Conflicts raged across Latin America for many decades. But what exactly brought peace? Purely military ‘solutions’ or more social interventions linked to welfare spending, reduced inequalities, and institutional trust? Across Central Asia, return migration is often linked to greater entrepreneurship and economic development. But how clear, lasting and voluntary is this link? Globally, scientific knowledge is key to developing nano medical technologies. But what countries are leading the field and how important are the links between firms and universities? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in March 2018 — in eight journal articles, three working papers, two doctoral dissertations, and one book, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Immigrant student achievement and education policy cross-cultural approaches’. This book examines immigrant student achievement and education policy across a range of Western nations. Each of the national profiles provides a brief overview of the evolution of the cultural composition of their respective school-aged student population; explains the trajectory of achievement results in non-immigrant and immigrant student groups in relation to both national and international large-scale assessment measures; and discusses the effectiveness of policy responses that have been adopted to close the achievement gap between non-immigrant and immigrant student populations. It also examines the relationships between education policies and immigrant student achievement and discusses how education policies have evolved across various cultural contexts. The book’s conclusion analyses cross-cultural approaches designed to address the performance disadvantage of immigrant students and proposes future areas of inquiry stemming from the national profiles. By Prof. Louis Volante, Dr. Ozge Bilgili, et al. (Eds.)
‘Knowledge transfer from science to technology – the case of nano medical device technologies.’ This article explores to what extent scientific knowledge has contributed to the development of industrial technologies in six countries (China, France, Germany, Japan, UK, and USA). The results reveal that, in the field of nano medical device technologies, knowledge transfer from the academic domain to the industrial domain is on the rise. The study also shows that interconnections between science and technology are especially important for patents invented by firms compared with those developed by universities. The linkage between science and technology is the strongest in the USA, while it is the weakest in the latecomer country China. By Dr. Lili Wang et al
‘Welfare spending and political conflict in Latin America, 1970–2010’. This article addresses an age-old question in political economy: does government spending on welfare ensure peace? Looking at a panel of 12 Latin American countries over the period 1970–2010, the study shows that welfare spending has led to substantial reductions in conflict across the region. This effect is more pronounced when associated with reductions in inequality and increasing social and institutional trust. By Dr. Bruno Martorano et al.
‘The relationship between perceptions of inequality and political participation: the case of West Balkans’. This article discusses how disparities and in particular perceptions of inequality may have influenced political participation in Western Balkans over the last years. It shows that these political changes were largely motivated not by observed changes in income distribution but by people’s perceptions of rising disparities between rich and poor. This analysis is further supported by the empirical testing of a number of mechanisms that may shape the relationship between inequality and political participation such as expectations, changes in living conditions and corruption. By Dr. Bruno Martorano.
‘Taxation and inequality in developing countries: Lessons from the recent experience of Latin America’. This article studies the relationship between taxation and inequality in developing countries, focusing on the recent experience of Latin America. It finds that tax changes promoted equality since the early 2000s. In particular, the increasing contribution of direct taxes with respect to indirect taxes promoted the progressivity of the tax system and contributed to the reduction of inequality. Yet the effectiveness of taxation in promoting equality in Latin America is still limited by several factors such as the low average tax revenue, the inability to tax top incomes and the low contribution of taxes on property. By Dr. Bruno Martorano.
‘Return migration and self-employment: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan’. This article finds that for return migrants, self-employment is often a temporary occupational choice, suggesting that self-employment serves as a ‘parking lot’. The authors present evidence that return migrants who were self-employed before migrating are less likely to opt for self-employment on their return, implying that migration disrupts self-employment trajectories. Both findings cast doubt on the common narrative of return migration stimulating entrepreneurship and therefore economic development. By PhD fellow Clotilde Mahé, Prof. Wim Naudé et al.
‘Testing the growth links of emerging economies: Croatia in a growing world economy’. This article tests the links of growth with education, R&D, trade, savings and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Permanent shocks increasing the intercepts of the equations for education, R&D, trade, savings and FDI show that most of the growth links work well in Croatia, but also enhance foreign imbalances. The author briefly discusses policies to balance the two aspects. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘The Serendipity Theorem for an endogenous open economy growth model’. This article shows that the effect of variation of the exogenous population growth rates on other variables and the deviation of population growth rates from its optimal value are small. The reason is that labour supply, interest rates and technical change are endogenous. There is not much of an incentive for population growth policy unless Frisch parameters change with ageing. Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘Transnational migration, gender and educational development of children in Tajikistan’. This article examines the education of children in transnational households in Tajikistan, a Central Asian country with high rates of emigration. The study shows that being in a transnational household reduces the risk of educational lag, although with gender differences. The results highlight the importance of looking at complex transnational forms of living and at gender when assessing the educational outcomes of children in migrant-sending contexts. By Dr. Victor Cebotari.
‘Towards a European full employment policy’. This paper argues that the future of work in the European Union is better ensured with coordinated European full employment labour policies establishing fair work conditions based on long‐run business strategies as well as a fair distribution of national income between labour and capital. By Prof. Jo Ritzen and Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann.
‘Institutional factors and people’s preferences in the implementation of social protection: the case of Ethiopia. This paper explores the links between the quality of institutions and people’s preferences in relation to the quality of implementation of social protection interventions. Using Ethiopia and one of the largest social protection programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, the Productive Safety Net Programme, as a case study, it finds that greater institutional quality is associated with a more effective implementation of social protection interventions. By PhD fellow Vincenzo Vinci et al.
‘Global value chains and upgrading: What, when and how?’ This paper aims to explain how technological capabilities interact with trade and GVCs participation to foster upgrading. It finds that technological capabilities not only condition the initial determination of local firms in trade and GVCs, but they also determine the extent to which local firms in developing countries manage to leverage knowledge flows and move into activities of greater technological complexity from a dynamic perspective. By Dr. Padmashree Gehl Sampath and Dr. Bertha Vallejo.
‘Economic globalization, institutions and development: Essays on aid, foreign direct investment and trade’. This dissertation is an empirical investigation into the interaction between institutions, economic globalisation and development. It looks beyond the growth effect of aid and FDI in the context of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and the role of institutions in explaining comparative advantage. The first paper examines the institutional and growth effects of development aid. The second paper deals with the empirical association between FDI and some macroeconomic variables in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. The final paper assesses the influence of institutions on comparative advantage. By Dr. Hassen Wako.
On Institutional persistence. This dissertation aims to clarify the role of bounded rationality, learning, and self-views as possible drivers of, or impediments to, institutional change. There are two central questions: ‘Do agents’ cognitive structures affect whether or not an institutional change occurs and how it unfolds?’ and ‘Can individuals’ (in)abilities to enact change be responsible for institutional change (or the absence thereof)?’ The thesis investigates the potential of self-efficacy perceptions as an explanation of institutional inertia on a micro, meso and macro level. It finds that self-efficacy is central to a coherent, multi-level view of how institutional change operates. By Dr. Stefania Innocenti
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