About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Raul V Fabella

The Third Telco project, winner’s curse and sustainability

The impact of the third telco on consumer welfare depends upon the extent of the collusive behavior in the extant duopoly market and on the new efficiencies the third telco introduces.

‘Weaponized’ incentives and TRAIN 2

That the discussion of incentives to correct a missing market failure has gravitated around incentives to attract entry is natural. But sometimes, entry is only one part of the equation. The incentives to stay is another.

Q2 growth: Old or New Normal

The 6% GDP growth in Q2 is a three-year low and has renewed the conversation of revert to the old. Not because the 6% growth is to be sneezed at but because by mid-2018 the rain clouds are starting to gather.

TRAIN 2: The failures it addresses

A successful flagship economic program will ensure Duterte a bright legacy; a mangled one will sink that legacy no matter the political projects. Even so, TRAIN 2 still has ways to go.

The BSP and inflation: What mission creep?

When the price spike is due to cost push (food, coal tax and higher transmission charge, rice and NFA failure, wages and “endo”) , the BSP’s capacity to combat the root of the spike is very limited. A more aggressive BSP interest rate hike would only raise costs and inflation further.

Strong leader as miracle worker: Deng Xiaoping drilled down

In the early 1980s, the battle for the hearts and minds of China was raging between the Deng Xiaoping partisans who shared his vision of a market and an open economy and the Chen Yun partisans who clung to a planned and closed economy.

Endo and manufacturing

Contractualization has been painted as “evil” by rabid Endo advocates. Yes, abuses happen but even freedom is abused. We don’t ban freedom for a reason.

Kim Jong Un: madman or genius?

Is Kim a madman or a genius? If a madman with only random flashes of sanity, he will soon enough revert to the Orwellian strategy of continued nuclear build-up, of confrontation and the absolute loyalty of his deprived subjects. We’ll be back to square one with only a fading memory of hope.

Übermensch

In Shakespeare’s Act III of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony joined the funeral of, after Brutus and kindred souls had done the Ides of March number on, Julius Caesar. The starting line of his famous spiel included: “I came to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”

Inclusion and exclusion in TRAIN

There are two flavors of inclusion: one is reduced income inequality; the other is reduced poverty incidence. They are not the same; nor does one necessarily follow the other. So they require different policy responses.

Who’s afraid of a weak peso?

Lately, the gradual depreciation of the peso (to P51/$) was accompanied by the familiar angst in the media. This development is not new. What is new? This is happening without the familiar war frenzy among the authorities; there seems instead a healthy nonchalance .

Seventeen

Our success as a nation is ultimately the harvest of our collective exertion as a nation. The future beckons to us to provide a better pedestal for our International Math Olympiad heroes, one the equal of the pedestals we accord medalists in lesser pursuits.