by Chiara Candelise, Università di Torino e OEET

 

The last two issues of the newsletter “Emerging Economies” (November and December 2018) present contributions from the latest XXth Scientific Conference of the Italian Association for the Study of Comparative Economic Systems (AISSEC), held in October 2018 at the Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin. The conference focus has been on the comparison of economic systems and, for the purpose of the two newsletters, contributions have been selected among those dealing more explicitly with emerging and developing countries.

The previous newsletter, “Emerging Economies” N. 10 of November 2018, have presented a macroeconomic perspective with an overview of selected research articles addressing growth, inequality and sustainable development. The current newsletter, “Emerging Economies” N. 11 of December 2018, presents instead three studies, dedicated to emerging and developing economies, but adopting a more microeconomic approach on gender issues and human development.

 

By V. Molini, World Bank; F. Alfani,  Food  and  Agriculture  Organization  of  the United  Nations  (FAO);  A.  Dabalen,  World Bank; P. Fisker, University of Copenhagen, Changing Disaster

 

A large literature has documented how households in low income settings suffer short and long run welfare losses from uninsured risk, especially in rural settings where agricultural production risk is prevalent and markets are thin or non-existent. While the short run welfare losses are bad enough, it is now widely acknowledged that the long run losses which typically manifest in foregone investments – in human capital, enterprises, high yielding crops, and so on – are especially damaging.

The concept of vulnerability has gained currency in recent studies of well-being because the static analysis of poverty has been found to be too limiting in capturing the dynamic reality of poor populations: focusing only on the poor leaves out a significant portion of the population who live at a constant risk of becoming poor. Vulnerability is an ex-ante statement about future poverty, before the veil is lifted and the uncertainty is replaced by the knowledge of the actual facts.

 

By G. Pasini, Ca' Foscari, University of Venezia; A. Gebremarian, Ca' Foscari, University of Venezia; E. Lodigiani, University of Padua, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milan

 

Aspirations can be thought of as reference points where individuals aim to achieve and play an important role in the decision-making process of individuals. Children’s educational aspirations are important predictors of educational attainment and of occupational success, and expected to shape long-term outcomes such as labour market characteristics. However, aspirations can be affected by whether an individual is poor or rich. Studies document that though the poor and the rich face the same behavioural bias, poverty may exacerbate the behavioural bias and may lead to aspiration failure. Safety-net programs in developing countries not only smooth consumption, but also bring households out of the chronic poverty. It is, therefore, appealing to explore whether the introduction of large-scale safety-net programs affect children’s educational aspirations.

This paper evaluates the impacts of the Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), launched by the government of Ethiopia in 2005/06 to support food insecure rural households, on children's educational aspirations.

 

By Astrig Tasgian, University of Turin

 

As a result of limited access to assets and paid work, there has been a feminization of poverty in the last decades in developing countries, also because of the increasing share of households headed by women. Women are particularly vulnerable to poverty in rural areas, where gender inequalities in access to resources (education, health, land, credit and productive inputs) and thus in earned income and control over household resources are higher. Furthermore, rural women are particularly affected by discriminatory stereotypes and practices (child marriage, female genital mutilation, widows’ property-grabbing). In West Africa, the predominant social organization is patriarchal and patrilineal. Customary norms establish a strict gender division of roles. Parents prefer to invest in the education of boys rather than girls since they are intended for another family (that of the husband). Women and girls bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work, including the collection of water and firewood, in rural areas even more than in urban areas. 

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