Dec 16, 2013

Academic articles in 2nd week of Dec 2013

Here is a list of articles published in the 2nd week of Dec 2013.

  • Sako, Koji (2013) 'Japanese companies shift away from China to the ASEAN -Questionnaire Survey of Japanese Corporate Enterprises Regarding Business in Asia (February 2013)', Mizuho Research Paper, (33)

1. For the first time since Mizuho Research Institute Ltd. (MHRI) started to conduct annual surveys on the Asian business strategy of Japanese companies in 1999, the ASEAN overtook China as the key area of global business expansion. The survey results reveal that Japanese companies are shifting their focus of business from China to the ASEAN.
2. In terms of outlooks on sales in Asia, the survey revealed that Japanese companies expect lower sales in China and the NIEs from a year ago for FY2012. As for FY2013, many companies said that they expect an upturn of sales across a broad spectrum of Asia.
3. The index gauging the satisfaction of Asia business affiliates in terms of profit performance fell across Asia. However, the diffusion index (DI of responses that profits are “satisfactory” minus responses that profits are “unsatisfactory”) remained positive in business affiliates across the ASEAN. The results for affiliates in China fell sharply, revealing a significant polarization.
4. In terms of concerns regarding Asian business, the rise of labor costs was cited as the top concern among both Chinese and ASEAN business affiliates. Meanwhile, Sino–Japanese relations were cited as the top concern among overseas affiliates in China.
5. Turning to expectations toward the Abe administration in its support toward Asian business, the correction of the strong yen, the improvement of Sino–Japanese relations, and the promotion of wide–area FTAs (free trade agreements) such as the Trans– Pacific Partnership (TPP) were among the top issues cited in the survey.

  • Lee, John (2013) 'Myanmar Pivots Awkwardly Away from China', ISEAS Perspective, 2013(#64) available:

– Once seen as a Chinese client state, renewed economic and political interest in Myanmar from Western governments and firms may allow the country to pursue a more ‘balanced’ foreign policy towards China.
- However, Myanmar’s reliance on industrial and manufacturing imports from China, as well as established trade and transport infrastructure that functions as a conduit for Chinese capital inflows, mean that Myanmar’s economic development will continue to be heavily dependent on trade with China.
- Existing high levels of Chinese FDI offers Beijing strategic leverage over Naypyidaw. The majority of an estimated US$20 billion of FDI into Myanmar in recent years has gone to extractive natural resources industries and power generation. In addition, the distribution of Chinese FDI into Myanmar corresponds with FDI activity through the slated interests of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
- Chinese SOEs have been given wide leeway in disregarding environmental standards and the interests of local populations. Dependence on Chinese trade and investment is also perceived to be benefitting a small and well-connected group of political and military insiders.
- Myanmar’s promise of economic reforms may reduce its heavy economic and strategic reliance on China but this is expected to be politically difficult as doing so may affect entrenched political and military interests.
- If such reforms succeed, then the aim of limiting Chinese economic and strategic influence may also succeed. Should the economic or political reform process stall, Western governments and firms may begin to lose interest in the country. If that occurs, then Naypyidaw will have little choice but to revert to economic reliance on Beijing, which will once again strengthen Chinese strategic and political leverage over its neighbour.

  • Le, Hong Hiep (2013) 'The One Party-State and Prospects for Democratization in Vietnam', ISEAS Perspective, 2013(#63) available:

- The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is facing an economic crisis, a leadership crisis, and a confidence crisis in its rule. These crises are interrelated and mutually reinforcing, and exert a continuously negative impact on the party’s political standing.
- In response, the CPV has adopted a dual approach to preserve its ability and right to govern. While stepping up repression of prominent prodemocracy activists, the Party also appears more tolerant of moderate criticisms, and has undertaken limited political reforms to calm critics and to address problems that the Party itself considers detrimental to its legitimacy.
- However, prospects for democratization are faint at best in the coming decade. The best possible scenario for democratization in Vietnam is a top-down reform, similar to what has been happening in Myanmar. However, conditions conducive to such a scenario in Vietnam are either absent or inadequate.
- For the immediate future, whether the CPV can successfully restore favourable socio-economic conditions will be key to Vietnam’s political development. In the longer term, the increase in public political awareness and the emergence of a stronger and better organized opposition movement will be essential factors in determining when and how Vietnam will evolve towards substantive democracy.

  • Basu Das, Sanchita., Jayant Menon, 1965-, Rodolfo C. Severino and Omkar L. Shrestha, eds. (2013) The ASEAN Economic Community : a work in progress, Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.

This book analyzes the barriers and impediments to realizing the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. Specifically, it explores

  • whether the ASEAN Economic Community is achievable by 2015,
  • the obstacles along the way in achieving it, and
  • the measures needed for its eventual achievement.

  • Xu, Guo (2013) 'Development through Empowerment: Delivering Effective Public Services - A Literature Review', ADB Economics Working Paper Series, No. 382 available:

This paper reviews the channels through which empowerment may improve the efficiency and quality of public service delivery, particularly in developing Asia. Departing from a macro perspective, the author focuses and revisits microeconomic evidence for three broad measures aimed at empowering the poor: empowerment through voice, empowerment through exit, and empowerment through information.

  • Sovacool, Benjamin K. (2013) 'Energy Access and Energy Security in Asia and the Pacific', ADB Economics Working Paper Series, No. 383 available:

This paper provides an in-depth analysis on the current state of energy poverty in Asia and the prospects and prescriptions for advancing energy affordability and access. Lack of access to electricity and modern cooking fuels constitutes energy poverty. Access to modern energy requires improved technologies and financing instruments and sources. The pro-poor public–private partnership model is one useful vehicle for raising capital to finance projects. Five factors appear to be necessary in combination for programs and partnerships to successfully promote energy access and eradicate energy poverty: selecting appropriate technology, promoting community participation, emphasizing maintenance and service, coupling service with incomes, and building local capacity.



Since the normalization of Sino-Vietnamese relations in 1991, Vietnam’s China policy has been shaped by a combination of approaches which can be best described as a multi-tiered, omni-directional hedging strategy. The article argues that hedging is the most rational and viable option for Vietnam to manage its relations with China given its historical experiences, domestic and bilateral conditions, as well as changes in Vietnam’s external relations and the international strategic environment. The article examines the four major components of this strategy, namely economic pragmatism, direct engagement, hard balancing and soft balancing. The article goes on to assess the significance of each component and details how Vietnam has pursued its hedging strategy towards China since normalization.

This article explores perceptions and reactions across Southeast Asia towards the Obama administration’s “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia. The US approach has been dismissed as more rhetorical than substantive grand strategy, its credibility under renewed scrutiny following President Obama’s cancelled visit to Southeast Asia in October 2013. Nonetheless, the rebalance has expanded from its origins in 2010–11, acquiring diplomatic and economic “prongs” with a particular focus on Southeast Asia, broadening the bandwidth of US engagement beyond military diplomacy and force realignment. However, the US “pivot” has had to contend with entrenched narratives of the US role in the region oscillating between extremes of neglect or over-militarization. The US-China strategic dynamic weighing over the region, itself central to Washington’s strategic calculus across Asia, has also coloured the lens through which Southeast Asians have viewed the re-balance. Varied reactions to the US rebalance at the national level in Southeast Asia are further suggestive of a sub-regional divide between “continental” and “maritime” states that to some extent predisposes their perspectives and orientation towards the Great Powers.

  • Bekri Rahim, M., Amin Nur Yunus, F., Hadi Masran, S., Abd Baser, J., Fairuz Marian, M., Malaysian Community College students propensity to venture into entrepreneurship, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 232-237.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p232

This study was conducted to identify the tendency of community college students choosing entrepreneurship as their career. The sample selected across the entire study population was composed of 103 final year students of Malaysia Community College. Four aspects of the study are to identify students interests, the characteristics of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial knowledge and constraints faced by the students involved in entrepreneurial career. The approach used to collect data through questionnaires. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistical analysis using SPSS 15.0 (Statistical Packages for Social Science). Results showed that students have a high propensity for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial features high in them. However, for entrepreneurship students have a moderate knowledge of entrepreneurship and constraints for high entrepreneurship. Therefore, it is suggested that collaboration between government agencies involved in entrepreneurship, parents, community and community colleges can be strengthened to help encourage students to venture into entrepreneurial careers.

Several states in Southeast Asia have long attempted to produce their own armaments, both to support national security and to aid in national economic and technological advancement. In most cases, however, such efforts have been decidedly disappointing, and few local arms industries have been economically or technologically self-sustaining. Nevertheless, we may be witnessing a new phase of renewed interest among several Southeast Asian nations in expanding their capabilities for indigenous arms manufacturing, as evidenced in particular by new defence-industrial initiatives in Indonesia and Malaysia. These efforts have been supported by a long-term growth in defence expenditures and new efforts to utilize industrial offsets (such as technology transfers and localized production) as a part of arms acquisitions to build up local arms industries. It is unlikely, however, that these efforts alone will suffice to create economically viable local defence industries. Consequently, countries in the region will still have to make tough decisions about the future course of their defence industrial bases. Most likely, they will have to either invest considerably greater resources into developing their defence sectors (which may beyond their capacities and which are still no guarantee of success) or else they have to scale back their ambitions and choose to concentrate in niche areas where they have a better chance of being competitive in the global arms marketplace.

  • Zehadul Karim, A.H.M., Living condition in the low cost apartments in Malaysia: An empirical investigation, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 20-29.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p20

This research on low-cost housing is a detailed socio-cultural background of the people living in the apartment-housing in Malaysian context. Purposefully, this research has been done to explore the housing situation in two low-cost apartments located in Gombak, Kuala Lumpur having based on a sample survey of 60 households who were interviewed and investigated most extensively to know the prevailing cultural fabrics and living condition in these two selected apartment houses. Because there is a fast pace of urban development in Malaysia, it therefore becomes a vital issue for us to understand what is happening in the life of this group of people who have had settled in these low-cost apartments. Based on our objectives, this paper deals with the dwelling features and living condition of the people housed in these low-cost apartments and accordingly, generates data on the basic amenities of life of the people residing in these low cost accommodations. On the basis of our findings, the research finally provides some suggestions in the form of specific recommendations for future planning.

  • Pue, G.H., Sulaiman, N., "Choose one!": Challenges of inter-ethnic marriages in Malaysia, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 269-278.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p269

The fact that inter-ethnic marriage has been practiced in Malaysia since pre-colonial times is well known and recorded in its history. While there is a modest rise in number of people who choose to marry spouses from different ethnic group in the country, the practice itself has been generally portrayed as a problematic and wanting especially in the Peninsular Malaysia. Popular writings and mass media play a significant role in stereotyping the phenomenon as a current modern (read: western)-influenced trend in contemporary society, as well as its potential to create tensions between the spouses due to their differences in ethnic background and culture. Based on our qualitative study conducted in 2011 on 50 respondents with first-hand experience in inter-ethnic marriages, this paper argues that sources of conflict faced by the couples are not originated from spouses themselves. Instead, they were initiated by various external sources which stem from overwhelming dominance of authority-defined social reality in the organisation of social differences according to rigid ethnic lines in the society. As a result, positive effects of inter-ethnic marriages on maintaining social cohesion in the society, as reflected from first-hand experiences of spouses and progeny of inter-ethnic marriages, are affectively eclipsed.

  • Jermsittiparsert, K., Sriyakul, T., Rodboonsong, S., Power (lessness) of the state in globalisation era: Empirical proposals on determination of domestic paddy price in Thailand, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 209-217.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p209

In the context of globalisation, states are insinuated as little homes in the global village. Although arguments on change of powers in the current situation are widely made qualitatively, quantitative analysis by empirical information is still minimal. This study, therefore, chose an advanced quantitative methodology, using time series data on domestic paddy price, cost of domestic rice production, rice world market price, and the government-determined price according to its policy, in multiple regression analysis. The research findings show that, as the cost of domestic rice production does not influence domestic paddy price, at statistical significance of.05, the domestic paddy price is in fact more affected by the rice world market price, which represents the power of globalisation, than by the price determined by the government, which represents the power of the state, at statistical significance of.05, for approximately 4.78 times, indicating that state power in this context is no longer in the position to bargain with the power of globalisation. Hence, policy recommendations continue to be regarded with the adjustments of economic management, in which the current Thai government still chooses to utilise great amount of its budget to intercept the market price of rice.

  • Muangasame, K., Khunon, S., Enhancing tourism competitiveness of Hong Kong via tourism planning: A comparative case study between Hong Kong and Singapore, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 30-37.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p30

This article aims to recommend tourism planning in Hong Kong (HK). A comparison case study of tourism planning between Singapore and Hong Kong is discussed. Secondary data from web sites, observations and in-depth interviews of ten residents and ten tourists was conducted to investigate tourism planning in the two countries. The study discloses that the HK government should consider adopting a long term oriented plan and implement an integrated approach with their tourism planning. Sustainability issues, land management and carrying capacity should be addressed by HK tourism planners. Lastly, re-structuring of the Tourism board should be considered to improve the efficacy of tourism planning of HK.

  • Nakhasathien, K., Somtrakool, K., Siltrakul, W., Brocades of the Southern cities: Development of woven fabric products in order to add value to community economy. (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 128-134.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p128

This qualitative research examines three weaving groups in the South of Thailand. The study analyzes the local wisdom used in the production of brocades in the Southern cities and the problems and methods of market management for brocades of the Southern cities in order to develop products and add value to the community economy. The results identified a number of problems regarding the limited design experience and abilities of weaving group members, the lack of consumer surveys and high production costs for little financial reward. The article highlights various ways in which these problems can be addressed, including focus on quality production of goods specifically selected by the consumer, reduction of manufacturing costs and creation of group logos and branding. By implementing these suggested developments, the weaving groups will add value to their local community economies and protect their handicraft against the challenges of the global economy.

  • Aboo Talib Khalid, K., Sulaiman, N., Mohammed Isa, S., Saad, S., Assessing the look east policy: Moving beyond work culture and ethic, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 111-119.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p111

The Look East Policy (LEP) was introduced in 1981 after former Prime Minister Mahathir's East and West competing perspectives contributed to a nationalist enthusiasm to turn Malaysia into a new industrialized country using Japan and Korea as models. This paper reassesses LEP within the framework of policy evaluation and addresses its long-term impact, with a few twists. For the purpose of this article, only Japan will be discussed as a model for LEP. This article argues that LEP has contributed to Malaysia's progress in becoming an industrialized country. This research applies assessment indicators such as input, output, processes, performance, and cost considerations to evaluate the achievements made by LEP in terms of work culture, ethics, investments, and human capital development. Intensive interviews were conducted with 30 respondents from various organizations with similar profiles, each contributing experience such as studying, living, working, co-operating and collaborating with Japanese counterparts. Themes were developed based on sequential questions occurring in the narrative interviews' transcriptions. This study shares respondents' voices and it reports them as they are. The findings show that LEP produced both advantages and disadvantages, but the former seem to blend in better in organizations, individuals' lives, and an incremental effort to establish a strong industrialized state.

  • Senarat, J., Chantachon, S., Lao-Akka, S., Indigenous cotton cloth of the Phu Thai ethnic group: Integration of creative economic concepts in the development of production in order to create added economic value, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 120-127.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p120

Cloth products are vital to the inheritance of local and ethnic identity and wisdom in Thailand. Currently, the local cloth markets are struggling to keep up with global fashion trends and make an impact upon the new generations of Thai society that will continue their inheritance for the future. This research studies the background of indigenous cotton cloth products of the Phu Thai ethnic group and the current conditions of and problems with the production of indigenous cotton cloth products. The ultimate aim was to study the integration of creative economic concepts in the development of products in order to create added economic value. Study of six weaving groups in Northeastern Thailand found that the Phu Thai groups in Thailand brought their original dress culture with them when they emigrated from Laos. There are two characteristics of cotton cloth products: self-woven products for personal use and products woven as tradable community goods. However, within the Phu Thai group it is more popular for people to wear market-bought clothing and the production of cloth goods is becoming more commercialized, which is having detrimental effects on the inheritance of the handicraft. This research proposes a three-stage model of integration, covering creativity, investment and commercialization to provide a solution to the problems in developing production and ensuring that creative economic concepts are integrated to add economic value to the indigenous cotton cloth of the Phu Thai ethnic group.

  • Raihani Binti Zainol, N., Al-Mamun, A., Yukthamarani Permarupan, P., Effects of demand, manufacturing flexibility, cost and supply chain on product modularity: A study in Malaysia, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 167-179.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p167

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of customer demand, manufacturing flexibility, cost, and supply chain on product modularity. This study employed a cross-sectional design and a proportionate random sampling procedure was used to select 150 manufacturers from a list of 250 manufacturing companies in Malaysia, which are registered in Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Association of Proton vendors. Data was collected from the middle and top management from these selected manufacturing organizations. Findings of this study noted that customer demand, manufacturing flexibility and supply chain has a significant positive effect on product modularity, whereas cost has a negative association with product modularity. Manufacturers, therefore, need to develop customer demand, manufacturing flexibility, cost, and supply chains to ensure the success in developing modularity product manufacturing. This study shows strong association for customer demand, manufacturing flexibility, cost, and supply chain to develop modularity product manufacturing.

  • Bhayuhah, B., Sirisuthi, C., Lammana, P. Scenarios of Thailand secondary education within B.E. 2570, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 291-299.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p291

The objectives of this research were: 1) to study the current situation and problems of Thailand secondary education 2) to propose the Scenarios of Thailand Secondary Education within B.E 2570 by using EDFR (Ethnographic Delphi Futures Research) The 1st Phase: the study of current situation and problems of Thailand secondary education. The 2nd Phrase: the four steps of EDFR; Step 1 (1st round of EDFR) expert interviews using a semi-structured interview, summary of possible trends by using NVivo. Step 2 (2nd round of EDFR) trend analysis by using 12 expert questionnaires to find out Medians and Inter Quartile Range. Step 3 (3rd round of EDFR) the expert verification and consensus by using 12 expert questionnaires to find out Medians and Inter Quartile Range. Step 4 writing Scenarios of Thailand Secondary Education within B.E 2570. Research results showed that there were four aspects of current Thailand Secondary Education; Learning and teaching aspects, Educational personnel aspect, Budget aspect, and Educational administration aspect. The Scenarios of Thailand Secondary Education within B.E 2570 would be 1) 12 possible trends of Learning and teaching aspects 2) 11 possible trends of Educational personnel aspect 3) 6 possible trends of budget aspect and 4) 10 possible trends of Educational administration aspect. In summary, the Scenarios of Thailand Secondary Education within B.E 2570 according to this research could be conclude for the preparation of educational policy in secondary education which accord to educational plan of the office of education council to develop education with high efficiency and internationalize.

  • Kantawateera, K., Naipinit, A., Sakolnakorn, T.P.N., Churngchow, C., Kroeksakul, P., A SWOT analysis of tourism development in Khon Kaen, Thailand, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 226-231.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p226

The objective of this study is to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in tourism development in the city of Khon Kaen, Thailand. We performed in-depth interviews with 21 key participants, and we conducted a focus group by inviting eight participants to discuss the potential strengths and weaknesses in tourism development in Khon Kaen. We then performed a SWOT analysis and content analysis to analyze the data. As a result, we determined that problems and threats that affect tourism development in Khon Kaen require attention because tourism could generate a large amount of income. Because Khon Kaen has many opportunities and strengths that should attract tourists, local government agencies should position notice signs concerning conservation at tourism attractions and promote awareness of recycling among residents. Agencies need to provide education on the value of recycling and encourage reusing recyclable materials. In addition, this research will aid the local government in understanding how to develop a province-wide strategic plan and provide guidance to policymakers on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of tourism in cities that are similar Khon Kaen.

  • Shojaee, S., bin Azman, A., An evaluation of factors affecting brand awareness in the context of social media in Malaysia, (2013) Asian Social Science, 9 (17), pp. 72-78.
    DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n17p72

Living in the middle of a global communication boom with vast usage of social media, the business environment has become more complicated. So, it is more difficult for marketers to create and increase brand awareness as they have to be able to coordinate messages and efforts across all the existing media to capture customers. Therefore, marketers have to consider these communication tools on branding process in the current competitive market-space. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the factors affecting on brand awareness through social media in Malaysia. Data for this study was obtained from 391 students of Universiti Putra Malaysia. The results indicate customer engagement, brand exposure, and electronic-word-of-mouth have positive correlation with brand awareness in the context of social media and the most effective factor is customer engagement. The study recommends that brands will be profited from social media in order to create and enhance brand awareness and the benefits will be mostly increased by using this media's interactivity features to tie customers more closely to a brand.

  • Amirthalingam, K., Criminal Justice and Diversionary Programmes in Singapore, (2013) Criminal Law Forum, 24 (4), pp. 527-559.
    DOI: 10.1007/s10609-013-9216-6

The politics of crime and punishment generally pushes Governments to adopt harsher measures to fight crime, yet there is a movement in Singapore toward a softer approach in some areas. Singapore has a robust - many would say tough - criminal justice system, for some aspects of which it has and will continue to receive international criticism. Less known is the fact that it has recently invested in more holistic and compassionate strategies, through criminal diversion programs and community sentencing. This article explains this shift in the context of significant social and political changes taking place in Singapore, heralding a more liberal society and open Government. The paper also engages with some of the theoretical and philosophical arguments in favor of criminal diversion and provides a brief overview of the recent diversionary programs in Singapore. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

  • Chapman, B., Lounkaew, K., Introduction to the special issue on Economic Research for Education Policy, (2013) Economics of Education Review, 37, pp. 200-203.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.09.008

This special issue of Economics of Education Review is a collection of papers presented at the 2nd Conference on the Economics of Education Policy, organized jointly by Dhurakij Pundit University (DPU), Thailand, and the Australian National University (ANU). The issue illustrates and promotes the role of empirical research for critical policy questions for government. The papers represent a shared commitment by an international group of economics of education researchers to the value, indeed necessity, of methodologically strong empirical evidence as a basis for all policy reform. The selection of papers has been guided by judgments concerning two issues: (i) is the research question posed of central importance to education policy-makers, in terms of its contribution to the effective operation of the labor market or for its relevance to equity and access? and (ii) are the methods and data used in the analyses characterized by both outstanding quality and careful application? © 2013.

  • Tharmmapornphilas, R., Impact of household factors on youth's school decisions in Thailand, (2013) Economics of Education Review, 37, pp. 258-272. Cited 1 time.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.09.007

This paper uses Fairlie's techniques to estimate differences in school enrollment between municipal and non-municipal area, we found that group differences in all explanatory variables explain approximately 70% of the gap. Education level of household head is the largest significant factor accounting for a gap in males' school enrollment whereas the largest factor explaining the municipal/non-municipal gap in school enrollment rate of female 15-17 of age is income.Based on empirical results, some educational policies are suggested to increase school enrollment of Thai youths. Demand-side financing policies such as target vouchers should be used to the chance of schooling especially for those facing financial difficulty. Non-formal education and distance learning could be used to provide alternative and more appropriate way of learning for married youths. Establishment of child care center in a community can reduce workload of youths in taking care of young family members and allow them to participate in school activity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  • Chapman, B., Liu, A.Y.C., Repayment burdens of student loans for Vietnamese higher education, (2013) Economics of Education Review, 37, pp. 298-308. Cited 2 times.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.06.009

Expansion of high education in Vietnam will be undermined without an effective student, loans policy to assist with tuition and living costs. We show the significance of this issue is by, constructing a hypothetical loans system and calculating repayment burdens (RBs) (the proportion of, a graduate's income required to repay the debt) for male and female in four different parts of Vietnam, and with respect to two levels of loans. Importantly, the exercises examine RBs across the whole, distribution of income using unconditional quantile techniques. We find that RBs involving loans for, tuition only are likely to lead to significant RBs for poor graduates, with much higher loans being, associated with critical financial difficulties for perhaps the majority of debtors. This will result in high, default rates and consumption difficulties for borrowers, implying strongly that a student loan system, with such high RBs is unlikely to be successful in Vietnam. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  • Lathapipat, D., The influence of family wealth on the educational attainments of youths in Thailand, (2013) Economics of Education Review, 37, pp. 240-257. Cited 1 time.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.07.004

This paper investigates the relative role of family wealth and other family characteristics in determining schooling decisions. Instead of employing a common approach that focuses on certain education levels, an alternative method is proposed that allows a study of the entire schooling attainment distribution for youths in different wealth quartiles. Even without access to a direct measure of scholastic ability, the study finds that differences in the "long-run" family factors perceived to be important in shaping cognitive ability account for the bulk of inequality in schooling attainment in the 1991 youth cohort. However, a decline in the relative importance of family backgrounds is observed in later cohorts. The surge in the relative importance of family wealth on college enrollment could be caused by either the increasing cost of college education or by the relatively rich and academically less able individuals taking a larger share of recent increases in college enrollment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  • Lounkaew, K., Explaining urban-rural differences in educational achievement in Thailand: Evidence from PISA literacy data, (2013) Economics of Education Review, 37, pp. 213-225. Cited 1 time.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.09.003

Using the Thai PISA 2009 literacy test, this paper offers two contributions to the literature on the achievement gap between students in urban and rural areas. The first contribution relates to the estimation of the student-level education production function at different points along the achievement distributions. With the use of Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, the second contribution demonstrates how much of the achievement differential between urban-rural students can be explained by unmeasured school characteristics. It has been found that the impact of student, family as well as school characteristics on student achievements vary along the test achievement distributions. Decompositions exercises at the mean find that about 45-48 percent of urban-rural achievement gaps are accounted for by the unmeasured characteristics of schools. The disaggregated decomposition exercise along the achievement percentile shows that these characteristics account for about 12-15 percent low-performing students and increase to about 61-69 percent for high-performing students. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  • Schmidt, T.S., Blum, N.U., Sryantoro Wakeling, R., Attracting private investments into rural electrification - A case study on renewable energy based village grids in Indonesia, (2013) Energy for Sustainable Development, 17 (6), pp. 581-595.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2013.10.001

Renewable energy based village grids (RVGs) are widely considered to be a sustainable solution for rural electrification in non-OECD countries. However, diffusion rates of RVGs are relatively low. We take the viewpoint that, as public resources are scarce, investments from the private sector are essential to scale-up the diffusion. While existing literature mostly focuses on engineering, development and techno-economic aspects, the private sector's perspective remains under-researched. As investment decisions by private investors are mainly based on the risk/return profile of potential projects we - based on literature reviews and field research - investigate the risk and the return aspects of RVGs in Indonesia, a country with one of the largest potentials for RVGs. We find that considering the potential of local, national and international revenue streams, the returns of RVGs can be positive. Regarding the risk aspect, we see that private investors could address many of the existing barriers through their business model. However, the findings also point to the need for government action in order to further improve the risk/return profile and thereby attract private investments for RVGs. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

  • Wijaya, M.E., Tezuka, T., A comparative study of households' electricity consumption characteristics in Indonesia: A techno-socioeconomic analysis, (2013) Energy for Sustainable Development, 17 (6), pp. 596-604.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2013.09.004

Economic development in Indonesia has improved the people's welfare. As a result, household electricity consumption has risen continuously over the years. Indonesia's people come from a variety of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, which are steeped in several distinct regions. However, less attention has traditionally been paid to how household electricity consumption is influenced by local cultures. Therefore, understanding the characteristics of household electricity consumption and its driving factors under a variety of cultural backgrounds in a society plays an important role in designing proper regulations related to household energy savings. Two cities with different cultural backgrounds were selected for this study, namely Bandung and Yogyakarta. The factors driving electricity consumption are investigated using a field survey and classified according to how the electricity is used and the societal and economic characteristics. The relationships between electrical consumption and its driving factors are evaluated using multivariate data analysis. The results show that in Bandung, family size, time spent at home, education level, home appliances and lighting had a significant, positive effect on the monthly electricity bill. On the other hand, in Yogyakarta, education level and time spent at home had a negative impact on the monthly electricity bill. Based on these results, an energy conservation policy may not be generalisable but will have to be specified based on local characteristics to ensure that the policy is broadly adopted by society. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  • Kiernan, K., The Nature Conservation, Geotourism and Poverty Reduction Nexus in Developing Countries: A Case Study from the Lao PDR, (2013) Geoheritage, 5 (3), pp. 207-225.
    DOI: 10.1007/s12371-013-0084-6

Despite high geodiversity and biodiversity conservation values, scenic landscapes and parts of the Nam Ou Valley being perceived by western visitors as wilderness, there has been limited progress towards securing long-term protection of some of these attributes in nature conservation reserves. Higher priority has been given to economic development, partly in a bid to address endemic poverty that is the product of the area's remoteness and its turbulent political and military history. However, unless nature conservation is properly integrated into programs intended to enhance economic and social development, the natural values of the area are placed at increasing risk, as are some tourism enterprises with potential to assist in poverty reduction. Tensions between meeting immediate economic needs through tourism versus environmental management consistent with the long-term sustainability of tourism highlight the inadequate attention accorded to geodiversity by overseas aid programs that have shaped the nature conservation agenda in Laos. Enhanced recognition of the significance of geodiversity and geoheritage is especially important for geotourism based on physical landforms including inherently vulnerable karst caves. Improved understanding of key environments to inform development and implementation of effective protective management strategies is essential to stem accelerating degradation of some key visitor attractions. Unless this occurs, local tourism will be unable to progress beyond what presently amounts to little more than rudimentary, unmanaged and destructive scenery mining and to mature into a sustainable industry that can nourish long-term economic and social development. © 2013 The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage.

  • Kiernan, K., Impacts of War on Geodiversity and Geoheritage: Case Studies of Karst Caves from Northern Laos, (2012) Geoheritage, 4 (4), pp. 225-247. Cited 1 time.
    DOI: 10.1007/s12371-012-0063-3

While the role that some places have played during war has made them foci for legitimate commemoration of historical events, acquisition of this cultural heritage dimension has often occurred at considerable cost to natural heritage values that previously existed. Research is required to address the current deficiency in understanding of the impacts of war on natural geoheritage and their implications for management. This is likely to be most expeditious and effective if focused initially upon representative examples of environments of a kind that commonly figure in armed conflicts; if it targets specific sites in which various types of environmental impact have been focused in a physical area that can readily be encompassed by fieldwork; and if observable impacts involve a variety of vulnerable values. These criteria are amply met by karst caves; management of which encapsulates many environmental issues in microcosm. Review of the physical condition of some northern Laotian caves has enabled a range of impacts of war to be identified, and some probable further implications of these impacts to be inferred. Physical damage recognised includes compaction of cave floors by trampling, damage to speleothems, and deliberate physical modifications to cave floors and passages. Changes to atmospheric conditions that are likely to have been detrimental to cave ecosystems are implied by smoke staining of cave walls and ceilings from fires used for cooking, heating and lighting and from evidence for chemicals likely to have impacted cave ecology also having been used underground. A wide range of exotic substances were also introduced into these vulnerable environments, including foodstuffs, munitions and construction materials. Damage was also caused by attacks made upon caves, sometimes combined with resulting detonation of munitions stored within them. The partial survival of some natural values, and incipient recovery of others, now requires very careful cave management, and the same requirement is likely in relation to other types of geoheritage sites that have been damaged by war. Survival of remnant natural values may already be tenuous and is unlikely to continue unless post-conflict management is founded upon an holistic perspective rather than the sites involved being managed solely as cultural heritage monuments. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  • Haagen-Wulff, M.V.D., Karduck, S., Culture, language, diversity: Questions and answers in South Africa and Indonesia, (2013) International Journal of Diverse Identities, 12 (4), pp. 23-36.

This paper will briefly introduce South Africa's and Indonesia's geographical, economic, political, demographic, and linguistic histories. Considering the background of cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity, both countries have had to deal with questions of managing diversity and unity in the process of becoming sovereign states. They have inherited colonial or settler inspired national boarders unifying distinct ethnic groups and accompanying regional languages within one national geographic boarder. We will trace the development of Indonesia's and South Africa's official national strategies to deal with cultural diversity not as a band-aid measure, but rather as a positive resource to foster coexistence and unity. The paper examines the successes and failures of these national strategies against the backdrop of immense diversity, with 11 official languages and barely a sign of homogeneous culture in South Africa, and more than 300 ethnic groups and over 700 living regional languages in Indonesia. © Common Ground, Stefan Karduck, Monica Clare van der Haagen-Wulff.

  • Noor, N.M., Leong, C.-H., Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore: Contesting models, (2013) International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37 (6), pp. 714-726.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2013.09.009

Malaysia and Singapore are good examples of multicultural societies albeit with different acculturation ideologies. Both countries comprise three main ethnic groups but in diametrically opposite proportion. In Malaysia, 50.4% of the population is Malay, 23.7% Chinese, 11% indigenous peoples, 7.1% Indian, and 7.8% other races. In Singapore, the ratio is 74.1% Chinese, 13.4% Malay, 9.2% Indian and 3.3% other races. Due to its colonial past, "ethnicity" has been the central policy issue in Malaysia and remains so up to this day. The dominance of communal politics can be understood in Stephan and Stephan's (2000) model of integrated threat theory. In Singapore, the city-state does not believe in affirmative action and it prefers to manage cultural identities on the basis of a multicultural ideology (Berry & Kalin, 1995; Berry, Kalin, & Taylor, 1977). In this article, multiculturalism is used to refer to public policies carried out by the two countries to manage their plural societies. We will discuss the development of the multicultural models that have evolved in the two countries. While Malaysia's model of multiculturalism is based on policies that have been instituted to manage inter-group tensions, prevent violence, and pursue social justice between the ethnic groups as a result of its past, Singapore's model is guided by pragmatic realism and market fundamentals associated with the needs of a global city. Both models will face challenges in the coming years as they each adapt to the seismic shifts in the geo-economic landscapes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  • Hallinger, P., Bryant, D.A., Synthesis of findings from 15 years of educational reform in Thailand: Lessons on leading educational change in East Asia, (2013) International Journal of Leadership in Education, 16 (4), pp. 399-418.
    DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2013.770076

The past two decades have been a period of active education reform throughout much of the world, and East Asia is no exception. This paper synthesizes findings from a series of empirical studies of educational reform in Thailand where an ambitious educational reform law was adopted in 1999. The purpose is to identify lessons learned about educational leadership and change that may be applicable both in Thailand and other parts of East Asia. The studies reveal successful reorientation of the nation's educational system around a new vision and education goals. However, the vision of change has been much slower to penetrate the daily practice of Thailand's 35,000 principals and 400,000 teachers. The paper identifies factors that are impacting successful reform in Thailand and draws implications for leading educational reform and change in the East Asia region. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

  • Thai, M.T.T., Chong, L.C., Dynamic experimental internationalization: Strategy of SMEs from a transition economy, (2013) Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 11 (4), pp. 370-399.
    DOI: 10.1007/s10843-013-0110-4

This paper presents a model of dynamic experimental internationalization which we developed by employing Straussian Grounded Theory to explain how and why small- and medium-sized enterprises in a transitional economy (Vietnam) internationalize. Unlike other knowledge-based internationalization models, our model proposes that the internationalization process of these firms is largely influenced by their current experience rather than past experience because of frequent shifts in the institutional environment. Moreover, this process is directed not only by organizational goals but also critically by managerial goals. As such, these firms internationalize by continuously conducting multiple experiments to find strategies that optimize their chances of meeting these goals by ensuring the best fit with their current environment and thereby also quick responses to environment changes. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

  • Frot, E., OlofsgÃ¥rd, A., Berlin, M.P., Aid effectiveness in times of political change: Lessons from the post-communist transition, (2014) World Development, 56, pp. 1-12.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.10.016

We argue that the tilt toward donor interests over recipient needs in aid allocation and practices may be particularly strong in new partnerships. Using the natural experiment of Eastern transition we find that commercial and strategic concerns influenced both aid flows and entry in the first half of the 1990s, but much less so later on. We also find that fractionalization increased and that early aid to the region was particularly volatile, unpredictable and tied. Our results may explain why aid to Iraq and Afghanistan has had little development impact and serves as warning for Burma and Arab Spring regimes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


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