The global economy is changing, but there are ways to predict the shocks
“It’s an exciting time to study Asian economies,” says Dr Mala Raghavan from the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.
Dr Raghavan specialises in building prediction systems that can pinpoint moments of financial instability around the world.
The idea is to give economic decision-makers in at-risk countries a heads-up by providing the tools they need to predict the potential force and timing of these events.
And we’re not just talking about a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model.
Dr Raghavan and her team are creating tailor-made models for individual countries, taking into account how their unique trade and financial relationships play into different levels of risk.
The shocks that hit Asia
In the economic sphere, the world’s attention is increasingly turning towards Asia, with the rise of China and India as great economic engines, and the rapidly expanding economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Dr Raghavan was a student in 1997 during the great Asian economic crisis, which plunged many countries in the region into economic turmoil. This caused shockwaves to spread throughout the rest of the world, even reaching as far as Wall Street.
“This made me interested in studying these countries,” she recalls. “I wanted to know why the conventional approach to managing risks wasn’t working.”
Dr Raghavan has since established herself as an expert in the economic and financial relationships of Asian countries.
She uses this knowledge to understand how economic ‘shocks’ – unexpected events that kick-start a ripple of global economic change – can spread from one nation to many.
“We’re talking about a globalised world – what’s happening in one area is going to impact on other countries,” says Dr Raghavan.
“Many economists were not focussed on Asia 20 years ago, but the situation is changing, and more economists and policy-makers are now paying attention.”
How to overcome a crisis
During the Asian economic crisis, the International Monetary Fund suggested the same methods for each country to help them overcome the effects. But their lack of foresight into the different economic fabrics of each nation caused this effort to fail.
How this event ultimately played out is what’s driving Dr Raghavan to create tailor-made prediction models for individual countries.
These models are the product of a detailed analysis of 20 years of economic data from each country, which is merged with statistical models and economic theories.
And they’re already catching international attention.
When one of the chief researchers at the Central Bank of Malaysia spotted Dr Raghavan’s work, they established a partnership that’s still going strong today. Her predictive model on policy shocks is now part of the portfolio of models used by the Central Bank of Malaysia.
Understanding how a combination of economic theory and data can be used to understand the real world is a crucial skill for economics students to have, says Dr Raghavan, and it’s a big part of how she teaches at the University of Tasmania.
“I want my students to look beyond the models in the textbooks, and see the connection between the theory and the real world,” she says.
Research that makes a difference
Mala Raghavan is Lecturer of Economics at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania, an associate with the Asia Institute of Tasmania and a Visiting Research Fellow to Bank Negara, Malaysian Central Bank. Her research interests are in the areas of Macroeconomic Policies, Monetary Economics, International Economics and Asian Economies.
Mala has more than 25 years of teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at various universities across two continents – Australia and Asia (Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong). She joined University of Tasmania in July 2011. Prior to that she held academic positions at Monash University and RMIT University. She has also worked as Research Executive in Market Research Consultancies in Malaysia and Singapore.
|Degree||Title of Thesis||University||Country||Awarded|
|PhD||An Econometric Analysis of Malaysian Monetary Policy||Monash University||Australia||2010|
|MAppEconometrics||An Analysis on the Mean Return and Volatility Spillover Effects from US, Japan and Singapore to the Malaysian Stock Market from a Wavelet Perspective.||Monash University||Australia||2006|
|MEc||The Effects of Financial Liberalisation on Monetary Policy: The Malaysian Experience.||University Malaya||Malaysia||2001|
- 1994 Graduateship of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK)
Languages (other than English)
Malay (fluent), Tamil (native)
- Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK)
- Women in Economics Network Australia (National Committee and Tasmanian Representative)
- Tasmanian Economic Society (Committee Member)
- Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, ANU (Research Associate)
- Bank Negara Malaysia (Visiting Research Fellow)
- Econometrics Society
- Economic Society of Australia
- European Economic Association
- Canadian Economic Association
- Eurasia Business and Economics Society
- Jane Franklin College (Academic Fellow)
- Asia Institute of Tasmania (Research Associate)
- Jan 2017 – present: Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT)
- Jun 2016 – Dec 2017: Seminar Convenor – Economics and Finance
- Jan 2015 – Dec 2016: Major Coordinator – Analytical Economics Major
- Jan 2012 – Dec 2014: Launceston Coordinator, Economic and Finance
Macroeconomic Theory and Policy, Monetary Economics, International Economics, International Trade, Applied Econometrics, Business Statistics
Mala has valuable teaching and coordinating experience in the above-mentioned disciplines at various levels of education ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate levels.
In 2017, Mala received the DVC’s Outstanding Teaching Commendation Certificate for International Economics.
- Economics for Managers (BEA683)
- Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (BEA320)
- International Economics (BEA202)
- Principles of Economics 1(BEA111)
- Principles of Economics 2 (BEA121)
- Quantitative Methods (BEA140)
- May 2015-2017: Mala was appointed as a visiting research fellow to Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysian Central Bank).
Community Engagements and Invitations
- 2019 Australian Gender Equity Workshop - Melbourne, Scientific Committee Member;
- 2017 “The Tyranny of Distance”, Canadian Women in Economics Network, Nova Scotia.
- 2017 “How to encourage more women into studying economics and finance?” ABC Radio, Launceston
- 2015 – 2018 Economic Challenge, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics (TSBE)
- 2015 – 2016 Economic Commentator for the Federal Budget, KPMG Budget Breakfast, Launceston.
- 2015 “Gender Equality and Economic Growth in Asia”, Asia Institute of Tasmania
- 2014 “The Tasmanian economy and the need to strengthen its ability to engage with Asia”, Tasmanian Leaders Program, Launceston.
Mala has the expertise in macroeconomic policies, monetary economics, international economics and building macroeconometric models to study the effects of various domestic and international shocks on small emerging open economies. Her expertise expands in the following areas:
- Development of technical aspects of empirical modelling in macroeconomics using vector autoregression (VAR), vector error correction (VEC), vector autoregression moving average (VARMA), global vector autoregressive (GVAR) and panel data frameworks on small open economies – these are popular tools in economics which utilises the data properties of observed data to extract underlying economic relationships.
- Contributed to technical developments in the area which provides the first structural VEC model that incorporates linkages between larger international economies with a smaller open economy.
- Contributed to technical developments in the area of macroeconomic modelling for emerging economies using SVARMA framework which can be challenging because data limitations have to date proved a serious impediment to empirical research, and good control of statistical techniques is required to overcome the data quality and quantity problems.
Mala's research aligns with the University's research theme of Data, Knowledge and Decisions. Her research interest in macroeconomic policies and international economics is mainly to understand the dynamics of global economic and financial integration and the effects of various international shocks on small open economies and the effectiveness of macroeconomic policies in mitigating the effects of these external shocks. By focusing on:
- Building macroeconomic models that bridge theory with econometric techniques, Mala help to enhance the TSBE's research capacity in the area of macroeconomic modelling.
- Asian economies, her research agenda coincides with University of Tasmania's initiative through its Asia Institute Tasmania, to foster engagement and to build professional and institutional relationships with Asia.
- International economics, it also demonstrate the feasibility of expanding her research to form potential international collaborative network with Asian researchers and institutions.
Mala is involved in numerous projects associated with her work on the macroeconomic effects of various international and domestic shocks on small open economies with particular focus on Asia. Currently she has research partners at the Bank Negara Malaysia, Asian Development Bank, Singapore Management University, University of Manchester, University of Newcastle, Monash University and Australian National University.
- DVC’s Outstanding Teaching Commendation Certificate for International Economics (2017)
- Research Enhancement Grants Scheme, University of Tasmania (2015)
- Academic Career Development Scholarship, University of Tasmania (2013)
- Outstanding Contribution Award, Higher Degree by Research, Monash University (2009)
- Excellence and Equity Award, Monash University (2006)
- Macroeconomic effects of oil price shocks on small emerging open economies.
- Analysis of economic shock transmissions using SVARMA models.
- Assessing the direct and indirect international trade and financial linkages using GVAR framework.
- Fiscal policy and trade balance in oil exporting countries.
- Importance of financial inclusion for growth prospects of emerging economies.
- Effects of short term and long-term capital flows to small open economics with focus on Asian Tigers and Southeast Asia.
- An analysis of risk, uncertainty and monetary policy in small open economies.
Fields of Research
- Macroeconomics (incl. Monetary and Fiscal Theory) (140212)
- International Economics and International Finance (140210)
- Financial Economics (140207)
- Monetary Policy (910108)
- Balance of Payments (910101)
- Exchange Rates (910104)
Journal Article(9 outputs)
|2019||Raghavan M, Athanasopoulos G, 'Analysis of shock transmissions to a small open emerging economy using a SVARMA model', Economic Modelling pp. 1-44. ISSN 0264-9993 (In Press) [Refereed Article]|
|2018||Dungey M, Khan F, Raghavan M, 'International trade and the transmission of shocks: the case of ASEAN-4 and NIE-4 economies', Economic Modelling, 72 pp. 109-121. ISSN 0264-9993 (2018) [Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: Dungey M; Khan F
|2016||Raghavan M, Athanasopoulos G, Silvapulle P, 'Canadian monetary policy using a structural VARMA model', Canadian Journal of Economics, 49, (1) pp. 347-373. ISSN 0008-4085 (2016) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 1
|2015||Raghavan M, Dungey M, 'Should ASEAN-5 monetary policy-makers act preemptively against stock market bubbles?', Applied Economics, 47, (11) pp. 1086-1105. ISSN 0003-6846 (2015) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 1
Co-authors: Dungey M
|2014||Dungey MH, Osborn DR, Raghavan MV, 'International Transmissions to Australia: The Roles of the USA and Euro Area', Economic Record, 90, (291) pp. 421-446. ISSN 1475-4932 (2014) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
Co-authors: Dungey MH; Osborn DR
|2012||Raghavan M, Silvapulle P, Athanasopoulos G, 'Structural VAR models for Malaysian monetary policy analysis during the pre- and post- 1997 Asian crisis periods', Applied Economics, 44, (29) pp. 3841-3856. ISSN 0003-6846 (2012) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 13Web of Science - 11
|2010||Raghavan MV, Dark J, Maharaj E, 'Impact of capital control measures on the Malaysian stock market : a multiresolution analysis', International Journal of Managerial Finance, 6, (2) pp. 116-127. ISSN 1743-9132 (2010) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 6
|2008||Raghavan MV, 'The Impact of Asian Financial Crisis and the Spillover Effects on Three Pacific-Basin Stock Markets - Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong', The ICFAI Journal of Applied Finance, 14, (5) pp. 5-16. ISSN 0972-5105 (2008) [Refereed Article]|
|2008||Raghavan MV, Dark J, 'Return and Volatility Spillovers Between the Foreign Exchange Market and the Australian all Ordinaries Index', The IUP Journal of Applied Finance, 14, (1) pp. 41-48. ISSN 0972-6861 (2008) [Refereed Article]|
Conference Publication(1 outputs)
|2016||Hwa TB, Raghavan M, Huey TT, 'Macroeconomic surveillance of portfolio flows and its real effects: Malaysia's experience', Statistical implications of the new financial landscape, 8-9 September, pp. 1-13. (2016) [Conference Extract]|
Other Public Output(1 outputs)
|2016||Raghavan M, 'There's hope for Tasmania in the post -mining boom era', The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, Australia, 23 November (2016) [Magazine Article]|
Grants & Funding
2013: Career Development Scholarship (Individual), University of Tasmania
2015: Bank Negara Visiting Research Fellow Grant
2017: Canadian Women in Economics Network Travel Grant, Canadian Economic Association
Grant funded projects include:
- International capital flows, macroeconomic effects and financial volatilities in small open economies - This project aims to empirically model and assess the effects of international capital flows on macroeconomic and financial volatilities in small open economies with particular focus on Asian economies.
- The role/limits of monetary policy on small emerging economies and the possible need for other complementary measures to manage financial imbalances.
- Assessing the direct and indirect international linkages between small open economies with large interdependent economies.
Number of grants
- This project aims to empirically model and assess the effects of international capital flows on macroeconomic and financial volatilities in small open economies with particular focus on the ASEAN-5 countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
- University of Tasmania ($10,319)
- Grant-Research Enhancement (REGS)
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Raghavan MV
Mala welcomes expressions of interest from new honours or PhD students wishing to pursue research in macroeconomic modelling, international economics and development economics with particularly focus on small open economies and emerging economies.
The increasingly integrated global financial markets pose new challenges to small open economies as they are highly vulnerable to international capital and trade flow movements. Mala is currently interested to study and understand the direct and indirect effects of these movements on the macro-financial linkages of small open economies and the role of monetary and fiscal policies in influencing these linkages.
To date, Mala has supervised five honours students and all these students passed with High Distinction in their Honours thesis and graduated with First Class Honours.
|PhD||The Impact of Commodity Price Shocks in Bangladesh Economic Growth and Development||2015|
|PhD||Identifying Causal Relationships Between Sectors in Different Financial Networks||2016|
|PhD||The Impact of Infrastructure on FDI Inflows in Asian Economies||2016|
|PhD||The Foreign Direct Investment in Oman and Gulf Countries Council: Impact on economic growth, impact of preferential trade agreements and polices and regulation||2017|
|PhD||Financial Inclusion: a development need for developing countries||2017|
|PhD||Financial Contagion, Volatility Spillover and Regime Switch in the International Money Market Mutual Funds||2018|
|PhD||Are Australias Foreign Investment Inflows Significantly Higher Following the Introduction of A-IFRS?|
Candidate: Alia Saleh Nasir Alshamari