About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Emmanuel S de Dios

What’s up (actually down) with exports?

The longer term issue is whether a country with such a palpable disinterest in exports can long sustain a high level of growth.

What does Big Data say about PH exports?

[with Annette Balaoing-Pelkmans] Recent concern over a widening current account deficit has refocused attention on the country’s lagging export performance. Goods exports have fallen drastically as a share of GDP from 45 percent in 2000 to just 16 percent in 2017. Big Data offers some clues to this decline.


What follows is a list of Ph.D. graduates of the U.P. School of Economics in chronological order of their graduation. The School has graduated a total of 88 Ph.D.s since its first graduate in 1975.

Uncreative distractions

There is a hiatus in the administration’s economic agenda because the attention of its highest leaders is preempted by an agenda of vendetta and scorched-earth politics.

Vox populi vox Dei?

The political independence and professionalism of the bureaucracy and the courts are part of constitutional design. It is foolish and uninformed of politicians to demand that they conform to political trends and opinions of the day, no matter how “popular”.

Growth accelerations

Taking the long view and beyond scoring political points, however, if GDP does grow by 6-6.5% this year, then the Philippines would qualify as a clear case of “growth acceleration”

Just take it, it’s good for you

Not all who take sugar-sweetened beverages will indulge to excess. And not even all who over-indulge will become obese or diabetic. Yet, the proposal would penalise all these people in the same way. I hate to say it: just like the war on drugs.

What, me worry?

Duterte’s creeping authoritarianism, however, is being implemented in full view of an apathetic crowd.

Who drew first?

Alfred Marshall is frequently credited with the supply-and-demand diagram, so much so that the familiar graph of equilibrium in the market for a single good is called the “Marshallian cross” . Here as in many other cases, however, Stigler’s Law of Eponymy holds.

Comments on a presentation by John Collins

We would have wanted a calm, dispassionate discussion until we found a safe and humane way to proceed. That is not forthcoming, however, and even as we discuss matters here, in the meantime, the lives of mostly poor people are surely being snuffed out.

Charisma and its limits

While democratically elected leaders normally have the duty to serve the people, here it is the people who think it is their duty to serve the leader.


Barely noticed in our part of the world, Kenneth Arrow, probably the greatest economist in the second half of the last century, passed away on 21 February 2017.