What are the links between migration, development and climate change in North Africa? Should firms in developing countries improve their management practices before engaging in innovation? And did the Millennium Development Goals improve the social realities of people around the world? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers over the last month — in six working papers, nine journal articles, and three PhD defences, among many others. Click here for the full list.
‘Home sweet home? Macroeconomic conditions in home countries and the well-being of migrants’ examines whether the subjective well-being of migrants is responsive to fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions in their country of origin. This paper finds strong evidence that migrants’ well-being responds negatively to an increase in the GDP of their home country. That is, migrants seem to regard home countries as natural comparators, which grounds the idea of relative deprivation underlying the decision to migrate. The effect declines with years-since-migration and with the degree of assimilation in Germany. By Dr. Alpaslan Akay, Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann et al.
‘Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Did they change social reality?‘ shows that although there has been improvement in social realities of people around the world between 1990 and 2013, the two dominant opposing views on the role of MDGs in this process are uncandid. In order to effectively assess the usefulness of the MDGs, the paper recommends a thorough tracing of policy changes triggered by the MDGs. By PhD fellows Janyl Moldalieva, Arip Muttaqien, Choolwe Muzyamba, Davina Osei, Eli Stoykova and Nga Le Thi Quynh.
‘Arsenic contamination of drinking water and mental health‘ finds that drinking water with an unsafe arsenic level for a prolonged period can lead to arsenicosis and associated illness. This paper finds that suffering from an arsenicosis symptom is strongly negatively related to mental health, even more so than from other illnesses. Calculations of the costs of arsenic contamination reveal that the average individual would need to be compensated for suffering from an arsenicosis symptom by an amount of money over 10 percent of annual household income. By Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann et al.
‘Child labour in China’ presents the first systematic study on child labour in China. This paper shows that child labour participation is positively associated with school dropout rate and that a child living in a rural area is more likely to work. Additionally, household assets per capita and household involvement in non-agricultural activities are negatively related to the incidence of child labour. In geographic terms, the incidence of child labour is correlated with the development level of each region: the Western region has the highest percentage of child labour, followed by the Eastern and Central region. By Dr. Zhong Zhao et al.
‘Social welfare benefits and their impacts on labour market participation among men and women in Mongolia’ pays particular attention to women since – in spite of the fact that their level of education is similar to that of men – their labour market participation is considerably lower compared to men. The results of the paper indicate that social welfare receipt does not affect the labour market participation of men, but certainly has a negative impact on women. In terms of hours worked, men in beneficiary households tend to work more hours, while women work fewer hours if they are social welfare recipients. By Prof. Franziska Gassmann et al.
‘The role of innovation and management practices in determining firm productivity in developing economies‘ uses data from a unique firm-level survey covering 30 mostly developing countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the period 2011-2014. This paper suggests that both returns to innovation and returns to management practices are important drivers of productivity in developing economies. However, productivity in lower-income economies is affected to a larger extent by management practices than by innovation, while the opposite holds in higher-income economies. These results imply that firms operating in less favourable business environments can reap large productivity gains by improving the quality of management practices, before engaging in innovation through imitating and adapting foreign technologies. By Prof. Pierre Mohnen et al.
‘Using Functions of Innovation Systems to Understand the Successful Emergence of Non-traditional Agricultural Export Industries in Developing Countries: Cases from Ethiopia and Chile.’ This article adopts the functions of innovation systems framework to understand the process of system building through examination of the successful emergence of two non-traditional agricultural export industries in developing countries, namely the Ethiopian flower industry and the Chilean salmon industry to identify effective policy measures in the early phases of development. By Dr. Michiko Iizuka and Dr. Mulu Gebreeyesus.
‘Evolution and convergence of the patterns of international scientific collaboration’ finds that collaboration patterns across scientific disciplines, between 1973 and 2012, seemed to generate a convergence between applied and basic sciences. The study also shows that the general architecture of international scientific collaboration, based on the ranking of fractions of international coauthorships for different scientific fields per year, has tended to be unchanged over time, at least until now. By. Dr Lili Wang et al.
‘Motivations and Constraints of Moving Abroad for Indian Students’ looks at the determinants of international mobility intentions in the specific situation of Indian students in sciences and engineering. The study uses the collected data from the survey held among students at five Indian universities and complements it with qualitative data from interviews. Professional aspects are confirmed to be the most prominent in the decision-making regarding international mobility. People who place high importance on work-related factors are more mobile, while people who place higher importance on family-friendly environment and public safety prefer staying in India. By Dr. Metka Hercog and Dr. Mindel van de Laar.
‘Firm Innovation and Productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean The Engine of Economic Development’ uses the study of firm dynamics to investigate the factors preventing faster productivity growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, pushing past the limits of traditional macroeconomic analyses. Each chapter is dedicated to an examination of a different factor affecting firm productivity — innovation, ICT usage, on-the-job-training, firm age, access to credit, and international linkages — highlighting the differences in firm characteristics, behaviours, and strategies. By showcasing this remarkable heterogeneity, this collection challenges regional policymakers to look beyond one-size-fits-all solutions and create balanced policy mixes tailored to distinct firm needs. By PhD fellows Ezequiel Tacsir, Fernando Vargas et al.
‘Child development and migrant transnationalism: the health of children who stay behind in Ghana and Nigeria’ examines the relation between parental migration and children’s health in Ghana and Nigeria and considers four dimensions of parental migration: the type of separation, parental migration and the caregiver, stability of care arrangements, and the availability of remittances. The article finds that children with international migrant parents who are divorced/separated are less likely than children in non-migrant families to have good health. The magnitude of the effects are higher in Nigeria, attesting for a greater vulnerability of Nigerian children in divorced migrant families. Among children with parents living abroad who are stably married, specific dimensions of children’s transnational life are associated with negative health, while others are not. This study highlights the sensitivity of results to the context of parent-child separation and to the transnational dimension being measured. By Victor Cebotari, Dr. Melissa Siegel et al.
‘Policies and Consumption-Based Carbon Emissions from a Top-Down and a Bottom-Up Perspective’ calculates the impacts of different policy measures on the development of consumption-based carbon emissions in the EU28 and on emissions elsewhere in the world. The policy examples used are the EU’s CO2 in car regulations and the South African renewable energy initiative. Both bottom-up and top-down approaches use the same underlying assumptions regarding the impacts, but due to the very different nature of the methodologies, differences in the results are observed, though sign and scope of the results are the same for the two cases. Part of the deviations can be explained by differences in methodology and scenario design due to these differences. The article concludes that bottom-up and top-down approaches can and need to be applied to different policies and are generally complementary. By Dr. Kirsten Wiebe et al.
‘Endogenous technological change and the policy mix in renewable power generation’ introduces the renewable power generation module, which complements large scale macro-econometric input–output models by introducing technological change endogenously into the model. So far, technological change in renewable power generation technologies is either set exogenously (autonomous energy improving technological change) or price-induced in economic models. Introducing endogenous technological change is necessary to adequately analyse not only the direct effects, but also the indirect effects on important macro-economic indicators such as growth, employment, welfare and trade as well as their feedback to the electricity sector. The development of PV module and wind turbine prices is modeled using learning curves at the global scale, i.e. depending on global capacity installed of each of these technologies. National capacity additions in turn depend on global prices, national policies and economic development. While demand-pull policies enhance capacity installations, technology-push policies do not seem to have a significant direct influence. This empirical study confirms the overshooting of PV installations in Germany, which can be slowed down by introducing degression of feed-in tariffs over time. By Dr. Kirsten Wiebe et al.
‘The impact of renewable energy diffusion on European consumption-based emissions’ combines three different strands of literature, multi-regional input–output analysis, dynamic energy–economy–environment models and technological change in renewable energy (RE), to model the impact of the global diffusion of renewable energies on European consumption-based emissions. The article finds that the global diffusion of RE technologies (photovoltaic and wind) depends on the development of technology costs, which are modeled using learning curves. With increasing deployment of renewables within the EU as well as increasing RD&D efforts, the EU can achieve an accelerated costs decrease for these technologies, thus fostering deployment of RPGTs at a global scale through the effect of decreasing costs. This behaviour indirectly influences the electricity mix abroad, making it less carbon intensive, so that consumption-based emissions of the EU decrease. By Dr. Kirsten Wiebe.
‘International standards certification, institutional voids and exports from developing country firms’ analyses the impact of International Standards Certification (ISC) on the export participation and the scale of exports of firms based in 89 developing or transition countries. The article shows that certified firms are more likely to export, and to export on a larger scale. The impact of ISC runs through two channels: productivity and transaction cost economies. The article shows that certification plays an important role in bringing down transaction costs in international markets, while also maintaining and raising efficiency. This finding is reinforced by additional evidence, suggesting that ISC matters more for the export participation of domestic firms than for foreign firms and is of greater importance for firms based in countries characterised by severe institutional voids. By Dr. Micheline Goedhuys et al.
‘On guarding the welfare of clinical trial subjects while promoting novel drug innovation: A Game Theoretical Approach’ aims to address the question of how to maximise clinical trial subject welfare while promoting novel drug innovation. Using qualitative methods and concepts borrowed from game theory, this thesis develops a framework for evaluating clinical trial governance at the various levels. It then uses the framework to assess existing governance at national levels in the United States and India, as representative of traditional and emerging markets, respectively, as well as governance by industry players. Using the lessons learned from these evaluations, the thesis proposes a relationship structure inclusive of feedback mechanisms, which may improve the effectiveness of the governance of clinical trial. The thesis concludes with policy and strategy recommendations for use by the various stakeholders. By Dr. Farida Lada
‘Rural livelihoods, location and vulnerable environments: Approaches to migration in mountain areas of Latin America’ aims at bridging this gap on migration in mountain areas, particularly from an empirical point of view. Four key points emerge from the literature review and the case studies presented in this dissertation. First, in the context of climate change, environmental change is expected to have an increasing impact on migration in the future through its interrelationship with other demographic, economic, political and social drivers of migration and in the context of rising national inequalities; Second, most migration in the context of environmental change is and will be internal and relatively short distance rather than international, with the notable exception of border areas (including mountains) and small states (particularly small island developing states); Third, while migration is often understood and framed as a failure to adapt to environmental and climatic changes, it can also be part of successful livelihood risk management strategies; Fourth, in the upcoming decades, millions of people who would like to move might be unable to leave locations in which they are vulnerable to environmental change. By Dr. Andrea Milan.
‘Multi-Problem Challenges for a Renewable Future: Empirical Studies on Competitive Disadvantages from Electricity Price Differentials and Mineral Supply Risk in an Open Economy World’ argues for a three-dimensional coordination of bottom-up climate change mitigation processes: within national policies, across national policies and beyond sectoral policies. This dissertation thus proposes a multilevel and polycentric governance mechanism, advocating an integrated approach to low-carbon energy transition rather than focusing on energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in isolation. By Dr. Eva Bartekova.
Thematic input paper
‘Migration, development and climate change in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia’ provides an overview and a succinct discussion of migration, development and climate change in North Africa. This thematic input paper describes current migration trends in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and discusses the links between migration, development and climate change that are relevant to the future socio-economic development of the region. By Dr. Özge Bilgili and PhD fellow Katrin Marchand.
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