Does the removal of government assistance in the Netherlands make refused asylum seekers more likely to accept and enter return procedures? A new article examines how policies that deny the basic provision of shelter, food, and clothing to refused asylum seekers impact these individuals’ lived experiences and their decision-making regarding return migration.
What are the implications of innovations in mining global value chains for emerging economies? A new book chapter argues that mining cannot become a true engine of growth for the whole economy unless links within the sector and beyond are strengthened and deepened. This requires processes of diffusion, adoption and adaptation of innovation and technology.
These are just two questions tackled by our researchers in April 2022 — in nine journal articles, one report, one book chapter, eight working papers, one PhD dissertation and one public engagement activity, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘The Role of Early-Career University Prestige Stratification on the Future Academic Performance of Scholars‘ challenges the positive association between prestige and academic performance as predicted by the ‘Matthew effect’. Scholars hired internally sustain higher performance over their careers in comparison to those who move up or down the prestige hierarchy. Further, the article finds a positive (negative) relation between downward (upward) prestige mobility and performance that relates to the “big-fish-little-pond” effect (BFLPE). The evidence of a BFLPE-like effect has policy implications because it hinders the knowledge flows throughout the science system and individual achievements. By PhD candidate Mario Gonzalez Sauri and Dr. Giulia Rossello.
‘Racial capitalism, ruling elite business entanglement and the impasse of black economic empowerment policy in South Africa‘ observes that policy initiatives taken to redress past economic injustices through the black economic empowerment (BEE) have failed to bring economic transformation. The article analyses how entangled interests aimed to co-opt the ruling party elite by the apartheid-era business elite have led to the BEE impasse. The author writes that the pervasiveness of cultural alienation in BEE failure suggests that a shift to restorative justice is necessary to break from the impasse. By Dr. Alexis Habiyaremye.
‘Directional predictability and time-frequency spillovers among clean energy sectors and oil price uncertainty‘ examines the directional predictability and spillovers among the U.S clean energy sectors and oil price uncertainty. The article finds strong evidence of heterogeneous dependence and predictability from oil price uncertainty to clean energy sectors across different market conditions and investment horizons. It shows that the level of shock spillovers to clean energy sectors from oil price uncertainty is weak in the short term but becomes stronger in the intermediate and long term. However, the authors indicate notable heterogeneities regarding the amount of information content for the different sectors and at different investment horizons from oil price uncertainty. By Dr. Gideon Ndubuisi et al.
‘Innovation Indicators‘ reveals that innovation indicators have been developed with a focus on the business sector but have not addressed all economic sectors (i.e., business, public, household, and non-profit organizations serving household sectors). Apart from noting that innovation happens everywhere, the indicators manuals have focused primarily on enlarging geographically the measurement of innovation in the business sector across different regions in the world: not just the highly developed world, initially assumed to be the most innovative, but also the developing world, which is sometimes highly innovative in hidden ways. The article argues that the next step for the innovation indicator community is to develop innovation indicators for all economic sectors. Essential to all of this is the use of international standard definitions, their maintenance, and development. By Profs. Fred Gault and Luc Soete.
‘Moral Exclusion, Dehumanisation, and Continued Resistance to Return: Experiences of Refused Afghan Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands‘ examines how policies that deny the basic provision of shelter, food, and clothing to refused asylum seekers impact these individuals’ lived experiences and their decision-making regarding return migration. The article contests the key policy argument for the removal of government assistance in the Netherlands that refused asylum seekers will be more likely to accept and enter return procedures when they are not given these provisions. The analysis centres refused asylum seekers as a key actor within the geopolitics of return governance and highlights their resistance to state coercion. The authors argue that the provision of basic welfare should be considered a separate issue from that of enforcing returns. By Dr. Katie Kuschminder and Talitha Dubow.
‘The two faces of urbanisation and productivity: Enhance or inhibit? New evidence from Chinese firm-level data‘ examines the impact of urbanisation on total factor productivity (TFP) in various industries. The study results confirm that urbanisation can lead to the gathering of economic activities, which in turn generates a positive impact on TFP by reducing transportation costs, promoting new technology spillovers, and encouraging a higher degree of specialisation. Further, the empirical results indicate that the highest TFP does not always occur in highly urbanised areas—most of the industries with the highest TFP are in moderately urbanised areas. These findings have important policy implications regarding how to improve the TFP of enterprises in order to generate scale effects. By Dr. Lili Wang et al.
‘Harmonized Latin American Innovation Surveys Database (LAIS): Firm-Level Microdata for the Study of Innovation‘ provides the methods through which the first version of the harmonized Latin American Innovation Surveys database (LAIS) was built. This paper describes how, starting from significantly different survey methods and questionnaires between countries, criteria were applied to identify and select variables from different surveys measuring the same underlying concept. It also discusses and guides how differences in survey methodologies may affect comparisons even after the harmonization of variables. LAIS includes data on innovation activities expenditures, sources of information and collaborations for innovation, innovation obstacles, outputs and effects, protection of innovation results, and general firm characteristics. Since LAIS significantly decreases the cost of making data comparisons between countries, it will allow more scholars to research innovation in Latin American firms and to tackle long-standing unanswered questions about the importance of framework conditions in LAC for innovation decisions in firms. By Dr. Charlotte Guillard and PhD candidate Fernando Vargas et al.
‘How do financial and commodity markets volatility react to real economic activity?‘ examines the dependence structure between real economic activity and the financial and commodity markets. The article finds that whilst real economic activity shock leads the financial and commodity markets, these markets lead real economic activity during periods of economic downturn. It also shows that the connectedness between real economic activity and the financial and commodity markets are stronger during economic downturns or in the long run. By Dr. Gideon Ndubuisi et al.
‘Wage effects of global value chains participation and position: An industry-level analysis‘ examines how participation and positioning in global value chains (GVC) affect wages. The article also investigates whether this relationship is conditioned by a country’s development level and labour market regulation. The results show o.a. that participation and upstream specialisation in GVCs are associated with higher wages but only in developed countries. In developing countries, while GVC participation is associated with higher wages, upstream specialisation exerts downward pressure on wages. By PhD candidate Gideon Ndubuisi and Dr. Solomon Owusu.
‘Sub-Saharan Africa’s prospect of economic development through global supply chains‘ presents new research highlights, provides a forum to debate controversial supply chain topics and identifies policy-relevant research gaps for the network‘s future work. The report is also an invitation to participate in the discussions on how investment, production and trade will be reorganised in a global economy that has to respond to geopolitical challenges. This report is the first in a new annual series. By PhD candidate Gideon Ndubuisi and Dr. Solomon Owusu.
‘Innovation in Mining Global Value Chains: Implications for Emerging Economies‘ aims to broaden the scope of innovation in the mining sector, with a focus on emerging countries, based on Latin American countries. Current innovation can foster the growth of many countries endowed with natural resources in new ways that were not considered in the past. Mining cannot become a true engine of growth for the whole economy unless links within the sector and beyond are strengthened and deepened. This requires processes of diffusion, adoption and adaptation of innovation and technology. This book chapter describes mining global value chains, national innovation systems and their role in the development of the mining sector. It also discusses some policy implications for emerging countries rich in natural resources. By Dr. Michiko Iizuka, Prof. Carlo Pietrobelli and PhD candidate Fernando Vargas.
‘Innovation and socio-economic development challenges in South Africa: An overview of indicators and trends‘ provides an overview of the high-level macro-economic social and environmental indicators and trends necessary to enhance an understanding of the role of innovation in creating sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development in the country. Specifically, the paper presents key data and trends in socio-economic development such as economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation, standards of living, skills development, export growth and competitiveness, climate change mitigation and adaption, renewable energy growth, access to and supply of clean water, high-quality healthcare services, and affordable food. In each domain, the author reflects on the possibilities of innovation for improved outcomes. Finally, the paper identifies some key directions for future research regarding the role of innovation in socio-economic development in South Africa. By Dr. Alexis Habiyaremye et al.
‘Quantile return and volatility connectedness among Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and (un)conventional assets‘ uses the Quantile Vector-Autoregressive (Q-VAR) connectedness technique to examine the return and volatility connectedness among NFTs and (un)conventional assets including cryptocurrency, energy, technology, equity, precious metals, and fixed income financial assets across three quantiles corresponding to the normal, bearish, and bullish market conditions. The paper also explores the predictive powers of major macroeconomic and geopolitical indicators on the return and volatility connectedness across these three market conditions using a linear regression model. By PhD candidate Gideon Ndubuisi et al.
‘The canonical correlation complexity method‘ draws on a toolkit of more transparent and long-established methods that follow the ‘supervised learning’ principle where the data on trade/specialisation and development are processed together from the very beginning in order to identify the patterns of mutual association. The first pillar of the toolkit, Principal Component Analysis (PCA), serves dimensionality reduction in co-location information. The second pillar, Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA), identifies the mutual association between the various patterns of (co- )specialisation and more-than-one dimensions of economic development. This way, the authors are able to identify the products or technologies that can be associated with the level or the growth rate of per capita GDP and CO2 emissions. By Dr. Önder Nomaler and Prof. Bart Verspagen.
‘Canonical correlation complexity of European regions‘ uses the “Canonical Correlation Complexity Method (CCCM)” to analyse the development patterns of European regions in relation to their respective technology specialisations. The results provide insights for EU’s industrial policies, especially those considered under the ‘smart specialisation framework. By Dr. Önder Nomaler and Prof. Bart Verspagen.
‘Routine-biased technological change and employee outcomes after mass layoffs: Evidence from Brazil‘ investigates the impact of “routinisation” on the labour outcomes of displaced workers. The paper finds that following a layoff, workers previously employed in routine-intensive occupations suffer a more significant decline in wages and more extended periods of unemployment. Furthermore, results indicate that workers in routine-intensive occupations are more likely to change occupations after the shock, and those who do not switch occupational fields suffer a more significant decline in wages. Lastly, even though the loss of employer-specific wage premiums explains 13 per cent of displaced workers’ drop in wages, it does not explain routine-intensive workers’ more substantial losses. By PhD candidate Antonio Soares Martins Neto et al.
‘Semi-endogenous growth in a non-Walrasian DSEM for Brazil: Estimation and simulation of changes in foreign income, human capital, R&D, and terms of trade‘ shows that foreign income is a driver of economic growth besides semi-endogenous technical change. The paper argues that policy should strengthen the weak link from R&D to technical change and make education more attractive. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘The multidimensional impacts of the Conditional Cash Transfer program Juntos in Peru‘ presents an impact evaluation of Peru’s largest social protection intervention – the conditional cash transfer program ‘Juntos’ – to further understand its effects on multidimensional poverty. The paper does not find robust and statistically significant effects of the programme. Despite finding steeper reductions among Juntos beneficiaries, particularly in education and health indicators, these changes cannot be statistically attributed to the programme. The authors further conclude that using a multidimensional poverty index can be a highly useful evaluation tool when thoroughly adapted to the theory of change of the intervention under assessment. By PhD candidate Ricardo Morel Berendson et al.
‘Internal (in)coherence in European migration policies‘ examines policy documents and policy communication from the EU and Member States in the broad field of migration in order to identify internal incoherence. Drafted a decade apart, the 2011 Global Approach to Migration and Mobility and the 2020 New Pact on Migration and Asylum demonstrate a clear shift in European migration policy. The paper investigates whether the concept of policy (in)coherence played a part in this and if its meaning and aims changed over time. By Dr. Elaine Lebon-McGregor et al.
‘Essays on Technical Change and Efficiency in a Transition Economy: The Case of Viet Nam‘ considers the role of technological change and efficiency in Viet Nam’s overall performance. The thesis comprises five essays investigating the impacts of economic reforms in Viet Nam since the late 1980s such as ownership transformation, and financial and trade liberalisation. In particular, the thesis summarises the economic performance of the country between 1986 – the mid-2000s, assesses how ownership transformation contributes to economic growth and employment, looks at the impact of innovation on SMEs’ export activity, identifies the technological spillover of FDI in Vietnam, and quantifies the potential welfare impact on household from adopting a process innovation in the rice production. By Dr. Pham Quang Ngoc.
‘Circular Economy to fight climate change: Are countries walking the talk?‘ argues that pledges are mostly tilted towards energy-related emissions, but a broader paradigm shift is needed to fight the climate crisis. An piece by Dr. Solomon Owusu et al.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
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