Recent Publications and Resources

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Islamic Banking and its Potential

Islamic banking in Indonesia has some unusual characteristics. Like most microfinance institutions in Indonesia, Islamic institutions, micro or otherwise, are generally private, for-profit institutions based on the intermediation of depositor funds secured on a competitive market. In this they are different from microfinance institutions in almost every other country in the world. They typically have no explicit social goal other than profit maximization and conformity with Islam, though in some cases a social element is present, as we will see. Social impacts are thus the result of the market impacts of the Islamic institutions ...
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Microfinance Decision Support System

A scientific, expedient, and cost- effective system for assessing customer demand, needs, and risk. The Microfinance Decision Support System applies sound economics, empirical research, and statistical techniques to guide MFIs’ strategic decisions. The system consists of a custom-built assessment methodology and user friendly software interface that estimates potential demand for a financial institution’s products and services, as well potential risks associated with providing those products and services to individual customers. What are the current features of the system? Provision of empirical basis for geographic expansion decisions Identification of socioeconomic attributes that drive the need for products and services Efficient matching ...
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Increasing Value Addition in Exports

This paper explores the emergence of Global Value Chains (GVCs) and the implications for developing countries, particularly in terms of what these countries need to do in order to effectively participate in these GVCs, and provides insights into the key issues or constraints which these countries need to address to build their competitiveness ...
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Intellectual Property: Principles and Practice

A strong and effective intellectual property system promotes trade and economic development. But to ensure widespread benefit, all affected should know how to use that system. To help countries build the capacity to promote economic and enterprise growth, Nathan Associates has developed an introductory textbook on intellectual property: Intellectual Property Principles and Practice. The 2014 edition is available here in English and will soon be available in Arabic. A 2009 edition is available in Spanish and English. A PDF can be downloaded for personal use or noncommercial teaching ...
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Women’s Economic Participation in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea ranked 156 out of 186 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index for 2013, largely because of the harsh conditions endured by women there. Most women in PNG, for example, are less educated than men, face grave threats of physical and sexual violence, and rarely acquire real property, secure business loans, or achieve independence or prosperity. In this report we explore the participation of women in PNG’s economy through four priorities of APEC’s Policy Partnership on Women in the Economy: access to capital, access to markets, capacity and skills, and leadership. It was prepared as part ...
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Priority Sector Lending in India

Priority sector lending (PSL) is one way to channel credit to sectors otherwise neglected by institutional lenders but is it worth it? This study by Nathan India evaluates the impact of PSL on India’s banks and agriculture, micro and small enterprise, and export sectors, and examines new guidelines from the Reserve Bank of India. Major findings: Experience suggests that PSL programs are costly and not efficient in directing credit. From 2011 to 2012, the compound annual growth rate for PSL to the agriculture sector in India increased 25 percent, to small enterprises 23 percent, and to exports 20 percent. Agriculture ...
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What works for market development: A review of the evidence

This topic guide reviews initiatives to improve and create sustainable economic ties with and between local businesses, particularly SMEs and with international enterprises. The aim is to highlight the benefits that result from generating these connections and to suggest ways in which all development initiatives could build some element of linkage development into their programmes ...
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Economic Regulation in a Liberalized Economy: Relevance and Challenges in India

India’s regulatory structure, though much improved since liberalization began in 1991, ”continues to be plagued by problems such as overlapping jurisdiction, unintended market distortion, and poor enforcement.” According to Economic Regulation in a Liberalized Economy: Relevance and Challenges in India, a paper by Nathan India (download link is on the left), these problems create uncertainty among investors and can hinder economic growth. Raghuram Rajan, the economic adviser who became governor of India’s central bank in September 2013, said earlier in the year that regulatory obstacles have delayed economically important projects valued at almost 2 trillion rupees. Drawing on Nathan India’s ...