How will the green technology ‘revolution’ affect economic growth and structural change? A new working paper looks at options for catching up across various developing countries, including China.
Should I stay or should I go? A new paper finds that most refugees retain a profound belief in return, yet there is a strong mismatch between aspiring to return and actually doing it. While return after the end of a war is driven by a wish to achieve broader life goals, current return migration is driven by legal, medical and financial vulnerability, family obligations and discrimination in host countries.
How does technological change affect income inequality? A new thesis finds that technological change can have both positive and unintended negative effects – and that understanding the context can help guide policymakers.
These are just three of the questions tackled by our researchers in March 2020 — in four journal articles, two PhD defences, and one policy brief, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Impact of formal climate risk transfer mechanisms on risk-aversion: Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia’ examines the effect of smallholder farmers’ access to a formal climate risk transfer mechanism on their risk preferences. The study shows that formal climate risk transfer mechanisms can positively influence rural household farm investment decisions, by reducing individual risk-aversion. Therefore, they can possibly contribute to poverty alleviation and economic development within agrarian economies that are exposed to recurrent and severe climate shocks. By PhD fellow Kaleab Haile, Prof. Eleonora Nillesen and Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi.
‘Chinese development assistance and household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa’ analyses the effect of Chinese aid on three social development outcomes: education, and child health and nutrition. The article finds that Chinese aid projects improve education and child mortality in treatment areas but has no effects on child nutrition. A sectoral analysis further reveals that social sector projects successfully improve households’ health and education. By Dr. Bruno Martorano et al.
‘Be prepared for the unexpected: The gap between (im)mobility intentions and subsequent behaviour of recent higher education graduates’ analyses the factors explaining the gap between (im)mobility intentions and behaviour of recent higher education graduates in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, a cross-border region spanning the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The findings indicate that location-specific capital impacts the probability to realise one’s (im)mobility intention, as do other forms of capital, such as previous mobility experience and an internship during the study. Furthermore, personality traits and unexpected events, such as a change in relationship status, influence if respondents realise their initial (im)mobility intention. By PhD fellow Julia Reinold et al.
‘Effects of HIV/Aids on children’s educational attainment: a systematic literature review’ provides a comprehensive up‐to‐date overview of peer‐reviewed papers published in English focusing on the main mechanisms that influence the effects of HIV/AIDS on educational outcomes. The results show that educational outcomes of HIV‐infected children, AIDS orphans, and children with HIV‐infected parents are affected differently. HIV‐infected children mainly miss school days due to illness and medical appointments, and orphans mainly face financial problems and lack motivation in their education, while children with HIV‐infected parents may have to take care of their sick parents or face financial problems that affect their education. Distinguishing these groups of children could help to formulate policies that adequately improve schooling outcomes of these vulnerable children. By PhD fellow Tatenda Zinyemba, Prof. Wim Groot et al.
‘Industrialisation and de-industrialisation in the developing world’ discusses the phenomenon of stalled industrialisation or ‘premature de-industrialisation’ experienced in many middle-income developing countries and examines the policy implications for developing countries looking ahead. This policy brief suggests that adding to the struggle for development is the likelihood that technological change will accelerate de-industrialisation of employment because the kinds of jobs common in developing countries – such as routine manufacturing work – are substantially more susceptible to automation. Ultimately, if more manufacturing jobs are automated, workers will continue to move into the service sector, leading to a bloating of service-sector employment and wage stagnation. By Prof. Andy Sumner.
‘Technological revolutions, structural change & catching-up’ reveals a major divide in the global economy between a group of modern, industrialised countries, specialised in technology-based production, and another group of countries, specialised in commodities and resource-based products, and lagging behind both in terms of technology and income. More to the future, the paper also discusses the extent to which a new green technological revolution, with renewable energy as a central element, is currently emerging, and what impact this possibly might have for catching-up, structural change and economic growth for countries at different levels of development, e.g., China. By Prof. Jan Fagerberg and Prof. Bart Verspagen.
‘What matters in funding: The value of research coherence and alignment in evaluators’ decisions’ studies the selection process of scientists applying for academic funding by submitting a research proposal. The paper argues that two core dimensions of the research proposal affect the probability of funding success: its coherence with the applicant’s previous work, and its alignment with subjects of general interest for the scientific community. The authors find field-specific heterogeneity in the committees’ evaluations. In life sciences and chemistry, evaluators value the research proposal’s coherence positively with the scientist’s recent work and the proposal’s alignment with the current subject of general interest for the scientific community. Conversely, in physics, evaluators give more weight to bibliometric indicators and less to the proposal coherence and alignment. These results can be extended beyond the academic context to managerial implications in cases such as entrepreneurs and managers submitting project proposals to investors. By Dr. Fabiana Visentin et al.
‘Return aspirations and coerced return: A case study on Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon’ studies return aspirations and current return movements of Syrian refugees residing in Turkey and Lebanon. The paper aims to understand who aspires to return after the end of the war, and why and when refugees return with the conflict still ongoing. The authors find that while most refugees retain a profound belief in return, there is a strong mismatch between aspiring to return and doing it. While return after the end of the war is driven by a wish to achieve broader life goals, current return migration is driven by legal, medical and financial vulnerability, family obligations and discrimination in the host country. By Dr. Sonja Fransen et al.
‘Semi-endogenous growth models with domestic and foreign private and public R&D linked to VECMs with evidence for five countries’ presents semi-endogenous growth models with productivity as functions of domestic and foreign private and public R&D. The paper combines the marginal products of VES functions with recent evidence from VECMs for five countries to show that private and public R&D have a positive effect on productivity (except for France), and a negative R&D augmenting technical change. In case of a VES function, steady states with constant R&D/productivity ratios exist only for special cases of parameter restrictions, which are not supported by the evidence. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘The productivity impact of business visits across industries’ builds on and considerably extends Piva, Tani and Vivarelli (2018), confirming the key role of Business Visits as a productivity enhancing channel of technology transfer. The paper finds evidence that BVs contribute to fostering labour productivity in a significant way. It also finds robust and novel evidence that short-term mobility exhibits decreasing returns, being more crucial in those sectors characterised by less mobility and by lower productivity performances. By Prod. Marco Vivarelli et al.
‘Cycles, Economic Structures and External Constraints: A Structuralist Study on the Causes of Economic Volatility in Latin America‘ seeks to understand the causes behind the endogenous volatile behaviour of Latin American economies in a New-Structuralist perspective. This dissertation looks for the underlying causes of this behaviour, discussing volatility as an endogenous phenomenon, intrinsic to the characteristics of these fragile economies. By Dr. Danilo Sartorello Spinola.
‘From Micro to Macro: Essays on Technological Change and Income Divergence‘ examines the growing concern about the relationship between technological change and income inequality. This thesis investigates the nature of this relationship between individuals, industries and nations using a breadth of data sources. The benefits or concerns of the impact of technological change on income depends on the perspective of analysis. Technological change can have positive and unintended negative effects, and understanding the context in which technological change benefits or harms can help guide policymakers. By Dr. Mary Kaltenberg.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
Pexels / Mikoto.raw