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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.

Health, Poverty Reduction, Social Development and Poverty

Is Indonesia’s subsidized rice program benefitting its children?

Is Indonesia’s subsidized rice program benefitting its children?
Indonesia’s subsidized rice program, RASKIN (also known as Operasi Pasar Khusus), constitutes the longest running and the largest in-kind transfer for poor households in Indonesia. In 2010, government expenditure on RASKIN accounted for 53% of the total household-targeted social assistance. What has been the impact of this program on child health in Indonesia? Our recent paper (Gupta and Huang 2018) is, in this regard, the first attempt in the literature to analyze this issue in the context of Indonesia.

Finance, Poverty Reduction

Remittances as a trigger for postal financial inclusion

Remittances as a trigger for postal financial inclusion
More than 1 billion adult Asians rely on the region’s 350,000 post offices. Over 2 million employees in more than 350,000 post offices and agents across Asia serve 1 billion of the 3.2 billion adults in the region (more than 57% of the world’s adult population) by providing basic financial services, including the receipt of remittances. The majority of the users live in rural communities or peri-urban areas, often at a considerable distance from bank branches, and consider post offices as an immediate access point to financial services.

Economics, Education, Finance, Poverty Reduction

What are the policy options for reversing productivity decline?

What are the policy options for reversing productivity decline?
The world economy at present is in the middle of profound adjustment. Slow economic growth and obvious economic divisions are resulting in the self-fulfilling “low-growth trap”, while productivity is declining all over the world and income inequality is worsening at the country level. These trends have been interacting and blending with each other since the global financial crisis of 2008 and have triggered a vicious cycle that has become an obstacle to world economic recovery.

Economics, Finance, Poverty Reduction, Social Development and Poverty

International remittances and poverty reduction

International remittances and poverty reduction
The World Bank (2014) estimates that international remittances to developing countries reached $436 billion in 2014. Remittances to the East Asia and the Pacific region and the South Asia region account for the largest and second-largest shares in the world. The authors examine the impact of international remittances on poverty reduction to determine whether such remittances contributed to a reduction in various indicators of poverty.

Economics, Environment, Infrastructure, Population, Poverty Reduction, Social Development and Poverty, Urban

Housing policy in the Republic of Korea

Housing policy in the Republic of Korea
This article evaluates housing policy in the Republic of Korea over the past 5 decades or so, and describes new challenges arising from the changing environment. The most pressing housing problem in the early phase of development of the Republic of Korea was an absolute shortage of housing. The country addressed this problem with the pragmatic approach of engaging the market using government intervention as leverage.

Economics, Education, Finance, Governance, Poverty Reduction, Social Development and Poverty

Costs of expanded public pension coverage in emerging Asia

Costs of expanded public pension coverage in emerging Asia
The fiscal burden of public pensions in most emerging Asian economies is relatively small, reflecting relatively young populations and limited coverage of the retired-age population in public pension programs. Nonetheless, these conditions are likely to change dramatically in the coming decades. First, many Asian economies will face rapidly aging populations, which will raise pension and other old-age-related spending substantially. Second, as economies develop, political pressures to expand the coverage of public pensions and raise the level of pension benefits relative to income will likely increase.

Economics, Finance, Poverty Reduction

Distortions, growth catch-up, and the middle-income trap

Distortions, growth catch-up, and the middle-income trap
In theory, a distortion refers to a departure from the perfect competitive equilibrium with no externalities and in which resources have been optimally allocated so that each economic agent maximizes his or her own welfare. Thus, distortions are closely associated with market imperfections. In reality, an economy with no distortions does not exist—both advanced and developing economies use government interventions, such as stabilization policies, development strategies, industrial policies, administrative regulations, and so forth, which can be viewed as distortions, broadly defined.

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.

Poverty Reduction

How to channel migrant remittances to deliver growth

How to channel migrant remittances to deliver growth
Over the past decade, many developing countries have made substantial progress toward reducing poverty, and remittances sent by migrant workers have hugely contributed to this progress.