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By Shreyas P. Bharule. Posted September 20, 2018
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.”
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).
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.
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).
By Danilo Valerio Mascia. Posted May 20, 2018
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.
By Azar Hasanli. Posted May 2, 2018
After the oil price crunch in mid-2014, Azerbaijan entered into a new stage of economic development. During 2004–2014, thanks to high oil prices, Azerbaijan achieved substantial growth rates, which were accompanied by improved social conditions and macroeconomic stability. Azerbaijan’s average annual growth rate during 2000–2013 of 11.3% played a key role in the improvement of the country’s international economic ranking.
Impact of Retaliatory Trade Enforcement Actions on the World Trade Organization and Trade Governance
By Soo-hyun Lee. Posted April 25, 2018
The international regulatory instruments in international trade boast a remarkable story of evolving sophistication. Their transformation from voluntary export restraint agreements showed that the world trade system was poised to keep pace with rapidly expanding trade ties and diversifying supply chains. To keep the reins on an increasingly dynamic global trade system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) sought to formalize instruments that would help keep trade balanced and fair by isolating international trade from government intervention, in alignment with the economic thinking of the period: neoliberal convergence.
By Rajeev K. Goel. Posted March 13, 2018
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is attractive, especially for developing and emerging markets, as it brings new technologies and mitigates the constraints imposed by low domestic capital formation. Lawmakers enact various policies to make such investments attractive for foreigners, and businesses often actively seek foreign collaborators. India, for instance, under the present government, has been aggressive in seeking foreign investments through its “Make in India” campaign.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been liberalizing its financial system for nearly 4 decades. While it now has a comprehensive financial system with a large number of financial institutions and large financial assets, its financial policies are still highly repressive. These repressive financial policies are now a major hindrance to the PRC’s economic growth (Huang and Wang 2011).
By Shang-Jin Wei. Posted February 8, 2018
As cross-border capital flows rise relative to world gross domestic product (GDP), developing countries do not wish to miss the associated benefits. But at the same time, they are also anxious about avoiding the associated economic instability and distortions. What is the right strategy with regards to international capital flows? We can draw lessons based on the recent literature.
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