Our press review features the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance, as well as mentions in the media. Output for December consists of seven working papers, including the final overview of the AFD/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance study project on institutions and economic growth, and four PhD dissertations. These cover the place for migration in the post-2015 development agenda, the role of institutions in crises, the internationalization of Brazilian firms, and the dynamics of information sharing in India, among various other topics.
‘Do weak institutions prolong crises? On the identification, characteristics, and duration of declines during economic slumps’ defines economic slumps as a sequence of structural breaks exhibiting a specific pattern. The study, carried out in the scope of our joint research project with the French Development Agency (AFD) on the links between institutions and long-term economic performance, identifies and examines the phases of decline in 58 such episodes between 1950 and 2008 among a large sample of countries. It shows, among other findings, that strong institutions shorten the duration of crises while ethnic cleavages do the reverse. However, the authors argue, the detrimental effects of ethnic cleavages are not insurmountable: an interaction effect suggests they can be offset by appropriate institutions. By PhD fellow Richard Bluhm and Prof. Adam Szirmai.
‘Institutions and economic growth: Summary and synthesis’ provides an overview of the findings of the second phase of the AFD/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance research project on institutions and economic growth. This working paper establishes that the project has clearly shown that growth itself is influenced by institutional characteristics and that the degree of income inequality reflects deeper levels of institutionalized inequality in societies. Future research, the author suggests, could help to develop more comprehensive models, taking growth and inequality as the proximate determinants of poverty reduction, and adding policies, institutions, geography and other intermediate and ultimate factors that affect growth and inequality into the analysis. By Prof. Adam Szirmai.
‘Transnationalism and integration: Complements or Substitutes?’ investigates the relationship between transnational practices and integration by testing whether they are substitutes or complements. Using an innovative multidimensional approach, this working paper analyses data gathered among first generation migrants from Morocco, Burundi, Ethiopia and Afghanistan in the Netherlands. The authors show that both structural and socio-cultural integration provide support for the complementary typology. By Dr. Melissa Siegel et al.
‘Social Media and Migration Research’ aims to provide a first systematic review of the current state of research on migration and social media. By analysing the literature from a wide range of disciplines on four key areas, this working paper intends to spark dialogue on the connections between migration and social media and to contribute to the understanding of how social media may be transforming social realities in the area of migration. By researcher Elaine McGregor and Dr. Melissa Siegel.
‘Determinants of international mobility decision: The case-study of India’ analyses international mobility intentions in the specific situation of Indian students in sciences and engineering. This working paper uses data collected from a survey of students at five Indian universities, complemented by qualitative data derived from interviews. More specifically, it looks at determinants such as the role of students’ personal and family background, university‐related factors, their social network and preferences for living location in their motivations for moving abroad. By PhD fellow Metka Hercog and Dr. Mindel van de Laar.
‘What’s the best place for me? Location-choice for Science and Engineering students in India’ examines how national migration policies and country‐specific factors in receiving countries attend to highly‐skilled potential migrants. Based on a survey among prospective student migrants in India, this working paper shows that while European countries appear to be relatively attractive for study purposes, they are not perceived as equally attractive for a long‐term stay. The authors’ main objective is to observe whether the determinants of migration to continental Europe are different from determinants of migration to Anglo‐Saxon countries (UK, Canada and Australia) or to the United States. They conclude that the adjustment of migration policies in Europe enabling students to stay in destination countries after completion of their studies has not apparently not provoked the desired response to make given locations more attractive for work migration. By PhD fellow Metka Hercog and Dr. Mindel van de Laar.
‘Bringing migration into the post-2015 agenda: Notes, reflections and policy directions’ reflects on how the topic of migration should be incorporated into the post-2015 agenda. This working paper argues that migration is at the same time a major consequence of and an integral part of the overall development process and needs to be conceptualized as such. By Prof. Dr. Ronald Skeldon.
‘Empirical Studies on Institutions, Policies and Economic Development’ seeks to establish which approach, either neoliberal or structuralist, is most fruitful in stimulating economic development. Covering four cross-country studies, this PhD dissertation suggests that countries have successfully combined aspects of both neoliberal and structuralist theories into their policy framework. It also argues that certain neoliberal and certain structuralist policies should be recognized as important growth drivers. By affiliated researcher Dr. Kristine Farla.
‘Social assistance and activation in the pursuit of happiness: Shedding new light on old policy solutions to social exclusion’ aims to disentangle the relationship between financial wellbeing, jobs, and social inclusion and to show how government support in providing opportunities to succeed in life can help to reduce social exclusion and increase social inclusion. More specifically, this PhD thesis explores to what extent activation polices, such as training and employment, implemented within the scope of government-run social assistance programmes, yield better social inclusion outcomes. By Dr. Marina Petrovic.
‘What we talk about when we talk about Brazilian multinationals – an investigation on Brazilian FDI, economic structure, innovation and the relationship between them’ aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of Brazilian multinationals and how they resemble and differ both from traditional and other emerging MNCs. This PhD thesis investigates the role of technology and innovation in the internationalization of Brazilian firms and concludes that the only common feature among emerging multinationals is their diversity, as even firms from a same country can have quite different patterns of internationalization. By Dr. Flavia Pereira de Carvalho.
‘Information Sharing through Informal Interaction in Low-Tech Clusters’ examines the nature and characteristics of information sharing by means of informal interaction among small, low-technology, producers located in clusters. This PhD thesis aims to understand intra-cluster interaction channels and dynamics of information sharing among producers in low-tech clusters surviving on defensive innovation. Importantly, the thesis studies this information sharing in settings where economic relations arise as emergent properties of social relations. The author aims at contributing to the literature on defensive innovation and collective invention, and on the role of networks in knowledge diffusion. By Dr. Anant Kamath.
Images: Flickr / Nottingham Trent University, Frans de Wit, Charles Roffey