This paper considers a class of activities labelled soft innovation that relate to changes in products that are aesthetic in nature or impact on their intellectual appeal. Having been little studied in the economics of innovation, this paper initially clarifies a number of definitional and measurement issues, such as the distinction between horizontal and vertical innovation, illustrates soft innovation in both the creative and other industries, considers its production and addresses related intellectual property protection issues. Using measurements based on counts of intellectual property registrations and new product launches (with an emphasis being placed upon the distinction between innovations with and without market impact) the extent of such innovation is clarified in terms of both national intensity and international spread. Related policy issues are also discussed. Recommendations are made for improvements in the definition of innovation, its measurement and policy advice.
Drivers of Occupational Gender Desegregation in Southern
by Chiara Mussida, Barbara Barabaschipages: 34€ 6.00
Occupational gender segregation is an enduring feature of labour markets across all industrialized countries. We study the relevance of segregation with a particular emphasis on gender and occupation and its impact on gender inequalities in access to employment and wages. We analyse four Southern European countries, i.e., Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, characterized by different labour market institutions even though similar in the features of the welfare state. We find that education plays a role especially for female selection into employment and for highly educated women a reduction of occupational segregation (or desegregation). Nonetheless, household characteristics, as presence of kids still represents barriers preventing (low educated) women full participation to the labour market. The nature of these obstacles is mixed since there are socio, cultural, and institutional factors related to the ambivalent role of the welfare state, burdening women of (almost) all caring activities and duties within the household.
The Role of the Education Industry in the U.S. Extended Income
by Maurizio Ciaschini, Claudio Socci, Lorenzo Toffolipages: 38€ 6.00
The aim of this work is to design policies for public and private education systems in the U.S. Such policies are determined by assessing the importance of public and private education as industries. The role of public and private education industries is evaluated both in terms of their capability of being stimulated by, and of stimulating the other industries, the primary factors, and the institutional sectors. The analytic framework suitable to address this problem is a multisectoral model based on the Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) approach. Policy design is basedon both traditional multiplier and Macro Multiplier approaches. Policy simulation consists in the evaluation of the short-term multiplier effects of education-oriented policies expressed by shocks on final demand. Observed results show compatibility between targets of generalized output growth in almost all the sector of the economy and of output growth in both public and private education industries.
NOTES AND DISCUSSIONS
Innovation to Overcome Subsistence Agriculture on Family
Farms in Developing Countries: The Role of the Catholic Church
by Giuseppe Bertoni, Paolo Grossi, Margherita Fiorani, André Ndereyimana, Andrea Minardi, Cristina Ganimede, Vincenzo Tabagliopages: 13€ 6.00
In poor countries agriculture is practiced for mere subsistence occupying 70-80% of population; then, families have too small amounts of proper foodstuff to avoid malnutrition and to rise their income. Except for emergency, the problem cannot be solved with bringing food from abroad, but it requires a local agricultural development including: increasing of crop productivity, improvement of food processing and conservation techniques (providing more and wider variety of food), besides better consciousness of hygienic and nutritional rules. The current level of underdevelopment requires that any intervention will include the population and addresses simultaneously to all the above aspects. The Church, is yet involved in healthy services and education in developing countries: now it is called to activate also the rural development. Their existing parish organisations can take part of this task, encouraging farmers to form themselves into associations, which can gradually realize the agricultural innovations within the small holder farmers.
The Discouraged Peasants Pauperization and Social Inequality
Among Guinean Farmers and Cattle Breeders
by Ester Botta Somparé, Abdoulaye Wotem Somparépages: 16€ 6.00
In Guinea, many socio-economical factors lead farmers and cattle breeders to leave agriculture and seek social promotion through other activities, often requiring mobility towards towns. This article analyses some causes of deagrarization, such as the cyclic poverty produced by an extensive agriculture using archaic methods, the conflicts between cattle-breeders and farmers, the peasants’ hard living and working conditions, worsened by the Ebola epidemics. The urban relatives of Guinean farmers play an ambivalent role, acting as the support of the family in difficult economic situations, but also taking possession of family lands and nurturing relationships based on dependence. The land sale is seen as an opportunity to exit from agriculture, but often leads farmers to pauperization and social exclusion, in a context of increasing social inequalities even within the joint family or the village.