How does corruption affect the innovation of firms in Tunisia and Egypt? How does foreign aid affect conflicts, in terms of escalation or de-escalation? And how can new urban agendas help internally displaced people? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in October 2016 — in nine working papers and two journal articles, among many others. Click here for the full list.
‘Corruption, innovation and firm growth: Firm-level evidence from Egypt and Tunisia’ explores the effect of institutional obstacles and corruption on the innovative behaviour of firms and their effect on firms’ employment growth. The paper estimates the micro-level interactions between corruption and institutional obstacles and test the hypothesis that corruption ‘greases the wheels’ of firm performance when bureaucratic procedures are more severe and hampering innovation. The results show that corruption has a direct negative effect on the likelihood that a firm is an innovator, but a positive effect when interacted with institutional obstacles. This provides support for the hypothesis that corruption serves as a mechanism to bypass the bureaucratic obstacles related to obtaining the necessary business permits and licences for product innovation. These effects also resonate into firm growth, through their effect on product innovation. By Dr. Micheline Goedhuys, Prof. Pierre Mohnen and PhD fellow Tamer Taha.
‘Patents, exhibitions and markets for innovation in the early 20th century: Evidence from Turin 1911 International Exhibition’ investigates the nature of international exhibitions, the role they played in the early 20th century, the reasons why economic agents attended them, the relationship between exhibition data and patent data, and their suitability for measuring innovation. The paper finds that exhibiting and patenting did mostly occur separately, as exhibitions mainly worked as markets for products, which attracted firms, while patents were primarily taken out by individuals, most of whom might not be interested in that function. Yet, the presence is observed of a qualified niche of independent inventors, using the exhibition as a market for ideas, i.e. to advertise their findings to a selected public of potential investors, buyers or licensees. By Visiting researcher Giacomo Domini.
‘On the fungibility of public and private transfers: A mental accounting approach’ hypothesises that households differently associate a private transfer coming from a migrant than a public transfer received from the government, and that this impacts the way transfers are spent. By analysing the first nationally representative longitudinal survey in South Africa, covering the years 2008, 2010 and 2012, the paper finds evidence that public and private transfers are not spent in the same way. This finding has important implications for public policy design, as the expected welfare impacts in a specific country may not only depend on the type of programme or amount of a transfer, but also on the potential behavioural effect that this transfer can generate. As a result, it seems important to take into consideration how people perceive different sources of income as well as the explicit or implicit conditions attached to them when estimating the effects of private and public transfers on well-being. By PhD fellow Jennifer Waidler.
‘Formal and informal appropriation mechanisms: the role of openness and innovativeness.’ This paper suggests that for radical innovators it is external search breadth (rather than depth) that has a positive association with the use of informal appropriation mechanisms. In contrast, for radical innovators external search depth (rather than breadth) is associated with the use of formal appropriation mechanisms. For incremental innovators, external search breadth (rather than depth) is associated with the use of both formal and informal appropriation mechanisms. By Prof. John Hagedoorn et al.
‘Poverty reduction strategies in Canada: A new way to tackle an old problem?’ asks whether the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) processes, as implemented by four Canadian provinces (Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Quebec), have the potential to deliver on the expected governance benefits. This paper is the first to connect theory to a widespread yet under-researched practice in government. The study shows that each province makes quite different choices in implementing its process and that such differences likely influence the degree to which aspired governance benefits are realised. When legislation supports the PRS process, provinces have more continuous activities and, where legislation details the role of non-government stakeholders, stakeholder involvement is more substantive and visible. There is now more public information on government’s actions but also still much scope for improvement, especially in linking fiscal expenses, effects of policy actions, and wellbeing outcomes. Whether new coordination mechanisms have been sufficient to yield substantive benefits in coordination is unclear. By Dr. Geranda Notten et al.
‘Innovation system in development: The case of Peru.’ This paper discusses policies and policy gaps in research and innovation and benchmarks national innovation competences to other relevant economies, based on available indicators and surveys. Following a sequential approach, a strengthened policy agenda for innovation should tackle fundamental weaknesses of the innovation system and set the basis for its expansion and a better articulation. Examples of policy actions to improve research performance and business innovation are provided. The paper concludes with suggestions for reforming the innovation system and provides examples of policy actions. By Researcher Pluvia Zuniga
‘Three decades of publishing research in population economics’ summarises key developments in the editorial process, thematic orientation, international reach and successes of The Journal of Population Economics. Furthermore, the paper discusses the benefits of working papers in economics and investigate the impacts of the present working paper culture on journal citations. Finally, they try to identify the citation impacts in the Journal itself. The Journal of Population Economics has established itself as the leader in its field. Publishing in working papers and in the Journal seem to be complementary activities. By Dr. Alessio J.G. Brown and Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann.
‘Trade liberalisation and child labour in China’ exploits a quasi-natural experiment – the US granting of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China after China’s accession to the World Trade Organization – to examine whether trade liberalisation affects the incidence of child labour in China. The paper finds that the PNTR was significantly associated with the rising incidence of child labour in China. A one percentage point decrease in average export tariffs raises the odds of child labour by a 1.3 percentage point. The effects are greater for girls, older children, rural children, and children with less-educated parents. The effect of trade liberalisation on the incidence of child labour, however, disappears in the long run, because trade liberalisation can induce exporters to upgrade technology and thus have less demand for unskilled workers. By Prof. Zhong Zhao et al.
‘Fueling conflict? (De)escalation and bilateral aid’ studies the effects of bilateral foreign aid on conflict escalation and de-escalation. The paper establishes that the effect of foreign aid on the various transition probabilities is heterogeneous and can be substantial. Receiving bilateral aid raises the chances of escalating from small conflict to armed conflict, but the paper finds no evidence that aid ignites conflict in truly peaceful countries. By Dr. Richard Bluhm et al.
‘Diaspora Economics: New Perspectives’ seeks to introduce a new field and suggest a new research agenda. To do so, the authors combine ethnicity, migration and international relations into a new thinking and provide a typology of diaspora and a thorough evaluation of its role and the roles of the home and host countries. The authors find that diaspora economics is more than a new word for migration economics. It opens a new strand to political economy. Diaspora is perceived to be a well-defined group of migrants and their offspring with a joined cultural identity and ongoing identification with the country or culture of origin. This implies the potential to undermine the nation-state. Diasporas can shape policies in the host countries. The article provides a new understanding of global human relations. By Amelie Constant Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann.
‘Entrepreneurial heterogeneity and the design of entrepreneurship policies for economic growth and inclusive development’ is part of The Routledge Handbook of Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies, a landmark volume that offers a uniquely comprehensive overview of entrepreneurship in developing countries. The handbook brings together a unique collection of over 40 international researchers who are all actively engaged in studying entrepreneurship in a developing world context. The chapters offer concise but detailed perspectives and explanations on key aspects of the subject across a diverse array of developing economies, spanning Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. In doing so, the chapters highlight the heterogeneity of entrepreneurship in developed economies, and contribute to the on-going policy discourses for managing and promoting entrepreneurial growth in the developing world. By PhD fellow Elisa Calza and Dr. Micheline Goedhuys.
‘International Marriage Brokers and Mail Order Brides. Analysing the need for regulation’ analyses the socio-legal status of the Mail-Order Bride industry in the EU, in terms of regulation, protection of rights, and the consequences of Mail-Order Bride relationships for women, men and children involved. The authors find that it is difficult to distinguish between MOB and other groups of female marriage migrants. The report identifies three main legal gaps, namely the lack of regulation of IMB activities, the lack of a harmonised regime for family reunification, and the lack of harmonised protective measures for women in case of relationship break up. There is a need for additional prevention and protection measures, since female marriage migrants are considered particularly vulnerable to domestic violence. By Research assistants Julia Reinold, Inez Roosen, Katharina Koch et al.
‘Leaving no one behind: internal displacement and the New Urban Agenda.’ This paper examines the relationship between the New Urban Agenda and internally displaced people (IDPs). In line with the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development, which has sustainable cities and settlements as one of its goals, the New Urban Agenda pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ — including IDPs. The New Urban Agenda contains several references to IDPs. It recognises that particular attention is needed to address discrimination faced by IDPs, but also particular groups among them and people at risk of displacement such as indigenous peoples, informal settlement dwellers, homeless people, subsistence farmers and fishermen. It acknowledges that displacement presents challenges in urban settings, but that IDPs can bring significant social, economic and cultural contributions to urban life. It offers support to governments to encourage participation from all segments of society, including IDPs. It commits to promote full, productive and decent work as well as livelihood opportunities with special attention to the needs of IDPs, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. It also seeks to improve access to affordable housing and tenure security to prevent forced evictions and displacement. By Dr. Cheng Boon Ong et al.
‘Estimating CO2 Emissions Embodied in Final Demand and Trade Using the OECD ICIO 2015: Methodology and Results’ seeks to better understand how CO2 emissions around the world are driven by global consumption patterns. After explaining the methodology in detail, the paper describes some general results and gives examples of how to use and interpret the derived indicators. By Dr. Kirsten Wiebe et al.
‘Limits of Freedom? Experiences with the Participation Act’ investigates the economic, psychological, and contextual factors of social assistance recipients, and how these factors influence the choice between work, participation, and social assistance within the scope of the Participation Act. The results illustrate the complex links between the financial and social situation on the individual level, the position of an individual in a participatory society and the reintegration activities of the Social Services department. The authors furthermore see that the concrete implementation of income support, reintegration activities and thus societal objectives sometimes conflicts with individual needs. This leads to the critical question of how individual and societal objectives can be reconciled, with particular attention to how these choices are made. (Also available in Dutch) By PhD fellow Mira Bierbaum and Prof. Franziska Gassmann.
‘Essays on Conflict-related Migration and Development in the Case of Afghanistan’ is a collection of empirical essays which attempt to explore the link between conflict-related migration and development in the (post-) conflict environment of Afghanistan. The analyses are quantitative in nature, focusing on one of three main sub-themes: 1) the causes of conflict-related migration; 2) its consequences for human development; and 3) policy response. As such, the dissertation as a whole contributes to the general discussion on migration and development by providing evidence in a conflict-affected context rarely covered in the literature, and if so from a purely qualitative perspective. In addition, the varied types of migration flows prevalent in the context of Afghanistan are also considered in different chapters – namely, international migration, return migration and internal displacement – providing a uniquely wide-ranging account of the Afghan case as it relates to conflict-related migration and development. By Dr. Craig Loschmann
UN Photo / Mark Garten