When it comes to innovation in mining, what are the challenges and opportunities for Latin America? A new journal article takes the examples of Australia and Canada to highlight high-tech windows of opportunity for equipment and service suppliers along the value chain in Latin America.
Youth employment is so important for social justice and sustainable development, but is it truly a priority for policymakers? A new book chapter discusses the hopes and dreams for decent careers of the next generation, set against the backdrop of educational choices and labour market outcomes.
These are just two questions tackled by our researchers in March 2021 — in two book chapters, four journal articles and seven working papers, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Applications of machine learning models in regional and demographic economic analysis: A literature survey’ is a chapter in the book ‘Labor markets, migration, and mobility‘. The book brings together essays that cover a wide range of topics such as the development of uncertainty in national and subnational population projections; the impacts of widening and deepening human capital; the relationship between migration, neighbourhood change, and area-based urban policy; the facilitating role played by out-migration and remittances in economic transition; and the contrasting importance of quality of life and quality of business for domestic and international migrants. By Dr. Mehmet Guney Celbis.
‘Youth aspirations and the future of work‘ is a chapter in the edited volume ‘Is the future ready for youth?’, which brings together contributions from ILO staff with broad global experience in successful youth employment policies. The chapter discusses how the aspirations of young people are essential to their human capital investment, educational choices and labour market outcomes. By Dr. Micheline Goedhuys, PhD fellow Michelle Gonzalez Amador et al.
‘Lifting barriers to education during and after COVID-19: Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the Caribbean’ brings together evidence from Latin America, the Caribbean and across the world to gain a better understanding of the multifaceted links between education and migration. This report estimates gaps in educational outcomes, identifies structural barriers to education, and highlights promising practices to inform policy. By the end of 2019, 4.8 million refugees and migrants had left Venezuela – making it the largest external displacement crisis in the region’s recent history. Of these, 1 in 4 was a child. Across Latin America and the Caribbean, since November 2020, 137 million girls and boys have been missing out on their education due to the prolonged closure of schools during COVID-19. The implications are a matter of concern, especially for migrant and refugee children, for whom access to inclusive and equitable education remains a major challenge. By Dr. Victor Cebotari et al.
‘The emergence of urban community resilience initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic: An international exploratory study‘ presents a literature review and an international exploratory study to identify pathways within which Community Resilience Initiatives (CRIs) emerge within different governance contexts. The CRIs target vulnerable communities, which are difficult to reach. The study results identify four pathways, each one leading to different types, scales and complexities of the initiatives. However, all face similar barriers related to funding, weak networks and limited cooperation. CRIs often perceive government agencies to be unreliable and unsupportive which in turn also hampers the emergence of CRIs. By PhD fellow Beatriz Calzada Olvera et al.
‘Innovation in mining: what are the challenges and opportunities along the value chain for Latin American suppliers?‘ provides an overview of the innovation paradigm of the mining sector from a global perspective, i.e., how innovation processes take place in countries with a long-established technological leadership in the mining sector, such as Australia and Canada. Given the importance of suppliers in this process, special attention is paid to innovation in various stages of the supply chain. This provides a departure point to identify windows of opportunity for equipment and service suppliers in Latin America. By PhD fellow Beatriz Calzada Olvera et al.
‘Family strategies in refugee journeys to Europe‘ explores the strategies adopted by refugee families to overcome controls on their movement and access to asylum. Refugee family strategies are analysed in the context of dynamic policy changes along the Eastern Mediterranean route, drawing on semi-structured interviews with Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian family members who were on this route between 2015 and 2018. The results show how refugee families negotiate the physical and financial barriers to their movement—often by separating, which emerges as a key adaptive strategy. Concomitant with the decision to separate, family reunification policies become important in shaping—and determining the outcomes—of these asylum-seeking trajectories. The article reflects on the consequences of family separation on the families themselves, particularly in an environment of limited family reunification possibilities. By Talitha Dubow and Dr. Katherine Kuschminder.
‘Policy responses to COVID-19, inequality, and protests in the USA’ analyses how inequality across counties in the United States of America has shaped the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of protests. The empirical analysis combines weekly data between January and December 2020 on levels of COVID-19-related policy stringency and protest incidence at the county level with measures of county-level inequality at the start of the pandemic. The results show that more stringent measures to contain the pandemic were instrumental in driving the incidence of protests, but only in counties with high levels of inequality before the start of the pandemic, where grievances may have been initially stronger. Further analysis suggests that the impact of government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic is largely explained by changes in economic conditions in counties with the highest levels of inequality. Unequal counties with lower trust in political institutions but higher levels of social trust and civic engagement at the start of the pandemic are also more likely to experience more protests as a response to more stringent policies. By Francesco Iacoella, Dr. Bruno Martorano and Dr. Patricia Justino.
‘Foreign R&D spillovers to the USA and strategic reactions’ re-considers the traditional result of zero or negative foreign R&D spillovers or strategic reactions to the USA using accumulated shocks in a vector-error-correction model (VECM) for the period 1963-2017. Foreign private and public R&D stocks have a positive and statistically significant effect on US public R&D and labour-augmenting technical change (LATC). US private R&D reacts positively to foreign private R&D and negatively to foreign public R&D shocks. Foreign public and private R&D react positively to US public R&D. All variables react positively to US private R&D. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘How social assistance affects subjective well-being: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan’ investigates the effects of social assistance on subjective well-being in Kyrgyzstan. In contrast to the existing literature, the paper finds that the receipt of social assistance benefits is associated with lower levels of subjective well-being. Findings also reveal that participation in social assistance leads to some reduction in satisfaction regarding recipients’ own economic conditions. Moreover, the authors find that the negative effects on subjective well-being disappear for the oldest generations, who experienced the dissolution of the Soviet Union. By contrast, the effect is negative for the youth, who grew up in a new society where needing help is ultimately the responsibility of the individual citizen. For individuals with high trust in political institutions, the negative effect of state intervention does not hold, while it persists in the case of low trust in political institutions. By Prof. Franziska Gassmann, Dr. Bruno Martorano and Dr. Jennifer Waidler.
‘Do institutions and ideology matter for economic growth in Latin America in the first two decades of the 21st century?’ shows that institutions have a positive, strong and significant impact on GDP growth in 20 Latin American countries between 2002 and 2018. Government size has a negative impact on GDP growth itself but, in interaction with strong institutions, the effect of government size on growth turns to positive and significant, while political ideology has no significant effect on economic growth. By Prof. Jo Ritzen et al.
‘What makes a productive PhD student?‘ investigates the impact of the social environment to which a PhD student is exposed on her scientific productivity during the training period. Unique to this study, the authors cover the entire student population of a European country for all the STEM fields. Specifically, they analyse the productivity of 77,143 students who graduated in France between 2000 and 2014. The study finds that having a female supervisor is associated with a higher student’s productivity as well as being supervised by a mid-career scientist and having a supervisor with a high academic reputation. The supervisor’s fundraising ability benefits only one specific dimension of the student’s productivity, i.e., the student’s work quality. Interestingly, the supervisor’s mentorship experience negatively associates with student’s productivity. Having many peers negatively associates with the student’s productivity, especially if peers are senior students. Having female peers positively correlates with the student’s productivity, while peers’ academic status shows mixed effects according to the productivity dimension considered. By Dr. Fabiana Visentin et al.
‘Mobile phones and HIV testing: Multi-country evidence from sub-Saharan Africa‘ investigates the role of mobile phone connectivity on HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa. The study shows that proximity to a cell tower increases HIV-related knowledge as well as reproductive health knowledge. Similar results are observed when the analysis is performed at the community level. Results suggest that the effect of mobile phone connectivity is channelled through increased knowledge of HIV, STIs, and modern contraceptive methods. Further analysis shows that cell phone ownership has an even larger impact on HIV testing and knowledge. This paper adds to recent literature on the impact of mobile-based HIV prevention schemes by showing through large-scale analysis that better mobile network access is a powerful tool to spread reproductive health knowledge and increase HIV awareness. By Francesco Iacoella and Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi.
‘Attitudes towards inequality in Brazil: An analysis of a highly unequal country’ provides a cross-sectional analysis of the determinants of attitudes towards inequality and provide an in-depth analysis of inequality perceptions in Brazil, one of the world’s most unequal countries. To achieve this goal, the paper first summarises the main determinants of attitudes towards inequality. Second, it presents Brazil’s case study, using data from a study conducted in 2019 by Oxfam/Datafolha. The results show that social factors related to skin colour/race, education and meritocracy beliefs are important to determine Brazilians attitudes towards inequality. With regard to the economic factors, inequality perception was found to be also an essential determinant of attitudes. By PhD fellow Cintia Denise Granja et al.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.