How can developing countries combine green transformation with sustainable industrialisation? A new book argues that renewable electrification can go hand-in-hand with local economic development – but only via new and robust policy approaches.
‘How fast is this technology going to be a hit?’ asks a new journal article, comparing more than 10,000 novel technologies registered at the European Patent Office over a 30-year period. Results show that complex, science-based technologies are often high impact, but may need a long time to take off.
These are just two questions tackled by our researchers in January 2022 — in five journal articles, four working papers, and one book, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Building innovation capabilities for sustainable industrialisation: Renewable electrification in developing economies’ argues that renewable electrification in developing countries provides important opportunities for local economic development, but that new pathways are required for turning these opportunities into a successful reality. This book provides a new understanding of how green transformation and sustainable industrialisation can be combined, highlighting the opportunities and constraints for local capability building and the scope for local policy action. By Prof. Rasmus Lema et al.
‘How fast is this novel technology going to be a hit? Antecedents predicting follow-on inventions’ identifies novel technologies on a large scale and map their re-use trajectories. This article reconstructs 10,782 technological trajectories using EPO patents from 1985 to 2015 and examines the antecedents that explain the heterogeneity in technological trajectory shapes. Results indicate that complex and science-based novel technologies show a long take-off time and high technological impact. By Dr. Fabiana Visentin et al.
‘Does value chain participation facilitate the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in developing countries?‘ reveals that the diffusion of the advanced digital production technologies associated with Industry 4.0 remains limited among firms in developing economies. This article finds that firms’ participation in GVCs is positively and significantly associated with the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and that the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies is associated with a labour productivity premium at the firm level. By PhD candidate Michele Delera, Prof. Carlo Pietrobelli, PhD candidate Elisa Calza and Dr. Alejandro Lavopa.
‘What a firm produces matters: Processes of diversification, coherence and performances of Indian manufacturing firms’ argues that a country’s economic growth and development involves the accumulation of knowledge and dynamic capabilities, citing how past research has begun to investigate capability accumulation and macro-economic development of countries and sectors, and the role of new products in these processes. In this work, the authors focus on the firm-level process of capability accumulation and diversification in a developing country, namely, India. First, they explore the drivers of firm diversification strategies, and the effects of diversification upon firm performance in terms of profitability and sales growth. Second, they look at the idiosyncratic characteristics of different products, trying to identify the synergies of a product line with respect to the overall product basket of the firm – i.e. the “coherence” of its diversification patterns. They observe that the future performance of firms crucially depends on the interactions between the products they produce. By Dr. Nanditha Mathew et al.
‘The impact of information provision to parents: Experimental evidence on student outcomes’ evaluates the effects of subject-specific information to parents. This article provides causal evidence based on a randomised experiment in financial education. It finds that the classroom intervention effectively increased financial knowledge and skills and that the value added of information was only significant for financial skills. By Prof. Kristof De Witte et al.
‘Global dynamics of Gini coefficients of education for 146 countries: Update to 1950-2015 and a Compact Guide to the Literature’ briefly surveys the literature which uses data for Gini coefficients of education. This article updates the Gini coefficients of education to include the year 2015, added to the Barro-Lee data set recently, and compares them to those of the earlier data set based on older Barro-Lee data. A panel analysis shows that every five years education inequality falls by 2.8 percentage points. A stable average value is predicted to be 0.22. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘Anti-corruption and gender: the role of women’s political participation‘ shows that while much remains to be explored, there are clear links between anti-corruption and women’s political participation that are important to understand for politicians, anti-corruption advocates, and those working on increasing women’s representation in political office. To show how political participation and corruption are related, this brief explores several questions: firstly, how do women influence corruption at different levels of government? Here, a number of possible explanations have been identified, such as women simply being more honest than men, being more risk-averse, being treated differently by voters, or being excluded from networks of power. Secondly, the brief investigates the question of how corruption hinders the political participation of women. A particular focus here is put on the role of networks in preventing women from actively participating in the political sphere. Lastly, the brief looks at the important role women can play in the fight against corruption, focusing on the way women highlight different policy areas and break up male-dominated corrupt networks. The brief focuses on three case studies showcasing the relationship: Ukraine, Kenya, and Indonesia. By Dr. Ortrun Merkle.
‘Automation and related technologies: A mapping of the new knowledge base’ maps the current knowledge base centred on robotics and AI technologies. Results show that rather than representing a technological revolution, the new knowledge base is strictly linked to the previous technological paradigm; the new knowledge base is characterised by a considerable – but not impressively widespread – degree of pervasiveness; robotics and AI are strictly related, converging (particularly among the related technologies and in more recent times) and jointly shaping a new knowledge base that should be considered as a whole, rather than consisting of two separate GPTs; the US technological leadership turns out to be confirmed (although declining in relative terms in favour of Asian countries such as South Korea, China and, more recently, India). By Prof. Marco Vivarelli et al.
‘The old-age pension household replacement rate in Belgium’ examines the retirement behaviour of Belgian workers in one-earner households who are automatically granted a more generous old-age pension benefits replacement rate, called the household replacement rate. Following a recommendation of the Belgian Pension Reform Committee, this policy is to be suppressed for new pensioners, except for those receiving the minimum pension. This paper provides an ex-ante impact evaluation of such a reform on both pension sustainability and adequacy measures. It finds that the household replacement rate generates slightly higher retirement incentives through an income effect and that the household replacement rate plays an important role in decreasing the elderly poverty rate. The authors advocate that income redistribution measures should not be tied to specific household composition and policies such as pensionable earning minima, minimum pension benefits and the inclusion of replacement income periods in the pension benefits calculation effectively serve the income redistribution goal without favouring a certain type of household over another. Overall, despite the positive poverty and distributional aspects of this policy, the analysis supports the reform proposal of removing the household replacement rate. By Dr. Alessio J. G. Brown and Dr. Anne-Lore Fraikin.
‘Estimation of a production function with domestic and foreign capital stock’ estimates a Cobb‐Douglas production function distinguishing between a domestic and a foreign capital stock built from data of imported machinery and transport equipment for Brazil. The preferred regression uses log levels estimated by GMM‐HAC. Results are that the elasticity of production of foreign capital is about 40 per cent of that of domestic capital, the function has constant returns to scale in capital and labour variables, and human capital and technical change are also highly productive. Future research may try to estimate a more general CES function or a VES function distinguishing between domestic and foreign capital. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘Structural transformations and cumulative causation towards an evolutionary micro-foundation of the Kaldorian growth model’ builds on an evolutionary growth model which formalises the endogenous relations between structural changes in the production, organisation and functional composition of employment and of consumption patterns. This paper discusses the main transition dynamics to a self-sustained growth regime in a two-stage growth pattern generated through the numerical simulations of the model. It then shows that these mechanisms lead to the emergence of a Kaldor-Verdoorn law. Finally, it shows that the structure of demand shapes the type of growth regime emerging from the endogenous structural changes, fostering or hampering the emergence of the Kaldor Verdoorn law. This depends on the endogenous income distribution and heterogeneity in consumption behaviour. By Dr. Tommaso Ciarli et al.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
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