ResearchPad - development-economics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The association between national income and adult obesity prevalence: Empirical insights into temporal patterns and moderators of the association using 40 years of data across 147 countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13857 At a country level, population obesity prevalence is often associated with economic affluence, reflecting a potential adverse outcome concomitant with economic growth. We estimated the pattern and strength of the empirically observed relationship between national income and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating role of countries’ macro-environments on this relationship.MethodsWe assembled data on national obesity prevalence, income and a range of variables that characterize macro-environments related to 147 countries from multiple international organizations and databases. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the relationship (elasticities) between national income (using Gross Domestic Product Per Capita, GDPPC) and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating effects of five different dimensions (globalization orientation, demographic characteristics, economic environment, labor market characteristics, and strength of health policies) of countries’ macro-environments on the income elasticities. Using the latest (2019–2024) available national income growth projections from the International Monetary Fund, we forecast future global trends in obesity prevalence.FindingsOver the 40-years 1975–2014, adult obesity prevalence increased at a declining rate with GDPPC across the 147 countries. The mean income elasticity estimates were 1.23 (95% credible interval 1.04–1.42) for males and 1.01 (0.82–1.18) for females. The elasticities were positively associated with the extent of political globalization and negatively associated with urbanization and share of agriculture in the national GDP. Income based projections indicate that obesity prevalence would continue to grow at an average annual rate of 2.47% across the studied countries during 2019–2024.ConclusionsPopulation obesity prevalence exhibits a positive relationship with national income and there is no evidence that the relationship, while weakening, actually turns negative at higher income levels (“obesity Kuznets curve”). Based on current trends, global obesity prevalence will continue to increase during 2019–2024, with the rate of growth higher in low- and middle-income countries. As most people currently live in low- and middle-income countries with rising incomes, our findings underscore the urgent societal imperatives for effective policy initiatives, especially those that target the concomitant “nutrition transition” process with economic affluence, to break or at least further weaken the positive relationship of population obesity prevalence with national income. ]]> <![CDATA[Spatiotemporal characteristics and driving forces of construction land expansion in Yangtze River economic belt, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8b3a4cad-34cf-4f1c-a2ed-3b8bbfbaa3a5

With rapid economic and population growth, construction land expansion in Yangtze River economic belt in China becomes substantial, carrying significant social and economic implications. This research uses Expansion Speed Index and Expansion Intensity Index to examine spatiotemporal characteristics of construction land expansion in the Yangtze River economic belt from 2000 to 2017. Based on a STIRPAT model, driving forces of construction land expansion are measured by Principal Component Analysis and Ordinary Least Square regression. The results show that: (1) there is a clear expansion pattern regarding the time sequence in provinces/cities of the Yangtze River economic belt, with rapid expansion in the initial stage, moderate expansion in the middle stage and rapid expansion in the later stage. (2) Spatial analysis demonstrates first expansion in the lower reaches in the early stage, rapid expansion of the upper reaches in the middle and later stage, and steady expansion of the middle reaches throughout the research period. (3)There are statistical significant correlations between construction land expansion and GDP, social fixed asset investments, population at the end of the year, population urbanization rate, per capita road area, and number of scientific and technological professionals as well as secondary and tertiary industry values. Of these factors, GDP, social fixed asset investments, population urbanization rate and second industry value are important common driving forces of construction land expansion in this region. The research findings have significant policy implications particularly on coordinated development of urban agglomerations and sustainable industry upgrading when construction land expansion is concerned.

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<![CDATA[Reciprocal vs nonreciprocal trade agreements: Which have been best to promote exports?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e927d5eed0c48496f89e

The Doha Development Agenda recognizes the central role that international trade can play in the promotion of economic development. In fact, the increase of exports from developing countries to developed nations' markets has been considered a key element for developing countries to realize the potential benefits of globalization. Over the last decades, developed countries have provided preferential access to their markets to developing countries through nonreciprocal trade agreements. Moreover, developing countries have also participated in reciprocal trade agreements. This paper re-examines comparatively the effect of both kinds of trade agreements on exports from developing countries but also from the developed world. In line with other studies, our results across specifications are unstable. However, the results of our preferred specification give additional support to the argument raised by critics of nonreciprocal preference regimes who consider that developing countries should abandon their reliance on one-way trade preferences in favor of reciprocal agreements.

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<![CDATA[The quest for an optimal alpha]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667f0d5eed0c4841a6a36

Researchers who analyze data within the framework of null hypothesis significance testing must choose a critical “alpha” level, α, to use as a cutoff for deciding whether a given set of data demonstrates the presence of a particular effect. In most fields, α = 0.05 has traditionally been used as the standard cutoff. Many researchers have recently argued for a change to a more stringent evidence cutoff such as α = 0.01, 0.005, or 0.001, noting that this change would tend to reduce the rate of false positives, which are of growing concern in many research areas. Other researchers oppose this proposed change, however, because it would correspondingly tend to increase the rate of false negatives. We show how a simple statistical model can be used to explore the quantitative tradeoff between reducing false positives and increasing false negatives. In particular, the model shows how the optimal α level depends on numerous characteristics of the research area, and it reveals that although α = 0.05 would indeed be approximately the optimal value in some realistic situations, the optimal α could actually be substantially larger or smaller in other situations. The importance of the model lies in making it clear what characteristics of the research area have to be specified to make a principled argument for using one α level rather than another, and the model thereby provides a blueprint for researchers seeking to justify a particular α level.

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<![CDATA[Asymmetric relationship of urbanization and CO2 emissions in less developed countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141f15d5eed0c484d29959

Understanding the relationship between carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the urbanization of national populations has been a key concern for environmental scholars for several decades. Although sophisticated modeling techniques have been developed to explore the connection between increases in urban populations and CO2 emissions, none has attempted to assess whether declines in urbanization have an effect on emissions that is not symmetrical with that of growth in urbanization. The present study uses panel data on CO2 emissions and the percentage of individuals living in urban areas, as well as a variety of other structural factors, for less-developed countries from 1960–2010, to empirically assess whether the effect of growth in urban populations on emissions is symmetrical with the effect of decline. Findings indicate that the effect of growth/decline in urban populations on CO2 emissions is asymmetrical, where a decline in urbanization reduces emissions to a much greater degree than urbanization increases emissions. We hypothesize that this is at least in part because deurbanization is connected with disruptions to the production and distribution of goods and services and/or access to electricity and other energy sources. Our finding suggests that not only the absolute level of urbanization of nations matters for emissions, but also how the patterns of migration between rural and urban areas change over time. Future research should be mindful of the processes behind deurbanization when exploring socioeconomic drivers of CO2 emissions.

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<![CDATA[Linear and nonlinear causal relationship between energy consumption and economic growth in China: New evidence based on wavelet analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b0e53a1463d7e030321d289

The energy-growth nexus has important policy implications for economic development. The results from many past studies that investigated the causality direction of this nexus can lead to misleading policy guidance. Using data on China from 1953 to 2013, this study shows that an application of causality test on the time series of energy consumption and national output has masked a lot of information. The Toda-Yamamoto test with bootstrapped critical values and the newly proposed non-linear causality test reveal no causal relationship. However, a further application of these tests using series in different time-frequency domain obtained from wavelet decomposition indicates that while energy consumption Granger causes economic growth in the short run, the reverse is true in the medium term. A bidirectional causal relationship is found for the long run. This approach has proven to be superior in unveiling information on the energy-growth nexus that are useful for policy planning over different time horizons.

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<![CDATA[Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea: Where Ecology Meets Economy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db46ab0ee8fa60bd8b05 ]]> <![CDATA[Allocating Scarce Resources Strategically - An Evaluation and Discussion of the Global Fund's Pattern of Disbursements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da97ab0ee8fa60ba218c

Background

The Global Fund is under pressure to improve its rationing of financial support. This study describes the GF's pattern of disbursements in relation to total health expenditure (THE), government health expenditure (GHE), income status and the burden of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. It also examines the potential for recipient countries to increase domestic public financing for health.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study of 104 countries that received Global Fund disbursements in 2009. It analyses data on Global Fund disbursements; health financing indicators; government revenue and expenditure; and burden of disease.

Findings

Global Fund disbursements made up 0.37% of THE across all 104 countries; but with considerable country variation ranging from 0.002% to 53.4%. Global Fund disbursements to government amounted to 0.47% of GHE across the 104 countries, but again with considerable variation (in three countries more than half of GHE was based on Global Fund support). Although the Global Fund provides progressively more funding for lower income countries on average, there is much variation at the country such that here was no correlation between per capita GF disbursements and per capita THE, nor between per capita GF disbursement to government and per capita GHE. There was only a slight positive correlation between per capita GF disbursement and burden of disease. Several countries with a high degree of 'financial dependency' upon the Fund have the potential to increase levels of domestic financing for health.

Discussion

The Global Fund can improve its targeting of resources so that it better matches the pattern of global need. To do this it needs to: a) reduce the extent to which funds are allocated on a demand-driven basis; and b) align its funding model to broader health systems financing and patterns of health expenditure beyond the three diseases.

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<![CDATA[Stackelberg Game of Buyback Policy in Supply Chain with a Risk-Averse Retailer and a Risk-Averse Supplier Based on CVaR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4bab0ee8fa60b8cbac

This paper considers a decentralized supply chain in which a single supplier sells a perishable product to a single retailer facing uncertain demand. We assume that the supplier and the retailer are both risk averse and utilize Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR), a risk measure method which is popularized in financial risk management, to estimate their risk attitude. We establish a buyback policy model based on Stackelberg game theory under considering supply chain members' risk preference and get the expressions of the supplier's optimal repurchase price and the retailer's optimal order quantity which are compared with those under risk neutral case. Finally, a numerical example is applied to simulate that model and prove related conclusions.

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<![CDATA[Fish Is Food - The FAO’s Fish Price Index]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9fde5

World food prices hit an all-time high in February 2011 and are still almost two and a half times those of 2000. Although three billion people worldwide use seafood as a key source of animal protein, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations–which compiles prices for other major food categories–has not tracked seafood prices. We fill this gap by developing an index of global seafood prices that can help to understand food crises and may assist in averting them. The fish price index (FPI) relies on trade statistics because seafood is heavily traded internationally, exposing non-traded seafood to price competition from imports and exports. Easily updated trade data can thus proxy for domestic seafood prices that are difficult to observe in many regions and costly to update with global coverage. Calculations of the extent of price competition in different countries support the plausibility of reliance on trade data. Overall, the FPI shows less volatility and fewer price spikes than other food price indices including oils, cereals, and dairy. The FPI generally reflects seafood scarcity, but it can also be separated into indices by production technology, fish species, or region. Splitting FPI into capture fisheries and aquaculture suggests increased scarcity of capture fishery resources in recent years, but also growth in aquaculture that is keeping pace with demand. Regionally, seafood price volatility varies, and some prices are negatively correlated. These patterns hint that regional supply shocks are consequential for seafood prices in spite of the high degree of seafood tradability.

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<![CDATA[Rural Poor Economies and Foreign Investors: An Opportunity or a Risk?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0eab0ee8fa60bcb0c6

In the current age of commercial and financial openness, remote and poor local economies are becoming increasingly exposed to inflows of external capital. The new investors - enjoying lower credit constraints than local dwellers - might play a propulsive role in local development. At the same time, inflows of external capital can have negative impacts on local natural resource-dependent activities. We analyze a two-sector model where both sectors damage the environment, but only that of domestic producers relies on natural resources. We assess under which conditions the coexistence of the two sectors is compatible with sustainability, defined as convergence to a stationary state characterized by a positive stock of the natural resource. Moreover, we find that capital inflows can be stimulated by an increase in the pollution intensity of incoming activities, but also in the pollution intensity of the domestic sector; in both cases, capital inflows generate environmental degradation and a decrease in welfare for the local population. Finally, we show that a reduction in the cost of capital for external investors and the consequent capital inflows have the effect to increase wages, local investments and welfare of the local populations only if the environmental impact of the external sector is relatively low with respect to that of local activities. Otherwise, an unexpected scenario characterized by a reduction in domestic capital accumulation and the impoverishment of local agents can occur.

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<![CDATA[Relevance popularity: A term event model based feature selection scheme for text classification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc191

Feature selection is a practical approach for improving the performance of text classification methods by optimizing the feature subsets input to classifiers. In traditional feature selection methods such as information gain and chi-square, the number of documents that contain a particular term (i.e. the document frequency) is often used. However, the frequency of a given term appearing in each document has not been fully investigated, even though it is a promising feature to produce accurate classifications. In this paper, we propose a new feature selection scheme based on a term event Multinomial naive Bayes probabilistic model. According to the model assumptions, the matching score function, which is based on the prediction probability ratio, can be factorized. Finally, we derive a feature selection measurement for each term after replacing inner parameters by their estimators. On a benchmark English text datasets (20 Newsgroups) and a Chinese text dataset (MPH-20), our numerical experiment results obtained from using two widely used text classifiers (naive Bayes and support vector machine) demonstrate that our method outperformed the representative feature selection methods.

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<![CDATA[Modeling the Pre-Industrial Roots of Modern Super-Exponential Population Growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db28ab0ee8fa60bd0a8a

To Malthus, rapid human population growth—so evident in 18th Century Europe—was obviously unsustainable. In his Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus cogently argued that environmental and socioeconomic constraints on population rise were inevitable. Yet, he penned his essay on the eve of the global census size reaching one billion, as nearly two centuries of super-exponential increase were taking off. Introducing a novel extension of J. E. Cohen's hallmark coupled difference equation model of human population dynamics and carrying capacity, this article examines just how elastic population growth limits may be in response to demographic change. The revised model involves a simple formalization of how consumption costs influence carrying capacity elasticity over time. Recognizing that complex social resource-extraction networks support ongoing consumption-based investment in family formation and intergenerational resource transfers, it is important to consider how consumption has impacted the human environment and demography—especially as global population has become very large. Sensitivity analysis of the consumption-cost model's fit to historical population estimates, modern census data, and 21st Century demographic projections supports a critical conclusion. The recent population explosion was systemically determined by long-term, distinctly pre-industrial cultural evolution. It is suggested that modern globalizing transitions in technology, susceptibility to infectious disease, information flows and accumulation, and economic complexity were endogenous products of much earlier biocultural evolution of family formation's embeddedness in larger, hierarchically self-organizing cultural systems, which could potentially support high population elasticity of carrying capacity. Modern super-exponential population growth cannot be considered separately from long-term change in the multi-scalar political economy that connects family formation and intergenerational resource transfers to wider institutions and social networks.

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<![CDATA[Ownership reform and the changing manufacturing landscape in Chinese cities: The case of Wuxi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc417

Since the economic transition, manufacturing in China has undergone profound changes not only in number of enterprises, but also in ownership structure and intra-urban spatial distribution. Investigating the changing manufacturing landscape from the perspective of ownership structure is critical to a deep understanding of the changing role of market and government in re-shaping manufacturing location behavior. Through a case study of Wuxi, a city experiencing comprehensive ownership reform, this paper presents a detailed analysis of the intra-urban spatial shift of manufacturing, identifies the location discrepancies, and examines the underlying forces responsible for the geographical differentiations. Through zone- and district-based analysis, a distinctive trend of decentralization and suburbanization, as well as an uneven distribution of manufacturing, is unveiled. The results of Location Quotient analysis show that the distribution of manufacturing by ownership exhibits distinctive spatial patterns, which is characterized by a historically-based, market-led, and institutionally-created spatial variation. By employing Hot Spot analysis, the role of development zones in attracting manufacturing enterprises of different ownerships is established. Overall, the location behavior of the diversified manufacturing has been increasingly based on the forces of market since the land marketization began. A proactive role played by local governments has also guided the enterprise location decision through spatial planning and regulatory policies.

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<![CDATA[A measurement model for real estate bubble size based on the panel data analysis: An empirical case study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe47

Employing the fundamental value of real estate determined by the economic fundamentals, a measurement model for real estate bubble size is established based on the panel data analysis. Using this model, real estate bubble sizes in various regions in Japan in the late 1980s and in recent China are examined. Two panel models for Japan provide results, which are consistent with the reality in the 1980s where a commercial land price bubble appeared in most area and was much larger than that of residential land. This provides evidence of the reliability of our model, overcoming the limit of existing literature with this method. The same models for housing prices in China at both the provincial and city levels show that contrary to the concern of serious housing price bubble in China, over-valuing in recent China is much smaller than that in 1980s Japan.

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<![CDATA[Job Preferences of Nurses and Midwives for Taking Up a Rural Job in Peru: A Discrete Choice Experiment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd9bf7

Background

Robust evidence on interventions to improve the shortage of health workers in rural areas is needed. We assessed stated factors that would attract short-term contract nurses and midwives to work in a rural area of Peru.

Methods and Findings

A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted to evaluate the job preferences of nurses and midwives currently working on a short-term contract in the public sector in Ayacucho, Peru. Job attributes, and their levels, were based on literature review, qualitative interviews and focus groups of local health personnel and policy makers. A labelled design with two choices, rural community or Ayacucho city, was used. Job attributes were tailored to these settings. Multiple conditional logistic regressions were used to assess the determinants of job preferences. Then we used the best-fitting estimated model to predict the impact of potential policy incentives on the probability of choosing a rural job or a job in Ayacucho city. We studied 205 nurses and midwives. The odds of choosing an urban post was 14.74 times than that of choosing a rural one. Salary increase, health center-type of facility and scholarship for specialization were preferred attributes for choosing a rural job. Increased number of years before securing a permanent contract acted as a disincentive for both rural and urban jobs. Policy simulations showed that the most effective attraction package to uptake a rural job included a 75% increase in salary plus scholarship for a specialization, which would increase the proportion of health workers taking a rural job from 36.4% up to 60%.

Conclusions

Urban jobs were more strongly preferred than rural ones. However, combined financial and non-financial incentives could almost double rural job uptake by nurses and midwifes. These packages may provide meaningful attraction strategies to rural areas and should be considered by policy makers for implementation.

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<![CDATA[The Impact of Services on Economic Complexity: Service Sophistication as Route for Economic Growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4bab0ee8fa60b8cc37

Economic complexity reflects the amount of knowledge that is embedded in the productive structure of an economy. By combining tools from network science and econometrics, a robust and stable relationship between a country’s productive structure and its economic growth has been established. Here we report that not only goods but also services are important for predicting the rate at which countries will grow. By adopting a terminology which classifies manufactured goods and delivered services as products, we investigate the influence of services on the country’s productive structure. In particular, we provide evidence that complexity indices for services are in general higher than those for goods, which is reflected in a general tendency to rank countries with developed service sector higher than countries with economy centred on manufacturing of goods. By focusing on country dynamics based on experimental data, we investigate the impact of services on the economic complexity of countries measured in the product space (consisting of both goods and services). Importantly, we show that diversification of service exports and its sophistication can provide an additional route for economic growth in both developing and developed countries.

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<![CDATA[The Global Pattern of Urbanization and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Three Decades]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad9ab0ee8fa60bb9265

The relationship between urbanization and economic growth has been perplexing. In this paper, we identify the pattern of global change and the correlation of urbanization and economic growth, using cross-sectional, panel estimation and geographic information systems (GIS) methods. The analysis has been carried out on a global geographical scale, while the timescale of the study spans the last 30 years. The data shows that urbanization levels have changed substantially during these three decades. Empirical findings from cross-sectional data and panel data support the general notion of close links between urbanization levels and GDP per capita. However, we also present significant evidence that there is no correlation between urbanization speed and economic growth rate at the global level. Hence, we conclude that a given country cannot obtain the expected economic benefits from accelerated urbanization, especially if it takes the form of government-led urbanization. In addition, only when all facets are taken into consideration can we fully assess the urbanization process.

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<![CDATA[Constraints to Implementing the Essential Health Package in Malawi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac4ab0ee8fa60bb1c28

Increasingly seen as a useful tool of health policy, Essential or Minimal Health Packages direct resources to interventions that aim to address the local burden of disease and be cost-effective. Less attention has been paid to the delivery mechanisms for such interventions. This study aimed to assess the degree to which the Essential Health Package (EHP) in Malawi was available to its population and what health system constraints impeded its full implementation. The first phase of this study comprised a survey of all facilities in three districts including interviews with all managers and clinical staff. In the second and third phase, results were discussed with District Health Management Teams and national level stakeholders, respectively, including representatives of the Ministry of Health, Central Medical Stores, donors and NGOs. The EHP in Malawi is focussing on the local burden of disease; however, key constraints to its successful implementation included a widespread shortage of staff due to vacancies but also caused by frequent trainings and meetings (only 48% of expected man days of clinical staff were available; training and meetings represented 57% of all absences in health centres). Despite the training, the percentage of health workers aware of vital diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to EHP conditions was weak. Another major constraint was shortages of vital drugs at all levels of facilities (e.g. Cotrimoxazole was sufficiently available to treat the average number of patients in only 27% of health centres). Although a few health workers noted some improvement in infrastructure and working conditions, they still considered them to be widely inadequate. In Malawi, as in similar resource poor countries, greater attention needs to be given to the health system constraints to delivering health care. Removal of these constraints should receive priority over the considerable focus on the development and implementation of essential packages of interventions.

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<![CDATA[Empirical Confirmation of Creative Destruction from World Trade Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db46ab0ee8fa60bd8835

We show that world trade network datasets contain empirical evidence that the dynamics of innovation in the world economy indeed follows the concept of creative destruction, as proposed by J.A. Schumpeter more than half a century ago. National economies can be viewed as complex, evolving systems, driven by a stream of appearance and disappearance of goods and services. Products appear in bursts of creative cascades. We find that products systematically tend to co-appear, and that product appearances lead to massive disappearance events of existing products in the following years. The opposite–disappearances followed by periods of appearances–is not observed. This is an empirical validation of the dominance of cascading competitive replacement events on the scale of national economies, i.e., creative destruction. We find a tendency that more complex products drive out less complex ones, i.e., progress has a direction. Finally we show that the growth trajectory of a country’s product output diversity can be understood by a recently proposed evolutionary model of Schumpeterian economic dynamics.

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