What are the trade-offs between forestry and social protection policies? What are the links between productivity and international certification? And is there a glass ceiling for migrants in China? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in March 2017 — in one UN FAO policy brief, six journal articles, and six working papers, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Migration, entrepreneurship and development: critical questions’ shows that the standard policy response to migrants and migrant entrepreneurs is often based on an inadequate understanding of migrant entrepreneurs. The article concludes that one must avoid seeing migrants as super-entrepreneurs and that the (positive) developmental impact of migration is more significant through other channels. Removal of discriminatory barriers against migrants and against migrant entrepreneurs in labour, consumer and financial markets will promote development in both sending and receiving countries, not least through reducing the shares of migrants that are reluctant entrepreneurs. By Profs. Wim Naudé and Melissa Siegel and PhD fellow Katrin Marchand.
‘Unpacking the Relationship between Parental Migration and Child Well-Being: Evidence from Moldova and Georgia’ measures and compares the multidimensional well-being of children with and without parents abroad. This article challenges conventional wisdom that parental migration is harmful for child well-being: while in Moldova migration does not appear to correspond to any positive or negative wellbeing outcomes, in Georgia migration was linked to higher probabilities of children attaining well-being in the domains of communication access, housing, and combined well-being index. The different relationship between migration and child well-being in Moldova and Georgia likely reflects different migration trajectories, mobility patterns, and levels of maturity of each migration stream. By Profs. Franziska Gassmann and Melissa Siegel, Dr. Michaella Vanore and PhD fellow Jennifer Waidler.
‘Demographic dynamics and long-run development: insights for the secular stagnation debate’ takes a global, long-run perspective on the recent debate about secular stagnation, which has so far mainly focused on the short term. The analysis is motivated by observing the interplay between the economic and demographic transition that has occurred in the developed world over the past 150 years. To the extent that high growth rates in the past have partly been the consequence of singular changes during the economic and demographic transition, growth is likely to become more moderate once the transition is completed. At the same time, a similar transition is on its way in most developing countries, with profound consequences for the development prospects in these countries, but also for global comparative development. The evidence presented in this article suggests that long-run demographic dynamics have potentially important implications for the prospects of human and physical capital accumulation, the evolution of productivity, and the question of secular stagnation. By Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann et al.
‘Decomposing Total Factor Productivity Growth in Manufacturing and Services’ calculates total factor productivity (TFP) growth for a sample of 40 economies during the period 1995–2009 to show that TFP growth in Asian economies has been relatively strong. In a number of Asian economies, TFP growth in services has outpaced that in manufacturing. This article presents a novel structural decomposition of TFP growth and shows that the main drivers of aggregate productivity growth, as well as differences in productivity growth between services and manufacturing, have been changing factor requirements. These effects tend to offset the negative productivity effect of a declining ratio of value added to gross output. By Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor and Prof. Bart Verspagen.
‘Coping with Shocks: Impact of Insurance Payouts on Small-Scale Farmers’ analyses the effects of payouts of yield insurance in Colombia on small-scale tobacco farmers. Two questions are raised: were the payouts made consistently after shocks and how did the payouts affect the ex post coping strategies of the beneficiaries? The data indicate a significant overlap in household losses between insured farmers who did and those who did not receive payouts, even though the insurance indemnified the main risks of the main income sources. Exploring the overlap to match the farmers of the two groups, the article suggests that the beneficiaries were better equipped to protect their resources, including assets and savings, after shocks. Dr. Stephan Dietrich.
‘Glass ceiling effect in urban China: Wage inequality of rural-urban migrants during 2002–2007’ studies the levels and changes in wage inequality among Chinese rural-urban migrants during the period 2002–2007. Using data from two waves of national household surveys, the article finds that wage inequality among migrants decreased significantly between 2002 and 2007. The analysis on the wage distribution further shows that the high-wage migrants experienced slower wage growth than middle- and low-wage migrants—a primary cause of declining inequality of migrants. Overall, the results suggest that there exists a strong “glass ceiling” for migrants in the urban labour market. By Prof. Zhong Zhao.et al.
‘Social Protection for Forest Dependent Communities’ explores the topic of social protection for forest-dependent communities through a global literature review and three country case studies in Burkina Faso, China and Uganda. Developed as a collaboration between FAO and UNU-MERIT, this policy brief says that opportunities for building linkages and coherence between social protection and forestry policies may be threatened by conflicting objectives. It finds that an effective design of policy packages requires a careful assessment of trade-offs among these objectives, based on knowledge and understanding of the context of targeted groups. By. Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi, PhD fellow Omar Rodriguez et al.
‘Challenged by migration: Europe’s options’ examines the migration and labour mobility in the European Union and elaborates on their importance for the existence of the EU. The paper argues that the EU in its current form and ambition will most likely collapse, if it fails to solve the mobility issue by not preserving free internal labour mobility and not establishing a joint external migration policy. By Profs. Amelie Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann.
‘Drivers of productivity in Vietnamese SMEs. The role of management standards and innovation’ uses a rich panel dataset of SMEs active in the manufacturing sector in Viet Nam to investigate the drivers of firm productivity, focusing on the role played by international management standards certification. The paper examines whether international standards are still conducive to higher productivity, through improved management practices associated with their adoption. The main findings show that the possession of an internationally recognised standard certificate leads to significant productivity premium. Looking at the relationship between technological innovation and standard adoption, the authors find that the likelihood of certificate adoption is higher when firms implement technological innovations and that the effect of certification on productivity is particularly strong for firms with technological innovation. By PhD fellow Elisa Calza, Dr. Micheline Goedhuys et al.
‘Effects of health insurance on labour supply: A systematic review’ provides a systematic review of empirical evidence on the labour supply effects of health insurance. The paper finds that the effects of health insurance on labour supply have been mostly studied in the US, highilighting a real literature gap on this topic in other parts of the world. As a result, the synthesis of the most recent literature can only provide a partial picture mostly applicable to 25 the US and some other isolated cases. The authors find that quasi-experimental methods are the most frequently used and the post-2000 studies discussed in their review address two important technical issues (i.e. endogeneity and unobserved heterogeneity) which were not adequately accounted for in the pre-2000 literature and thus not considered in previous reviews by Gruber and Madrian (2002) and Madrian (2004). By PhD fellow Nga Le Thi Quynh, Dr. Sonila Tomini et al.
‘Post-conflict peacebuilding: A critical survey of the literature and avenues for future research’ presents an in‐depth review of a wide body of theoretical and empirical research on post‐conflict peacebuilding. The review covers three stands of literature on peace and conflict research which include: (1) those that focus on the root causes of the initial conflict, (2) those that focus on how the original war was fought, and finally, (3) those that focus on post‐conflict peacebuilding. The insights from this literature reveal that while existing studies on the transition from civil war to peace have yielded considerable insights, there are a number of weaknesses and gaps. The paper draws some policy conclusions and suggests directions for future research. By Dr. Ayokunu Adedokun.
‘Emerging challenges to long-term peace and security in Mozambique.’ This paper examines the large number of political, social and economic problems that still exist in post-conflict Mozambique – poverty, unemployment, natural resource boom, increasing political exclusion, dependence on foreign aid, and low access to social and economic services and facilities – and the implications for the country’s long‐term peace and security. By Dr. Ayokunu Adedokun.
‘Transition from civil war to peace: The role of the United Nations and international community in Mozambique.’ This paper argues (both theoretically and empirically) that success in peacebuilding operations depends on credible and impartial international support through the UN, as opposed to a ‘unilateral’ peacebuilding operation through a ‘powerful state’. By Dr. Ayokunu Adedokun.
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