We would like to draw your attention to the upcoming German Development Economics Conference scheduled for May 23-24, 2024, and hosted by Leibniz University Hannover. We are thrilled to announce that our keynote speakers for this year’s conference are Sandra Sequeira from the London School of Economics and Tavneet Suri from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
We invite you to submit your full papers for consideration. The submission period opens on December 1st, 2023, and concludes on February 15th, 2024. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by late March 2024.
Please find further information and the full Call for Papers here.
Research of Members
A long-standing theoretical claim is that children serve as their parents' retirement assets in the absence of formal social security systems. But how can this hypothesis be tested empirically? The paper studies the context by examining the introduction of a comprehensive and financially lucrative pension system in Brazil. While employees in metropolitan areas have been paying into a state pension system for several decades, employees and self-employed people in rural areas of Brazil only gained access to a state pension scheme with the constitutional reform of 1991. The research shows that women who were able to qualify for the state pension system at a young age actually had fewer children. Compared to the control group (women in urban settlement areas for whom no change was made in pension provision), the women affected by the introduction of the pension system had on average 1.3 fewer children at the age of 45, and thus fewer than 4 children per woman. This accelerated the decline in birth rates in rural Brazil that had already been occurring for many decades. The pension reform thus exacerbated the demographic undermining of the pay-as-you-go pension system in Brazil.
Empirical evidence on the temporal stability of risk aversion and the role of exogenous shocks is inconclusive. In this paper we revisit this problem and analyze whether and to what extent risk aversion changes in response to rainfall shocks in an agrarian setting, and the role of changes in yields and output prices as two potential channels. We study this both in a simple theoretical model and in an extensive empirical study. The theoretical model predicts that under prudence, households that are either a net seller, a net buyer, or autarkic, increase risk aversion. To test the model predictions, we use a panel data set of the same 1,005 respondents from Northeastern Thailand and Central Vietnam (TVSEP) interviewed across five survey waves between 2008 and 2017 and combine it with historical rainfall data at the village level to capture negative rainfall shocks. Our empirical strategy exploits exogenous variation in the timing, location, and magnitude of rainfall shortages to identify their effect on risk aversion. We find that rainfall shortages increase respondents’ risk aversion, a finding remarkably stable across alternative specifications. The magnitude of the main effect of rainfall shortages on risk aversion is largest among net buyers, and approximately half the size among net sellers. Autarkic households do not exhibit a significant effect. Although rainfall shortages lead to significant reductions in agricultural yields and significant increases in commodity prices, the mediation analysis suggests that these market mechanisms do not play a significant role, except for a small statistically significant mediating effect of prices among the net buying household group. The finding that rainfall shortages lead to significant increases in risk aversion, especially among households that depend on local markets to buy food, has potentially important implications for food security and poverty dynamics. An increased level of risk aversion can undermine investments, e.g., in a beneficial technology, induce forgone returns, and increase the likelihood to fall or being pushed further below the poverty line.
The University of Göttingen has position openings for 15 Doctoral Researchers in Food Systems Economics (all genders welcome) to join the Research Training Group (RTG) 2654 “Sustainable Food Systems” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The positions should be filled by 1 September 2024. The regular working hours will be 65% (currently 25.87 hours per week) with a limited contract of three years to 31 August 2027. The salary is in accordance with the German public service salary scale E13 TVL (65%). These are qualification positions for junior researchers pursuing a PhD degree.
The positions involve interdisciplinary research on questions related to “Sustainable Food Systems”. Food and agriculture are playing key roles for many of the global challenges such as poverty, undernutrition, obesity, climate change, and biodiversity loss. It is obvious that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved without major changes in food production, distribution, and consumption. But what types of changes are useful and how these changes can be implemented politically, economically, and socially are open questions that will be addressed in the RTG, focusing on both rich and poor countries. The Program is implemented in cooperation with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC and KU Leuven in Belgium. The positions are based in Göttingen (Germany), but will require international travel for data collection and exchange with collaborators.
The application deadline is 20 March 2024. Further details about the RTG and more information regarding the application process and material can be found on the website and the job posting can be found here.
The Development Economics Group (ETH-DEC) at ETH Zürich offers a Doctoral Student position in Development Economics. The starting time is the 1st of July (or later) 2024. Payment per month. The position is full-time and limited to four years.
The successful candidate will conduct and publish research on new research projects related to global value chains, global communication, and global cooperation. The candidate will work closely together with Prof. Isabel Günther. As part of the ETH-DEC and the ETH NADEL Global Cooperation and Sustainable Development, the successful candidate will also participate in ongoing research and teaching linked to poverty and inequalities. We offer an exciting and intellectually challenging position at a renowned university with close links to policymaking and other disciplines.
The deadline for application submissions is 15.03.2024.
More information can be found here.
Financial systems are developing rapidly around the global South. These developments increase the need for research into their effects, especially regarding issues of financial inclusion and individual as well as institutional responses.
To this end Heidelberg University’s South Asia Institute and the Department of Economics will host the sixth annual workshop “Finance and Development” in Heidelberg, Germany, on May 16 in the afternoon and May 17, 2024.
Deadline for submitting full papers and presenter nominations is February 2, 2024, with selection decisions to follow by March 8.
Further information can be found here.
The Research Training Group Digital Platform Ecosystems (DPE) at the University of Passau is organizing the first DPE Forum on „Bytes and Behemoths: Understanding Power in Digital Platform Ecosystems,“ to be held on June 4-5, 2024. The forum will feature keynote speakers Professor Marshall van Alstyne (Boston University) and Professor Dr. Martin Selmayr (European Commission in Austria). Abstract submissions are welcomed until January 31, 2024.
The full Call for Papers can be found here.