Publication in Economics, Politics and Public Policy in East Asia and the Pacific

Is immigration a solution for Japan’s plummeting population?

Author: Jun Saito, JCER

Japan’s declining population is a serious problem. Unless the nation can devise policy strategies either to arrest the decline or deal effectively with its impacts, in the long run Japan will find its path to sustained economic growth blocked.

The most fundamental solution to the problem is to raise the birth rate while allowing mothers to work. Read more…

Will falling commodity prices bring down Malaysian growth as well?

Author: Nurhisham Hussein, Malaysia

World oil prices are falling precipitously. For an oil exporter like Malaysia, that’s definitely bad news. Unless the country can diversify its economy, it may find it difficult to navigate its way through the economic challenges it faces on its way to higher income status. Read more…

A bittersweet year for Pakistan

Author: S. Mahmud Ali, LSE

Pakistan in 2014 was characterised by a mixture of ongoing malaise and, in some instances, guarded optimism.

For many Pakistanis, the proudest moment came when the Nobel Committee awarded the 2014 Peace Prize to the teenager Malala Yousafzai along with India’s Kailash Satyarthi for ‘their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education’. Read more…

Japanese universities reach for global status

Author: Veronica L. Taylor, ANU

Look at any global ranking of universities worldwide and Japan’s ‘big-name’ universities will feature in the top 100. University of Tokyo, for example, ranks well within the top 50 universities in the world for science and technology and sits at number nine among universities in Asia for overall performance in the QS rankings. Read more…

The Myanmar story doesn’t end here

Author: Nicholas Farrelly, ANU

The story of Myanmar’s transition to a more democratic political system, and a more productive economy, is far from over.

Myanmar had a big year in 2014. The country held its first census in 30 years. The lead-up to the national count was plagued by criticism and uncertainty. Read more…

China’s economic vulnerabilities

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

As we count down the days and now the hours towards the beginning of 2015, what preoccupies most soothsayers of the outlook for the global economy in the coming year is the shape of the Chinese economy. Read more…

China faces challenges but bears beware of betting on collapse

Author: Yu Yongding, CASS

George Orwell once observed: ‘Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible’. Not long ago, many in the West declared that China would soon be the number one economy in the world.

But in the past two years, many in the West have begun to see the writing on the wall. Read more…

India’s laggard states need attention, too

Author: Tridivesh Singh Maini, OP Jindal Global University Sonepat

A handful of India’s regions have marched ahead economically, while others have been left behind.

India is heavily dependent upon a few states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But states in East and Northeast India have, for various reasons, not seen the same levels of growth. Read more…

ASEAN should flick the switch to renewables

Authors: Margareth Sembiring and Julius Cesar I. Trajano, Nanyang Technological University

The Southeast Asian region is now viewed as an oasis of socioeconomic development. But the region’s vibrant economic growth has led to a corresponding increase in energy consumption, an issue recognised by ASEAN as a key shaper of the post-2015 agenda. Read more…

Modi to jumpstart the engine of Indian growth

Author: Raghbendra Jha, ANU

India’s economy, which has languished in middling growth for the past few years, is on the mend under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After experiencing real GDP growth of less than 5 per cent in 2013-14, the Indian economy is expected to grow at nearly 5.5 per cent in 2014–15 and then record growth rates in the 6 to 6.5 per cent range until about 2018. Read more…

Beijing is winning the battle but losing the war

Author: Ling A. Shiao, Southern Methodist University

On the morning of 11 December, in front of hundreds of cameras, police cleared the main protest site in Hong Kong. So ended 10 weeks of the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement that at its peak attracted over 10,000 protesters. Beijing can now happily claim a hard-won victory.

But in reality, Beijing is losing Hong Kong. Read more…

As SAARC drags its feet, South Asia should turn to sub-regionalism

Author: Pradumna B. Rana, NTU

Since its inception in 1985, the effectiveness of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to promote economic integration in South Asia has been questioned. One of the biggest impediments to SAARC’s progress has been the continued conflict between India and Pakistan. Read more…

ASEAN shouldn’t get hung up on the AEC deadline

Authors: Ganeshan Wignaraja, ADBI and Jenny Balboa, ADBI

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is unlikely to come into being by its December 2015 deadline due to its overambitious design and apathetic implementation. But there are still plenty of things that ASEAN can do to prepare for when the AEC is eventually launched. Read more…

Is it back to the future for Japanese politics?

Author: Gerald L. Curtis, Columbia University

Prime Minister Abe’s decision to call a snap election paid off big time for him and for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The LDP and its coalition partner the Komeito emerged from the election with its two-thirds majority in the lower house intact. Read more…

Asia’s nutrition time bomb

Authors: Don Gunasekera and David Newth, CSIRO

An important nutrition and health transition is unfolding alongside Asia’s economic transformation. Continuing income growth and changing patterns of food consumption among Asian economies are creating unintended effects on nutrition and health. These developments, if left unmanaged, will have long-term adverse impacts on health care budgets, labour productivity and economic activity. Read more…