About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive October 2018

What does Big Data say about PH exports?

[with Annette Balaoing-Pelkmans] Recent concern over a widening current account deficit has refocused attention on the country’s lagging export performance. Goods exports have fallen drastically as a share of GDP from 45 percent in 2000 to just 16 percent in 2017. Big Data offers some clues to this decline.

Judge Soriano and the old normal

Judge Soriano represents the old (quite old, one must add) normal. He called it like he saw it, and damn the torpedoes.

Forex controls in the 1950s

The 1950s were an era of foreign exchange and import controls for the Philippines. This lasted for a solid one decade during which the country undertook to rehabilitate from the war and move toward political and economic independence. We could have built the nation better in those formative years.

Grave abuse of power by the House

Question: Why is a mining company being considered for a franchise as a business in which it obviously has no experience?

Two pesos per dollar unsustainable after independence: Phl economic history

Philippine independence was on schedule to be delivered on July 4, 1946 just a few months after the end of the Second World War. The economy was vastly devastated by four years of Japanese occupation and the war for liberation which brought in further destruction.

Lessons in Harry’s downfall

Reader, whether you like Harry Roque or not, whether you respect him or not, I think you have to agree that President Duterte treated him more like a rat or cockroach than like the dog or tuta that he was. But maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

The peso and Philippine economic history

The story of the peso is inextricably linked with our economic history as a nation. It is also part of Philippine political history.

Red flags in rice tariffication

Significant reduction of the rice price cools down inflation. Yes, the problem has other factors, such as the spike of world petroleum prices and the tax reform law, which increased excise taxes. Holding them constant, we can fight inflation if we can just reduce rice prices.

Here’s what the Alston Report says, Harry

Federalism, Charter change, national security, martial law, the Supreme Court decisions, the forthcoming elections, the guessing game on the President’s health—these issues occupy our minds so much, we may fail to appreciate an emerging pattern pointing to our democracy in danger.

Inflation: toward moderation?

Inflation continues to be the concern of the moment. Actions that are designed to tame it are being undertaken by the fiscal and monetary authorities. We, therefore, comment on the efforts to tame the inflationary tendencies.

‘Weaponized’ incentives and TRAIN 2

That the discussion of incentives to correct a missing market failure has gravitated around incentives to attract entry is natural. But sometimes, entry is only one part of the equation. The incentives to stay is another.

Sorry, Reader, I spoke too soon

Let’s hope RTC Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano, Branch 148, is made of sterner stuff than his colleague Elmo Alameda of Branch 150. I had saluted them both in this column for standing up to the administration, but apparently Alameda’s knees buckled under pressure.