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

Unprocessed mineral export ban

In his 2017 SONA, Pres. Duterte threatened, among others, to stop the export of unprocessed mining products. This follows the ban on similar products in 2014 by Indonesia. The ostensive purpose of this exercise is to raise the value added from each unit of mineral export by subjecting to further processing locally.

Our transport system, communal pride, and united future

I allowed myself a moment of elation at the announcement of the railway link between Clark and Metro Manila. Such moments are rare in the desert of “sombriety.”

Conglomerates and inclusion

Whether it is banking, real estate, retail and supermarket trade, food service, broadcasting and media, power generation, energy, infrastructure -- you name it, conglomerates are in it. Is conglomerate dominance to be feared? No, on the contrary.

Which way will Duterte turn?

The question of the ages: Will Duterte turn out to be a Deng Xiaoping steadfast behind the market and affluence, or will he turn out to be a Mao Zedong steadfast behind shared poverty?

Competition, regulation and institutional quality

Regulation and competition policy are two alternative modalities by which the state intervenes in the market. In order for either to deliver welfare gains, there must first be a pre-existing market failure.

The punisher’s dilemma: helicopter drop or exoneration by due process

I confess to having been elated with the pivot in Digong’s anti-drug war if temporary. The pursuit and neutralization of drug users along with a sprinkling of traffickers was stayed to give way to the intended cleansing of the PNP and NBI of rogue cops and scalawags who connive with and abet traffickers.

Manufacturing, quality of growth, and poverty reduction

The economic cluster of the Duterte watch has been making noises about the revival of Manufacturing and bringing its poverty reducing bonanza to the regions. That is unequivocably a correct strategy. The recent past points to its validity. That recent past is the poverty reduction performance of the Aquino watch.

Why Fixed Rent Contracts are Less Prevalent: Weak Third Party Enforcement and Endogenous Principal Type

We revisit the question of why fixed rent contracts are less prevalent than crop share contracts despite Marshallian inefficiency. We consider the case where the type of the principal is endogenous to contract provisions and reneging by the principal may pay due to weak third party enforcement (TPE).

Duterte’s ‘No’ and the gold haul at IMO

We not only have income-poverty; we have power-poverty; and arguably the first poverty is due to the second.

Federalism 101: meaningful autonomy, virtues and frailties

What are the possible virtues and frailties of meaningful federalism? My perspective will be economic and will be limited. Everything depends upon meaningful autonomy.

The Duterte-Dominguez disconnect: is another golden tide headed for the rocks?

It is said that poverty is more in the mind than in the pocket. Most income-challenged nations are poor not because of scarcity of resources but because of inability to seize the opportunities in fleeting instances of plenty.

Squaring the circle and ‘buang’

I must confess to an unabashed glee over Leni Robredo’s victory in the official tally. Finally, another widow beat back another Marcos.