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

Twilight of the rule of law

The MWSS decision constitutes a rape of the rule of law even if the concessionaires decided to hold their horses. If left to stand, it establishes a precedent that a guilty party can reap political pogi points by scapegoating a vulnerable party.

Embracing the light

Solar PV and storage technology now allow us to transform the abundance of light from a liability into an enormous asset, one which promises to leapfrog the problem of high electricity cost.

Hidden violations of competitive neutrality

A rule or law may be de jure neutral but may be de facto nonneutral, that is, enforced in a nonneutral manner by the biased enforcement of the law.

Small town blues

When the big national retailers take interest in and flock to a local regional market, local capitalists tremble and scramble for refuge in remoter small towns, pushing even smaller players to the wall.

Carpenter versus plunderer

“Lo! unto us a child is born!” Not just any child but a child of a carpenter who would follow in his father’s footsteps (Mark 6:3). Carpentry creates value as it transforms plain wood into a beautiful cabinet. Honest hard work is carpentry’s signature. It is the exact opposite of plunder.

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.