s economic catch-up process as the “flying geese” pattern. For instance, the textile industry was clustered in Japan in the 1950s but then successively relocated to the newly industrialized economies (Hong Kong, China; Taipei,China; Singapore; and the Republic of Korea), the new generation of tiger countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and now increasingly to Viet Nam. Read more.

Economics, Finance, Governance

The brief for cash

The brief for cash
Cash is an extremely useful social contrivance. Two possible drawbacks of high-denomination cash have recently been discussed by Kenneth Rogoff (2016) in his book, The Curse of Cash, and echoed by other economists. They are the extensive use of high-denomination cash by criminals and others engaged in illicit and corrupt activities, and the role that cash plays in avoiding deeply negative nominal interest rates imposed on bank accounts. Rogoff and others call for a phasing-out of high denomination cash over a long period. Read more.

Economics

Market failure or low-skills equilibrium?

Market Failure or Low-Skills Equilibrium
As we know from countless growth accounting studies, the ability of a country to educate and train its citizens is a key determinant of economic development. There is also fairly strong evidence at the company level that a workforce with higher human capital generates higher productivity. In other words, not only are there strong incentives for governments to educate and train people, but there are also incentives at the firm level for companies to hire more educated workers and to offer training to their existing workers. Read more.

Economics, Education

Benefits of education and training for SMEs in Asia

Benefits of education and training for SMEs in Asia
The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to economies in Asia is well known. They account for over 95% of all businesses, a third to half of aggregate output, and the majority of enterprise employment (Vandenberg, Chantapacdepong, and Yoshino 2016). We also know that SMEs do not have an easy life. They struggle to get established, face a higher failure rate than large firms, and lack access to key inputs such as finance. Finding ways to increase their survival rate and growth is important for expanding private sector activity in Asia’s developing economies. Sustaining enterprises requires that they are competitive; competitiveness, in turn, is based on productivity. Read more.

Economics

Are financial statements effective in evaluating the creditworthiness of small and medium-sized enterprises?

Are Financial Statements Effective in Evaluating the Creditworthiness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises?
The credit risk database (CRD) was established in March 2001 as a membership organization to collect financial statements, some nonfinancial information, and default information of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Japan. CRD members are composed of all credit guarantee corporations (CGCs) in Japan, government-affiliated or private financial institutions, and so on. Read more.

Economics

Rethinking the small and medium-sized enterprise financing model and the role of commercial banks

Rethinking the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Financing Model and the Role of Commercial Banks
At a time of much global uncertainty and economic slowdown, building internal resiliency is becoming increasingly important. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a central part in this, via its role in enhancing economic dynamism and creating employment opportunities in a country. SMEs usually make up a huge proportion of all businesses around the world. In Thailand, they account for as much as 99.7% of all enterprises, hire 80.3% of total labor force, and contribute 26.3% of export value. Read more.

Economics

Implications of negative interest rates for Asia

Implications of Negative Interest Rates for Asia
The ultra-low and negative interest rate environment in advanced economies and its implications for the rest of the world are currently among the top concerns of financial market participants and policy makers worldwide. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, recently said the low interest rate equilibrium is one of the challenges that the global economy risks becoming trapped in. The phenomenon started when the central banks of the eurozone, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark adopted negative interest rates from mid-2014 to early 2015. Japan followed in January 2016 and Hungary was the first emerging market to introduce negative rates in March 2016. Read more.

Economics

Spillover effects of Japan’s unconventional monetary policy on emerging Asia

Like other central banks in advanced countries, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) adopted an unconventional monetary policy after the 2007–2009 global financial crisis (GFC). After Prime Minister Abe advocated the new policy regime, Abenomics, the BOJ became highly aggressive in its unconventional policy (see, for example, Fukuda [2015] for details). On 4 April 2013, BOJ Governor Kuroda introduced quantitative and qualitative monetary easing (QQE) and committed to achieve a 2% inflation target in 2 years. Read more.

Economics, Finance

Does internal and external research and development affect innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises? Evidence from India and Pakistan

Does Internal and External Research and Development Affect Innovation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises? Evidence from India and Pakistan
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in the economic growth of a country. Specifically, in developing countries where poverty, unemployment, low income per capita, low literacy rate, and high inflation and interest rates can hinder economic growth, SMEs contribute significantly to the national income and provide employment opportunities (Moktan 2007). However, SMEs have low survival rates than large firms because of resource constraints. Read more.