Press Review: First Impressions April 2013

Welcome to our monthly internal press review, featuring the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance: from working papers to policy reports to entire books.

Our April output includes three working papers, a book chapter, and a background paper. Geographically, these cover migration through Ethiopia, Mexico, Morocco and the Philippines; parental leave for fathers in industrialized countries; as well as development and economic performance worldwide. Additionally, a book jointly published by UNU-MERIT, UNU-WIDER and UNIDO was featured by the UN News Centre.

IOM truck in Southeast AsiaDr. Melissa Siegel joined David McKenzie from the World Bank for the working paper ‘Eliciting Illegal migration rates through list randomization‘. To address ‘sensitive’ problems, such as legal status, the authors trialled a randomization technique for surveys in Ethiopia, Mexico, Morocco and the Philippines. They showed how this can estimate illegal migration rates, including for more or less educated households. Confirming the basic validity of the method, the authors found higher rates of illegal migration in countries where illegal migration is considered more prevalent. However, due to inconsistencies, the authors called for further refinement of the methodology in future migration surveys. Access the paper here.

Professors Pierre Mohnen and Bronwyn Hall published the working paper ‘Innovation and productivity: An update’. Essentially a survey of the state-of-the-art of innovation literature, this revised an earlier study on innovation and productivity by Hall (2011) and complemented a review on the use of surveys to better understand innovation by Mairesse and Mohnen (2010). From this update, the authors found that innovation leads to better revenue per employee performance. They also noted that all four types of innovations considered – product, process, organizational and marketing innovations – contribute to better productivity performance. Download the paper here.

A UN Volunteer from India (right) assisting a farmer in Bhutan.Professor Adam Szirmai contributed a chapter, ‘Explaining Success and Failure in Development’, in the forthcoming book World Economic Performance – Past, Present and Future. The book is a collection of papers analysing the long-term economic development and performance of numerous countries from Latin America to East Asia. Using methods pioneered by the late Angus Maddison, to whom the book is dedicated, the authors offer insights on comparative quantitative economic development of nations and make predictions on future patterns of global economic growth. For his part, Szirmai sets out a framework of proximate, intermediate and ultimate causality in growth and development, which is then applied to recent contributions to the study of growth and development. Click here for more information.

In her working paper ‘Fathers’ use of parental leave. What do we know?’, PhD fellow Nevena Zhelyazkova reviewed the literature on men’s use of parental leave in industrialized countries. Reviewing policy evaluations, theory and empirical research, the author found that (without special incentives for men) women tend to remain the majority of users of parental leave, reinforcing the traditional gender division of paid / unpaid work. With evidence mainly from Scandinavia, the author recommended further research in other countries combined with a more integrated framework for analysis. This framework should pay more attention to personal life-course factors, such as the timing of fathers’ use of parental leave. Access the paper here.

Dr. Melissa Siegel and PhD fellow Carla Buil published a background paper tagged ‘A New Multilateral Framework for Labour Migration: A Review of Options’. This stressed the shortcomings of the current ‘non-system’ for discussing international labour migration issues — a ‘non-system’ marked by labour markets only semi-open to migrants in which they have inadequate rights protection. The authors proposed a new international framework for the governance of labour migration and the setting up of a global clearinghouse that would match demand and supply of jobs and skills while protecting the workers’ rights. They noted that support from the EU in creating such a system could help it achieve global coverage. Download the paper here.

by Sueli Brodin and Howard HudsonUNU-MERIT Communications Officers. Images: UN Photo /  M.Perret.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *