Is Sino-African trade exacerbating resource dependence in Africa? How have border controls influenced migration across the Caribbean? And how has structural change shaped the economic development of the BRICS countries? Just a few of the questions tackled by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance in November 2015 — in one book chapter, four working papers, and three PhD defences, among others. Click here for the full list.
‘The Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technologies in the BRICS‘ is a chapter in ‘Structural Change and Industrial Development in the BRICS’. Analysing the economic development of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS), the book examines similarities and differences over the past three decades, providing lessons for other industrialising countries. It also contains a summary chapter on poverty reduction and development, asking whether the patterns of structural change and industrial development experienced by the BRICS had an impact on poverty outcomes, and if so, what were the channels and consequences. Book chapter by Dr. Michiko Iizuka et al. Book edited by Prof. Wim Naudé, Prof. Adam Szirmai et al.
‘Is Sino-African trade exacerbating resource dependence in Africa?‘ examines whether Angola-mode deals have reinforced resource dependence and impeded export diversification in African countries. The results of this working paper indicate that by helping African countries reduce existing infrastructure bottlenecks, resources-for-infrastructure swap deals enabled them to increase their diversification capacity. The degree of infrastructure service provision is positively correlated with export diversification in African countries in general and in countries that entered infrastructure-for-resource swap agreements with China in particular. By Dr. Alexis Habiyaremye.
‘Structural change and the ability to sustain growth‘ examines the relationships between structural characteristics and the ability to sustain growth. The analysis is based on a novel dataset of sectoral shares in GDP and growth rates for 108 countries from 1960 to 2010. Rather than focusing exclusively on average growth rates, the paper examines the characteristics of positive growth episodes. The authors find that higher shares of manufacturing, high and increasing shares of the modern sector and a more diversified structure of production contribute to longer duration of growth episodes and reduced volatility of growth patterns. By Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor, PhD Fellow Ibrahima Kaba, and Prof. Adam Szirmai.
‘Catching-up in a globalised context: Technological change as a driver of growth’ aims to understand the role that technology plays, particularly in structural change, as a driver of economic growth. Noting the exceptional few countries that succeeded in becoming a developed state and the accelerated period of globalisation (1995 – 2009), the paper analyses growth patterns at the product, sectoral and macroeconomic levels. Utilising trade data, the authors detail the type of complex products exported as a reflection of a nation’s latent capabilities. Finally, the authors use input-output analysis for a macroeconomic perspective on the impact of globalisation on production by sector and on demand patterns of foreign and domestic markets, both globally and regionally. By Prof. Bart Verspagen and PhD Fellow Mary Kaltenberg.
‘Industrialisation, Innovation, Inclusion‘ asks the question: Can industrialisation be socially inclusive? This working paper emphasises the importance of education to enable workers to utilise technology, and of fiscal policies to strengthen the resilience of communities when rapid technological change causes disruptions in the labour market. The authors argue that a ‘social contract’ between governments, their citizens and corporations is crucial for inclusive industrialisation. Countervailing policies, including social protection and labour market policies, that are coordinated on a global level and based on universal good governance, are ultimately required for socially inclusive industrialisation. By Prof. Wim Naudé and Dr. Paula Nagler.
‘Borders, independence and post-colonial ties: The role of the state in Caribbean migration’ examines the short- and long-term migration effects of the establishment of border regimes and independence in the Caribbean region, with a focus on Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Covering the period from the 1950s to the 2010s, this PhD dissertation shows that border regimes and independence lead to unintended strong, albeit temporary, emigration hikes, while such peaks do not appear in the absence of migration restrictions. In the long term, closed borders do not reduce emigration, while open borders do not necessarily lead to very large migration, but more often to higher (circular) mobility, including short-term visits and return flows. Furthermore, this study shows how states, particularly in origin countries, influence migration in indirect ways through various policies. By Dr. Simona Vezzoli.
‘Technology Paradigm Shifts in Agriculture: Drivers of Sustainability and Catch up‘ is a PhD dissertation that examines the drivers of sustainability and technological catch-up in the context of technology paradigm shifts in crop production technologies. The proposed theoretical construct for technology paradigm shifts integrates both the evolutionary responses of ecology that strive to achieve bio-physical efficiency along with the evolutionary behaviour of economic actors trying to achieve economic efficiency. By Dr. Ajay Thutupalli.
‘Civil conflict and education: how does exposure to civil conflict affect human capital accumulation? Evidence from standardized exit exams in Colombia’ seeks to better understand the relationship between civil conflict and the educational achievement of students who take part in the formal education system in Colombia through the use of econometric tools. The results of this PhD dissertation suggest that it is possible that students who are facing difficulties associated to the internal armed conflict successfully continue with their studies, but they need a special follow up. The author argues that policymakers should create better incentives to retain these students, spend more on special needs (i.e., psychological help, school supplies, special remedial tutorials), and supervise their academic progress at educational institutions. By Dr. Silvia C. Gómez Soler.
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