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  1. Human Capital Convergence: International Evidence [Download]

    Title: Human Capital Convergence: International Evidence
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: In the growth literature, evidence on income convergence is mixed. Inthe development literature, health and education indicators are also often used. This study examines whether health and education levels are converging across countries and calculates their convergence speed, using data from 100 countries during 1970-96. A 3SLS procedure is used in a joint analysis of human capital convergence. The results confirm that investments in education and health are closely linked. We find unconditional convergence for life expectancy and infant survival, and enrollment rates, on average and by gender; and conditional convergence for all human capital indicators, including class size.
    Keywords: human capital, convergence, education, health, growth
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  2. Blooming Together or Wilting Alone? Organizational Comparative Advantage, Network Externalities, and Mondragon and La Lega Cooperative Networks [Download]

    Title: Blooming Together or Wilting Alone? Organizational Comparative Advantage, Network Externalities, and Mondragon and La Lega Cooperative Networks
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: This paper examines strategies developed by Mondragón Co-operative Corporation in the Basque Region of Spain, and La Lega co-operative network in Italy, to mitigate disadvantages of the typical co-operative organizational structure and market position but without losing its critical advantages and attractive features. A detailed institutional overview of these most prominent examples of successful co-operative clusters is presented. The paper argues that there are network externalities in co-op formation and survival, that imply that even if other barriers to entry are overcome and a co-op is established it may not survive, not because of intrinsic inefficiencies, but simply because of the lack of other co-operative entry, and to some extent also because of a lack of coordination among co-ops that do enter the market.
    Keywords: Mondragón, La Lega, Co-operative network, Co-operatives, Employee ownership, Labour managed firm, Italy, Spain, Developing countries, Economic development, Transition
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  3. Review of The Competitive Advantage of Nations: Michael Porter [Download]

    Title: Review of The Competitive Advantage of Nations: Michael Porter
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage of Nations, though it is written from the perspective of the business school rather than the economics department, and is primarily focused on understanding the distribution of leading positions in industries held by the advanced economies, is potentially an extraordinarily important book for the development field. It is the first serious attempt to develop a really original grand theory of national economic development processes since the early years of Postwar development economics, and represents one of the most original ways of thinking about development policy in years.
    Date Uploaded: 01/14/2016
  4. The Scope of NGOs and Development Program Design:   Application to Problems of Multidimensional Poverty [Download]

    Title: The Scope of NGOs and Development Program Design:   Application to Problems of Multidimensional Poverty
    Author: Smith Stephen
    Description: This study addresses basic questions concerning the scope and structure of organizations working in development and poverty activities. Under what conditions is work on many or few poverty problems by a single organization warranted? Moreover, for a given organizational scope, how many issues and in what combination are best combined in a specific program? How are these choices related? How does “inheriting” an organizational structure that is difficult (very costly) to change influence choices concerning program type? The application of the economics of organization yields useful insights into NGO structure and activities, revealing opposing forces that may lead nongovernmental organizations to diversify either excessively, or inadequately. NGOs working in the poverty field are a natural focus for this research, because poverty is a multidimensional problem with potential (or contingent) complementarities across dimensions. Perspectives on activity choices such as child sponsorship and microfinance emerge from this broader context.
    Keywords: Poverty, microfinance, economics of organization,, Development, Organizational Comparative Advantage, NGOs, economies of scope, integration, specialization
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016
  5. Do Foreign Owners Favor Short-Term Profit? Evidence from Germany [Download]

    Title: Do Foreign Owners Favor Short-Term Profit? Evidence from Germany
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: Comparing domestic- and foreign-owned firms in Germany, this paper finds that foreignowned firms are more likely to focus on short-term profit. This influence is particularly strong if the local managers of the German subsidiary are not sent from the foreign parent company. Moreover, the physical distance between the foreign parent company and its German subsidiary increases the probability of focusing on short-term profit. These findings conform to the hypothesis that foreign owners facing an information disadvantage concerning the local conditions of their subsidiaries are more likely to favor short-term profit. However, we do not identify differences in “short-termism” between investors from “Anglo-Saxon” and other foreign countries; rather, results point in the direction of more general features of corporate globalization.
    Keywords: foreign ownership, multinational enterprises, short-termism, asymmetric information, globalization, stakeholders
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016
  6. Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era: Creating Co-operative Economics [Download]

    Title: Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era: Creating Co-operative Economics
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: In this paper, we examine major trends and potential for cooperatives in the context of four prominent socio-economic issues: the lack of jobs, economic and social inequality, educational mobility, and the priority need for innovations. We present recent data on the amount and types of job creation in cooperatives. We consider co-ops in light of the recent financial and economic crises. Finally, we offer some observations on cooperatives and innovation, and some perspectives on the outlook going forward.
    Keywords: Cooperatives, Employment, Job creation, Economic inequality, Social inequality, Educational mobility,, Innovation in cooperatives
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016
  7. Person Equivalent Headcount Measures of Poverty [Download]

    Title: Person Equivalent Headcount Measures of Poverty
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: Headcount measures of poverty are by far the most common tools for evaluating poverty and gauging progress in global development goals. The headcount ratio, or the prevalence of poverty, and the headcount, or the number of the poor, both convey tangible information about poverty. But both ignore the depth of poverty, so they arguably present distorted views of the spatial distribution of poverty as well as the extent of progress against poverty over time. Additionally, headcount measures can provide incentives for policymakers and NGOs to focus their efforts on the least poor, an observation well understood among policymakers themselves. While other poverty measures mitigate these problems by capturing the intensity as well as the prevalence of poverty, they are often not central to policy discourse because they are perceived to be too “unintuitive” to have traction. There is a need for poverty measures that go beyond traditional headcount measures, but retain their direct interpretation. This paper presents person equivalent (p. e.) headcount measures, which do just that. Our approach draws on the logic of full-time equivalent jobs, adult equivalent incomes, and other constructs in economics. An initial period is used to calibrate the average depth of poverty among the poor, which then becomes the “person equivalent” underlying the p. e. headcount and the p. e. headcount ratio. We illustrate our methods using $1.25 a day poverty data from 78 countries as provided by the World Bank, and show how the new measures map out different pictures of poverty and progress than traditional headcount measures. Overall, the picture is one of a more rapid decline in global poverty, but with significant redistributions of its burden across regions and countries. For example, p. e. headcounts are much higher than traditional headcounts in Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub Saharan Africa; in South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific the reverse is true. In Kenya the traditional headcount rose by 8 million and the p. e. headcount rose by 11 million; in South Africa the p. e. headcount fell by more than the traditional headcount. We discuss properties of the new measures, outline some generalizations and conclude with recommendations for using this approach in development goals to track progress and direct policy.
    Keywords: Poverty measurement , headcount, poverty gap, FGT indices, development goals, inclusive growth, multidimensional poverty
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016
  8. Multidimensional Targeting and Evaluation: Framework and Application to a Poverty Program in Bangladesh [Download]

    Title: Multidimensional Targeting and Evaluation: Framework and Application to a Poverty Program in Bangladesh
    Author: Smith, Stephen
    Description: Many poverty, safety net, training, and other social programs utilize multiple screening criteria to determine eligibility. We apply recent advances in multidimensional measurement analysis to develop a straightforward method for summarizing changes in groups of eligibility (screening) indicators, which have appropriate properties. We show how this impact can differ across participants with differing numbers of initial deprivations. We also examine impacts on other specially designed multidimensional poverty measures (and their components) that address key participant deficits. We apply our methods to a BRAC ultrapoverty program in Bangladesh, and find that our measures of multidimensional poverty have fallen significantly for participants. This improvement is most associated with better food security and with acquisition of basic assets (though this does not mean that the cause of poverty reduction was program activities focused directly on these deficits). In general, we find that the BRAC program had a greater impact on reducing multidimensional poverty for those with a larger initial number of deprivations. We also showed how evaluation evidence can be used to help improve the selection of eligibility characteristics of potential participants.
    Keywords: Poverty, Multidimensional poverty, Poverty alleviation strategies, BRAC, Microfinance institutions, Ultra-poverty, Ultra-poor, CFPR/TUP, Bangladesh, Difference-in-difference, Impact assessment, Program evaluation, Counterfactual targeting, Assignment errors
    Date Uploaded: 01/13/2016