How can Latin American and Caribbean economies improve their productivity? How can we ensure more effective governance of labour migration from South Asia? How can we build on international research partnerships? Just a few of the questions tackled by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance in October 2015 — in three working papers, two research reports, and two PhD defences, among others. Click here for the full list.
‘The performance of firms in Latin America and the Caribbean: Microeconomic factors and the role of innovation’ focuses on the low productivity of Latin American and Caribbean economies. The paper shows that innovation significantly influences the productivity of firms, but to different degrees depending on the characteristics of the firms. According to the evidence, the impact of innovation on productivity relies on additional complementary assets, including access and use of ICT and on-the-job training. Additional factors that can influence productivity have also been detected, including the age of firms, their access to credit and finance, and their participation in international markets and global value chains. By Prof. Adam Szirmai et al.
‘A macroeconomic analysis of the returns to public R&D investments’ considers the economic returns to public R&D investments in 22 OECD countries. The paper uses a dataset of time series from 1963-2011 and compares the outcomes of different types of production function models. The findings suggest that public R&D investments do not automatically foster GDP and TFP growth, and that the economic return to scientific research seems to depend on national contexts. By Prof. Bart Verspagen, Dr. Bas ter Weel et al.
‘Firms’ excess savings and the Dutch current account surplus: A stock-flow consistent approach’ develops a model to study the preference of firms to invest in financial assets abroad and analyses the close link between firms’ excess savings and the current account surplus. The model also explains the relations between net household savings and government budget deficit. The authors present simulation results to illustrate the working of their model. By Dr. Huub Meijers, Prof. Joan Muysken et al.
‘Independent Mid-Term Evaluation of Promoting the Effective Governance of Labour Migration from South Asia through Actions on Labour Market Information, Protection during Recruitment and Employment, Skills, and Development Impact (SALM)’ is an evaluation report for the International Labour Organization (ILO). It aims to draw lessons from the implementation of the project with a view to assessing whether the project goals and objectives are still relevant. Based on this, the evaluation assesses to what extent the project is on track to reach its goals and to provide recommendations for improvements. By Elaine McGregor and PhD fellow Katrin Marchand.
‘Evaluating Impact: Lessons Learned from Robust Evaluations of Labour Market Integration Policies’ considers what programmes work best for immigrants and under what conditions. The report finds that, besides policies dedicated to immigrants (e.g., language courses), active labour market programmes work more or less in the same way for immigrants as for natives. Beyond a few cases where immigrants benefit more from extra training, the author finds that programmes that are most beneficial for natives are also the best ones for immigrants (e.g., vocational training combined with job experience). By Dr. Özge Bilgili.
‘Improving access to HIV/AIDS treatment in Brazil: When are compulsory licenses effective in price negotiations?’ Since 1996, Brazil has an anti-AIDS programme that offers universal and free access to antiretroviral through the public-sector health system. By way of a game theoretical model of drug price negotiation and 30 interviews, this thesis aims at shedding light on the industrial components of this programme. It recommends core changes and discusses potential replication in other developing countries. By Dr. Eduardo Urias.
‘Occupational Choice in the Developing World’ studies two topics: rural entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the introduction of a new unemployment insurance scheme in Chile. For the first issue, the findings point to both push and pull factors that drive households to run businesses. The results also show that the initial motivation to operate a business affects its future productivity. For the second issue, this study evaluates the outcomes of a newly implemented policy in Chile. The thesis finds that workers have shorter employment terms if affiliated to the new scheme, but that the effect on subsequent employment quality is limited. By Dr. Paula Nagler.
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