Our review features the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance. Output for January includes four journal articles, three working papers, two book chapters, one policy brief and one report: tracking new patents in emerging economies, innovation policies across Africa, as well as migrant remittances and reintegration, among many others.
‘Trajectories of Science and Technology and their Co-evolution in BRICS: Insights from Publication and Patent Analysis’ argues that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa pursue technology in similar ways despite different growth patterns in science production. The article proposes the Relative Science Impact Index (RSII) to evaluate the relative impact of science and technology on the process of technological catching-up and to examine the co-evolution between science-based patents and patent citations. By Dr. Lili Wang et al.
‘Infrastructure and Trade: A Meta-Analysis’ aims to quantify the importance of infrastructure for trade. Focusing on public infrastructure in transport and communication, the article finds that a 1% increase in own infrastructure increases exports by about 0.6% and imports by about 0.3%. The authors observe that such elasticities are generally larger for developing countries, land infrastructure, IV or panel data estimation, and macro-level analyses. The results also depend on the inclusion or exclusion of various common covariates in trade regressions. By PhD fellow Mehmet Guney Celbis et al.
‘Globalization, Sustainability and the Role of Institutions: the Case of the Chilean Salmon industry’ investigates the sanitary crisis that affected the Chilean salmon industry after 2007, allegedly caused by overexploitation and overconcentration of fish farms. The article pays attention to the role of endogenous factors such as local knowledge, capacity building, local ecological conditions and the emergence of local institutions. By Dr. Michiko Iizuka et al.
‘Revisiting the Motivations behind Remittance Behavior: Evidence of Debt-Financed Migration from Afghanistan’ shows that remittance transfers are lower for debt-financed migrants, and the influence of certain individual and household characteristics are in line with what would be expected if altruism is the dominating motivation. The article speculates that the sending of household members abroad as a risk-coping strategy may be less about having an alternative source of income and more about having an alternative location to escape to if the security situation happens to take a turn for the worse. By PhD fellow Craig Loschmann and Dr. Melissa Siegel.
Innovation for Development in Southern and Eastern Africa: Challenges for Promoting ST&I Policy covers a brief background of ST&I policy in Africa. The Policy Brief provides an examination of innovation policies as a viable solution to economic and social challenges in Africa, paying particular attention to ST&I policy in Southern and Eastern African countries as well as the African Union’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa—2024 (STISA 2024). By Dr. Michiko Iizuka, Dr. Philippe Mawoko and Prof. Fred Gault.
‘Dynamics of Rural Innovation: A Primer for Emerging Professionals‘ aims to fill the gap in educational material for young professionals and students in the South. Published by the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the book offers insight into how to work with the changing nature of both the context and people involved in rural innovation processes and how to facilitate networks of stakeholders to stimulate innovation. One chapter looks more specifically at the private sector, a relatively newer actor in rural innovation dynamics, and reflects on the case study of a Dutch company which tried to introduce a new technology for animal nutrition to small-scale farmers. By PhD fellow Shuan SadreGhazi.
‘Policy Coordination: From FDI to a Broader Framework to Promote Innovation—The Case of Costa Rica’ looks at Costa Rica’s use of FDI as a strategic option to sustain growth, promote structural change, and create better jobs. The successful record of FDI investment in the country fostered profound changes in the country’s trade specialisation, inducing derived demands for new and better skills in the population and wider availability of entrepreneurial and technical capabilities in specific industrial clusters. However, the chapter finds that the links between local and foreign companies in Costa Rica are still weak, and R&D and innovation investments are falling short of the country’s needs. By PhD fellow Ezequiel Tacsir et al.
‘Comparative Research on the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Migrants’ explores the factors influencing the decision of migrants to return, including the role played by return policy interventions. The report aims to enhance understanding of the concept of sustainable return, how to define it, and how to measure it. The study was conceived and commissioned as part of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Irregular Migration Research Programme and supported by the IOM. This study is intended as a preliminary research project to test a new methodology that requires further expansion and testing. By Prof. Khalid Koser and Dr. Katherine Kuschminder.
‘Ethnic Divisions, Political Institutions and the Duration of Declines: A Political Economy Theory of Delayed Recovery’ suggests that ethnic heterogeneity hinders group agreements during crises when political institutions are weak. The policy implication in this paper is not that ethnic diversity is necessarily a problem, but that political institutions can be designed to contain the adversarial element of ethnic heterogeneity in particular and political heterogeneity in general. By PhD fellow Richard Bluhm et al.
‘The Effect of Supplementation with Locally Available Foods on Stunting. A Review of Theory and Evidence’ find positive and consistent significant effects especially of milk and maternal factors on preventing wasting and underweight. The paper demonstrates that supplementing with locally available foods is feasible in resource poor settings. The findings partially substantiate the challenges of prescribing the quality or a threshold of food groups for the prevention of stunting. By PhD fellow Mutinta Hambayi Nseluke, Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi et al.
‘How Does Firms’ Perceived Competition Affect Technological Innovation in Luxembourg?’ finds that firms whose main market is characterised by rapid obsolescence of products are more likely to spend on innovation and to introduce product or process innovations. The paper also notes that these firms often consider their main market to be characterised by rapidly-changing technologies where higher competition also implies higher innovation. By Affiliated researcher Wladimir Raymond et al.
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