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  • Author: Markus Brückner
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A common finding in the empirical civil war literature is that population size and per capita income are highly significant predictors of civil war incidence and onset. This paper shows that the common finding of population size and per capita income having a significant average effect on civil war risk in a world sample breaks down once country- and year-specific unobservables are accounted for. However, for Sub-Saharan Africa there continues to be a highly significant average effect of population size and per capita income on civil war risk that is robust to the use of country- and year-fixed effects and instrumental variable techniques.
  • Topic: Civil War, Demographics, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Onyeiwu
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the innovative capabilities and absorptive capacities of African countries, and investigates whether they have played significant roles in the region's slow and episodic economic growth. Results from cross-country regressions covering 31 Sub-Saharan African countries suggest that growth in Africa is not simply a question of capital accumulation, fertility rates, aid dependency, and stable macroeconomic environment. It is also about strengthening the capacity of African countries to assimilate and effectively use knowledge and technology. Contrary to the views held by many analysts, the growth of African economies does not depend so much on their ability to innovate, but rather on their capacity to absorb and effectively use new technologies. Beyond technological issues, the paper confirms the stylized facts that the size of the government and political stability are important for the growth performance of African countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Philip Abbott, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Vietnam has been among the most successful East Asian economies, especially in weathering the external shocks of recent globalization crises—the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the 2008-09 great recession, financial crisis and collapse of global trade. Its success contradicts its characterization as an example of export-led growth and highlights the role of the state, particularly in maintaining and influencing investment. Examination of economic performance and policy responses shows rising dependence on foreign finance around each crisis, and actions by the government to counteract that dependence and bolster the domestic economy while continuing to restructure the economy toward greater emphasis on the private sector. Growth, employment and poverty alleviation have been maintained at the expense of renewed inflation, larger budget deficits, and currency depreciation. The 'stop-go' nature of present …
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Céline Ferré*
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: During the twentieth century, internal migration and urbanization shaped Brazil's economic and social landscape. Cities grew tremendously, while immigration participated in the rapid urbanization process and the redistribution of poverty between rural and urban areas. In 1950, about a third of Brazil's population lived in cities; this figure grew to approximately 80 per cent by the end of the nineteenth century. The Brazilian population redistributed unevenly—some dynamic regions became population magnets, and some neighbourhoods within cities became gateway clusters in which the effects of immigration proved particularly salient. This study asks, has domestic migration to cities been part of a healthy process of economic transition and mobility for the country and its households? Or has it been a perverse trap?
  • Topic: Demographics, Migration, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: J.W. Sanders, Ukachukwu Ndukwu
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Reasoning about a distributed system that exhibits a combination of probabilistic and temporal behaviour does not seem to be easy with current techniques. The reason is the interaction between probability and abstraction, made worse by remote synchronisation. In this paper the recently proposed language ptsc (for probability, time and shared-variable concurrency) is extended by constructs for interleaving and local block. Both enhance a designer's ability to modularise a design; the latter also permits a design to be compared with its more abstract specification, by concealing appropriately chosen design variables. Laws of the extended language are studied and applied in a case study consisting of a faulty register-transfer-level design.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Organization, United Nations, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hanneke Van Lavieren, John Burt, David A. Feary, Geórgenes H. Cavalcante, Elise Marquis, Lisa Benedetti, Charles Trick, Björn Kjerfve, Peter F. Sale
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Like many other places in the world, the coastal region of the Persian Gulf (also known as the Arabian Gulf, and hereafter referred to as 'the Gulf') faces continuous environmental degradation. The unprecedented rate and scale of development that has occurred poses numerous environmental challenges and may be the greatest threat facing the Gulf's marine communities in the coming decades as urban populations along it's shores continue to grow. Some Gulf countries have already developed more than 40% of their coastline during the last 20 years. Pressure on coastal ecosystems is especially high in the smaller Gulf countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, where residents either live entirely, or almost entirely within 100 km of the coast. Development has led to loss and severe degradation of important natural habitats, including mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. Coastal 'mega-projects' including artificial islands, waterfront cities, ports, marinas and man-made waterways have sometimes been poorly conceived from an environmental perspective, leading to severe pressure on natural environments. Because development has taken place so rapidly there has not been enough time to develop adequate regulatory, technical, and monitoring capacity to guide this growth appropriately. Present trends suggest that development will not be accompanied by appropriately sophisticated policies and mechanisms for minimizing and mitigating deleterious impacts on the environment.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Simon Feeny
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For many decades the research literature on the country-level impacts of aid sent mixed messages as to whether aid was effective in promoting economic growth. Some empirical studies found evidence of a positive association between aid and recipient country growth (Papanek 1973; Dowling and Hiemenz 1982; Gupta and Islam 1983; Levy 1987, 1988). Other empirical studies either failed to find any association or if they did, found that it was negative (Rahman 1968; Griffin 1970; Gupta 1970; Weisskopf 1972; Voivodas 1973; Mosley 1980; Mosley et al. 1987; and Boone 1996). The second group of studies had support from non-empirical research, with many influential writers providing damning critiques of aid, from both left and right wing perspectives (Friedman 1970; Hayter 1971; Hensma n 1971; Bauer 1981, 1991; and Hancock 1989, among many other writers). The lack of a consensus regarding the country-level impact of aid combined with strong evidence that aid projects were in general effective in attaining their intended outcomes, was described as the 'micro-macro paradox' of aid (Mosley 1986). This paradox was widely accepted in the aid policy and research circles.
  • Author: Martin Heger, Alex Julca, Oliver Paddison
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of natural disasters in the Caribbean. The economic impact of natural disasters in the region has been significant, resulting in widespread destruction of the productive economy. This paper presents the main macroeconomic impact of disasters, e.g., a deteriorating fiscal balance, a collapse of growth and a worsening external balance, as a consequence of damage resulting from the event. By making special reference to the small-island developing state nature of many countries in the region, valuable lessons of the impact of such disasters on the capital stock can be learnt, particularly as the interruption of production of goods and services can be particularly devastating in an environment where few large sectors (agriculture, tourism) dominate the economic landscape.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Markets, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Caribbean
  • Author: Fang Cai
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: With the aid of an analytical framework of the Lewis model revised to reflect the experience of China, this paper examines the country's dualistic economic development and its unique characteristics. The paper outlines the major effects of China's growth as achieved during the course of economic reform and the opening-up of the country: the exploitation of the demographic dividend, the realization of comparative advantage, the improvement of total factor productivity, and participation in economic globalization. By predicting the long-term relationship between the labour force demand and supply, the paper reviews the approaching turning point in China's economic development and examines a host of challenges facing the country in sustaining growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jörn Birkmann
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Current approaches of measuring vulnerability to natural hazards generally use a rather static perspective that focuses on a single point in time—often before a hazardous event occurs. In contrast, the paper argues that vulnerability assessment should also take into account the changing dynamics during and after a disaster. This paper provides a comparative analysis of the situation in Sri Lanka and Indonesia within the context of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The author presents concepts for measuring revealed vulnerabilities and methods of assessing the recovery process, and highlights the differing ways in which the tsunami affected the ongoing civil conflicts in both regions.
  • Topic: Demographics, Disaster Relief, Environment, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Sri Lanka