Our press review features the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance. Output for July includes five working papers, three journal articles and a conference paper: analysing social enterprise in India, urban planning in Colombia, and the UNHCR’s work in Afghanistan, among many others.
‘Does Shelter Assistance Reduce Poverty in Afghanistan?’ assesses the UNHCR post-return shelter assistance programme in Afghanistan, 2009-2011. This working paper finds that the shelter assistance programme in Afghanistan provides clear benefits relating to basic accommodation, food security and dietary diversity. However, the authors warn against overly-ambitious expectations, describing shelter assistance mainly as a valuable humanitarian intervention for the most vulnerable households. By PhD fellow Craig Loschmann, Dr. Melissa Siegel et al.
‘Demand, Credit and Macroeconomic Dynamics: A Microsimulation Model’ presents a microsimulation model for the macroeconomic business cycle. The authors of this working paper show how macroeconomic coordination is achieved without a dominating influence of price mechanisms, both to incorporate the stock-flow-consistent approach that has become popular in post-Keynesian macroeconomics, and to allow for bankruptcies as a major mechanism in the business cycle. The results show a clear business cycle that is driven by accumulation of financial assets and the effects this has on the real economy. By senior researcher Dr. Huub Meijers, Prof. Bart Verspagen et al.
‘Mapping Regional Social Enterprise Ecosystems in India: Framework and Indicators’ is the first paper of a project documenting nine regional social enterprise ecosystems across India. This working paper develops a conceptual framework highlighting the different components that make up a regional social enterprise ecosystem; it then establishes a set of indicators for describing the components in different regional ecosystems across India. The study will explain regional variations in social enterprise environments, with a view to providing support recommendations for regions outside of the main metropolitan areas of India. This paper will be followed by nine regional social enterprise ecosystem reports covering Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Pune, Trivandrum. By affiliated researcher Dr. Lina Sonne.
‘Accessibility Analysis as an Urban Planning Tool: Gas Station Location’ applies geo-statistical techniques to analyse relationships between the geographic location of urban “Gas Stations” and operational features offered by the transport network in Manizales, Colombia. This working paper aims to contribute to the research on location patterns of activity nodes as one of the crucial factors influencing local and regional economic development, both at urban and regional levels. Among its recommendations, the study proposes that future contributions in this arena consider being complemented with visual tools that clearly represent the effects of accessibility changes. By PhD fellow Carlos Cadena Gaitan et al.
‘China’s Economic Embrace of Africa – An International Comparative Perspective’ discusses the entry of China into the game of foreign finance in Africa. This working paper analyses the scope, destination and sectoral distribution of Chinese financial flows and trade in comparison with Western patterns and trends of aid, foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade. The authors show how Chinese and Western activities in Africa can be seen as complementary, especially in the realm of foreign aid. By PhD fellow Tobias Broich and Prof. Adam Szirmai.
‘Can Breakthrough Innovations Serve the Poor (BOP) and Create Reputational (CSR) Value? Indian Case Studies’ tests the assumption that if an innovation serves the poor, then it will generate corporate social responsibility (CSR) gains for breakthrough technological innovations. Published in the journal Technovation, this article proposes and uses a theoretical construct to examine two innovations launched in India, namely genetically modified cotton seeds and an HIV/AIDS drugs cocktail. The study confirms that though firms do not invest in innovation to earn CSR credit, some breakthrough technological innovations can trigger CSR returns. The authors conclude that the windows of opportunity for generating BoP market value and CSR value are context specific and that a robust business strategy rather than philanthropy is needed for breakthrough technological innovations to be marketed to BoP communities. By Prof. Shyama V. Ramani et al.
‘Intellectual Property Rights and the Margins of International Trade’ attempts to resolve the existing ambiguity in economic theory in the relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and trade, by examining how IPRs affect trade along both the intensive – increasing volume of existing goods – and extensive – increasing variety of goods – margins off-trade. The article, published in the Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, suggests that IPRs have a positive impact on imports, which is driven by a positive effect on the extensive margin and a negative impact on the intensive margin. By splitting countries according to their level of development, market size and imitative ability, the author finds that the positive impact of IPRs is strongest in less-developed countries, as well as larger countries and those with a higher degree of imitative ability. By Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor.
‘Bionetworks vs Nanonetworks: A Comparison of Diffusion Rates of Emerging Technologies’ offers evidence from biotechnology and nanotechnology sectors regarding the differential impacts of information flow rates, dispersion of networks and combination of progenitor sciences and technologies on technology diffusion rates. Published in the International Journal of Biotechnology, this article recommends that the impact of geographic dispersion of capabilities between countries be lowered by encouraging university / corporate alliances, international investment and co-authorship, among others. By Prof. Shyama V. Ramani et al.
‘Funding for Some, Spills for Others: Explaining the Emergence of Nanotechnology in Chinese Regions’ investigates the factors driving nanotechnology development in Chinese regions. Although advanced regions of China spearheaded the country’s rapid growth in nanotechnology, other regions are increasingly involved in the development of this technology. The paper, presented at the DRUID Society Conference in June 2014, shows that distinctive factors drive nanotechnology development in regions with different levels of scientific capability. By Drs. Lili Wang and Jojo Jacob et al.