Research Projects for FY2020

Research Division

The Economy and Society of Asia

This research group conducts academic research on the mechanisms and economic impacts of socio-economic phenomena as well as policy-oriented research that contributes to the sustainable development of Asia with a focus on important economic and social issues faced by Asia (particularly East Asia). In recent years, the main research topics of this group include: (1) sources / driving forces of the economic growth of China and other East Asian countries; (2) behavior and productivity of multinational corporations (MNCs) in Asia; (3) income inequality / poverty and the underlying factors in Asian countries; (4) international migration patterns of skilled labor and the growth mechanism of global talent magnet cities; (5) consumption behavior of Asian tourists; (6) population aging in East Asia and its economic impact; and (7) how to promote economic cooperation and free trade in the Pan Yellow Sea Region (the economic zone surrounding the Yellow Sea).

The Impacts of US-China Trade Friction on Japan-China Port Transportation
This study examines the impact of intensifying trade friction between the U.S. and China, which started from 2018, on Japan-China port transportation. Using statistical data of Japan, China, the U.S., and the related information from our investigation, we will mainly analyze the following impacts:
(1) Impact of the U.S.-China trade friction on the changes in the regional (Origin-Destination) structure of China’s foreign trade
(2) Impact of the U.S.-China trade friction on Japan-China Direct Investment (FDI) and international trade.
(3) Impact of the U.S.-China trade friction on Japan-China port logistics
Based on the above analysis results, we will give some suggestions for the sustainable port development in Japan (including Kyushu region).
Staff: Erbiao Dai
Exchange rate pass-through and firms in processing trade
This study investigates the exchange rate pass-through in import prices for firms in China. We focus on firms participating in processing trade and distinguish the two trade modes depending on who takes responsibility of input sourcing. In the pure assembly (PA) mode, inputs are purchased by foreign multinationals who outsourced the assembly jobs. In the import and assembly (IA) mode, input sourcing is carried out by local assemblers. Assembly firms face different exchange rate risks due to input sourcing responsibilities and the exchange rate pass-through to input prices may also differ across trade modes. The effect of exchange rate pass-through could be further complicated by firm ownership which will also be examined in this research.
Staff: Xiaonan Sun
Examining the puzzle of primary healthcare use
Health care provision is a public good, and universal health coverage is considered to be an integral part of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to achieve universal healthcare coverage in low and middle-income countries, international organizations such as the World Bank advocate on delivering healthcare through free or nominally priced medical care in publicly-run facilities staffed by qualified doctors. However, a significant fraction of households in these countries visits fee-charging private health care provider. Furthermore, households in low and middle-income countries spend a significant portion of their resources on healthcare. In India, households’ use of primary healthcare services is a puzzle. The private share of primary healthcare use in India is higher even in the market with a qualified doctor offering free care through public clinics. This research project aims to examine the reason for the existence of such a puzzle in India.
Staff: Pramod Kumar Sur

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Comparative Growth Policy

Japan became the first country in the world to achieve rapid economic growth from the 1950s until the 1970s, and many emerging economies in Asia are currently experiencing rapid economic growth. This research group conducts research on what lessons emerging Asia can learn from the successes and failures of growth policies in Japan, and conversely, what lessons Japan can learn from the successes and failures of growth policies in emerging Asia, and we make policy recommendations based on our research findings.

A Study of the Startup Ecosystem in Taiwan
In Taiwan, the startup-supporting system has largely changed during the last about ten years. Formerly, it consisted of the construction of science parks, preferential treatment for high-tech firms, the promotion of venture capital (VC) investment, support for commercialization by incubators and so on. In recent years, new actors and methods have appeared, includes short and intensive startup-nurturing programs by accelerators and mentor networks, funding through angels and crowdfunding as well as VC, promoting cooperation between startups and established large firms, the stimulation of entrepreneurship by university curriculums and pitch events, and so on. In other words, we observe the development of “Startup Ecosystem” based on the networking of these various actors and methods. This study tries to investigate the development mechanism of “Startup Ecosystem” in Taiwan, if possible, partly conducting the similar analysis of Japan and China (Of course, only one year is not enough for me to fully implement such heavy tasks. So, I plan to go on with this and related themes for several years).
Staff: Chikashi Kishimoto
The Impact of Enterprise Zones to Local Business Development
Place-based policies are debated whether they obtain pareto efficiency, especially when using public fund. While policy makers might have more interest on the impact within the boundary of the zones, in public economics, we often have to consider cost-benefit analyses to reach the final judgement. Besides, whether the place-based policies benefit or have spill-over effect to firms located outside the boundary of the enterprise zones remains to be answered. Therefore, this study examines the effects of enterprise zones on local businesses based on different patterns of place-based policies, either land-rent incentives or cooperate tax incentives. We also investigate the possibility of using partnerships with several ownership types as an alternative for public spending on building/managing infrastructure of the zone.
Staff: Tien Manh Vu

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Urban and Regional Policy

This research group conducts policy studies that contribute to sustainable urban development with a focus on the case of Kitakyushu city and to the economic development of the Kitakyushu region through linkages among cities in the region. The former puts an emphasis on issues such as the low fertility rate and population aging, public transportation, and environment-related technological innovation. It aims to contribute to urban policies in other Asian countries facing similar problems. The latter includes research that contributes to linkages among cities in the Pan Yellow Sea Region (the economic zone surrounding the Yellow Sea) and to the economic development of the region with a focus on logistics and international business.

A quantitative analysis of the factors for migration between Fukuoka and other regions with a focus on redistribution policies and population fluctuation by the cohort
The purpose of the present study is to analyze the causes of the migration between Fukuoka Prefecture and other regions from the period of rapid economic growth to the present. In particular, we study the effect of the regional gaps in wage upon the migration. We then analyze the effect of the policy variables regional difference in public investment upon the wage gap. between Fukuoka Prefecture and other areas.
The 2019 research found, through econometric analysis, that the sharp decline in population migration from rural areas to large cities after 1974 is not due to the decline in the population at the source, but to the narrowing of wage gap between the two regions caused by redistribution policies such as “balanced development of national land.”.
In fact, the number of high school graduates in rural areas fell sharply from 1968 to 1973, but almost stayed constant from 1973 to 1983, and increased since 1985. The number of junior high school graduates moving to metropolitan areas was decreasing since peaking in 1963, but the decrease per year became smaller since 1973. Furthermore, about 30% of the population movement was mainly in the age group of 20-35 years old, and the population of this age group more less stayed constant from 1974 to 1980. The above econometric analysis is consistent with these observations.
This year, we will apply the analysis framework of the 2019 study to the issue of population migration in and out of Fukuoka Prefecture.
Staff: Tatsuo Hatta
Convergence of the World Economy and the Kyushu Economy
This study analyzes convergence hypothesis of the world economy using relatively new data. This study also relates to the tenth goal of the SDGs. In this study, we use an approach that estimates the income distribution structure of the world economy, instead of the econometric approach. By analyzing the time series of this structure and regional changes, we will clarify the position of the Kyushu economy in the world economy and provide knowledge on regional economic policies.
Staff: Hiroshi Sakamoto

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Consulting Division

A research study on the development of smart cities in East Asia region
Staff: Kazuki Tamura

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