Shikha Jha

Shikha Jha

Ph.D.

About

128
Publications
46,236
Reads
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1,240
Citations
Introduction
Over 30 years of research and operational experience on Asian economies. Lead research for ADB flagship publication: Asian Development Outlook; advise ADB Management on governance and gender equity issues and South Asia department on niche financing of public sector management; also managed strategic partnership with Central and West Asian countries. Earlier, advised Ph.D students, taught economics and published on topical economic issues. Completed PhD and post-doctoral research in economics.
Additional affiliations
July 2010 - present
Asian Development Bank
Position
  • Principal Economist
Description
  • Leads economic research; Asian Development Outlook; member 'Governance' Thematic Group Steering Committee; represents ADB on UN’s Advisory Bodies and Expert Communities for the 6th Global Environment Outlook; advises ASEAN Energy Market Integration
October 2007 - July 2010
Asian Development Bank
Position
  • Senior Economist
Description
  • Lead development economics research on topics of strategic interest and ADB flagship publication Asian Development Outlook and its Update; monitor commodity prices and maintain food, fuel and financial markets website; coordinate knowledge management
April 2004 - September 2007
Asian Development Bank
Position
  • Country Economist/ Country Programs Specialist
Description
  • Led Armenia and Tajikistan teams; conducted policy dialogue; developed country strategies; handled new ADB membership applications; led Armenia’s membership, set up country office, initiated its operations and graduation; member Task Force on Debt Relief
Education
September 1982 - November 1986
Indian Statistical Institute
Field of study
  • Economics
July 1980 - May 1982
Delhi School of Economics, New Delhi, India
Field of study
  • Economics
July 1977 - May 1980
University of Delhi
Field of study
  • Economics (Honours)

Publications

Publications (128)
Technical Report
Full-text available
This publication launches the Inclusive Green Growth Index, a new comprehensive metric that captures the key dimensions of economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. The index’s 28 performance indicators cover various aspects of growth and policy outcomes in areas where higher investment will advance better quality of growth...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change shifted development priorities from a higher rate or quantity to quality of economic growth that is inclusive and green. This note presents a new measure of the quality of growth through the Inclusive Green Growth Index (IGGI), which has three pillars: economic growt...
Research
Full-text available
This publication launches the Inclusive Green Growth Index, a new comprehensive metric that captures the key dimensions of economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. The index’s 28 performance indicators cover various aspects of growth and policy outcomes in areas where higher investment will advance better quality of growth...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the economic response of rural households to natural disasters in Pakistan. In particular, we explore to what extent households adjust their savings, and income strategies in response to floods. Using a detailed panel data set that was assembled concurrently with two major flood events, we find evidence of an economic response, altho...
Article
Full-text available
Typhoons, floods, and other weather-related shocks can inflict suffering on local populations and create life-threatening conditions for the poor. Yet, natural disasters also present a development opportunity to upgrade capital stock, adopt new technologies, enhance the risk-resiliency of existing systems, and raise standards of living. This is aki...
Chapter
Full-text available
Climate change threatens to undermine developing Asia’s hard-won socioeconomic gains. The region has joined the global effort to contain this global threat, with 90% of regional economies embracing the 2015 Paris Agreement and submitting their mitigation pledges as intended nationally determined contributions. This is a good start, but all the regi...
Research
Full-text available
In recent years, rising food prices have returned as a concern for policy makers, especially in developing economies. This paper examines how supply shocks, both domestic and foreign, have impacted imports and consumption in the world rice market between 1960 and 2010. Such an investigation is important in assessing the role of trade in compensatin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Slight gains in oil and gas production in 1234 slowed the pace of GDP contraction and, if maintained, are expected to restore GDP growth this year. Consumer prices, after easing in 123> and 1234, are forecast to edge up. Lower oil and gas prices will likely push the current account into deficit in 123A. They also provide an opportunity to rein in e...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Public expenditure on fossil fuel subsidies exceeds education, health or infrastructure spending in some Asian economies. Our estimates exceed official subsidy estimates, which may not capture “hidden” costs of low-priced public services, tax rebates, and cheap loans. Unsustainable budgetary cost of selling oil, gas, and coal at low prices has prop...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Heavily dependent on imported energy sources, significant subsidies on fossil fuels present a heavy burden on public finances in Thailand. This study measures the size of fossil fuel subsidies such as tax breaks for diesel and natural gas, market price support for natural gas for vehicles, and free electricity for low-income consumers as well as th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Subsidized energy is provided to all Indonesian citizens as a public service obligation. This study measures the size of fossil fuel subsidies such as underpricing of petroleum products and electricity, tax exemptions, and subsidized credit; examines the potential economic, energy, and environmental impacts of reducing them; and discusses options f...
Chapter
Full-text available
Despite periods of crisis, developing Asia’s real GDP per capita averaged 5.6% annual growth from 1990 to 2014. It helped lift nearly 1 billion people out of extreme poverty from 1990 to 2011. The region is becoming more urban as labor gravitates to higher wage opportunities in cities, and more globalized as its shares of world output and exports e...
Chapter
Full-text available
Developing Asia has made considerable progress in closing gender gaps in health and education over the past several decades. Today, narrowing gender gaps in the labor market is a good way to give the region a considerable growth boost—and, at the same time, do the right thing for women as individuals.
Book
Full-text available
This book provides an overview of the role that better governance and citizen empowerment can play in improving public service delivery in developing Asia. The contributors present fresh evidence on the relationship between governance and development outcomes, including growth and indicators of living standards. They argue that the Asia-Pacific reg...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Subsidies are used by governments to attain socio-economic development objectives. Energy subsidies in particular are expected to provide incentives to energy producers and reduce energy price for consumers, especially the poor. A large majority of electricity in Asian countries is derived from fossil fuels. Fossil-fuel subsidies are widespread in...
Article
Can discretionary fiscal policy effectively stimulate output? This paper examines this question in the context of developing Asia, where many countries implemented fiscal stimulus measures to support domestic demand during the global crisis. Economic conditions normalized after the crisis but growth in Asia has slowed down since. We examine histori...
Article
Full-text available
Good governance—which requires transparency, accountability, rule of law, and effective and legitimate institutions—is believed to be an important piece of economic development, while poor governance can hobble growth in an otherwise vibrant system. But the rapid economic growth that helped developing Asia narrow the income gap with advanced econom...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The project team presented its preliminary results for India, Indonesia and Thailand and sought feedback from peer reviewers, policy-makers and experts in energy, fiscal policy and poverty issues in Asia. The workshop was highly productive, leading to energetic and insightful discussions. An overview of the project was followed by background prese...
Article
Fossil fuel subsidies in developing nations have proven to be one of the most nagging challenges for policymakers. This article reviews the tradeoffs of such subsidies among members of the ASEAN-5 group.
Chapter
Despite a large food grain procurement apparatus and one of the largest food subsidy programs in the world, food insecurity has been high in India. This paper reviews the trends in food grain production and consumption and discusses the issues concerning an effective policy design for ensuring food security in the country. It argues for a holistic...
Chapter
This chapter explores the implications of high and volatile global food prices for economic growth and poverty and discusses policy choices available to developing countries in Asia in dealing with uncertain supplies and rising and fluctuating food prices. As the poor cope with rising prices by depleting assets and switching to less nutritious fo...
Article
Full-text available
Theft rates from subsidized food programs vary greatly and strongly influence program efficiency. Unfortunately, the determinants of these variations remain understudied because the agencies that run these programs seldom publicize the allocations of subsidized food to local markets. We develop a theoretical model of pilferage which predicts that:...
Article
This study investigates how domestic and foreign supply shocks in the international rice market impact trade and consumption at the country level. More importantly, we examine how domestic and foreign government policies affect the way exogenous shocks translate into changes in trade and consumption. Utilizing data from the United States Department...
Article
Many countries adopted safety net programs to deal with the food crisis of 2008. However, such programs are often beset with targeting errors, inefficiencies, and fraud. Despite this, there is no systematic comparative analysis of safety nets. The objective of this paper is to identify generic issues germane to safety net design and their role in d...
Article
This paper studies the targeting outcomes of a self-targeted rice subsidy program in the Philippines. We find modest within-community targeting outcomes, but weak between-community targeting. This appears to be because, controlling for the direct influence of household characteristics, participation was lower in poorer communities. These inter-comm...
Book
Full-text available
This policy report examines the role of peoples’ empowerment in improving the quantity and quality of public services. The basic foundation of the report is Amartya Sen’s influential work on freedom, participation and agency—his approach to empowerment as the process of enlarging a person’s “functionings and capabilities to function, the range of t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Developing Asia is bouncing back from the slowdown of the previous year. Robust domestic demand and greater reliance on regional trade will accelerate growth from 6.1% in 2012 to 6.6% in 2013 and 6.7% in 2014. Though still relatively stable, inflation is forecast to pick up as regional economies return to their production potential in the midst of...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that subsidized food distribution systems that fail to publicize how much food has been allocated to each local market will experience high rates of theft on the margin as they are expanded. We provide the first comparable cross-section of estimates of subsidized food theft. As predicted, in regions of the Philippines that were allocated m...
Article
This study examines the pilferage of subsidized food and the effects of institutional opacity and voice on consumers’ ability to prevent it. Our case study is the subsidized rice distribution program run by the Philippines’ National Food Authority in 2006. We estimate that around 48% of subsidized rice did not reach consumers at subsidized prices,...
Article
This paper considers quality control in a program that distributes subsidized food. The standard theory of price controls and participatory approaches to food security both suggest that the quality of subsidized food and distribution services may be lower in vulnerable communities. We examine this suggestion in the context of a self-targeted rice s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Food price trends over the last few years are contradicting decades of improved global food security and are especially threatening to the world’s poor. In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), extensive rural poverty persists, making a dual contribution to food insecurity. Because the poor spend the majority of their income and effort on subsistence...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Food price trends over the last few years are contradicting decades of improved global food security and are especially threatening to the world’s poor. In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), extensive rural poverty persists, making a dual contribution to food insecurity. Because the poor spend the majority of their income and effort on subsistence...
Article
In the wake of recent food price spikes, plus growing demands for food in emerging Asia and for biofuels in Europe and the United States, governments are reexamining their strategies for dealing with both short-term and long-term food security concerns. This paper argues that long-run trends in real agricultural prices have policy implications for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The main objective of this paper is to identify possible generic issues with in-kind transfer programs by estimating the extent to which the expenditures permeate down to poor populations. The paper measures the percolation of food subsidy expenditures to the poor by defining a metric that takes into account the depth and width of income transfer....
Article
Full-text available
The nature of South-South international economic relations has changed significantly in recent decades, especially since the early 1990s. In areas such as trade, investment, labor markets, technology, and policy coordination, regional cooperation between countries of the South and pro-market policies have supported a rapid growth in South-South lin...
Book
Full-text available
Global food prices registered a new high in February 2011, rising by more than 30% year-on-year, underpinned by large increases in the prices of cereals, edible oils, and meat. While the recent price increases were triggered largely by production shortfalls due to bad weather, structural and cyclical factors that were at play during the 2007–2008 f...
Chapter
Full-text available
Developing Asia must explore and then foster new sources of growth. The strengthening of ties with developing countries, both in the region and beyond, has much potential, but so far these links have been mainly used for final goods exports to major industrial countries. To fully tap the potential of these developing-country markets as new sources...
Chapter
Full-text available
Trade in food and other agricultural products is increasingly important across East and Southeast Asia, where high income Asian economies have driven significant agricultural expansion, and the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) momentous growth promises more stimulus to agro-food activity in the region. The PRC is expected to become a net importer...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the outcomes of food subsidies to the poor in the case of India and the Philippines. Both countries operate in-kind food subsidy programs with similar mandates, commonalities in functioning, and substantial budgetary outlays. The goal of the study is to quantify the gains to the poor from an additional unit of public spending on...
Article
Developing Asia has weathered the global economic crisis well and is experiencing a rapid, robust V-shaped recovery. According to conventional wisdom, the fiscal stimulus packages put in place by the region’s governments played a key role in the region’s superior postcrisis performance. The central objective of this paper is to empirically test thi...
Article
Full-text available
As the global crisis hit developing Asia, several countries instituted fiscal stimulus measures to create domestic demand. With the region returning to normal times, in this paper we draw lessons using historical data from 10 developing Asian countries to examine if countercyclical fiscal policy can still be used to stimulate growth. To do so, we u...
Chapter
Full-text available
Hunger has risen in the Philippines during the last 5 years of stable economic growth. The Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) hunger index clearly indicates sharply deteriorating food security beginning in 2003 (Figure 14.1). This has occurred despite the country's longest spell of uninterrupted growth in per capita real gross domestic product (GDP) si...
Article
Remittances to Asia plunged during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, but the drop was temporary as the flows were increasing once again after just one year. The current crisis, however, is fundamentally different in that even the main remittance-sending countries have been adversely affected. The global nature of this crisis raises several questions...
Chapter
Full-text available
Developing Asia can look ahead to a robust recovery in the next 2 years. Growth is forecast to rise to 7.5% in 2010 and moderate to 7.3% in 2011, marking a healthy rebound from the 2009 slowdown. Shifting the drivers of growth from the support of monetary and fiscal expansion to robust private sources is now the key challenge for sustaining the rec...
Chapter
Full-text available
Governments across developing Asia quickly rolled out large fiscal and monetary stimulus packages to fight the sharp slowdown of economic activity stemming from the global financial crisis. The crisis highlights the potential usefulness of countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies for coping with the impact of large shocks. This positive experie...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the impact of remittances on economy and household welfare in Pakistan by using a general equilibrium framework and microeconometric analysis. The frst approach is to highlight the macroeconomic and sectoral effects of a reduction in remittances, while the second is to show how remittances decrease the probability of being poor...
Article
Full-text available
Trade in food and other agricultural products is increasingly important across East and Southeast Asia, where high-income Asian economies have driven significant agricultural expansion, and the momentous growth of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) promises more stimulus to agrofood activity in the region. The PRC is expected to become a net impo...
Article
Trade in food and other agricultural products is increasingly important across East and Southeast Asia, where high-income Asian economies have driven significant agricultural expansion, and the momentous growth of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) promises more stimulus to agrofood activity in the region. The PRC is expected to become a net impo...