What kind of scientific research improves the overall quality of technologies? According to a new study, high-quality academic research has contributed significantly to high-quality patents — albeit with strong regional variations between China and the USA, for example.
How has refugee migration evolved, globally, since World War II? A new paper refutes claims of a substantial linear increase, citing historical underestimates and the recent inclusion of internally displaced persons and those in ‘refugee-like’ situations.
These are just two of the questions tackled by our researchers in January 2020 — in one book chapter, six journal articles and six working papers, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
“Power to the people?!” is a chapter in ‘Mixed methods social network analysis’ — a book that brings together diverse perspectives from 42 international experts on how to design, implement and evaluate mixed methods social network analysis (MMSNA). There is an increased recognition that social networks can be important catalysts for change and transformation. Section 1 includes eight chapters that reflect on “Why should we do MMSNA?”, providing a clear map of relevant research to date and why to consider this tupe of network analysis. In Section 2 the remaining 11 chapters are dedicated to the question “How do I do MMSNA?”, illustrating how concentric circles, learning analytics, qualitative structured approaches, relational event modeling, and other approaches can empower researchers. By Ad Notten, Dr. Martin Rehm et al.
‘Knowledge flows from public science to industrial technologies’ investigates what types of scientific research can help improve the quality of technologies. This study uses backward and forward citation analysis, extracted from the Derwent World Patents Index. Non-patent citations from each patent are further connected with records indexed in Web of Science, and the forward citations for the cited articles are collected. On the one hand, results confirm that there is an important contribution from science to technology. High-quality academic research has significantly contributed to the development of high-quality patents. On the other hand, the study also reveals the heterogeneous pattern of patents citing scientific publications, depending on the organisational type, country, and knowledge origin. Compared to those in the US., patents developed by Chinese inventors tend to rely on more recent science but with a narrower scientific scope. By Dr. Lili Wang et al.
‘Medical research versus disease burden in Africa’ investigates whether the distribution of medical research priorities and investment in medical research, across diseases in Africa, is related to the disease burden of local populations between 2006 and 2015. The study results show that, although African medical research capacity is still very weak and greatly dependent on public non-African and philanthropic funders, medical research specialisation in sub-Saharan Africa is generally associated with its disease burden. These results indicate that although there are alignments at the global level between research priorities and disease burden in absolute terms, in sub-Saharan Africa, there is no clear trade-off between participating in global research networks and producing medical research that is aligned with local health needs. By Dr. Hugo Confraria and Dr. Lili Wang.
‘Complexity and the Sustainable Development Goals: A computational intelligence approach to support policy mix designs’ constructs a 3-step neuro-fuzzy expert decision support system in order to investigate the multifaceted performance interdependencies among 17 SDG performance scores across 162 UN Member States. The direct influence matrix among 17 SDGs, which would be filled by policy experts in interpretive structural modeling, is instead populated by computational intelligence. Results indicate that, the most influential performance drivers are SDG12 (Sustainable Production and Consumption), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) at global level. Yet these findings highlight the importance of establishing and enhancing local infrastructures and communities, innovative and sustainable supply and demand content to increase overall SDGs performance globally. Conclusions call for a global unity in diversity, local policy mixes by all cities and communities around the globe. By Dr. Serdar Turkeli.
‘Return, reintegration and the role of State’ discusses the role of the receiving state in the reception and reintegration of returning migrants. The paper highlights that there is no single type of returnee and the diverse experiences of returnees deem different approaches of support both in the process of reception and reintegration. Moreover, it acknowledges the multi-dimensional character of reintegration processes and calls for a holistic approach. On the basis of these discussions, the study provides examples from across the world and emphasises the relevance of addressing reintegration through a social cohesion and socioeconomic inequality lens to take into account the various dimensions of reintegration and to incorporate the perspective of non-returnees. By Dr. Özge Bilgili and Dr. Sonja Fransen.
‘Migration transforms the conditions for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals’ argues that migration must be more directly incorporated into planning for sustainable development, with a focus on the extent and way in which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) incorporate the transformative reality of migration. The study argues that migration is an intrinsic part of social transformation that occurs in parallel and in combination with other societal trends, including many that are the explicit focus of the SDGs. Migration processes can therefore have positive and negative effects on social transformation. By Dr. Sonja Fransen et al.
‘The labor market reintegration of returned refugees in Afghanistan’ investigates the employment outcomes of returned refugees from Iran and Pakistan in Afghanistan. This is an issue of growing concern for policymakers given the recent increase in return flows. The study finds evidence that returned refugees are less likely to be wage employed in comparison to non-migrants and that those factors related to socioeconomic status including educational attainment, and the strength of social networks play an influential role in labour market outcomes. By Dr. Craig Loschmann and Dr. Katrin Marchand.
‘Mapping industrial patterns and structural change in exports’ proposes a new methodology for identifying patterns in the organisation of industries and their evolution over time, based on the temporal network structure of the product space. The paper identifies different clusters of related products and follows their evolution over time. It finds that the product space is highly modular, and that it contains well delimited clusters of products. The community structure and its evolution show that the factors explaining industrial patterns and structural change are more complex than the traditional divide between low, medium and high-tech industries. Several common drivers can be identified to explain the emergence and evolution of different communities including the experience in a technological domain, factor abundance, scale economies as well as global value chains and vertical integration. Moreover, it finds that technological domains and boundaries between industries are not always clear-cut and can evolve over time. By Dr. Charlotte Guillard.
‘Time-space dynamics of return and circular migration: Theories and evidence’ seeks to provide a complete outlook about return, repeat, circular and onward migration by bringing together the perspectives of the host and the home country. In this endeavour, the paper reviews and evaluates all theories about why people move, when they circulate, where they go, who are the people who migrate, who are the people who return, and how they change the economic and social structures in the home country. In the process, the study reveals the new norm of joint decision-making by the family as a unit and underlines the importance of non-economic reasons for return. By Prof. Amelie Constant.
‘Uneven development and the balance of payments constrained model: Terms of trade, economic cycles, and productivity catching-up’ expands the Dutt (2002) version of the Balance of Payments Constrained Model (BPCM). The study questions the assumption of price-neutrality and the incompatibility between the BPCM and the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis (PSH) in long-run terms-of-trade dynamics. By PhD fellow Danilo Sartorello Spinola.
‘The La Marca Model revisited: Structuralist Goodwin cycles with evolutionary supply side and balance of payments constraints’ investigates the causes of endogenous volatility in Latin America by expanding the La Marca (2010) model. By PhD fellow Danilo Sartorello Spinola.
‘Debating the assumptions of the Thirlwall Model: A VECM analysis of the Balance of Payments for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico’ challenges the main assumptions of the Balance of Payments Constrained Model (BPCM, aka Thirlwall model). The BPCM is based on its assumptions to defend the existence of a long-run growth rate compatible with a stable growth of the balance of payments, in which the effective growth rate converges to avoid external constraints. The paper empirically finds that the BPCM assumptions are not empirically robust for the selected countries. This offers an invitation to more empirical work that can strength the arguments of the BPCM model. By PhD fellow Danilo Sartorello Spinola.
‘The volume and geography of forced migration’ studies the long-term evolution of global refugee migration, with a particular emphasis on the post-World War II period. The paper refutes the idea that there has been a substantial and linear increase in the intensity of global refugee migration. Moreover, problems with coverage and quality of earlier data give reason to think that levels of past refugee migration were underestimated. Apparent increases in the global number of displaced are mainly driven by the recent inclusion of other populations (such as the internally displaced and people in “refugee-like” situations) and countries that were previously excluded from statistics. Yet the analyses reveal several geographical shifts in refugee migration over the past decades. Refugees tend to come from a shrinking number of origin countries and go to an increasing number of destination countries. This trend reflects an overall long-term global decline in the levels of violent conflict and a concentration of recurrent conflict cycles in a few particular states. By Dr. Sonja Fransen and Prof. Hein de Haas.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
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