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Open access

Katharine Hall and Dorrit Posel

Abstract

The disruption of family life is one of the important legacies of South Africa’s colonial and apartheid history. Families were undermined by deliberate strategies implemented through the pass laws, forced removals, urban housing policy, and the creation of homelands. Despite the removal of legal restrictions on permanent urban settlement and family co-residence for Africans, patterns of internal and oscillating labor migration have endured, dual or stretched households continue to link urban and rural nodes, children have remained less urbanized than adults, and many grow up without coresident parents. Although children are clearly affected by adult labor migration, they have tended to be ignored in the migration discourse. In this study, we add to the literature by showing how a child lens advances our understanding of the complexities of household arrangements and migration processes for families. In a mixed-methods study, we use nationally representative panel data to describe persistence, and also change, in migration patterns in South Africa when viewed from the perspective of children. We then draw on a detailed case study to explore what factors constrain or permit families to migrate together, or children to join adults at migration destination areas.

Open access

Ekkehardt Ernst, Rossana Merola and Daniel Samaan

Abstract

The current wave of technological change based on advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) has created widespread fear of job loss and further rises in inequality. This paper discusses the rationale for these fears, highlighting the specific nature of AI and comparing previous waves of automation and robotization with the current advancements made possible by a widespread adoption of AI. It argues that large opportunities in terms of increases in productivity can ensue, including for developing countries, given the vastly reduced costs of capital that some applications have demonstrated and the potential for productivity increases, especially among the low skilled. At the same time, risks in the form of further increases in inequality need to be addressed if the benefits from AI-based technological progress are to be broadly shared. For this, skills policies are necessary but not sufficient. In addition, new forms of regulating the digital economy are called for that prevent further rises in market concentration, ensure proper data protection and privacy, and help share the benefits of productivity growth through the combination of profit sharing, (digital) capital taxation, and a reduction in working time. The paper calls for a moderately optimistic outlook on the opportunities and risks from AI, provided that policymakers and social partners take the particular characteristics of these new technologies into account.

Open access

Andrzej Bolesta

Abstract

Myanmar has been undergoing a process of post-socialist systemic transformation. During the reform period, its authorities used policy and institutional solutions of the East Asian development model in its post-socialist version, creating foundations for the post-socialist developmental state (PSDS).

The concept of the PSDS combines features of a developmental state (DS) and systemic transformation from central planning to market. A developmental state (DS) is considered to be an ideological and conceptual basis for the state’s economic policy and institutional and systemic arrangements that resulted in spectacular developmental achievements of some of the East Asian economies in the second half of the 20th century. Post-socialist transformation is considered the most multi-layered and complicated process of systemic reformulation, which took place at the end of the 20th and the beginning of 21st centuries.

The article describes the process of building a PSDS in Myanmar. In economic policy, the authorities have focused on the industrialisation through the development of an export production base. Nevertheless, access to the internal market has often been restricted for foreign entities. Planning through a state planning agency remains a key tool in the formulation of a development strategy. In addition, systemic reforms have been gradual rather than radical (a shock therapy).

Open access

Przemysław Ryś and Robert Ślepaczuk

Abstract

The main aim of this paper was to formulate and analyse the machine learning methods, fitted to the strategy parameters optimization specificity. The most important problems are the sensitivity of a strategy performance to little parameter changes and numerous local extrema distributed over the solution space in an irregular way. The methods were designed for the purpose of significant shortening of the computation time, without a substantial loss of strategy quality. The efficiency of methods was compared for three different pairs of assets in case of moving averages crossover system. The problem was presented for three sets of two assets’ portfolios. In the first case, a strategy was trading on the SPX and DAX index futures; in the second, on the AAPL and MSFT stocks; and finally, in the third case, on the HGF and CBF commodities futures. The methods operated on the in-sample data, containing 16 years of daily prices between 1998 and 2013 and was validated on the out-of-sample period between 2014 and 2017. The major hypothesis verified in this paper is that machine learning methods select strategies with evaluation criterion near the highest one, but in significantly lower execution time than the brute force method (Exhaustive Search).

Open access

Robert Ślepaczuk and Maryna Zenkova

Abstract

This study investigates the profitability of an algorithmic trading strategy based on training SVM model to identify cryptocurrencies with high or low predicted returns. A tail set is defined to be a group of coins whose volatility-adjusted returns are in the highest or the lowest quintile. Each cryptocurrency is represented by a set of six technical features. SVM is trained on historical tail sets and tested on the current data. The classifier is chosen to be a nonlinear support vector machine. The portfolio is formed by ranking coins using the SVM output. The highest ranked coins are used for long positions to be included in the portfolio for one reallocation period. The following metrics were used to estimate the portfolio profitability: %ARC (the annualized rate of change), %ASD (the annualized standard deviation of daily returns), MDD (the maximum drawdown coefficient), IR1, IR2 (the information ratio coefficients). The performance of the SVM portfolio is compared to the performance of the four benchmark strategies based on the values of the information ratio coefficient IR1, which quantifies the risk-weighted gain. The question of how sensitive the portfolio performance is to the parameters set in the SVM model is also addressed in this study.

Open access

Effrosyni Adamopoulou, Emmanuele Bobbio, Marta De Philippis and Federico Giorgi

Abstract

Aggregate wages display little cyclicality compared to what a standard model would predict. Wage rigidities are an obvious candidate, but the existing literature has emphasized the need to take into account the growing importance of worker composition effects, especially during downturns. This paper seeks to understand the role of firm heterogeneity for aggregate wage dynamics with reference to the Italian case. Using a newly available dataset based on social security records covering the universe of Italian employers between 1990 and 2015, we document that firm composition effects increasingly matter in explaining aggregate wage growth and largely reflect shifts of labor from low-paying to high-paying firms, especially in the most recent years. We find that changes in reallocation of workers across firms accounted for approximately one-fourth of aggregate wage growth during the crisis.

Open access

Pepliński Benedykt

Abstract

The aim of the work was to analyse the external costs for agriculture and agri-food industry related to the possible launch of lignite deposits in Wielkopolska, that is, on the Ościsłowo, Dęby Szlacheckie and Oczkowice deposits. The duration of the mine’s impact on the environment includes the period of drainage of the deposit, its exploitation and the time necessary for the reconstruction of water relations around the open pit. The level of losses in agricultural production was estimated based on the production results achieved by agriculture threatened by the occurrence of external costs based on the Central Statistical Office (CSO) data. The studies adopted two variants of the impact of open pitches on agriculture, including: the area of the estimated depression hopper, that is, the area in which the water table lowered by at least one meter and the entire impact area of the outcrop. In total, the external costs in agricultural production and processing, which may arise as a result of the launch of extraction from the three analysed deposits, were estimated at PLN 7.7–32.3 bn, losses in non-produced agricultural production at PLN 31.8–113.0 bn, while when the value of lignite is PLN 83.7–111.6 bn. Such high costs mean that the opening of new lignite deposits in Wielkopolska raises economic doubts. This also applies to each deposit separately.

Open access

Xuan Wei, Gülcan Önel, Zhengfei Guan and Fritz Roka

Abstract

The policy debate surrounding the employment of immigrant workers in U.S. agriculture centers around the extent to which immigrant farmworkers adversely affect the economic opportunities of native farmworkers. To help answer this question, we propose a three-layer nested constant elasticity of substitution (CES) framework to investigate the substitutability among heterogeneous farmworker groups based on age, skill, and legal status utilizing National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) data from 1989 through 2012. We use farmwork experience and type of task performed as alternative proxies for skill to disentangle the substitution effect between U.S. citizens, authorized immigrants, and unauthorized immigrant farmworkers. Results show that substitutability between the three legal status groups is small; neither authorized nor unauthorized immigrant farmworkers have a significant impact on the employment of native farmworkers.

Open access

Anja Rossen, Christina Boll and André Wolf

Abstract

This study investigates the incidence of overeducation among graduate workers in 21 European Union countries and its underlying factors based on the European Labor Force Survey 2016. Although controlling for a wide range of covariates, the particular interest lies in the role of fields of study for vertical educational mismatch. The study reveals country differences in the impact of these factors. Compared to Social sciences, male graduates from, for example, Education, Health and welfare, Engineering, and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) are less and those from Services and Natural sciences are more at risk in a clear majority of countries. These findings are robust against changes of the standard education. Moreover, some fields show gender-specific risks. We suggest that occupational closure, productivity signals and gender stereotypes answer for these cross-field and cross-country differentials. Moreover, country fixed effects point to relevant structural differences between national labor markets and between educational systems.

Open access

Igor Fedotenkov and Friedrich Schneider

Abstract

The main goal of our paper is to determine the existence of a link between government (military) expenditures and the shadow economy in the Central and Eastern European countries, which are the members of the European Union. The empirical investigation is conducted for the years 2003–2015. We show that there is a high statistically significant positive dependence between the size of the shadow economy and military expenditures in the Baltic States. Our conclusion is that higher military expenditures indeed lead to a larger shadow economy and this result is robust to different model specifications. In order to demonstrate the importance of our results, we undertook a simulation, where we calculated how much the size of the shadow economy would increase if the size of military expenditure as a percentage of GDP were to double. For example, in the Czech Republic, such an expansion would have led to an increase in the size of the shadow economy from 11.50% to 12.96%, and in Estonia, from 18.34% to 22.72% in 2012.