Women and young people in Tunisia are more empowered than ever in legal terms. But do legal protections equal everyday empowerment? En route to Europe, men and women face various kinds of corruption. But is sextortion more prevalent in patriarchal cultures? Investment flows in various ways to the Global South. But do bilateral treaties increase foreign direct investment; and if so, by how much? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in April 2018 — in five journal articles, two working papers, and one conference paper, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Women’s and youth empowerment in rural Tunisia: An assessment using the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI)’. This study uses, for the first time in the Arab world, the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) to investigate the topic of gender equality. The overall objective of the project is to provide new measurement tools and data to policymakers and organisations to allow them to better design, target, monitor and evaluate initiatives aiming to empower women and young people across Tunisia. The report shows that despite many legal achievements, Tunisia still has a long way to go when it comes to women’s and youths’ empowerment. By Dr. Micheline Goedhuys, Dr. Aline Meysonnat, Dr. Eleonora Nillesen et al.
‘On the relationship between the breadth of PTAs and trade flows’. This article uses matching econometrics to extend the literature investigating the impact of preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) on goods trade flows. Using matched PTA and non‐PTA groups of country pairs, the authors estimate a dose-response function which indicates that arrangements with few provisions and arrangements with many provisions do not appear to have a significant impact on goods trade flows between their members. PTAs in an intermediate range are shown to have a significant positive effect. The article relates these outcomes to the actual content of the PTAs using the concept of ‘provision intensity’. By Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor et al.
‘North-South FDI and Bilateral Investment Treaties’. This article adopts a difference‐in‐difference analysis to deal with the problem of self‐selection when estimating the effects of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows from a sample of OECD countries to a broader sample of lesser developed countries. The results indicate that forming a BIT with a developed country significantly increases FDI inflows to developing countries. The authors further find that the development of new FDI flows and the reinvigoration of deteriorating FDI relationships accounts for the majority of the increase in FDI flows due to BIT formation. By Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor et al.
‘Legal empowerment and state legal organizations in light of the voices of victims of domestic violence’. This study shows how legal provisions and state legal organisations can contribute to the legal empowerment of citizens who obtain access to justice. The state is described as a fundamental element in implementing public policies which grant an appropriate context to make the process of legal empowerment possible. By Dr. Julieta Marotta.
‘Professional care delivery or traditional birth attendants? The impact of the type of care utilized by mothers on under-five mortality of their children’. This paper aims to investigate the effect of using professional maternal care or traditional birth attendant (TBA) care by mothers (during antenatal, delivery, and postnatal) on under-five mortality of their children in Zambia. It also compares these outcomes between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. The findings show differences in under-5 child mortality between utilisers of professional care and utilisers of TBAs; the authors therefore question whether the Zambian government’s intention of completely excluding TBAs (who despite being outlawed are still being used) without replacement by good quality professional care is the right decision. By PhD fellow Choolwe Muzyamba, Dr. Sonila Tomini et al.
‘Corruption, gender and migration’. This paper investigates migrants’ gendered experiences of corruption on route to Europe by analysing how corruption can lead to migration and how experiences of corruption during the migration process differ for men and women. The paper furthers the knowledge of gendered experiences during migration, which are still understudied, by investigating in a comprehensive manner how women and men are affected by different forms of corruption throughout the migration process. It also advances the small body of literature discussing gendered forms of corruption, such as sextortion, with a specific focus on the role of underlying gender norms such as patriarchy. By PhD fellows Ortrun Merkle and Julia Reinold and Prof. Melissa Siegel.
‘Africa Sector Database (ASD): Expansion and update’. Since the construction of the Africa Sector Database (ASD) at the Groningen Growth and Development Centre, there has been a wave of statistical reforms in some of the countries in the ASD leading to significant revaluations of GDP. These reforms have provided a clearer picture of the size and structure of production of the countries involved. This paper updates the ASD to reflect these statistical changes. Most importantly, following the methodology of ASD, the authors expand the ASD by constructing sectoral data for seven new African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and Uganda. This results in an expanded database (from the 1960s to 2015) covering about 80 percent of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa. By PhD fellow Emmanuel Buadi Mensah and Prof. Adam Szirmai.
‘Drivers of growth in Tunisia: Young firms vs. incumbents’. The aim of this paper is to investigate the growth dynamics of young small firms (in contrast with larger and older incumbents) in a developing country context, using a unique and comprehensive dataset of non-agricultural Tunisian companies. The results suggest that significant differences between young and mature firms can be found as far as the drivers of their growth are concerned. The key finding is that the negative impact of the initial size is significantly larger for young than mature firms. This result has interesting policy implications: since smaller young firms are particularly conducive to employment generation, they can be considered good candidates for targeted accompanying policies addressed to sustain their post-entry growth. By Prof. Marco Vivarelli et al.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
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