This paper examines the impact of cost-efficiency on bank profitability in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic using quarterly data from a panel of banks operating in five (5) Sub-Saharan African countries. The findings show that cost-efficient banks are more profitable amid the pandemic. Additionally, we found that revenue diversification is associated with strong financial performance. Our findings contribute to literature by proposing the adoption of aggressive cost control and revenue diversification strategies by the management of banks to ensure sustainable and resilient financial performance in times of crises when interest incomes are sticky.
We consider primal-dual pairs of semidefinite programs and assume that they are singular, i.e., both primal and dual are either weakly feasible or weakly infeasible. Under such circumstances, strong duality may break down and the primal and dual might have a nonzero duality gap. Nevertheless, there are arbitrary small perturbations to the problem data which would make them strongly feasible thus zeroing the duality gap. In this paper, we conduct an asymptotic analysis of the optimal value as the perturbation for regularization is driven to zero. Specifically, we fix two positive definite matrices, Ip and Id, say, (typically the identity matrices), and regularize the primal and dual problems by shifting their associated affine space by ηIp and εId, respectively, to recover interior feasibility of both problems, where ε and η are positive numbers. Then we analyze the behavior of the optimal value of the regularized problem when the perturbation is reduced to zero keeping the ratio between η and ε constant. A key feature of our analysis is that no further assumptions such as compactness or constraint qualifications are ever made. It will be shown that the optimal value of the perturbed problem converges to a value between the primal and dual optimal values of the original problems. Furthermore, the limiting optimal value changes “monotonically” from the primal optimal value to the dual optimal value as a function of θ, if we parametrize (ε,η) as (ε,η)=t(cosθ,sinθ) and let t→0. Finally, the analysis leads us to the relatively surprising consequence that some representative infeasible interior-point algorithms for SDP generate sequences converging to a number between the primal and dual optimal values, even in the presence of a nonzero duality gap. Though this result is more of theoretical interest at this point, it might be of some value in the development of infeasible interior-point algorithms that can handle singular problems.
This study examines, from a comparative law perspective, how jurisdictions across East, Southeast and South Asia deal with the issue of the patentability of second/subsequent medical uses. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of subsequent medical uses of known medical compositions, as a number of medicines that are being used to treat Covid-19 were originally developed for other illnesses. The decision whether second/subsequent medical uses of pharmaceuticals are patentable in any given jurisdiction is, however, a policy decision to the extent that it is one of the main exclusions available to countries as a ‘flexibility’ under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement). The results of this study show that there is a wide variation in Asia regarding the patentability of second/subsequent uses, and examines the possible reasons for this variation. The paper concludes with recommendations for countries in the region.
Much has been written on how an increasingly assertive China has sought to challenge the incumbent players in the global and regional arenas. Japan, as East Asia’s regional hegemon, is said to be throwing its weight behind the US because it has much to lose in an era of China rising. Nevertheless, how much of this resembles reality? This article seeks to unpack some commonly held assumptions, focusing on the political/security as well as economic choices facing Japan. It argues that the Japanese have seemingly forged a rather strong alignment with the US in the sphere of politics/security, often with an eye to limit the influence of China. However, the situation is less clear cut when it comes to opportunities and challenges in the economic realm. Indeed, in some of Japan’s most prominent industries, one observes complementarity effects and close interdependence with the Chinese economy. These findings illustrate that China-Japan competition is more complex than commonly portrayed, in addition to raising questions about the complicating effects that economic interdependence can have in a nation’s “strategic” policies.
We investigate the impact of trade liberalisation on female workers in manufacturing using arguably exogenous variation in Indonesia’s tariff reductions in the 1990s and 2000s. This study utilises output and input tariff changes to examine two different channels through which trade liberalisation affects women’s employment: import competition and imported goods. Our results confirm the findings of previous literature that increased competition driven by a reduction in output tariffs encourages women’s employment; however, we also provide new evidence that a reduction in input tariffs may hurt women’s employment. We conjecture that the reducing impact of a lower input tariff is driven by a shift in the importing firms’ demand for skilled workers.
So far, the dominant comparative studies of competing distress prediction models (DPMs) have been restricted to the use of static evaluation frameworks and as such overlooked their performance over time. This study fills this gap by proposing a Malmquist DEA‐based multi‐period performance evaluation framework for assessing competing static and dynamic statistical DPMs and using it to address a variety of research questions. Our findings suggest that (1) dynamic models developed under duration‐dependent frameworks outperform both dynamic models developed under duration‐independent frameworks and static models; (2) models fed with financial accounting (FA), market variables (MV), and macroeconomic information (MI) features outperform those fed with either MVMI or FA, regardless of the frameworks under which they are developed; (3) shorter training horizons seem to enhance the aggregate performance of both static and dynamic models.
This study examines the effects of weather shocks on household consumption and how the land registration and certification program facilitate coping strategies to mitigate the negative income shocks. Using the difference-in-differences (DID) approach and household panel data from Ethiopia, we find that weather shocks negatively affected household consumption expenditure. As expected, households are not able to protect themselves from weather shocks. However, the land certification program facilitated coping strategies (obtaining credit and receiving gifts and assistance from informal sources) to mitigate the negative effect on food consumption against weather shocks. This effect is only found among smaller landowners. Therefore, the program is pro-poor and beneficial for improving the welfare of poorer households and protecting vulnerable households from entering into poverty traps.
We propose a method to build a corporate investment network based on the investment relationship between unicorns and venture capital (VC) and to analyze the characteristics of the startup ecosystem. Unicorns, unlisted startup companies with valuation of over $ 1 billion, are the leading drivers in innovation. For startup companies to grow into unicorns, it is important for them to be supported in startup ecosystem, where VCs play a very important role. In this research, we propose a method to build corporate investment networks of unicorns and VCs around the world, and to quantitatively analyze the characteristics of the relationship between the unicorns and the VCs and the diffusion of startup activities from inter-industry and international viewpoints, and the factors that affect the valuation value of unicorns and performance of VCs. The proposed method is able to quantitatively measure the characteristics of the startup ecosystem and effective to promote produce of unicorns.
This paper backtests a nowcast of Japan’s real GDP growth. It has three contributions: (i) use of genuine real-time data, (ii) implementation of a new method for the revision analysis that relates the revision of the nowcast to not only new observations but also data revisions, and (iii) a benchmarking of the nowcast to a market consensus forecast at monthly forecasting horizons. Our nowcast’s forecast accuracy is comparable to that of the consensus at most, but not all, monthly horizons. Our revision analysis of the March 2011 earthquake finds the nowcast reacting to a steep post-quake decline in car production. In contrast, the consensus hardly budged, most likely because the decline was correctly viewed as temporary. The onset of COVID-19 triggers the consensus to take a precipitous descent. The nowcast, despite timely red flags from “soft” (i.e., survey-based) indicators, does not respond immediately in full, because it took a month or more for “hard” (i.e., non-survey-based) indicators to register sharply reduced economic activities.
Global value chains have been a major means of manufacturing and trading goods internationally. Economic efficiency was the sole factor driving the proliferation of GVCs and the China-centered GVCs were established in a variety of manufactured products. In recent years, the China–US trade war and the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic have sent shock waves and disrupted smooth operations of GVCs, which has triggered the geographic restructuring of GVCs, in particular value chain diversification away from China. This paper analyzes the centrality of China in value chains and the vulnerabilities of GVCs exposed to the trade war and the pandemic. This paper provides comprehensive empirical evidence on GVC restructuring from different perspectives and discusses policy options that China could cope with the tide of the value chain diversification.
Despite the exploding interest in cryptocurrencies in the markets in recent years, the political economy study of them, in particular as money, remains underdeveloped. This seems quite surprising, given the otherwise extensive research on money and finance in the international political economy (IPE) literature. This essay calls for a greater engagement of IPE scholarship in analyzing cryptocurrencies as money. It argues first that theories of money—in particular, the “commodity theory of money” and the “state theory of money”—could provide valuable theoretical insights for the IPE study of cryptocurrencies as money. It then suggests how these insights can be incorporated into that research, drawing particular attention to analysis of the political dynamics surrounding cryptocurrencies’ development as money.
This paper takes an institutional approach to inequality in Thailand by exploring the country's structural and regulatory transformations. It discusses how Thailand's transition from agriculture to industry and services has been impeded by both the demand and supply sides of government subsidies since the 1950s. The relative failure of structural transformation has slowed down economic catch‐up and widened the well‐being gap between those inside and outside the agricultural sector. Furthermore, while regulatory transformation has mitigated state‐led malaise in certain Asian economies, post‐1997 reform in Thailand has incentivized unconventional political actors, such as academics, medical doctors and civil society leaders, to make collective efforts in toppling elected governments in exchange for gaining selection into oversight agencies. The case of Thailand indicates how regulatory reform may create perverse incentives that adversely affect democratization, decentralization, competition, and taxation. Dealing with inequality therefore requires a big push toward progressive structural and regulatory transformations altogether.
How do states pursue industrial policies in the context of China’s rise? Examining Indonesia and Malaysia’s mineral processing sectors, we argue that these countries illustrate two different pathways that states take to bolster their industrial policies. Indonesia has followed the leading sector strategy to increase domestic nickel processing capacity and decrease reliance on resource exports. Chinese firms and the Indonesian government built the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park to house nickel smelters, fostering a new leading sector. Chinese capital in smelting follows what Albert Hirschman has called ‘intermediate investments’, maximising forward and backward linkages across the Indonesian economy. In contrast, Malaysia has followed the dual economy strategy, where semi-finished goods are imported and assembled into finished ones to be exported abroad. Chinese firms and the Malaysian government established the Malaysia–China Kuantan Industrial Park to import, process and export steel products. However, due to the dual economy strategy, the industrial park impairs the activities of domestic steelmaking companies and inhibits the potential build-up of smelting capacity. In sum, through an examination of an industrial park in each country, our paper connects the literatures on industrial policy and Chinese capital.
In an estuary bed composed of very fine sediment material, tidal currents cause active sediment transportation, bar morphology changes, and severe bank erosion. However, it is difficult to evaluate the erosion rate of a sediment bed composed of particles measuring five to several tens of micrometers using methodologies found in the available literature that estimate entrainment in the presence of fine sediment suspension. This paper proposes a new method to evaluate the erosion rate of a sediment bed composed of very fine material by introducing the concept of entrainment developed for density stratified flows. A series of flume experiments were conducted to investigate the erosion rates of bed material with water‐sediment mixtures of different concentrations, sediment particle sizes, and overall Richardson numbers. The results of the flume experiments are compared with past theories and experimental results conducted for density stratified flows. The data show that the erosion rate of a water‐sediment mixture is proportional to the inverse of the overall Richardson number, as proposed in previous studies on density stratified flows. In cases with a strong cohesion, the erosion rate can be evaluated using a modified Richardson number, introduced to evaluate the influence of viscosity on entrainment rates. The applicability of the proposed method is also tested by comparing the results of the present study with those of previous studies in terms of equilibrium suspended sediment concentration and size distributions of suspended sediment. The present results show that the proposed method can be used to evaluate not only the erosion rate of suspended sediment but also the characteristics of equilibrium transport processes.
A developed country needs industrialization, which requires self-sufficiency in electricity generation that may drive it to focus on more fossil fuel burning. But firstly, Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and Goal 13 (Climate Actions) of sustainable development goals oppose excessive burning of fossil fuels; moreover, natural gas-the main fossil fuel resource of Bangladesh-will be depleted by 2028. Hence, focusing more on renewable energy may be a prudent alternative for Bangladesh. From this viewpoint, this paper aims to reexamine the potentiality of wind energy and the necessity of wind energy in Bangladesh for the forthcoming future. By using the Economate software, this paper also measures the present growth rate of CO 2 emission as 7% (99,297.3 kt) and forecasts that it will reach up to 7.2% (184,165.2 kt) in 2030. After reappraising several data from previous assessments and processing the wind speed data of Patenga (Bangladesh), Bremerhaven (Germany), and Coimbatore (India) at different heights, this paper finds strong potential for wind power generation in Bangladesh. After analysing the lumpsum installation cost of a 100-MW imaginary wind power plant, this paper finds wind power as the second-cheapest electricity source for Bangladesh with an estimated BDT 6 per kWh following natural gas (BDT 3 per kWh). This paper also provides some innovative ideas for additional cost reduction.
On the morning of July 3, 2021, a large debris flow occurred at the Aizome River in the Izusan district of Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The debris flow caused extensive damage, causing the death of 26 people, leaving one person missing, and damaging 128 houses (as of October 1, 2021). Consistently steep channel gradient from initiation zone to river mouth resulted in the extensive damage along the river. The debris flow was characterized by its high fine-grained content, which may have affected the flow characteristics. The debris flow comprised multiple surges with different flow characteristics.
This paper investigates how carbon taxes affect emissions by examining British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax in the manufacturing sector. We theoretically demonstrate that carbon taxes can achieve emission reductions while increasing production. Recycling carbon tax revenues to lower corporate income tax rates encourages investments, allowing plants to emit less per unit of output. Using detailed confidential plant-level data, we evaluate this theoretical prediction by exploiting the treatment intensity through plants’ emission intensity. We find that the carbon tax lowers emissions by 4 percent. Furthermore, we find that the policy had a positive output effect and negative emission intensity effect, suggesting that the carbon tax encouraged plants to produce more with less energy. We provide initial evidence showing how a revenue-neutral carbon tax may achieve emission reductions while stimulating the economy.
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