Growth has long played a key role in poverty reduction — but how does inequality affect growth? Could inequality even derail the UN goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030? Meanwhile, cooperation in Research and Development (R&D) has long been a core aspect of innovation strategies. But how important are cross-border, inter-firm agreements in our globalised economy? Finally, when it comes to trade and the protection of domestic Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), most studies focus on imports rather than exports. Is this a missed opportunity? Could IPRs stimulate exports in both developed and developing countries?
These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in September 2018 — in one policy brief, two working papers, and seven journal articles, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘Poverty Accounting‘ proposes a new framework that breaks down poverty into key components. Although growth has historically played the main role in poverty reduction, the article finds that initial inequality is a strong moderator of the impact of growth. In fact, there has been a shift towards pro-poor growth around the turn of the millennium, both at the $2 and at the $1.25 per day poverty line. Nevertheless, the authors’ projections of poverty rates until 2030 show that the end of extreme poverty within a generation, as put forth in the Sustainable Development Goals, is unlikely to materialise. By Dr. Richard Bluhm, Prof. Adam Szirmai et al.
‘Structural modernisation and underdevelopment traps. An empirical approach‘ explores the relationship between structural modernisation trajectories and countries’ ability to escape poverty and middle-income traps. The article is based on a newly created index of structural modernisation. For each country, the index calculates the productivity gap with respect to the world frontier in activities that typically represent the modern sector of the economy, and weights this relative productivity by the employment share of those activities in the total labour force. The index is calculated for 114 countries from 1960 to 2014. By Dr. Alejandro Lavopa and Prof. Adam Szirmai.
‘Multinational firms and the extractive sectors in the 21st century: can they drive development?‘ describes how extractive sector MNEs have historically been an obstacle to sustainable development, because they operated in enclaves with limited local engagement. This article explains how import-substitution policies aimed to increase the local benefits of these resources, while restricting foreign direct investment. By Prof. Rajneesh Narula.
‘What more can we learn from R&D alliances? A review and research agenda‘ describes how R&D cooperation has become a core aspect of the innovation strategy of R&D-performing organisations over the last three decades. In this article, the authors explain how globalisation has increased the imperative to organise these cross-border, inter-firm agreements efficiently, and this has led to a cross-fertilisation of ideas from a variety of fields, including international business, management, geography and, more recently, psychology. By Prof. Rajneesh Narula et al.
‘Entrepreneurship as a tool for a new beginning: Entrepreneurship training for refugees in a new homeland‘ is an article in the book Entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals, which examines the critical role that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs might play in supporting sustainable development. More than 20 authors from across Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe explore a fascinating mix of enterprises and sustainable development initiatives to illustrate the capacity of entrepreneurship as the engine for transforming our world and overcoming the diverse nature of these global challenges. By PhD fellow Katrin Marchand et al.
‘Understanding variations in catastrophic health expenditure, its underlying determinants and impoverishment in sub-Saharan African countries: A scoping review‘ demonstrates that catastrophic health expenditure (CHE) / impoverishment is pervasive in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and the magnitude varies across and within countries and over time. In this article, the authors explain how socio-economic factors drive CHE, with the poor being the most affected but varying across countries. This calls for intensifying health policies and financing structures in SSA to provide equitable access to all populations, especially the most poor and vulnerable. There is a need to innovate and draw lessons from the ‘informal’ social networks / schemes as they are reported to be more effective in cushioning the financial burden. By PhD fellow Purity Njagi et al.
‘The important thing is not to win, it is to take part: What if scientists benefit from participating in research grant competitions?‘ This article finds that scientists who take part in research grant competitions boost their number of publications and average impact factor while extending their knowledge base and collaboration network — regardless of the result of the competition. Receiving the funds increases the probability of co-authoring with co-applicants but has no additional impact on the individual productivity. By Dr. Fabiana Visentin.
‘Changing patterns in eco-innovation research: A bibliometric analysis‘ presents different perspectives based on web of science core collection data. In this chapter, the authors highlight the differences between ‘eco-innovation’ and ‘environmental innovation’ research — notably how the latter pays more attention to policy influences and is less consumption-oriented. It identifies a shift from analysing impact to supply and demand side research, from environmental innovations to the generative processes, and a rise in publications from less developed parts of the world. By Dr. Serdar Turkeli and Prof. René Kemp.
‘Deciding which road to take: Insights into how migrants and refugees in Greece plan onward movement’ explores the results of a survey of more than 500 refugees and other migrants in Greece and examines whether respondents decided to stick to or change their plans after reaching Greece. This brief also considers the factors and sources of information that played into this decision-making process. The fact that only one-third of respondents changed their plans after arriving in Greece suggests that migrants hold strong and relatively fixed destination preferences, and that changing these through informational campaigns or enforcement measures can be difficult. For policymakers, this suggests that any future relocation plans should be paired with efforts to improve integration and employment conditions. By Dr. Katherine Kuschminder.
‘Domestic intellectual property rights protection and the margins of bilateral exports’. How trade-related is Intellectual Property Right (IPRs) protection? Extant studies examining the relationship between domestic Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection and trade focus predominately on imports whilst neglecting exports. This paper focuses on the latter, further examining the effect of domestic IPRs on the margins of exports. Results from the study reveal that IPRs are trade-related and that it can be a tool for stimulating exports in both developed and developing countries. The authors also find that the level of IPRs in the exporting country matters more to the exporter than the level of IPRs in the importing country. By PhD fellow Gideon Ndubuisi and Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor.
‘Left-behind men in Nicaragua: The rise of the Padre-Luchadores‘ aims to understand the impact of women’s migration on the lives of the men left-behind. Based on a qualitative research methodology the paper consists of 20 interviews conducted with men across three different areas in Nicaragua. These interviews were used to understand changes to household decision making and how the man perceives his own sense of masculinity. The results suggest that in contrast to previous studies, which have shown a reluctance of men to partake in work traditionally associated with women, the men in this study did not avoid partaking in domestic work or childcare. By Prof. Melissa Siegel et al.
The opinions expressed here are the authors’ own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.