EconoMonitor

Economics Blog Aggregator

    Asia

  • East Asia Forum

    Refining the Western counter terrorism strategy

    Author: Amin Saikal, ANU The US-led international coalition may well be able to roll back the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, but this will not be the end of the story. As long as the conditions and causes that have given rise to IS persists in the Middle East, the emergence of a similar group is always possible in the future. The challenge for the US and Western allies, as well as to the regional actors, is to find an appropriate political strategy to address those causes and conditions on an enduring basis. At present, no such strategy exists. When al-Qaeda executed its September 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush declared a ‘war on terror’. The specific goal was not only eliminating al-Qaeda and its supporters but also marginalising the forces ...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Opportunities in analytical and policy-oriented economics

    Analytical research At the Macro/Finance Group in NIPFP, we have an active research program with a flow of papers, conferences, etc. There are exciting opportunities here for people with a Ph.D. (economics, finance, statistics) or Masters (economics, finance or statistics). The key skills are macroeconomics and finance, modern quasi-experimental and time-series econometrics, working with large datasets and complex empirical research. We are at the frontiers of computation, and write and release R packages. The persons who fit these roles are those who want to get absorbed in doing research about how the world works, or learn how to do such research. Public policy `think tank' In our `think tank' role, we analyse the problems of existing policy frameworks and propo...more

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  • East Asia Forum

    Why Indonesia should take a leading role in ASEAN

    Author: Pattharapong Rattanasevee, Burapha University ASEAN would benefit from stronger leadership. But Indonesia, the country best placed to take up that role, appears unwilling. Indonesia could be the leader that ASEAN needs, but it intentionally refrains from asserting its influence over the association. This is due to Indonesia’s internal weaknesses, ASEAN’s norms of non-interference and equality among members, and the remaining antagonism among ASEAN member countries. This situation leaves a power vacuum within the association and intensifies the academic debate about leadership in integrating regions. There are three possible and intertwining explanations of leadership in ASEAN. Sectorial leadership refers to leadership exercised through areas or sectors of c...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    DPRK refused entry to China-led AIIB

    According to Emerging Markets: North Korea approached China to join the new Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) only to be summarily rebuffed by its chief economic and financial ally, Emerging Markets can reveal. A senior envoy from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) approached the presumptive inaugural president of the AIIB, Jin Liqun, probably in Beijing in February, only to be spurned, senior Chinese diplomatic sources said. China’s message to North Korea was a straight-and-simple “no way”, the diplomat said, adding that China had asked for, and had failed to secure, a far more detailed breakdown of North Korea’s financial and economic picture, seen by the new China-led development bank as a basic first step in admitting t...more

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  • East Asia Forum

    Fiji’s ‘coup babies’ just starting to log on to democracy

    Author: Jope Tarai, USP The ‘coup babies’ are the generation that were born around the years before and shortly after Fiji’s first coup of 1987. The majority of this generation voted for the first time in Fiji’s 2014 elections, after living through two coups in 1987, one in 2000 and a fourth in 2006. This generation has not lived in a period of genuine democracy, free from militarism, chiefly patronage, and racially-based and biased politics. According to preliminary figures, 47 per cent of the voting population were within the ages of 18–35. Out this group, 75 per cent voted for the first time. The majority of these first-time voters were young people whose political conscience had been formed during an intense period of military rule from 2006–2014. For ov...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    Outline for development of Wonsan-Kumgangsan Tourist Region revealed

    Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES) North Korea has recently revealed an outline of its plans for the Wonsan-Kumgangsan Tourist Region. In May an information session regarding the development of this project will be held on-site in Kumgangsan. The Chinese newspaper Liaoning Daily reported on March 21, 2015: “North Korea recently held a briefing session regarding its development plans for the Wonsan-Kumgangsan Region at the Grand Metropark Hotel in Shenyang. The meeting was attended by professionals, scholars and businesspeople from several neighboring Northeast Asian countries.” According to the newspaper, at the event North Korea revealed development plans for a tourist region of approximately 430 square km in area. It also revealed that there will be six maj...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    The issue of authenticity in Indian economics

    Aatish Taseer wrote in the New York Times: In my own world — the world of English writing and publishing in India — the language has wrought neuroses of its own. India, over the past three decades, has produced many excellent writers in English, such as Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh and Arundhati Roy. The problem is that none of these writers can credit India alone for their success; they all came to India via the West, via its publishing deals and prizes. ... This meant that it was not really possible for writers like myself to pursue a serious career in an Indian language. We were forced instead to make a roundabout journey back to India. We could write about our country, but we always had to keep an eye out for what worked in the West. It is a sh...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Improving warehousing in India through a grading mechanism

    by Smriti Sharma. A key sub-industry in modern agriculture is warehousing. Storage reduces price fluctuations. Trusted storage permits `dematerialisation', where warehouse receipts are traded or delivered, and is the key link between physical goods and finance. At present, the quantity and quality of warehouses in India are inadequate. This is a key bridge that has to be crossed for the modernisation of agriculture. Trusted mechanisms for warehousing of non-agricultural goods are also an important enabler of the market economy. Warehouses claim to take in goods and keep them safe. The customer of a warehouse does not know the probability with which the promise will be violated. There are a diverse array of warehouses in India, but customers do not know the failure r...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Goodbye, Mr Lee Kuan Yew

    Goodbye, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I mourn your passing. Never had tears at the death of any leader. You're the 1st & probably the last. — Atanu Dey (@atanudey) March 23, 2015 ...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    Gravity-fed tap water system established in DPRK

    According to KCNA: Gravity-fed Tap Water System Established in DPRK Pyongyang, March 22 (KCNA) — Today marks World Water Day. In this regard, Ri Nam Hyon, section chief of the DPRK Ministry of Urban Management, noted that the government has striven to supply quality drinking water to citizens on a normal basis. He told KCNA: The DPRK government has made big efforts to the introduction of gravity-fed water supply system. This introduction began in the township of Pukchong County, South Hamgyong Province, in 2003 while a brisk work was launched to explore the headstreams throughout the country. At present, the gravity-fed water supply system has been established in 35 cities and counties, including Rason and Wonsan, across the country. The establishment of this sys...more

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  • China Matters

    July 17, 2012: The Day America Exited the 9/11 Era…By Entering an Alliance with Al Qaeda

    I note with interest that Thomas Friedman, the premier moral imbecile of American journalism, is spitballing the idea of using ISIS to roll back Iran.Friedman is still an outlier.  The moderate voice in hawkish Middle East policy today, on the other hand, belongs to analysts calling for supporting al Qaeda as the preferred US asset against Iran and, for that matter, ISIS.This marks a sea change in American Middle East public punditry and a sign that the United States has moved beyond the 9/11 era, in which our national policy and indeed our national identity was largely defined by getting those AQ bad guys who had knocked down the World Trade Center, blown a hole in the Pentagon, and killed over 3000 Americans on a single day in 2001.Now, the oppose-Iran obsession...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    Recruiting Chinese Patients for IVF & Surrogacy

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  • Health Intel Asia

    Modern Insights from the Decade-Old Baraclude Launch in China (Forbes)

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Friday the 13th, Pi Day the 14th & Beware the Ides of March

    But first, if you are superstitious then be wary since it is Friday the 13th. If you know anything about numbers, and you live in the US, then you can be irrational on Saturday which is Pi Day. This pi day stuff works only in the US convention of writing mm/dd/yy for dates. But whatever you do, beware the Ides of March. ...more

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  • China Matters

    Twilight of the CCP…AND Shambaughism?

    I’ve resisted weighing in on l’affaire Shambaugh—David Shambaugh’s blunt WSJ op-ed declaring that “the endgame of Chinese communist rule has now begun” thanks to Xi Jinping’s predilection for tight control instead of political reform as a response to China’s looming troubles—because there’s really no useful response to his thesis except “Interesting prediction of the future…but predicting the future of China accurately is notoriously difficult.”However, there is one point I think is worth raising, is How does U.S. government PRC policy reflect, contradict, or address Shambaugh’s views?David Shambaugh, after all, is the most heavily credentialed China-watcher in the biz.  If he says the CCP is headed for collapse, how does that affect th...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    Healthcare in Vietnam Report: Pharma, Device, & the Tender Process

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  • China Matters

    The West’s Historical Amnesia, Moral Collapse, and Criminal Culpability in Syria

    Today the Guardian in its trademark handwringing fashion is marking the fourth anniversary of the Syrian conflict: 200,000 dead, 3.5 million refugees.  The Guardian should also commemorate three and a half years of bloodshed, destruction, and misery inflicted upon Syria by the United States, the EU, and the GCC—make that murder, war crimes, and collective punishment IMO--much of it enthusiastically endorsed by the Guardian and its media brethren.Think I’m exaggerating?  But first read the piece (reproduced below) that I wrote in November 2011, when it was clear that the domestic uprising was headed for defeat and the West and GCC faced the crucial choice whether to let Assad cobble together some reconciliatory process…or try to bring him down with ...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Public Choice Society Conference at San Antonio TX Mar 12-15

    Well, I am off to a conference. Public Choice Society Conference in San Antonio TX.

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    When do we decide that Europe must restructure much of its debt?

    It is hard to watch the Greek drama unfold without a sense of foreboding. If it is possible for the Greek economy partially to revive in spite of its tremendous debt burden, with a lot of hard work and even more good luck we can posit scenarios that don’t involve a painful social and political breakdown, but I am pretty convinced that the Greek balance sheet itself makes growth all but impossible for many more years. The history is, to me pretty convincing. Countries with this level of debt and this level of uncertainty associated with the resolution of the debt are never able too grow out of their debt burdens, no matter how determined and how forcefully they implement the “correct” set of orthodox reforms, until the debt is resolved and the costs assigned. Greec...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Syriza and the French indemnity of 1871-73

    European nationalists have successfully convinced us, against all logic, that the European crisis is a conflict among nations, and not among economic sectors. Today’s Financial Times has an article discussing the travails of Greece’s new Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis as he takes on Germany: In a small but telling sign of the frosty relations between Berlin and the new Greek government, the German finance ministry last week criticised Mr Varoufakis for failing to follow through with a customary courtesy call following his appointment. Mr Schäuble, meanwhile, has warned Greece not to attempt to “blackmail” Berlin with demands for debt relief. This is absurd. The European debt crisis is not a conflict among nations. All economic systems— and certainly an e...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Can monetary policy turn Argentina into Japan?

    Monetary policy is as much about politics as it is economics. It affects the ways in which wealth is created, allocated, and retained and it determines the balance of power between providers of capital and users of capital. In January one of my readers kindly passed on to me a link to an interesting report published two years ago by Bain and Company called “A World awash in Money: Capital trends through 2020”. According to the authors: Our analysis leads us to conclude that for the balance of the decade, markets will generally continue to grapple with an environment of capital superabundance. Even with moderating financial growth in developed markets, the fundamental forces that inflated the global balance sheet since the 1980s—financial innovation, high-speed co...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Peter Hessler’s China Daily “article”: how low can they go?

    Now this is chutzpah: China Daily asked author Peter Hessler to participate in a Q & A with his friend and translator Li Xueshun comparing aspects of Egypt and China (both countries where Hessler has worked as a New Yorker correspondent). China Daily then had the nerve to take Hessler’s replies and shape them into what looks to the reader like a bylined article by Hessler. Li’s replies were totally removed. From Hessler’s Facebook page: [I]t omitted crucial parts, including the most important point: that I believe it’s harder to make a political change in China, where the system is deeper rooted than in Egypt, and thus the flaws are also more deeply rooted. I said that this is the reason why the current anti-corruption campaign will be a failure...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Is it a police state?

    The best post I ever wrote (and I realize that’s not saying very much) is this one. Its simple point is that underneath a veneer of happiness, prosperity and optimism there can lurk a much darker and more dangerous side. People can be content and appreciate their government while being oblivious — willfully or not — to what it is going on beneath the surface. There have been a rash of articles in recent months of a severe crackdown in China on civil rights lawyers, professors, journalists and activists. A story from yesterday drove this home: As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s ...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Shaun Rein wants your help marketing The End of Copycat China

    The End of Copycat China is the name of Shaun Rein’s new book that will be available come October 20. I am flattered that Shaun has included me on the mailing list he uses to blast information to his friends and colleagues, and I wanted to draw attention to how he wants his fans to do the marketing for his new book for him. Over the last three months Shaun has sent out two lengthy email blasts and I find their content to be intriguing, and to confirm some of my own thoughts about Mr. Rein. Perhaps most revealing was this paragraph: If you or a friend are looking for a keynote speaker, consider me. If organizations buy 1000 copies of my book to give to attendees between October and December, I will waive my standard speaking rates at my speaker’s bureau (my...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Foxconn Moving Direct to Consumer

    I remember having conversations years ago about what Foxconn would do going forward, and whether or not they would be happy as the manufacturer to brands.   The WSJ article, Amid Margin Squeeze, Foxconn Designs Its Own Fate, puts this question to rest. Recently, the $130-billion-a-year in revenue company has ventured into handset accessories under its own brand, and sales and distribution of mobile phones. It also plans to offer telecommunications services in Taiwan. For me, this has always been a bit of a no brainer.  Foxconn has an amazing amount of talent in the firm that is not just managing the supply chain and assembling gadgets for their customer, but have for years also been bringing designs to the brands that they feel would sell well in the market. Partner ...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Bites of China. Finally a Show Worth Watching!

    A couple of weeks back, while riding the G train back from Nanjing, something caught my eye.  An advertisement by CCTV for what I believe could be one of the best produced shows China has put together.  At first, I had no idea what the advertisement for, but what was clear was that it was celebrating the various food flavors of China, and those who are tilling the fields and preparing the dishes. The show is called Bite of China, and I cannot recommend it enough. Sure, China is known for its fair share of food failures, including recycled oil, but watching this show has restored a bit of my love for the flavors here.  Flavors that were actually the basis for one of my earliest posts, and have provided a never ending hunt for me and my wife as we look to try new thin...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    What Do China’s Millennials Want ?

    For a number of years, I had it pretty good.  I had a number of teams that were under me, were stable, and were producing.  It was at a time when a lot of questions were being asked about the post 80s generation in China, but for whatever reason I was immune. But, those days are over, and just yesterday I had another millennial go AWOL on me.  So, it was perhaps interesting timing that CNBC put up the article Millennials may be more like boomers than we realize highlighting how several studies point to a generation that is looking for meaning in their job, in their company, and for balance: A new study from Deloitte also found differences in workplace attitudes between millennials and older generations, saying that the former “want to work for organizations tha...more

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    Postcards from the National People's Congress

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Twins!

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  • ChinaBizGov

    China's Green Car Sales in 2012

    Just a few years ago, pretty much everyone (except Chinese auto industry insiders whom I interviewed) thought China was about to take ownership of the global green car market. (Here's just one example from the excitable Tom Friedman of the New York Times.)In 2009 China's industrial planners announced plans to have 500,000 green cars ("New Energy Vehicles" or "新能源汽车" -- a combination of electrics and hybrids) on Chinese roads by the end of 2011. That obviously didn't happen, so last year, that same target of 500,000 was pushed out to 2015.So how did green car sales fare in 2012? Overall, hybrids plus electrics grew a respectable 52 percent.So while sales grew pretty well in percentage terms, it is clear that overall numbers are still inconsequential when you co...more

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    What Causes Revolutions?

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Enter the New Year

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    China, school violence and official reaction

    I wrote yesterday about growing questions in China about the differences between the U.S. reaction to the tragedy in Newtown and that of the tragedy in Henan Province, where, on the same say as the shooting in Connecticut, a man stabbed and slashed 23 students at a primary school. (All survived in Henan, where the weapon was a knife, not an AR-15.) As a commentary piece in the state-controlled Global Times noted: “The Chinese public has focused on the slow official response and the level of social reflection. Many are furious that while the Americans have started mourning nationwide, the Chinese appear insensitive to the Henan case.” Another story today, carried by China Daily, caught my attention. It describes an example of how profoundly off-key propaganda can ...more

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    Postcard from a snowy Beijing

    The smell of roasting sweet potatoes in a city covered with snow put me in the mood to take a detour on my walk to work today  ...

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  • ChinaBizGov

    Comparing Corruption in China and the US

    Today's WSJ China Realtime reports on a study by a George Mason University economist who attempts to compare corruption in the US and China.  His conclusion is that corruption in America's Gilded Age (1877-1893)* was worse than corruption in China today.Perhaps the conclusion is correct, but the methodology used by this professor is flawed.  US corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US newspapers 1870-1930.  China corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US (not Chinese!) newspapers 1990-2011.So he is measuring corruption in two countries by the number of times the newspapers of only one of the countries mentions the word.  Even if the researcher had used Chinese newspapers, the study still would have been flawed due to Commun...more

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  • ChinaBizGov

    GM and SAIC: Trouble in Paradise?

    General Motors (GM) and Shanghai Auto (SAIC) announced in December of 2009 that they were deepening their partnership beyond their joint venture in China.  Together they created a 50:50 joint venture, registered in Hong Kong, for expansion outside of China.  Now that partnership appears to be coming apart.Initially, the plan for the HK JV was for the two sides to work together in India and possibly elsewhere in the future.  (For further insight into this particular deal, please see Chapter 4 of Designated Drivers.) As for the India venture, GM would contribute two existing factories in India, along with its Chevrolet brand, and SAIC would contribute cash -- something that GM had been seriously lacking as it had emerged from bankruptcy earlier that same ye...more

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Richard Wood Richard Wood

Richard has published papers on wages policy, the taxation of financial arrangements and macroeconomic issues in Pacific island countries. Views expressed in these articles are his own and may not be shared by his employing agency. He is the author of How to Solve the European Economic Crisis: Challenging orthodoxy and creating new policy paradigms