Asian Development Bank


  • This is the re-posting of the call-for-papers with the same title released on 24 September 2017.
  • The submission deadline for concept notes / abstracts / draft papers has been extended to 20 November from 20 October.
  • The conference date has been moved to 14-15 December (two days) from 16 November.
  • The conference will help gather ideas and directions on RPG research for participants to broadly discuss theories, practice, their related issues and policy implications, including political economy, of RPGs provision

“Optimal Provision of Regional Public Goods in Asia and the Pacific:
Implications for Supporting Sustainable Development”

14-15 December 2017, Manila, Philippines

Call for Papers

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department is organizing a two-day international conference to be held at the ADB, Manila, Philippines on 14-15 December 2017.

Globalization and the increased flows of goods, services, and factors of production across borders brought new challenges such as dealing with cross-border infrastructure, clean energy, environment, natural disaster response, communicable diseases, and governance in Asia and the Pacific. Tackling these cross-border challenges, the region has benefitted from deepening regional cooperation and integration through promoting regional public goods (RPGs). The concept of RPGs draws on the rationale that regional economies share common challenges for development, which can be addressed more effectively and efficiently at a regional level through collective action and cooperation. For example, regionally shared infrastructure, power, water, and health care are essential for development but may not be adequately provided by national governments, given the nature of substantial cross-border externalities. The role of RPGs is also crucial in achieving sustainable and inclusive growth. RPGs generate economies of scale and have the potential to benefit economies involved with increased trade or investment as well as stable financial flows. Well-established RPGs can help attract private and public investment to the region as a whole.

Amid the increasing importance of RPGs, there is growing demand for comprehensive studies on RPG provision and institutional arrangements that can be delivered in the region. This conference will help gather ideas and directions on RPG research for leading academics, policymakers, and international organizations to broadly discuss theories, practice, their related issues and policy implications, including political economy, of RPGs provision. The discussion topics on RPGs can be comprehensive in addition to the following examples of areas, but not limited to:

1) Concept, Theory, and Framework of RPGs

  • What defines RPGs in comparison to national and global public goods? What is the scope of RPGs? Who are the suppliers and demanders of RPGs?
  • What is the optimum level of RPG provision? How can it be conceptually estimated against the sum of national public goods? How can we capture cross-border externalities? 
  • What can be an international mechanism (game theory/political economy setting) to avoid free riding problems? How can an institutional mechanism be formed to reach optimum provision of RPGs?

2) Provision of RPGs: Issues and Challenges

  • What are the issues and challenges, including political economy, in the provision of RPGs for various sectors?
  • Can we estimate the optimum level of RPG provision in various sectors? How can it be measured (e.g., a (computable) general / partial equilibrium model or a regression model)?
  • Is there a gap between the optimal level and the current level of RPG provision in Asia and the Pacific? If so, how big is it and how can we estimate the gap?
  • What is the role of multilateral banks in the provision of RPGs?

3) Benefits and Costs of RPGs: Evidence and Implications

  • What are the determining factors in allocating benefits and costs of RPGs across countries?
  • Are there existing mechanisms to promote fair division of benefits and costs among neighboring countries?
  • Case studies of benefits and costs of RPGs and implications/lessons in areas including cross-border infrastructure, trade and investment, climate change, air pollution, natural disasters, and the control of infectious health epidemics.

4) Towards Sustainable Development through Promoting RPGs: Lessons and Policy Considerations

  • What policy considerations can be suggested at national and regional levels to facilitate adequate level of RPG provision to contribute to sustainable development?
  • Roles of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and their policy considerations, including operational and institutional approaches, in addressing issues of RPGs such as underprovisioning.

The Selection Committee for the conference program consists of senior researchers of the ADB. Submitted papers will go through a blind process of review. Authors who wish to send their research papers to the conference should send two versions of their papers in pdf format (one version of the paper should not have the names and affiliations of the authors). The first page of the paper should only contain the abstract.


Deadline for submission of concept notes/abstracts/draft papers:
20 November 2017
Notification of acceptance:
By 25 November 2017
Conference date:
14-15 December 2017


Please send your response to this Call for Papers to:

  • Kijin Kim
    Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department
    Asian Development Bank

  • AND
  • Paulo Halili
    Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department
    Asian Development Bank

All submissions should be forwarded via email with the subject line “ADBrpg_{your last name}_{paper title}”. Only selected manuscripts will be notified. For each accepted manuscript, the ADB will cover the cost of one round trip, economy class airfare, hotel accommodation, and daily subsistence allowance for the duration of the conference. Selected papers presented in the conference could be considered for publication in a special issue of the Asian Development Review based on the interest of the author/s.