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.
Over the last 15 years, Italian households have experienced a remarkable increase in gas and electricity prices (+80% and + 60% respectively). As a consequence, the share of heating and electricity costs on total expenditure has reached its historical height of almost 6%. On Thursday, September 18, 2014, Ivan Faiella, Bank of Italy, will present a study that investigates whether these dynamics are leading to a problem of energy poverty (EP). Indeed, despite the existence of two targeted national programs (“Bonus gas” and “Bonus energia”) in Italy there is no official definition of EP and the purpose of this study is to provide the reader with a set of indicators to fill this gap.
The 16th annual BIOECON conference on "Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability" will be held at Kings College Cambridge on September 22 and 23, 2014. The conference will be of interest to both researchers and policy makers working on issues broadly in the area of biodiversity, ecosystem services, sustainable development and natural capital, in both developed and developing countries. Researchers are invited to submit their papers on the broad area of resource management, development and conservation at the Conference website.
The “Green Paradox” theory subverts the traditional theoretical foundation of environmental policies. The question is whether the green paradox holds and how large the impact is, which has provoked heated debate among economists. Based on theoretical and empirical results, Yuting Li, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tries to provide an unbiased evaluation of the theory.
Torn apart by ethnic strains and nationalism, Ukraine suddenly became a focal point on the international agenda, the real epicentre of European, United States and Russian negotiations. Based on his recent FEEM lecture, Anatol Lieven, internationally renowned scholar of geostrategic issues and security in Eurasia, analyses the origins of the present crisis and explores what it teaches about the making of Western transnational relations. The e-book is freely downloadable in both English and Italian here.
Shonali Pachauri, from IIASA, one of the most recognised scholars on the topic, will start her lecture by defining “modern energy access”. There is still limited analysis and understanding on how reaching a universal modern energy access goal may impact the achievement of other sustainable development goals (SDGs) related to improved health, air quality, energy security and efficiency. This lecture will focus on some of these definitional issues, and on exploring synergies and tradeoffs between a universal access goal and other sustainable development objectives and goals.
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 this article FEEM researcher Simone Tagliapietra summarizes the key results of a new study aimed at exploring the future prospects of the EU-Turkey energy relations in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Considering the rapidly evolving situation in the region, the study outlines the urgent need to enhance the EU-Turkey energy partnership and proposes the establishment of a new “EU-Turkey Natural Gas Initiative”.
Max Gruenig, Ecologic Institute, Berlin, presents ideas and approaches related to the new research project Post-Carbon Cities of Tomorrow. This project deals with the challenge of linking all the various levels of governance involved in planning Urban Sustainability - local, regional, national, European and global - while maintaining its relevance in terms of results and outcomes for each single layer.
Current climate change policy focused on resilience, while effective, can acquire more depth with a health focus. How though, is the question? The social determinants of health can act as a guide for resilience-focused policy. In this article, Sabrina Dekker, PhD Candidate at University College Dublin, reports the findings of a content analysis and a survey of 51 cities.
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.