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Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

COVID-19 hitting migration and remittances hard in developing Asia

COVID-19 hitting migration and remittances hard in developing Asia
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has devastated economies worldwide, slashing jobs and incomes. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2020a) estimates that employment in Asia and the Pacific will fall by as much as 167 million jobs in 2020 should containment measures last 6 months from when the outbreak first intensified in the respective countries. In turn, wage incomes in the region are projected to fall from $359 billion to $550 billion.

Gender, Poverty, Social development and protection

How can trade liberalization boost women’s employment and well-being? An analysis of the Thai labor market

How can trade liberalization boost women’s employment and well-being? An analysis of the Thai labor market
As the economy is a gendered structure, trade liberalization affects women and men differently in various dimensions and through different channels. Trade liberalization causes structural transformation in terms of production and, therefore, leads to changes in employment patterns and income. However, the effect of trade is heterogenous across different sectors.

Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen

Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen
Over 50 years ago, a pioneering medical system was launched in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Known as the “barefoot doctors” scheme, the program liberalized healthcare beyond doctors and allowed some 1.5 million community health workers to practice basic medicine after 3–6 months of training. This effectively created a national network of healthcare services for the very first time, increasing rural healthcare coverage to 90%.

Poverty, Social development and protection

Achieving a peaceful world: What can intellectuals do to make it happen?

Achieving a peaceful world: What can intellectuals do to make it happen?
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought the world together, although in a somewhat disturbing manner. Every individual on the planet is hoping for relief from the pandemic via a cure for the afflicted and a vaccine for prevention. Notwithstanding the urgency of addressing this immediate problem, the world economy and society should use this challenge to undertake initiatives that last longer and hopefully forever.

Economics, Poverty

The impact of trade opening on developing Asia: Evidence and policy implications

The impact of trade opening on developing Asia: Evidence and policy implications
Even though in aggregate, trade leads to economic gains, it almost always creates winners and losers. To design appropriate social protection policies, it is important to know the identities of these winners and losers. These policies need to be in place for equity reasons as well as to build and sustain support for free trade.

Economics, Poverty

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, Social development and protection

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 sector development, Poverty

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 sector development, Poverty

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 sector development, Poverty, Social development and protection

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.