keynes collegeby Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, University of Essex, CEPR, CESifo and IZA; Andrey Launov, University of Kent, CESifo and IZA; and Jean-Marc Robin, Sciences Po and UCL. Discussion paper KDPE 1805, March 2018.

Non-technical summary:

In this paper we investigate the recent fall in unemployment, and the rise in part-time work, labour market participation, inequality and welfare in Germany. Unemployment fell because the Hartz IV reform induced a large fraction of the long-term unemployed to deregister as jobseekers and appear as non-participants. Yet, labour force participation increased because many unregistered-unemployed workers ended up accepting low-paid part-time work that was offered in quantity in absence of a universal minimum wage.

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iain fraser 120x120A food and consumers research forum was held at the University of Kent on Friday 6th April, the same day in which the UK's so called "sugar tax" came into effect. The event was organised by Professor Iain Fraser (Economics), Professor Ben Lowe (KBS) and Dr Diogo Souza-Monteiro (Newcastle University). Around 30 people registered for the event and speakers came from all over the UK and Europe. We were delighted that Professor Klaus Grunert (Aarhus University, Denmark) could join us to deliver his keynote speech on "Consumer food quality perception and food choice: The rise of credence qualities and the role of labelling information". Professor Grunert is a world leader in the area of food marketing and consumer behaviour and the talk focused on marketers' use of credence attributes such as healthfulness, sustainability and authenticity in positioning new food products.

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miguel leon ledesma 120x120A paper by Professor Miguel León-Ledesma on ‘Population structure and asset values’ has received the 2017 International Centre for Pension Management Award.

The paper, co-authored with Kate Rybczynski, Lori Curtis, Stephen Bonnar (University of Waterloo), Jaideep Oberoi (University of Kent), and Mark Zhou (CMHC), analyses the effect of changes in the age structure of population on the prize of risky and non-risky assets. Its results are important for the management of pension systems, as it helps forecasting future returns in countries where the age structure is rapidly changing towards a larger weight of pension-age population.

The prize, endowed with 10,000 CAD, will be used to fund further research in the area by the team. The paper also received the Best Paper Award 2018 by the International Conference of Actuaries 2018.

zaki wahhaj 120x120The School of Economics will participate in a major study, funded by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), on marketing formal insurance to smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso through their urban migrant family networks. The study will be led by Dr Harounan Kazianga (Oklahoma State University) and Dr Zaki Wahhaj (University of Kent) in partnership with Innovations for Poverty Action and the micro-insurance provider Planet Guarantee.

Last year a pilot study by the same team demonstrated that the potential client base for formal index-based insurance in developing countries is substantially larger than those directly engaged in rural farming, with significant demand from urban migrants with rural family links. The present study will look at the impact of this marketing strategy on the livelihoods of both rural farmers and urban migrants. Its wider objective is to investigate whether marketing formal index insurance to urban migrants with rural family ties is a viable strategy for increasing use of formal insurance among rural farmers in developing countries.

The study, with a total funding of USD 430,000 over the period 2018-2022 is one of six projects worldwide funded by 3ie under its evaluation programme on agricultural insurance.

Photo: Drs Kazianga and Wahhaj in Ouagadougou in 2017 with IPA country director Nicolo Tomaselli and research assistant Oumar Sory.

anthony savagar 120x120by Marta Aloi, University of Nottingham, Huw Dixon, Cardiff University and Anthony Savagar, University of Kent. Discussion paper KDPE 1804, February 2018.

Non-technical summary:

A long-standing debate in macroeconomics is whether labor hours initially increase or decrease across the economy following a technology improvement. We develop a theory that reconciles both outcomes by observing that:

1. New firms enter the economy slowly after a technology improvement. That is, entry is not instantaneous as often assumed.

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