After two ‘lost decades’ from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, Africa’s economic growth has resumed in the last twenty years. In the last decade in particular, GDP growth in the region has averaged 5.1%, making it the second fastest-growing region in the world, after East Asia. Yet, with approximately 49% of Africans still living below $1.25 per person per day, this growth is not translating into poverty reduction as effectively as anyone would like. This FEEM lecture will investigate possible reasons for the ‘broken link’ between Africa’s growth and poverty reduction, exploring demographic factors, the sector composition of the growth process, the role of natural resources and conflict, and the importance of inequality. Possible policy directions to harness the power of growth for faster poverty reduction will also be discussed.
The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) is pleased to announce its Third Annual Conference on the theme of "Fiscal Policies and the Green Economy Transition: Generating Knowledge – Creating Impact” to be held on the premises of the University of Venice from 29 through 30 January 2015. GGKP welcomes the submission of abstracts on policy-relevant research findings on fiscal instruments and green economy. The deadline to submit is September 15, 2014. Find out more at the GGKP conference website
In spite of its minor and decreasing share in the European Union, agriculture still plays a fundamental and strategic role in many areas of the economy, as witnessed by the ongoing EU effort of the last decades to guarantee a stable agricultural income. Recently however, conventional income stabilization tools have been showing signs of exhaustion and EU institutions have in fact encouraged the expansion of agricultural insurance. Assessing and enhancing the sustainability of income insurance demands an in depth knowledge of farmers’ Willingness To Pay (WTP) for this product, as presented in this week's FEEM seminar.
The 2014 FEEM Award was presented during the European Economic Association (EEA) Annual Congress at the Toulouse School of Economics on August 28, 2014. The prizes were bestowed to Christian Krekel (DIW Berlin), with a paper entitled “Natural disaster, policy action, and mental well-being: the case of Fukushima”; Anna Raute (UCL and University of Mannheim), with a paper entitled “Do Financial Incentives Affect Fertility - Evidence From a Reform in Maternity Leave Bene-fits”; and Marta Silva (ISCTE-IUL − University Institute of Lisbon), with a paper entitled “Asymmetric Labour Market Reforms and the Wage Growth of Fixed-Term Contracts: Does Learning about Match Quality Matter?”.
FEEM is pleased to announce the launch of FEEM Press, its new, open-access editorial series that will serve as an outlet for FEEM research, providing an authoritative source of information in the areas of climate change and sustainable development, energy and economics, with an emphasis on the geopolitical dimension.
This article by Mirco Tonin and Michael Vlassopoulos, University of Southampton, reports that indeed workers in the public sector are more likely to engage in socially motivated activities than their private sector counterparts. However, this is so just because the public services employ people with higher education and skills, characteristics that increase the likelihood of being socially engaged.
The jihadist group formerly known as ISIS, which already controls vast areas of Syria and Iraq, has recently proclaimed the restoration of the caliphate. FEEM researcher Daniel Atzori discusses how the presence of a jihadist state in the Middle East represents a formidable threat to the Arab state system.
The paper presented formalizes Chamberlin's idea that monopoly power depends on the heterogeneity of taste of customers. Jan Witajewski, FEEM junior researcher, demonstrates that elasticity of substitution between goods in the Dixit-Stiglitz framework can be represented as a simple linear function of taste heterogeneity measure. This result can enrich interpretation of a broad range of models that use Constant Elasticity of Substitution production function: if predictions of these models depend on the elasticity of substitution, they might depend also on heterogeneity of taste of consumers.
On July 17, 2014 took place the nomination of the winners of the Prospect Magazine's Think Tank Awards 2014. Among the four European think tanks shortlisted, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei - Italian think tank devoted to the study of sustainable development and global governance, was commended for its willingness to promote liberal economic ideas in an environment that is not always favourable to such messages.
In this article based on his recent lecture in FEEM, Anatol Lieven, King’s College London, explores the crisis in Ukraine, a country torn apart by ethnic strains and nationalism that has dramatically become a focal point of the international agenda, the real epicenter of European, United States and Russian negotiations.
In this paper, the authors address one specific criticism that can be raised against the economic climate change impact assessments conducted with CGE models: that of overly optimistic assumptions on the ability of markets to react to climate change induced shocks, i.e. market driven adaptation. The researchers performed two runs: one with a standard climate change impact assessment exercise using a recursive-dynamic CGE model, while during the second one they restrict the elasticity of input substitution in the production function, the substitution of domestic and imported inputs, and finally sectoral workforce mobility. They demonstrate that these frictions increase the cost of climate change and derive a whole set of methodological recommendations.
Comparing the cost of batteries used in passenger vehicles can be problematic. This article by FEEM associate researcher, Thomas Longden, aims to clarify some of the issues that have led to confusion when discussing the cost of batteries. Recently, confusion over both the current price and a break-through price of batteries has prevailed.
Energy access - the so-called ‘Missed Millennium Development Goal’, is considered a fundamental driver of economic and social development and is a key priority on the global development agenda. It is still however unclear which public and private initiatives and policy design can be used to best attain the goals of energy poverty eradication. For this reason and with the aim to generate new insights and concrete policy recommendations, FEEM and Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (FGF) within the LabExpo Project, in collaboration with eni, are organizing on July, 10, 2014 a workshop on “Energy Poverty and Energy Access: Global Challenges and Goals”, gathering together representatives from the academia, international organizations, corporate institutions and industry.
On March 11, 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 occurred in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan's Tohoku region. What the disaster taught Japan—and what it can teach other countries, for instance Italy? Federica Ranghieri from the World Bank and formerly FEEM researcher, is one of the authors of the report “Learning from Megadisasters” and on July 9, 2014 (from 5.00 to 7.30 p.m.) will present at FEEM the amazing work performed so far and the main lessons learned, particularly for what concerns Tsunami hazards and risks.
Focusing on water security and its link with sustainable development, this new article by FEEM researcher Mattia Amadio identifies key drivers and stressors to both natural freshwater availability and national demand in the Windward Caribbean island states.