Posts By Nina Merchant-Vega

In The News

In 2011, Hard-Earned Resilience Will Carry Asia’s Economies through the Crisis

January 5, 2011

One year ago in this blog, Asia Foundation chief economist Bruce Tolentino expressed “cautious optimism” about the prospects for global recovery and Asian growth in 2010. His positive prediction for Asia was more than fulfilled, in spite of a dispiriting lag in U.S. recovery and severe economic crises in the Eurozone. In 2010, Asia’s diverse […]

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In The News

Can Greater Regional Economic Cooperation Unite ‘Two South Asias’?

January 5, 2011

South Asia has seen remarkable economic growth since the 1980s, when the region began to adopt pro-growth policies such as foreign investment liberalization, privatization, and the dismantling of onerous business regulations. Since the mid-1980s, South Asia experienced an average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent in its per capita Gross National Income (GNI). As a […]

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Notes from the Field

Are Asia’s Capital Cities Victims of Their Own Success? A Look at Dhaka and Phnom Penh

October 6, 2010

In Bangladesh, where the 2010 Economic Governance Index – which measures and ranks business environments across 19 districts – was just released, the capital city of Dhaka did not perform among the top districts. Of course, in terms of business performance and investment, Dhaka remains Bangladesh’s single most important city. With nearly 10 percent of […]

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Notes from the Field

Supporting Business Development in Rural Bangladesh: Role of Reliable Information in Policy Reforms

August 4, 2010

Any casual observer walking through the heart of a district capital like Bangladesh’s northeastern city of Sylhet or Rangpur, further north, would be impressed by the bustling economic activity. In the early morning, streets are filled with colorful trucks honking their way toward the market place. Their paths are crossed by overloaded rickshaws delivering raw […]

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In The News

Does Women’s Inequality Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

October 28, 2009

As a student of economics and a development practitioner, I had always assumed that economic development, measured by rising per capita incomes, implied greater gender equality. I had made this assumption because, as Figure 1 below illustrates, there is a strong positive linear relationship between per capita country GDP and the Status of Women, as […]

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In The News

India: A Place of Dreams

July 8, 2009

Recently, on an unbearably hot and steamy day walking down a traders lane in Mumbai, I found myself marveling at how much the country has truly transformed. As a first-generation Indian-American, I have been traveling to the country since I was child, and, while I have noticed the obvious economic changes taking place-the beautiful new […]

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Notes from the Field

From Vietnam: Economic Competitiveness in the Provinces

July 23, 2008

On a recent afternoon in Hanoi, I found myself sitting in a crowded conference room sipping tea and munching snacks with a young team of researchers, sifting through stacks of completed surveys looking for small coding errors in the data. Anyone watching would have been hard pressed to imagine we were putting together one of […]

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