About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive March 2017

Memoir: The founding of PIDS

The PIDS, founded in 1977, has gained international recognition for useful research on development issues relevant to the nation’s economic needs. In this memoir prepared for the 40th anniversary celebration of the institute’s birth, the author recounts the unique circumstances, philosophy and other factors that led to the founding of the research institute.

Good, bad news on PH human development index

The horrible news: Vietnam now outranks us in the HDI—115th place to our 116th place, with an HDI of 0.683 to our HDI of 0.682

Contractualization and the larger issue of employment and poverty reduction

The department of labor has finally signed off on the “endo” problem with Department Order No. 174. The outcome of the order will likely lead to more unemployment, some early confusion, and likely more dissatisfaction among stakeholders. The worst outcome is for labor – the unskilled and the unemployed and underemployed.

Take back our government

I hear the words “hopeless” and “helpless” being used to describe how Filipinos feel about their current situation. And there is indeed basis for this.

Recent Phl stock market behavior

Stock market fluctuations demonstrate the interaction of economic and political factors, a good demonstration of the impact of domestic and external headwinds on economic activity.

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.

So much for sustainable development

Reader, I just want to give you and the members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) a gentle reminder about one crucial fact: Gina Lopez heads the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Let’s meditate on that.

External and domestic economic headwinds

Headwinds add resistance so that they help to slow down the speed of any object that is moving forward. This sailing or aeronautical term is a perfect figure of speech for those developments that slow down or complicate an economy’s forward motion.


Barely noticed in our part of the world, Kenneth Arrow, probably the greatest economist in the second half of the last century, passed away on 21 February 2017.

Is it worth it? And to whom?

The confirmation hearing on the appointment of Secretary Gina Lopez of the DENR Department of Environment and Natural Resources may appear to be just a ho-hum, run-of-the-mill event with possibly some entertainment value—but there’s more riding on it.