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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).

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.

Economics, Environment, Trade

How does trade openness affect the environmental Kuznets curve?

How does trade openness affect the environmental Kuznets curve?
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has reformed and opened up its economy for 4 decades. However, accompanying the country’s fast-growing gross domestic product (GDP) and trade sector, environmental degradation, such as deteriorating water quality, land deforestation, pollution, and frequent haze plagues, has attracted a great deal of attention.

Economics, Finance, Transport

Spillover and straw effects of high-speed rail

High-speed rail investment: A butterfly effect for urban chaos
On a typical ride on the Tokaido Shinkansen traveling from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo, it does not take a childlike imagination to notice the view from the bullet train of scattered cars, small houses, and baseball fields, gradually changing as the train approaches its destination to packed apartment buildings and tall office towers. This is an important phenomenon of high-speed rail (HSR) implementation, which can be described by the terms “spillover effect” and “straw effect.”

Economics, Finance, Health

The costs of being overweight and obese in Asia and the Pacific

The costs of being overweight and obese in Asia and the Pacific
Increased prosperity in Asia and the Pacific has led to lifestyle changes with unwanted impacts. Studies have shown that as a result of economic progress, regions are shifting to a diet that is linked with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), particularly overweight and obesity. The World Health Organization estimates for 2015 show that about 15 million people aged 30–69 years die annually because of NCDs (Waqanivalu 2018).

Economics, Energy

What are the reasons behind the decrease in solar module prices?

What are the reasons behind the decrease in solar module prices?
The solar photovoltaic energy market has seen huge growth in recent years. Unlike solar thermal energy, which harnesses heat from sunlight to generate electricity, solar photovoltaics or PV is a technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity. The annual worldwide solar PV electricity production increased from 4 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2005 to 247 TWh in 2015 (IEA 2017). In 2016, cumulative solar PV generated over 310 TWh, 26% higher than in 2015 and representing just over 1% of global power output.

Economics, Industry and Trade

Volatility linkages between energy and food prices

Volatility linkages between energy and food prices
Energy, especially from oil and its derivatives, is a key factor of production in an economy and is widely used in different sectors—including transportation, agriculture, and industry—in households, and as a raw material in the production of petrochemical products. As such, energy has great value and affects other commodity prices. Since the first oil price shock of 1973, examining the effects of changes in energy prices, especially of oil, on macro and microeconomic levels has become one of the most fundamental issues of energy economics (Taghizadeh-Hesary et al. 2013).

Economics, Finance, Trade

Young Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Bank Credit Denials: Evidence from Europe

Young Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Bank Credit Denials: Evidence from Europe
It is widely accepted that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the backbone of most economies. Not surprisingly, the story is mostly the same across the globe. For instance, Yoshino and Taghizadeh-Hesary (2014) report that SMEs account for almost 98% of all enterprises in Asia, offering jobs to around 66% of the workforce. In the European Union, the data offer a similar picture. In fact, SMEs represent 99% of all non-financial enterprises and account, on average, for 67% of total employment (European Commission 2017). Overall, such figures undoubtedly highlight how pivotal SMEs are for the functioning of the real economy.