A new discussion paper by Adelina Gschwandtner, Sarah L. Jewell and Uma Kambhampati, KDPE 1613, December 2016
Diet and life style diseases have become the main causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Both in the US and in Europe, the consumption of meat, dairy products, oil and fat, sugar, and alcoholic beverages has increased in the second half of the 20th century. This, together with drug abuse, tobacco and lack of exercise, has increased the risk of developing certain chronic diseases like some types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and obesity. In particular obesity, with its attendant impact on health, has become a central problem in many Western economies.
A new discussion paper by Adelina Gschwandtner and Stefan Hirsch, KDPE 1612, December 2016
The present project analyses what drives profitability in the food sector and compares the results with the manufacturing industry in general but also between the European Union and the United States.
One of the main findings is that competition is stronger and profitability is lower within the food sector as compared with the manufacturing sector in general. This is mainly attributable to a high market saturation and to the fierce competition between the big retail companies. While the competition profits the consumer, it puts strong bargaining pressure on the producers. Therefore, one of the main drivers of profitability and profit persistence within the food sector is firm size. Larger producers seem to be in a better bargaining position against the retail sector and this seems to be both the case in the EU and in the US.
A new discussion paper by Emla Fitzsimons, Bansi Malde and Marcos Vera-Hernández, KDPE 1611, October 2016
Interventions seeking to involve communities, particularly through community groups, are very widespread in developing countries. They are thought to be a cost-effective way of delivering services to under-served populations, triggering and sustaining behaviour change, as well as shifting social norms. Governments and NGOs use group-based interventions to provide financial services (e.g. microfinance); promote cooperation and collective action (e.g. participatory women’s groups); deliver parenting interventions; deliver aid and infrastructure in post-conflict as well
as non-conflict settings among others.
by Maria D. C. Garcia Alonso (University of Kent), Quentin Michel (Université de Liège) and Ron Smith (Birkbeck College).
The decision by the UK to leave the EU will have implications in a very large number of areas, given the extent of European coordination. An important area is the control of arms exports. Exports of weapons and dual-use equipment, which can have both military and civilian applications, raise major security concerns: you do not want to arm your enemies and you do not want your allies to arm your enemies either. Most states have arms export control regulations and supplies are also restricted, to some extent, by international regimes like the Wassenaar Arrangement on export controls for conventional arms, by UN embargoes, and by the Arms Trade Treaty that entered into force in December 2014.
“Studies have highlighted the role of electoral competition in directing the flow of public funds. Analysing data from India, this column finds lower income inequality and polarisation in tightly contested constituencies, implying that the poor gain more from electoral competition relative to the rich.
Accountability is central to the concept of democracy. Elected politicians are answerable to their constituencies. Moreover, they have the authority and wherewithal to affect the economic conditions of the citizens in the constituencies. This is because political power necessarily comes with some control of the purse strings: targeting of government schemes (be it welfare or employment generation or poverty alleviation), and provision of local public goods and services (health facilities, schools, road construction, public lighting, etc.). While the former can directly influence the economic prosperity of citizens, the latter does so in more indirect and subtle ways…”