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Diplomacy & Defense Think Tank News

The 2021 ENP South Communication: A ‘renewed partnership’ but ‘old issues’ remain

The Communication promises a renewed partnership with the Southern Neighbourhood. The document itself is ambitious and comprehensive and joins the ranks of highly readable and thought-provoking policy documents produced by the Commission and the EEAS in recent years. However, the Communication does not herald the arrival of a ‘new agenda’. It emphasises transition rather than transformation, particularly in terms of the kinds of reforms the EU promotes in neighbouring countries, the incentives the EU is prepared to offer, and the risks the EU is prepared to take, especially regarding standing up for its own principles when called upon to do so.

The hidden value of social health insurance: breaking the intergenerational poverty trap?

Impacts of social health insurance schemes are more far reaching than one would think. Given the fact that more countries are going to implement social health insurance schemes, it is paramount to understand their entire potential in reducing poverty. From a policy perspective, it is important to consider the indirect impacts of social health insurance schemes such as reduction of child labor and increase of school attendance in the cost-benefit analysis. Social health insurance is not merely about securing access to health care, it also has the potential to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty when families no longer have to engage in negative coping strategies.

The hidden value of social health insurance: breaking the intergenerational poverty trap?

Impacts of social health insurance schemes are more far reaching than one would think. Given the fact that more countries are going to implement social health insurance schemes, it is paramount to understand their entire potential in reducing poverty. From a policy perspective, it is important to consider the indirect impacts of social health insurance schemes such as reduction of child labor and increase of school attendance in the cost-benefit analysis. Social health insurance is not merely about securing access to health care, it also has the potential to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty when families no longer have to engage in negative coping strategies.

The hidden value of social health insurance: breaking the intergenerational poverty trap?

Impacts of social health insurance schemes are more far reaching than one would think. Given the fact that more countries are going to implement social health insurance schemes, it is paramount to understand their entire potential in reducing poverty. From a policy perspective, it is important to consider the indirect impacts of social health insurance schemes such as reduction of child labor and increase of school attendance in the cost-benefit analysis. Social health insurance is not merely about securing access to health care, it also has the potential to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty when families no longer have to engage in negative coping strategies.

Prioritization and Sequencing of Security Council Mandates in 2021: The Case of UNMISS

European Peace Institute / News - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 22:04

Nearly one year after the creation of a transitional government in February 2020, the main pillars of the June 2018 permanent cease-fire and September 2018 peace agreement in South Sudan continue to hold, but their implementation has progressed at a worryingly slow pace.

In this context, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Stimson Center, and Security Council Report organized a virtual workshop on February 10, 2021, to discuss UNMISS’s mandate and political strategy. This workshop offered a forum for member states, UN staff, and outside experts to develop a shared understanding and common strategic assessment of the situation in South Sudan. The session was intended to help the Security Council make informed decisions with respect to the strategic orientation, prioritization, and sequencing of UNMISS’s mandate and actions on the ground. The workshop’s deliberations focused on the political and security dynamics in South Sudan, as well as on UNMISS’s current mandate and priorities for the coming year. Participants also discussed the findings of the independent strategic review of UNMISS, which were shared with the Security Council in December 2020.

Participants concluded that moving forward, the UN will need to engage more deeply and systematically to help South Sudan address underlying challenges. Encouraging South Sudanese ownership of the peace process and the country’s long-term sustainability is imperative. Doing so will require the Security Council, the UN Secretariat, and UNMISS to map out a coherent political strategy rooted in critical benchmarks and a clear understanding of how to leverage international partners and to map out options for UN support to the political transition.

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The COVID-19 pandemic and structural transformation in Africa: evidence for action

This study analyses how strengths and weaknesses of economic, societal, political and environmental structures played out during the Covid-19 crisis in Africa since March 2020. Its main aim is to improve evidence on the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on African countries and, based on that evidence, identify policy implications and formulate recommendations. It comprises the analysis of (a) direct impacts of the pandemic as well as of policy responses such as lockdowns and their potential determinants; (b) indirect effects of lockdowns and policy responses to the pandemic on economic, social, political and environmental domains in the light of structural strengths and weaknesses of African countries. In general, the study is based on the assumption that economic and other structures determine the magnitude and direction of the pandemic’s impact on the short and long run. Its added value is the thematic comprehensiveness and the comparative analysis of country clusters. Amongst many other findings, the analysis shows the important role of social cohesion for coping with the pandemic and for sustainable development on the longer run. This implies the need for (a) material and immaterial investments in good and trustful relationships within societies and between society and the state; (b) incentives for increasing cooperation of individuals for a common good need to be at the core of future development strategies. It identifies a trias of political priorities, which are all equally important and relate to each other. They contain (a) inclusive and green economic development that must be linked to (b) the establishment and improvement of universal social systems (health, education, social protection in case of poverty, old age and unemployment) as well as (c) a redesign of political institutions that are capable and inclusive to collect revenues and provide public goods. (d) None of these policy priorities will be effective on the long run without saving ecosystems.

The COVID-19 pandemic and structural transformation in Africa: evidence for action

This study analyses how strengths and weaknesses of economic, societal, political and environmental structures played out during the Covid-19 crisis in Africa since March 2020. Its main aim is to improve evidence on the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on African countries and, based on that evidence, identify policy implications and formulate recommendations. It comprises the analysis of (a) direct impacts of the pandemic as well as of policy responses such as lockdowns and their potential determinants; (b) indirect effects of lockdowns and policy responses to the pandemic on economic, social, political and environmental domains in the light of structural strengths and weaknesses of African countries. In general, the study is based on the assumption that economic and other structures determine the magnitude and direction of the pandemic’s impact on the short and long run. Its added value is the thematic comprehensiveness and the comparative analysis of country clusters. Amongst many other findings, the analysis shows the important role of social cohesion for coping with the pandemic and for sustainable development on the longer run. This implies the need for (a) material and immaterial investments in good and trustful relationships within societies and between society and the state; (b) incentives for increasing cooperation of individuals for a common good need to be at the core of future development strategies. It identifies a trias of political priorities, which are all equally important and relate to each other. They contain (a) inclusive and green economic development that must be linked to (b) the establishment and improvement of universal social systems (health, education, social protection in case of poverty, old age and unemployment) as well as (c) a redesign of political institutions that are capable and inclusive to collect revenues and provide public goods. (d) None of these policy priorities will be effective on the long run without saving ecosystems.

The COVID-19 pandemic and structural transformation in Africa: evidence for action

This study analyses how strengths and weaknesses of economic, societal, political and environmental structures played out during the Covid-19 crisis in Africa since March 2020. Its main aim is to improve evidence on the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on African countries and, based on that evidence, identify policy implications and formulate recommendations. It comprises the analysis of (a) direct impacts of the pandemic as well as of policy responses such as lockdowns and their potential determinants; (b) indirect effects of lockdowns and policy responses to the pandemic on economic, social, political and environmental domains in the light of structural strengths and weaknesses of African countries. In general, the study is based on the assumption that economic and other structures determine the magnitude and direction of the pandemic’s impact on the short and long run. Its added value is the thematic comprehensiveness and the comparative analysis of country clusters. Amongst many other findings, the analysis shows the important role of social cohesion for coping with the pandemic and for sustainable development on the longer run. This implies the need for (a) material and immaterial investments in good and trustful relationships within societies and between society and the state; (b) incentives for increasing cooperation of individuals for a common good need to be at the core of future development strategies. It identifies a trias of political priorities, which are all equally important and relate to each other. They contain (a) inclusive and green economic development that must be linked to (b) the establishment and improvement of universal social systems (health, education, social protection in case of poverty, old age and unemployment) as well as (c) a redesign of political institutions that are capable and inclusive to collect revenues and provide public goods. (d) None of these policy priorities will be effective on the long run without saving ecosystems.

How important is global value chain participation for export upgrading

Exporting higher quality and complex products is deemed pathway to economic growth and development. However, producing such products is knowledge‐intensive and requires quality intermediate inputs and advanced technologies. Integration into global trade networks is increasingly argued to be among the pathways to obtain such inputs and technologies, although not all countries may benefit equally from such integration. This paper builds on these arguments and investigates how participation in the global value chain (GVC) affects the quality of exported products. Using a highly disaggregated product‐level export data from 122 countries, we find that participation in (backward and forward) GVC impacts positively on the quality of exported products and brings the quality level closer to the quality frontier. While this result persists in the sub‐sample comprising developed countries, developing countries only benefit from backward GVC participation. Overall, the results indicate that GVC participation matters to export upgrading but points to a potential heterogeneity on the channel of impact across countries at different levels of development.

How important is global value chain participation for export upgrading

Exporting higher quality and complex products is deemed pathway to economic growth and development. However, producing such products is knowledge‐intensive and requires quality intermediate inputs and advanced technologies. Integration into global trade networks is increasingly argued to be among the pathways to obtain such inputs and technologies, although not all countries may benefit equally from such integration. This paper builds on these arguments and investigates how participation in the global value chain (GVC) affects the quality of exported products. Using a highly disaggregated product‐level export data from 122 countries, we find that participation in (backward and forward) GVC impacts positively on the quality of exported products and brings the quality level closer to the quality frontier. While this result persists in the sub‐sample comprising developed countries, developing countries only benefit from backward GVC participation. Overall, the results indicate that GVC participation matters to export upgrading but points to a potential heterogeneity on the channel of impact across countries at different levels of development.

How important is global value chain participation for export upgrading

Exporting higher quality and complex products is deemed pathway to economic growth and development. However, producing such products is knowledge‐intensive and requires quality intermediate inputs and advanced technologies. Integration into global trade networks is increasingly argued to be among the pathways to obtain such inputs and technologies, although not all countries may benefit equally from such integration. This paper builds on these arguments and investigates how participation in the global value chain (GVC) affects the quality of exported products. Using a highly disaggregated product‐level export data from 122 countries, we find that participation in (backward and forward) GVC impacts positively on the quality of exported products and brings the quality level closer to the quality frontier. While this result persists in the sub‐sample comprising developed countries, developing countries only benefit from backward GVC participation. Overall, the results indicate that GVC participation matters to export upgrading but points to a potential heterogeneity on the channel of impact across countries at different levels of development.

Financial constraints, trust and export performances: firm-level evidence from Africa

Several existing studies have documented a negative relationship between firm financial constraint and export activities but do not attempt to examine factors that could attenuate this relationship in Africa. In this paper, we examine the effect of financial constraint on exports in Africa and explore how the level of trust in countries where firms are located shapes this relationship. We combine the World Bank Enterprise Surveys with different measures of country-level personal and interpersonal trust computed from the Afrobarometer surveys of 19 African countries. Our results show that financial constraints negatively affect export activities. However, this negative effect is attenuated for firms that are located in trust-intensive societies. These findings are robust to different specifications. Interestingly, we find that small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa are more likely to be affected by financial constraints but also more likely to benefit from a higher level of both personal and interpersonal trust, while for larger firms only interpersonal trust matters.

Financial constraints, trust and export performances: firm-level evidence from Africa

Several existing studies have documented a negative relationship between firm financial constraint and export activities but do not attempt to examine factors that could attenuate this relationship in Africa. In this paper, we examine the effect of financial constraint on exports in Africa and explore how the level of trust in countries where firms are located shapes this relationship. We combine the World Bank Enterprise Surveys with different measures of country-level personal and interpersonal trust computed from the Afrobarometer surveys of 19 African countries. Our results show that financial constraints negatively affect export activities. However, this negative effect is attenuated for firms that are located in trust-intensive societies. These findings are robust to different specifications. Interestingly, we find that small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa are more likely to be affected by financial constraints but also more likely to benefit from a higher level of both personal and interpersonal trust, while for larger firms only interpersonal trust matters.

Financial constraints, trust and export performances: firm-level evidence from Africa

Several existing studies have documented a negative relationship between firm financial constraint and export activities but do not attempt to examine factors that could attenuate this relationship in Africa. In this paper, we examine the effect of financial constraint on exports in Africa and explore how the level of trust in countries where firms are located shapes this relationship. We combine the World Bank Enterprise Surveys with different measures of country-level personal and interpersonal trust computed from the Afrobarometer surveys of 19 African countries. Our results show that financial constraints negatively affect export activities. However, this negative effect is attenuated for firms that are located in trust-intensive societies. These findings are robust to different specifications. Interestingly, we find that small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa are more likely to be affected by financial constraints but also more likely to benefit from a higher level of both personal and interpersonal trust, while for larger firms only interpersonal trust matters.

Postdoc in der Abteilung Klimapolitik

The Climate Policy Department at DIW Berlin uses empirical and theoretical approaches to investigate the effectiveness and design options of policy instruments and regulatory frameworks for the transformation towards climate neutrality. The department focuses on the electricity and industry sector, sustainable finance, and international climate cooperation.

We are looking for a Postdoc (f/m/div)

interested in exploring one or more of the following questions: (i) how sustainable finance, (ii) how international climate finance or (iii) how energy and climate policies for the industry, power or building sectors can support the transition to climate neutrality. In addition to quantitative and theoretical economic approaches, methods from political science or finance may also be used.

The successful candidate will conduct research within the framework of multi-year cooperation projects with international partners. This allows for the development of research questions and discussion of interim results, insights and implications not only in an academic context but also with relevant stakeholders. The research produced in the course of the project will be aimed to publication in peer-reviewed journals as well as in policy reports.


Economic impacts of investment facilitation

We quantify the impacts of a potential Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA) given the outcomes of the structured discussions. The analysis is based on an innovative multi-region general equilibrium simulation model including bilateral representative firms. Consideration is given to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and monopolistic competition. The model shows empirically relevant gains associatedwith removal of investment barriers. The expected global welfare gains range between 0.56% and 1.74% depending on the depth of a potential IFA. The benefits are concentrated among the members with the highest welfare increase for the low and middle income countries. Notable spillovers accrue to non-participants, which can be increased by joining the agreement. Our results contribute to the relatively scarceresearch on investment facilitation and provide policy makers with information onthe potential effects of an IFA.

Economic impacts of investment facilitation

We quantify the impacts of a potential Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA) given the outcomes of the structured discussions. The analysis is based on an innovative multi-region general equilibrium simulation model including bilateral representative firms. Consideration is given to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and monopolistic competition. The model shows empirically relevant gains associatedwith removal of investment barriers. The expected global welfare gains range between 0.56% and 1.74% depending on the depth of a potential IFA. The benefits are concentrated among the members with the highest welfare increase for the low and middle income countries. Notable spillovers accrue to non-participants, which can be increased by joining the agreement. Our results contribute to the relatively scarceresearch on investment facilitation and provide policy makers with information onthe potential effects of an IFA.

Economic impacts of investment facilitation

We quantify the impacts of a potential Investment Facilitation Agreement (IFA) given the outcomes of the structured discussions. The analysis is based on an innovative multi-region general equilibrium simulation model including bilateral representative firms. Consideration is given to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and monopolistic competition. The model shows empirically relevant gains associatedwith removal of investment barriers. The expected global welfare gains range between 0.56% and 1.74% depending on the depth of a potential IFA. The benefits are concentrated among the members with the highest welfare increase for the low and middle income countries. Notable spillovers accrue to non-participants, which can be increased by joining the agreement. Our results contribute to the relatively scarceresearch on investment facilitation and provide policy makers with information onthe potential effects of an IFA.

Wissenschaftliche/n MitarbeiterIn / DoktorandIn im SOEP

Die forschungsbasierte Infrastruktureinrichtung Sozio-oekonomisches Panel (SOEP) im DIW Berlin sucht zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt eine/n

Wissenschaftliche/n MitarbeiterIn / DoktorandIn (w/m/div) (Teilzeit 65 %).


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