Our press review features the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance. Output for June includes five working papers, five PhD theses, two articles and one book chapter. We cover rare earths in low carbon technologies, leadership changes in the regional jet industry, and refugee return and remittances in Burundi, among many others. [NB: the images above lead to related papers.]
‘An introduction to the economics of rare earths’ aims to examine the supply risk of rare earths and its impact on low carbon technologies deployment. Bringing together seemingly disconnected strands of scientiﬁc literature, the author takes a multidisciplinary approach to provide an overarching overview of the economics of rare earths. The working paper also discusses private and social costs to using rare earths in low carbon technologies and reviews mitigation strategies which could help reducing rare earths dependence for the future. By PhD fellow Eva Bartekova.
‘Successive leadership changes in the regional jet industry‘ examines leadership dynamics in the regional jet manufacturing industry from the 1980s onwards. In order to understand the co-evolution of demand for aircraft, technology and industrial structure, this working paper applies a framework for innovation system dynamics that investigates in detail the preconditions for growth, windows of opportunity and strategic response of firms. The fate of failed challengers and past leaders points to the importance of preconditions, timing of windows of opportunity, speedy strategic response by companies and a proper evaluation of future demand. The timing of response was found to be critical not only for gaining leadership, but also for staying in the market and recovering sunk costs. By Dr. Daniel Vertesy.
‘The unequal effect of India’s industrial liberalization on firms‘ decision to innovate: Do business conditions matter?’ examines the heterogeneous impact of industrial liberalization policy, the dismantling of the “License Raj” in India, on firms’ innovation performance. The working paper shows that larger and more productive firms in liberalized industries were more likely to take up R&D while the smallest and least efficient firms were less likely to do so. The authors also show that this inequality of effects was strongest in economically less developed Indian states and where financial development and the knowledge base are weaker. This suggests business conditions shape heterogeneous impacts of liberalization policies to the advantage of initially larger and more efficient firms. By Maria Bas and Caroline Paunov.
‘Catching up and lagging behind in a balance‐of‐payments‐constrained dual economy’ sets up a model of catching up among nations in which the dual character of developing economies and the important challenges to absorb labour in the modern part of the economy stands out as one of the major features. By examining the dynamic interaction between technological catching-up and structural modernization, this working paper provides interesting insights on the different structural trajectories that an economy might follow in the process of economic development. Furthermore, it is able to deliver economically meaningful multiple equilibria in a simple linear setting. Hence, it can be easily solved and yields clear traceability of the main forces involved. By PhD fellow Alejandro Lavopa.
‘Insurgents in motion: Counter-insurgency and insurgency relocation in Iraq’ looks at three counter-insurgency strategies in Iraq in order to spell out the options for the country and the international community. Based on the novel spatial dynamic panel data (SDPD) model, the working paper reveals that, conditional upon other strategies, the eﬀects of a counter-insurgency strategy vary considerably both in magnitude and direction, suggesting that some policy mixes could be counterproductive. It concludes that development projects plus troop surges — without playing the ethnic / tribal card — are most effective in countering insurgencies. By PhD fellow Pui-hang Wong.
‘Lessons Learned from Refugee Return Settlement Policies: A Case Study on Burundi’s Rural Integrated Villages’ provides an in-depth analysis of Burundi’s Rural Integrated Villages project, which has recently been implemented as an emergency approach to accommodate landless 1972 caseload refugees and other vulnerable populations. By comparing the Rural Integrated Villages project to other villagisation policies in Africa – a policy approach that has often been adopted to solve landlessness for returnees – and the Imidugudu policy that was implemented in Rwanda in the 1990s in particular, this article demonstrates that to date no villagisation policy has been successful in providing long-term, sustainable solutions for landless returnee populations. The article, published in Refugee Survey Quarterly, concludes by exploring alternatives to villagisation for returnees and presenting lessons learned for future cases of refugee return. By PhD fellows Sonja Fransen and Katherine Kuschminder.
‘Remittances and Household Wealth after Conflict: A Case Study on Urban Burundi’ analyses the use of remittances in conflict-affected contexts and tests three hypotheses based on unique data from Burundi. Results show that remittances are common among wealthier households, rejecting the relative deprivation hypothesis. This article published in the Journal World Development, finds that remittances have strong effects on non-productive assets, such as living conditions and food security, and weak effects on productive assets, such as asset ownership. Poorer households invest mostly in non-productive assets, suggesting that remittances are insurance for the poor, whereas wealthier households seem largely unaffected by remittances. By PhD fellow Sonja Fransen et al.
We also held five successful PhD defences in June 2014:
– ‘New governance under limited statehood: The case of local government reform in Kosovo‘ by Dr. Ilire Agimi
– ‘Evaluation of Meal and Deworming Programs for Primary Schools in Rural Senegal‘ by Dr. Fatoumata Diallo
– ‘Highly skilled migration and new destination countries: How government policies shape destination choices‘ by Dr. Metka Hercog
– ‘Promoting Innovation in Latin America: What Countries Have Learned (and What They Have Not) in Designing and Implementing Innovation and Intellectual Property Policies‘ by Dr. Annalisa Primi
– ‘Can Remittances influence the Tenure and Quality of Housing in Uganda?‘ by Dr. Margaret Rugadya
‘International Development: Ideas, Experience, and Prospects‘ is a new book co-edited by UNU Rector David M. Malone featuring a chapter on ‘Entrepreneurship and Economic Development‘ by Prof. Wim Naudé. The chapter is drawn from a paper which ranks among the Top 10 monthly downloads of the IZA Discussion Paper Series. According to Naudé, “Entrepreneurship is… a valid and important subject of study for development scholars, and development is a worthwhile subject of study for entrepreneurship and management scholars.” The book aims to be a key reference on the concepts and theories of development – their origins, evolution, and trajectories – and act as a resource for scholars, graduate students, and practitioners. By Prof. Wim Naudé et al.
World Bank Photo Collection; Flickr / cobalt123; double-h