Agricultural development is central in the debate on the post-2015 development agenda, food security and poverty eradication being directly linked to agricultural production. Development actors are working to translate identified priorities into implementable policies aimed at increasing small farmers’ productivity, which is one of the most important barriers to agricultural development. Agricultural extension is deemed as a way to transfer innovation to farmers. Despite the development of extension programs, few studies investigate their impacts through rigorous evaluation methods. Impact evaluation exercises, by incorporating the methodology of the counterfactual, play a pivotal role in identifying the effects of agricultural programs in a causal manner, allowing the selection of the most cost-effective interventions and providing information for evidence-based policy making. The paper underlines the role of impact evaluation methods applied to agricultural development programs. It focuses on agricultural extension projects and briefly presents the results of a case study in rural Ethiopia.
Spillover of Military Regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Raul Caruso, Ilaria Petrarca, Roberto Ricciutipages: 13€ 6.00
We analyse institutional spillover in military regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa, from 1972 through 2007, by means of a Markov chain transition model. This method allows us to study in a unified framework both the occurrence and the persistence of military dictatorships. We find a robust spatial autocorrelation between military governments in the short-run, but this process is shortly lived, since we observe an overall trend that reduces the number of military regimes. We find some interesting asymmetries between transition and persistence results, in particular for GDP and external hostility.
Wellbeing at Work: A Survey on Perception of Health Care
The paper focuses first on a theoretical background on wellbeing at work, and then on a survey in three Italian hospitals focussing mainly on the determinants of wellbeing at work. The preference is given to the quantitative method, by administering anonymous questionnaires to the almost total number of health care staff working in the wards of the three hospitals. From the survey results the relationship with leader is the organizational factor perceived by healthcare professionals as that most generates a high level of wellbeing. Other factors, perceived by employees as a source of high wellbeing at work, concern ‘‘personality traits’’ and organizational values.
The Impact of the Human Nature Concepts on the Goal
of Humanistic Economics and Religious Motivated Streams
of Economics (Buddhist, Islam and Christian)
The shape of economics depends on the concept of human nature. Those concepts can be understood as a set of assumptions made about the individual (especially his/her behavior, motives, meaning), his/her social world, and the worldview. Such a concept of human nature builds the basis of thinking about the economics and about its fundamental elements. The goal of the paper is to present the impact of the assumptions about the concept of a man on one of such fundaments - the goal of economics, on the example of humanistic economics. Humanistic economics is here understood widely, including approaches to economics developed within particular world religions as especially: Buddhist, Islam and Christian. The method applied to this research is, among others, a content analysis of the most important texts created within widely understood humanistic economics and directions of economics motivated by world religions.
Sovereign Wealth Fund Investments and Stock Prices:
The Effect of Target Industry and Location
by Samuele Martinu, Vittoria Giada Scalerapages: 16€ 6.00
We investigate the determinants of sovereign wealth fund (SWF) investments’ stock prices. We focus on the location of the investment (domestic versus cross-border) and the target industry (strategic versus non-strategic). To control for endogeneity, we use two identification strategies: OLS estimation with SWF-specific fixed effects to control for fund quality/experience, and instrumental variables estimation. Our results show that cross-border investments have an average higher increase in stock price than domestic investments, while investments in strategic industries show an higher drop in stock price than investments in non-strategic industries. We also find that the higher is the politicization of the fund, and the higher is the stock price drop. Our results are robust to controls for bilateral political relations between the SWFs’ and target country, fund type (SWFs versus Sovereign Pension Reserve Funds), fund opacity, SWFs’ equity stake, use of investment vehicles, target country’s market capitalization/GDP ratio, and time effects.
NOTE AND DISCUSSIONS
Global Change in Africa: Climate Change and Large Scale
by Davide Danilo Chiarelli, Kyle Frankel Davis, Maria Cristina Rulli, Paolo D'Odoricopages: 10€ 6.00
Concerns over climate change and future food and energy security have combined to heighten demand for agricultural land. In order to increase the agricultural resources under their control, many countries and investors have acquired more than 40 Mha of land in the global South. In targeted countries, these large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) have brought rapid and substantial changes, affecting food security, rural livelihoods and the environment. One significant impact of LSLAs is the water demand associated with a transition to commercial agriculture. While this aspect is well understood under current conditions, how climate change may affect crop water demand remains unclear. Here we examine the land deals of Africa – the region most targeted by LSLAs – and quantify the impact of climate change on acquired water resources. While climate will impact major crop yields, we find that crop water demand will remain fairly constant under a variety of future climate conditions.