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BNM Economics Research Workshop 2017

Bank Negara Malaysia, together with the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research and the Tun Ismail Ali Chair at University Malaya, are pleased to announce the 5th Annual Economics Research Workshop, to be held on 20 November 2017 at Lanai Kijang, Kuala Lumpur. This event aims to bring together researchers and policymakers to discuss economic and financial market issues faced by the regional economies. The organising committee would like to invite researchers from academia, think-tanks, regional institutions and SEACEN member central banks to participate as paper presenters on theoretical and empirical topics that are of relevance to the workshop’s theme.

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Foster greater cooperation among the institutions through an exchange of ideas and sharing of country specific experiences;
  • Identify policy strategies to address prevailing and emerging challenges, and;
  • Enhance regional cooperation to address common issues.

Description of the Workshop Theme

The theme for this year’s Workshop is “Macroeconomic Prospects in the Digital Economy”. The current phase of industrialisation is seeing the adoption of digital technologies by firms and consumers alike. For companies, 3D printing and robotics are improving productivity in manufacturing, while data analytics made possible by access to large data volumes and computational power facilitate identification of market preferences to fine-tune product offerings. Meanwhile, improved connectivity is allowing consumers to benefit from better price transparency and convenience in purchasing goods and services. This trend will have profound effects on macroeconomic prospects and the labour market. Digitisation and automation increases productivity and wages of skilled workers, but also displace labour in tasks made redundant by these changes. Meanwhile, traditional brick and mortar models of retail are being challenged by lower cost and more efficient online platforms. This creative destruction effect of digitisation bodes well for longer-run growth prospects at the cost of a potentially disruptive short-run adjustment.


Opening Remarks: Puan Norzila Abdul Aziz. Assistant Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia


Session 1: Winners and Losers in the Digital Age 

Moderator:                 Zarina Zainal Abidin (Deputy Director, Economics Department, Bank Negara)

Paper 1: Wage premiums in the digital economy: Evidence from Malaysia [Paper] [Presentation]

Authors:                    Justin Lim Ming Han, Kevin Wong Tho Foo, Rosaida Mohd Rasep and Sonia Kumari Selvarajan (Bank Negara Malaysia)

Discussant:               Kenneth Simler (World Bank)      


Paper 2: What Explains the Increase of Labour Income Share in Malaysia? [Paper] [Presentation]

Authors:                    Allen Ng, Tan Zhai Gen and Tan Theng Theng (Khazanah Research Institute)

Discussant:              Mohd Nahar Mohd Arshad (International Islamic University Malaya)


Session 2: Leaping into the Digital Revolution

Moderator:                 Ho Sui-Jade (Senior Economist, Monetary Policy Department, Bank Negara Malaysia)

Paper 3: Manufacturing in the Digital Economy: The Rise of Regionalisation as an Organisation Strategy [Paper] [Presentation]

Authors:                    Timothy Choy Xia Wei (Penang Institute)

Discussant:              Evelyn Devadason (University Malaya)


Paper 4: Whither monetary policy when decentralized finance prevails? [Paper] [Presentation]

Authors:                     Wong Chin Yoong and Eng Yoke Kee (University Tunku Abdul Rahman)

Discussant:               Sabrina Bashir Ahmad (Bank Negara Malaysia)


Keynote Address: Cyber Risk Insurance as a Strategy to Promote the Digital Economy

Moderator:                 Fraziali Ismail (Director, Economics Department, Bank Negara Malaysia)

Speaker:                    Randeep Sudan (World Bank)