About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive May 2012

Grim reminders

It’s back to reality. The euphoria coming after the successful hosting of the Asian Development Bank’s 45th annual meeting in Manila has barely died down, and then here comes some compelling bad news: poverty has reached new peak during and involuntary hunger has reached a new peak ever.

Poised to hit ‘sweet spot’?

Two pieces of news came down like manna from heaven which naturally resonated as music to the ears of businessmen, political leaders, and others. One heralded by HSBC early this year was that the Philippines will be the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050. The other was a statement at the Euromoney forum...

Drop the ‘pork holiday’ idea

The two-day “pork holiday” that was declared by pork producers last week was less than a success. No one even noticed it. And threatening a longer five-day holiday isn’t going to succeed either. For three reasons, all of which one learns in an introductory economics course.

Fiscal position remains shaky

The view that the Philippine government is out of its fiscal woes is demonstratively premature. Tax effort, defined as taxes as percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which hit its peak in 1997 at 17%, remains precarious. In 2010 and 2011, it was 12.1% and 12.3%, respectively. On the expenditure side, the government would need...

Perks and public provisions: Effects of yardstick competition on local government fiscal behavior in the Philippines

(with Carlos Antonio R. Tan, Jr., Vigile Marie B. Fabella) Using a panel dataset from cities and municipalities in the Philippines in 2001, 2004 and 2007, we investigate whether yardstick competition influence local government fiscal decisions.

Devil in the figures

There is nothing unexceptionable about PNoy’s goals regarding employment: he wants jobs to be kept, new jobs to be created, workers’ skills upgraded, and labor laws, specifically those regarding the worker welfare, to be strictly implemented. Great. I agree.

Countercyclical fiscal policy

Each administration after the EDSA 1 revolution had to start with an economic challenge: Corazon C. Aquino had the responsibility of restoring growth after a deep recession; Fidel V. Ramos had to face a weakened economy made worse by years of flickering power supply; Joseph E. Estrada assumed office in the midst of the Asian...