WORKING PAPERS DATABASE

TitleResearchersDescriptionSeries TypeResearch Center
Unlocking a Low-Carbon Future for MalaysiaRenato Lima de OliveiraThe policy recommendations presented in this policy brief were developed in cooperation with Malaysian energy experts during two stakeholder workshops held in November 2021 with 22 participants from various sectors, including the finance sector, think-tanks, civil society and NGOs, industry, and academia. The Malaysian energy system was modelled by the ISIGET research team of the IASS Potsdam using stakeholder-driven Cross Impact Balance Analysis to determine factors preventing or facilitating a sustainable energy future. The subsequent succession analysis reveals the factors that need to be addressed in order to trigger changes in the entire modelled system. The recommendations discussed by the Malaysian experts are based on the results of the succession analysis, which suggests that a trajectory change would require action across multiple fields to break up established decision-making patterns, liberalise the energy market, and channel post-pandemic recovery measures and long-term development plans towards green growth. More details on the method will be available in a forthcoming study.Working PaperThe Center of Technology, Strategy and Sustainability (CTSS)
Industry 4.0 Technology Adoption in Malaysian Manufacturing: Strategies for Enhancing CompetitivenessRenato Lima de Oliveira, Tan Zhai Gen, Deborah Chow, Vaisnavi Mogan RaoNew technologies related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) are driving changes in global value chains (GVCs). These changes are already impacting Malaysia which has been deindustrializing and losing its competitive advantage in labour-intensive manufacturing to neighbouring countries, which offer lower labour cost while they are quickly improving their infrastructure. While this is a general trend for Malaysia, a notable exception is the state of Pulau Pinang, which has maintained its industrial base and shifted towards high-technology manufacturing. The research findings suggest that IR 4.0 technology adoption are used to improve productivity and quality, and rely on close collaboration with local technology suppliers. The development of local technology suppliers is an area in which Malaysia can move up to higher value-added activities within the GVC, including R&D and design. Importantly, workers are generally receptive to IR 4.0 technologies, as it improves the quality of their work. However, these technologies can also reduce employment for low-skilled repetitive work, which is an area in which Malaysia’s manufacturing competitiveness is already declining. To achieve successful IR 4.0 technology deployment, manufacturing firms need government support, especially in the area of skills and training, both to upskill current workers, and to ensure new workers have the right educational foundation. Training programs initiated by industry, but funded by government, appear to be successful in addressing some of the skills gaps. Viewed more broadly, the improving quality of work and increased productivity due to IR4.0 technology adoption, could play a role in making small- and medium-sized manufacturers more attractive as employers. This would help them hire and retain skilled Malaysian workers, who might otherwise opt to work for multinationals, or overseas. Working PaperThe Center of Technology, Strategy and Sustainability (CTSS)
De jure benchmark bondsEli Remolona, James YetmanAs the most liquid of instruments, benchmark bonds play an important role in price discovery. Where markets fail to create them, however, can governments do so? In Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, authorities have designated specific bonds as benchmarks. We measure these bonds’ liquidity and find that they succeed as benchmarks about 55% of the time. In contrast to the experience of large advanced markets, our estimates suggest that choosing on-the-run issues as de jure benchmark bonds is a poor strategy. Instead, what leads to success in emerging markets is choosing seasoned bonds that already have a record of superior liquidity.Working PaperNIL
Norms, Trust, and Increasing Vaccine Registration in Malaysia - Preliminary ResultsSam Flanders, Melati Nungsari, N. Izzatina Abdul Aziz, Chin Kar Yern, Shenyi Chua, Tan Zhai Gen, Fatin Nadhirah Binti JamalolailThis report summarizes preliminary findings from a survey experiment with 1307 Malaysian respondents. We study 1) trust levels in institutions and norms surrounding the choice to get vaccinated in this country, 2) perceptions on state “carrots” versus “sticks” in incentivizing vaccinations, and 3) whether a cash lottery of RM 500 is an effective intervention to increase the number of registrations for vaccinations. Although our sample is not representative of the entire Malaysian society, they are suggestive and can provide some insights on incentivizing pro-social behaviour with regards to vaccination. Specifically, we found that incentives can encourage vaccine registration.Working PaperASEAN Research Center
Business Shutdowns and COVID-19 MortalityGabriele CiminelliThis paper zooms in on business shutdowns and investigates their effectiveness in reducing mortality. We leverage upon highly granular death registry data for over 4,000 Italian municipalities in a diff-in-diff approach that allows us to credibly mitigate endogeneity concerns. Working PaperNIL
Digital Transformation: Some Implications for Financial and Macroeconomic StabilityHans GenbergVirtual AI-assisted financial intermediation is challenging financial intermediation and payment services that are based on personal contacts. Digital transformation is changing how and by whom financial services are provided, how payments are made within an economy and across borders, and how and where goods and services are produced in a globalized economy. These transformations bring significant benefits in the form of greater variety and convenience of financial services, faster speed of payment transactions, and more efficient production processes. But there are also potential costs. Traditional commercial banking models are challenged by unregulated FinTech and BigTech firms, possibly threatening systemic financial stability. Globalization of production processes has led to greater spillovers of economic fluctuations across borders, thereby complicating macroeconomic policy decisions.Working Paper
The COVID-19 Hardship Survey: An Evaluation of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus PackageSam Flanders, Melati NungsariThe COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis, and, while Malaysia has controlled the infection more than most countries with early exposure to the virus, the Movement Control Order (MCO) has required major economic sacrifices. This, in addition to a COVID-19-caused global economic slowdown, threatens a budget crisis for Malaysian households.Discussion
COVID-19 in Italy: an Analysis of Death Registry DataGabriele CiminelliWe analyze daily death registry data for a sample of 1,161 Italian municipalities in the 7 regions most severely hit by COVID-19. Daily deaths almost tripled in the first thirty days since the onset. Overall, COVID-19 might have killed 0.1% of the local population in just forty days. Working Paper