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Showing papers in "Social Indicators Research in 2019"


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TL;DR: In this article, the authors put composite indicators under the spotlight, examining the wide variety of methodological approaches in existence and offered a more recent outlook on the advances made in this field over the past years.
Abstract: In recent times, composite indicators have gained astounding popularity in a wide variety of research areas. Their adoption by global institutions has further captured the attention of the media and policymakers around the globe, and their number of applications has surged ever since. This increase in their popularity has solicited a plethora of methodological contributions in response to the substantial criticism surrounding their underlying framework. In this paper, we put composite indicators under the spotlight, examining the wide variety of methodological approaches in existence. In this way, we offer a more recent outlook on the advances made in this field over the past years. Despite the large sequence of steps required in the construction of composite indicators, we focus particularly on two of them, namely weighting and aggregation. We find that these are where the paramount criticism appears and where a promising future lies. Finally, we review the last step of the robustness analysis that follows their construction, to which less attention has been paid despite its importance. Overall, this study aims to provide both academics and practitioners in the field of composite indices with a synopsis of the choices available alongside their recent advances.

258 citations


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TL;DR: In this article, the determinants of household debt using a dataset of 33 countries and taking into account both demand-side and supply-side factors are studied, showing that household debt is higher in countries with social-democratic and liberal welfare models than in conservative and Eastern European welfare states.
Abstract: In many countries, household debt increased from the 1990s until the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 and then stagnated with the Great Recession, the euro-area sovereign debt crisis and deleveraging. In spite of these common trends, differences in national household debt/disposable income ratios are evident. This paper studies the determinants of household debt using a dataset of 33 countries and taking into account both demand-side and supply-side factors. The econometric exercises, covering the period 1995–2016, yield the following results. First, there is a positive link between household debt and both household wealth and house price growth. Second, the quality of bankruptcy laws relates positively to household debt, whereas longer insolvency resolution times are associated with lower household debt. Third, Anglo-Saxon legal origin and Scandinavian legal origin have a stronger link with household debt than French and German legal origin. Fourth, household debt is higher in countries with social-democratic and liberal welfare models than in conservative and Eastern European welfare states. Fifth, the ratio of public debt to GDP displays a negative association with private debt. Last, the effect of saving on household debt is significant only in the years of household deleveraging, i.e. after the global financial crisis. While the effect of demand-side variables is unstable over time, supply-side variables appear to be more persistent in determining the level of household debt.

60 citations


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TL;DR: The use and misuse of PCA for measuring well-being is discussed, some applications to real data are shown, and the technique is shown to be suitable for all types of indicators.
Abstract: The measurement of well-being of people is very difficult because it is characterized by a multiplicity of aspects or dimensions. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) is probably the most popular multivariate statistical technique for reducing data with many dimensions and, often, well-being indicators are reduced to a single index of well-being by using PCA. However, PCA is implicitly based on a reflective measurement model that is not suitable for all types of indicators. In this paper, we discuss the use and misuse of PCA for measuring well-being, and we show some applications to real data.

41 citations


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TL;DR: This article investigated demands and resources as antecedents of work-life balance (WLB) across four countries (New Zealand, France, Italy, and Spain) to provide empirical cross-national evidence.
Abstract: Drawing on the perceived work–family fit and balance perspective, this study investigates demands and resources as antecedents of work–life balance (WLB) across four countries (New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain), so as to provide empirical cross-national evidence. Using structural equation modelling analysis on a sample of 870 full time employees, we found that work demands, hours worked and family demands were negatively related to WLB, while job autonomy and supervisor support were positively related to WLB. We also found evidence that resources (job autonomy and supervisor support) moderated the relationships between demands and work–life balance, with high resources consistently buffering any detrimental influence of demands on WLB. Furthermore, our study identified additional predictors of WLB that were unique to some national contexts. For example, in France and Italy, overtime hours worked were negatively associated with WLB, while parental status was positively associated with WLB. Overall, the implications for theory and practice are discussed.

40 citations


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TL;DR: The authors explored how schools in different contexts and across cultures influence student resilience by providing them with seven resources that are associated with better developmental outcomes for children: access to material resources; access to supportive relationships; development of a desirable personal identity; experiences of power and control; adherence to cultural traditions; social justice; and experiences of social cohesion with others.
Abstract: Using a social ecological understanding of resilience, this position paper explores how schools in different contexts and across cultures influence student resilience by providing them with seven resources that are associated with better developmental outcomes for children: (1) access to material resources; (2) access to supportive relationships; (3) development of a desirable personal identity; (4) experiences of power and control; (5) adherence to cultural traditions; (6) experiences of social justice; and (7) experiences of social cohesion with others. Drawing on results from studies around the world that have assessed these seven factors, this paper makes the case that educational institutions, in collaboration with families and communities, are a form of psychosocial intervention that can improve children’s resilience. Positive outcomes are most likely when there are opportunities for children to experience support for multiple coping strategies that respond to the challenges they find in different environments at school and in their communities. Our review of the research suggests that schools may have the greatest impact on resilience among children who are the most disadvantaged.

39 citations


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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors construct an illustrative multidimensional poverty index for China and compare it with income poverty using the panel data from multiple waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey.
Abstract: In this paper, we construct an illustrative multidimensional poverty index for China and compare it with income poverty using the panel data from multiple waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. We use first order stochastic dominance method and regression analysis to test the stability of multidimensional poverty measures and probe the often-observed mis-match between multidimensional measures and income measures. We find as expected that China’s multidimensional poverty is significantly higher in rural areas and in the less developed western provinces. But relative to the income poverty, the multidimensional poverty is less volatile. Also, the ranking of provinces by income and multidimensional poverty varies. The multidimensional poverty measures are somewhat sensitive to the large change of weight, but if we control the indicators’ weight, then the multidimensional poverty measures are stable to a change of indicators.

39 citations


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TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyzed the levels of trust in Greece and compared them with 17 other European countries, focusing on 2002-2011, and found that the level of trust people show towards political and impartial institutions decreased substantially in Greece.
Abstract: Focusing on 2002–2011, we analyse levels of trust in Greece and compare them with 17 other European countries. During this period, Greece endured a serious economic crisis. Signs of increasing mistrust in all societal institutions became evident and the nation witnessed extreme phenomena, such as violent demonstrations, the surfacing of radical political ideas, parties with nationalistic and racist characteristics, and noncompliance with rules, regulations, and taxes. However, little is known about generalised social trust, i.e. interpersonal trust between individuals, during the crisis. We analyse data from the European Social Survey Rounds 1, 2, 4, and 5 to test whether the crisis affected the levels of various forms of trust among Greeks. In addition to social trust, we distinguish between trust in political institutions (e.g. politicians and the national parliament) and impartial institutions (e.g. the police and legal system). The results reveal that the level of trust people show towards political and impartial institutions decreased substantially in Greece. Surprisingly, however, interpersonal social trust did not collapse; rather, it remained stable or even slightly increased concurrently with the notable decrease in political trust. This suggests that during an economic crisis, people do not deterministically lose their trust in other individuals; instead, in the Greek case they appear to lean on each other when both political and impartial institutions fail. Moreover, it is possible that shared experiences of nearly overwhelming adversities in Greece during the crisis increase a sense of togetherness among individuals, which in turn contributed to the robustness of social trust.

38 citations


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TL;DR: In this article, the authors developed the Women's Empowerment in Livestock Index (WELI), a new index to assess the empowerment of women in the livestock sector.
Abstract: The empowerment of women in the livestock sector is fundamental to achieve gender equality. It also is instrumental for increased household productivity and improved household health and nutrition. Diverse strategies exist to empower women, yet these strategies are difficult to prioritize without a reliable and adapted means to measure women’s empowerment. One quantitative measure is the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI). Despite its reliability in certain agricultural contexts, the WEAI requires adaptation in settings where livestock farming is the dominant form of livelihood. Using the WEAI as a starting point, a multidisciplinary team of researchers developed the Women’s Empowerment in Livestock Index (WELI), a new index to assess the empowerment of women in the livestock sector. This paper presents the WELI and the dimensions of empowerment it includes: (1) decisions about agricultural production; (2) decisions related to nutrition; (3) access to and control over resources; (4) control and use of income; (5) access to and control of opportunities; and (6) workload and control over own time. The paper illustrates the use of the WELI by introducing pilot findings from dairy smallholders in four districts of northern Tanzania. The paper addresses considerations for the appropriate use and adaptation of the WELI to balance the needs for context specificity and cross-cultural comparisons; it also discusses its limitations. The paper recommends participatory and qualitative methods that are complementary to the WELI to provide context-specific insights on the processes of women’s empowerment in the livestock sector.

33 citations


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TL;DR: In this article, the authors review the empirical evidence showing the existence of linkage between wellbeing and possible co-benefits, investigating in particular the positive effect that happiness and life satisfaction can have on health, social outcomes, employment, education and environmental behaviours.
Abstract: The objectives of this paper are twofold. First, it reviews the empirical evidence showing the existence of linkage between wellbeing and possible co-benefits, investigating in particular the positive effect that happiness and life satisfaction can have on health, social outcomes, employment, education and environmental behaviours. Second, it presents the valuation methods that have been proposed in the literature to place a monetary value on these outcomes. With wellbeing having become more and more relevant for individuals and policy makers, the full understanding of the co-benefits of wellbeing is central for the design and development of wellbeing interventions. As a consequence, the evaluation of the co-benefits of wellbeing is of crucial importance for the appropriate allocation of resources towards such strategies.

33 citations


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TL;DR: It is argued that researchers and practitioners measuring this concept may benefit from making explicit their theory-, fact- and value-based assumptions about women’s empowerment before settling on a single primary measure for their particularly context, and alternative indicators can subsequently be used as sensitivity measures that not only measure sensitivity to assumptions about girls’ social reality, but also to investigators' own values.
Abstract: Improving the conceptualisation and measurement of women's empowerment has been repeatedly identified as a research priority for global development policy. We apply arguments from feminist and political philosophy to develop a unified typology of empowerment concepts to guide measurement and evaluation. In this typology, empowerment (1) may be a property of individuals or collectives (2) may involve removing internal psychological barriers or external interpersonal barriers (3) may be defined on each agent’s own terms or by external agents in advance (4) may require agents to acquire a degree of independence or require others to ‘empower’ them through social support (5) may either concern the number of present options or the motivations behind past choices. We argue a careful examination of arguments for and against each notion of empowerment reveal fundamental fact-, theory- and value-based incompatibilities between contrasting notions. Thus, empowerment is an essentially contested concept that cannot be captured by simply averaging a large number of contrasting measures. We argue that researchers and practitioners measuring this concept may benefit from making explicit their theory-, fact- and value-based assumptions about women’s empowerment before settling on a single primary measure for their particularly context. Alternative indicators can subsequently be used as sensitivity measures that not only measure sensitivity to assumptions about women’s social reality, but also to investigators’ own values.

32 citations


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TL;DR: A Monte Carlo study based on factor mixture models is used to draw up a series of uni-and multidimensional poverty measures with different reliabilities and predefined groups and shows that low reliability results in a high proportion of the poor group erroneously classified as part of the not poor group.
Abstract: In poverty measurement, differential weighting aims to take into account the unequal importance of the diverse dimensions and aspects of poverty and to add valuable information that improves the classification of the poor and the not-poor. This practice, however, is in contention with both classical test theory and modern measurement theories, which state that high reliability is a necessary condition for consistent population classification, while differential weighting is not so. The literature needs a clear numerical illustration of the relationship between high/low reliability and good/poor population classification to dissolve this tension and assist applied researchers in the assessment of multidimensional poverty indexes, using different reliability statistics. This paper uses a Monte Carlo study based on factor mixture models to draw up a series of uni-and multidimensional poverty measures with different reliabilities and predefined groups. The article shows that low reliability results in a high proportion of the poor group erroneously classified as part of the not poor group. Therefore, reliability inspections should be a systematic practice in poverty measurement. The article provides guidelines for interpreting the effects of unreliability upon adequate population classification and suggest that the classification error of current unreliable multidimensional indexes is above 10%.

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TL;DR: Zhang et al. as mentioned in this paper explored the sensitivity of rural households' livelihood strategies to various types of livelihood capitals in different types of villages, from the perspective of village type, using survey data from 8031 rural households in 226 villages from 27 provinces of China.
Abstract: Research on the association between rural households’ livelihood capitals and livelihood strategies has long been of interest in geography, management, economics, ecology and other disciplines. However, the existing micro-empirical studies are mostly small-scale surveys of rural households; there are much fewer large-scale investigations at the national level. Meanwhile, few empirical studies have analyzed the sensitivity of rural households’ livelihood strategies to various types of livelihood capitals in different types of villages, from the perspective of village type. This study uses survey data from 8031 rural households in 226 villages from 27 provinces (cities) of China; the villages were divided into three types: plain villages, hilly villages and mountainous villages. The livelihood capitals and livelihood strategies of rural households in different types of villages were examined, and ordinal logistic regression models were construed to explore the sensitivity of rural households’ livelihood strategies to various types of livelihood capitals in different types of villages. The results revealed that: (1) the sample of rural households had similar livelihood asset structures and livelihood strategy selections across the different types of villages. Among them, human capital was the most important livelihood asset for rural households, while rural households had the lowest dependence on natural capital; off-farm work was the main livelihood strategy for rural households, followed by on-farm work, while the proportion of households engaged in part-time work was the smallest. (2) Rural households’ livelihood strategies had different sensitivities to various types of livelihood capitals, and there were also differences in the sensitivities among different types of villages. For the total sample, as well as the hill and mountain village sub-samples, human and financial capitals had significant positive impacts on livelihood strategy, while nature and social capitals had significant negative impacts on livelihood strategy; physical capital had no significant impact on livelihood strategy. For the plain village sub-sample, human and physical capitals had significant positive impacts on livelihood strategy, while nature capital had a significant negative impact on livelihood strategy; financial and social capitals had no significant impacts on livelihood strategy. This study enhances our understanding of the characteristics of rural households’ livelihood capital structures and livelihood strategy selections as well as the sensitivity of rural households’ livelihood strategies to various types of livelihood capitals among different types of villages in China. These findings provide reference for the formulation of policies related to the improvement of rural households’ livelihoods in different types of villages.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined the multi-dimensional structure of environmental behavior and its potential domains and explored the predictive power of connectedness to nature, ecological worldview, and environmental concern for explaining the diverse behavioral domains.
Abstract: In this study we examine the multi-dimensional structure of environmental behavior and its potential domains. Factor analysis reveals six behavioral domains: civic actions, policy support, recycling, transportation choices, behaviors in a household setting and consumerism. We use the Connectedness to Nature and Inclusion of Nature in Self scales to measure connection with nature, the New Environmental Paradigm to measure ecological worldviews, and Environmental Motives Scale to assess people’s environmental concern. We further explore the predictive power of connectedness to nature, ecological worldview, and environmental concern for explaining the diverse behavioral domains. Connectedness to nature and ecological worldview were more predictive of civic actions, recycling, household behaviors, and consumerism than were environmental concerns. In the case of policy support and transportation choices, environmental concerns explained more variance than the other constructs.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide an overview of this critique by performing a systematic literature review of 62 studies conducted over the MDG implementation period (2002-2015) and shortly after, and reflect on the limitations of using only quantitative indicators to measure progress towards SDG 6.
Abstract: Target 7c of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 7c) aimed to halve the population that had no sustainable access to water and basic sanitation before 2015. According to the data collected by the Joint Monitoring Programme in charge of measuring progress towards MDG 7c, 2.6 billion people gained access to safe water and 2.3 billion people to basic sanitation. Despite these optimistic figures, many academics have criticised MDG 7c. We provide an overview of this critique by performing a systematic literature review of 62 studies conducted over the MDG implementation period (2002–2015) and shortly after. Our objective is to contribute to the debate on the operationalisation of the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6). The academic debate on MDG 7c mainly focused on the effectiveness of the indicators for safe water and sanitation and on the political dynamics underlying the selection of these indicators. SDG 6 addresses some of the concerns raised on the indicators for safe water and sanitation but fails to acknowledge the politics of indicator setting. We are proposing additional indicators and reflect on the limitations of using only quantitative indicators to measure progress towards SDG 6.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate whether demographic transition with dynamics of human capital matters for economic growth for a representative sample of developing world and find that the inclusion of human resources in level-form makes economic growth more sensitive to changes in human resources.
Abstract: This study seeks to empirically investigate whether demographic transition with dynamics of human capital matters for economic growth for a representative sample of developing world. The empirical analysis based on panel of 67 developing countries, using 5-year interval data over 1960–2014, has been done by employing dynamic panel System-Generalized Method of Moments (Sys-GMM) estimator. The empirical findings suggest that demographic transition and human capital, in accordance with the theory, matter for economic growth of developing economies. The economically active population and labor force participation rate have positive contribution in economic growth. Moreover, the inclusion of human capital in level-form makes economic growth more sensitive to changes in human capital. The lag term of human capital yields insightful findings that higher the accumulation of human capital in previous time period, higher will be the economic growth in the current time period. However, the pre-requisite to achieve the benefits of this demographic transition in developing world is flexible labor markets capable to absorb the youth entering the working-age population. For market flexibility, sustained investment in human capital is required.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors proposed a metric system for assessing the sustainability of food systems and diets at a subnational level adapted to the context of the Mediterranean area, which considers the interactions between a set of biophysical and socioeconomic drivers of vulnerability and a number of context-specific food and nutrition security issues.
Abstract: Recurrent food crises and global environmental change are critical issues that pushed food security and sustainability to the top of the policy agenda. Policy-makers need assessment tools that help them decide what actions they should take to achieve these goals. This paper proposes a new metric system assessing the sustainability of food systems and diets at a subnational level adapted to the context of the Mediterranean area. Recognizing the systemic dimension of sustainability, the proposed information system builds on a vulnerability/resilience conceptual framework and considers the interactions between a set of biophysical and socioeconomic drivers of vulnerability and a number of context-specific food and nutrition security issues. A three-round iterative Delphi survey was conducted to involve a number of selected experts in the indicator selection process. 18 indicators were finally identified for eight preselected causal models of vulnerability and resilience at the interactions between a set of four drivers of change (water depletion, biodiversity loss, food price volatility, and changes in food consumption patterns) and four food and nutrition security outcomes (nutritional quality of food supply, affordability of food, dietary energy balance, and satisfaction of cultural food preferences). Each interaction was disentangled in exposure, sensitivity and resilience. The exercise allowed discussion of a conceptual and dynamic framework for food systems, and identification of indicators that gather consensus among the expert community.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors identify the least financially literate groups in each country to facilitate targeting of public policy and find that women, younger adults and individuals who cannot read or write in the official language of their country of residence have lower financial literacy scores.
Abstract: Focusing on different facades of financial well-being such as wealth accumulation and retirement planning, various determinants of financial well-being have been unearthed, and financial literacy has emerged as a crucial factor that increases financial well-being. Hence, financial literacy has been an important policy instrument to increase the financial well-being of individuals, particularly given that it is relatively easy to implement. This paper is an attempt to pave the way for such policies in a group of middle income countries, namely Mexico, Lebanon, Uruguay, Colombia and Turkey. After establishing financial literacy levels, we identify the least financially literate groups in each country to facilitate targeting of public policy. We find that women, younger adults and individuals who cannot read or write in the official language of their country of residence have lower financial literacy scores. In line with the previous findings in the literature on the developed countries, our results indicate that financial literacy increases with education. We also show that it is not only the years of education, but also the quality. In Mexico and Turkey, there are large regional differences that must be addressed. We also find that differences in financial literacy across countries persist even when differences in structural characteristics are taken into account. A partial explanation may be provided by differences in financial inclusion.

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TL;DR: Categorical principal component analysis (CATPCA) is a more flexible alternative, suitable for variables of mixed measurement levels (nominal, ordinal, and numeric) that may not be linearly related to each other as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Social capital is a promising concept, widely used by social science researchers in analysing factors that contribute to the persistence of various economic issues Unfortunately, the search for the best way to define, measure and classify the appropriate components that constitute this intangible form of capital is far from complete Generally, data on social capital are qualitative in nature (mostly of the nominal and ordinal types) and encompass a large number of variables This challenges the researcher to find the best way to reduce these data to a small number of composites to be used as a proxy of measurement in further analysis Although principal component analysis (PCA) is considered an appropriate method and has been widely adopted in past studies, the requirement that data must be at the numeric measurement level, as well as the assumptions of linear relationships between variables, might hinder the use of PCA in working with social capital data Categorical principal component analysis (CATPCA) is a more flexible alternative, suitable for variables of mixed measurement levels (nominal, ordinal, and numeric) that may not be linearly related to each other Based on theory and past studies, questionnaires have been constructed and fieldwork has been carried out to gather data on social capital in Malaysia Later, using CATPCA, 42 potential variables were identified to represent components of social capital Final results indicate that after withdrawing 9 variables with bad fits, CATPCA has categorized the balance of 33 variables into four dimensions of social capital These dimensions can be described by 5 principal components, which have been identified as influence of spirituality and culture, benefits from interaction with friend, trusted person during financial difficulties, benefits from financial aid receive and benefits from involvement in association The first component represents culture/spirituality, the new dimension created by this study to address social capital from the perspective of a developing country The second, third, fourth and fifth components are in line with the consensus reached by scholars and advocates regarding the elements or components of social capital The second and fifth actually fall under the rubrics of the social relation/networks dimension while the third and fourth under trust and norms

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TL;DR: In this paper, a more comprehensive approach moving away from asking whether people are excluded or not to asking whether they have access to accessible, acceptable and appropriate resources and supports in adverse financial circumstances is proposed.
Abstract: Financial inclusion has become a policy priority. For many countries, this has meant focusing on the delivery and practical aspects of financial products and services. This paper argues that this approach is not sufficient to improve financial wellbeing more broadly. It suggests a more comprehensive approach moving away from asking whether people are excluded or not to asking whether they have access to accessible, acceptable and appropriate resources and supports in adverse financial circumstances. A better understanding of individuals’ financial resilience: how they bounce back from adverse financial events and the resources and supports they draw on; could help determine where resources can and should be invested to assist people to cope with financial adversity, assist the development of effective policy and, ultimately, improve financial wellbeing. This paper puts forward a definition of financial resilience and a methodology for measuring it. Australia is used as a case country from which to draw conclusions using a survey of 1496 representative adults (18+). The findings indicate that over 2 million Australian adults experienced severe or high levels of financial vulnerability raising very real concerns about financial wellbeing. Implications for academics and policy makers are presented.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined how information and communication technology (ICT) could be employed to dampen the potentially damaging effects of environmental degradation in order to promote inclusive human development in a panel of 44 Sub-Saharan African countries.
Abstract: This study examines how information and communication technology (ICT) could be employed to dampen the potentially damaging effects of environmental degradation in order to promote inclusive human development in a panel of 44 Sub-Saharan African countries. ICT is captured with internet and mobile phone penetration rates whereas environmental degradation is measured in terms of CO2 emissions per capita and CO2 intensity. The empirical evidence is based on fixed effects and Tobit regressions using data from 2000 to 2012. In order to increase the policy relevance of this study, the dataset is decomposed into fundamental characteristics of inclusive development and environmental degradation based on income levels (low income vs. middle income); legal origins (English Common law vs. French Civil law); religious domination (Christianity vs. Islam); openness to sea (landlocked vs. coastal); resource-wealth (oil-rich vs. oil-poor) and political stability (stable vs. unstable). Baseline findings broadly show that improvement in both of measures of ICT would significantly diminish the possibly harmful effect of CO2 emissions on inclusive human development. When the analysis is extended with the above mentioned fundamental characteristics, we observe that the moderating influence of both our ICT variables on CO2 emissions is higher in the group of English Common law, middle income and oil-wealthy countries than in the French Civil law, low income countries and oil-poor countries respectively. Theoretical and practical policy implications are discussed.

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TL;DR: The authors used the three-stage least squares method to examine a sample of 132 countries observed over the 1980-2014 period and proved that financial development does not improve the situation of the poor, while the effect of institution quality on poverty and financial development depends on the choice of indicators.
Abstract: This paper tests the relationship between financial development, quality of institutions and poverty. To this end, we reviewed the literature and selected indicators of poverty, financial development and quality of institutions. Empirically, we used the three-stage least squares method to examine a sample of 132 countries observed over the 1980–2014 period. First, we proved that financial development does not improve the situation of the poor, while the effect of institution quality on poverty and financial development depends on the choice of indicators. Our robustness analysis pointed to the sensitivity of our results to the different financial development, quality of institutions and poverty indicators.

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TL;DR: Li et al. as discussed by the authors explored what factors contribute to the all-round resilience of rural left-behind adolescents, and found that a positive understanding of parental motivation for labor migration and commitment to education are significant contributors to the resilience displayed by left behind adolescents.
Abstract: As a result of China’s rural–urban bifurcation, millions of rural Chinese children grow up in the absence of one or both parents due to work migration. Contrary to the dismal picture of left-behind children that is depicted by the mass media, comparative studies based on large-scale survey data suggest that left-behind children do not fare worse than those who live with both parents. Researchers have suggested that the positive effects of remittance might outweigh the negative effects of parental absence, and this explains why there is little total effect of parental migration on children’s wellbeing. This, however, does not explain why left-behind children are doing equally well as non-left-behind children in nearly all aspects of life, some of which are affected more by parental care than by economic resources. This paper aims to explore what factors contribute to the all-round resilience of rural left-behind adolescents. Mixed methods were used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data from adolescents, caregivers, and school teachers from a migrant-sending community in central China. Data analyses reveal that adolescent interpretation of parental migration is deeply embedded in Chinese values on education and ideals of mutual responsibilities among family members, and that a positive understanding of parental motivation for labor migration and commitment to education are significant contributors to the resilience displayed by left-behind adolescents. The heterogeneities in the reaction of left-behind adolescents to parental migration demonstrate that the positive perception of parental migration is not a stand-alone protective factor.

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TL;DR: A correlational analysis reveals a strong relation between multidimensional and one-dimensional measures of subjective quality of life, and results indicate that both types of measures should be used as complementary instead of substitutes.
Abstract: This paper quantifies and analyses subjective quality of life in the EU countries as a multidimensional concept using subjective citizen satisfaction data on eight different life dimensions. The composite index is constructed using a geometric Benefit-of-the-doubt (BoD)-method. Results show a clear divide between the Nordic and Western European countries and the Southern and Eastern European countries, with people in the former countries experiencing quality of life as higher as compared to people in the latter countries. A correlational analysis reveals a strong relation between multidimensional and one-dimensional measures of subjective quality of life. However, results also indicate that both types of measures should be used as complementary instead of substitutes.

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TL;DR: In the transition from adulthood to old age, social causation becomes more important than health selection, making it the dominant mechanism in old age.
Abstract: A person’s socioeconomic status (SES) can affect health (social causation) and health can affect SES (health selection). The findings for each of these pathways may depend on how SES is measured. We study (1) whether social causation or health selection is more important for overall health inequalities, (2) whether this differs between stages of the life course, and (3) between measures of SES. Using retrospective survey data from 10 European countries (SHARELIFE, n = 18,734), and structural equation models in a cross-lagged panel design, we determine the relative explanatory power of social causation and health selection through childhood, adulthood, and old age. We use three ways to measure SES: First, as a latent variable capturing different aspects of SES, second as material wealth, and third as occupational skill level. Between childhood and adulthood, social causation and health selection are equally important. In the transition from adulthood to old age, social causation becomes more important than health selection, making it the dominant mechanism in old age. The three measures of SES produce similar results. Only material wealth shows a stronger effect on health (between childhood and adulthood); it is also more affected by health (between adulthood and old age) than the other measures.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors proposed a National Corporate Social Responsibility Practices Index (NCSRPI) that determines the level of penetration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in 29 different countries, considering each nation as a set of institutional factors.
Abstract: This paper proposes a National Corporate Social Responsibility Practices Index (NCSRPI) that determines the level of penetration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in 29 different countries, considering each nation as a set of institutional factors The NCSRPI is built through a statistical aggregation process of 22 CSR practices categorized into the social and environmental dimensions that are individually observed for each company The composite indicator summarizes and synthesizes the entire business reality at the country level, providing pertinent information to evaluate factors related to CSR performance and a vision of national commitment to company sustainability The results provided by the NCSRPI show that companies around the world adopt similar patterns of behaviour in relation to their CSR practices, but with different levels of evolution Thus, European countries present themselves as the leaders in issues of social responsibility, the countries of America give preference to ethical issues, and countries belonging to the Asian continent, specifically to Southeast Asia, are shown to be the most laggardly in this regard In conclusion, the institutional environment in each country establishes for firms a series of opportunities and barriers in their decision to adopt or improve their CSR practices

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TL;DR: Li et al. as mentioned in this paper used a multilevel model to verify the effect of income inequality at the city level on happiness and its moderating effect in China and found that income inequality is highly correlated to individual happiness.
Abstract: Recently, increasing numbers of scholars have given attention to the mechanism connecting income inequality and happiness. This paper uses a multilevel model to verify the effect of income inequality at the city level on happiness and its moderating effect in China. It is found that income inequality is highly correlated to individual happiness. In the context of the transition China, people are inclined to report more happiness in places where income inequality is lower, after controlling for a number of demographic variables and economic factors. Moreover, this negative effect is relatively robust and significant, regardless of estimates with different covariates. It is worth noting that personal distributive justice beliefs play a momentous role in happiness. Specifically, as an effective social psychological mechanism, they can alleviate the negative effects of income inequality on happiness. A vital implication of the findings for social policy is that the model of economic development should be based on equity and justice and become a consistent source of happiness in this transitional period in China.

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TL;DR: In this article, a third-order construct model was proposed, specifying community trust as a multidimensional construct, which is composed of two different domains: Community Action Orientation and Community Future Opportunities (CFO).
Abstract: A review of the literature has highlighted that some studies have defined an indicator of trust regarding one’s geographical community, but that few studies refer to the community, in relation to the role of its social interactions used to attain and promote personal and collective planning. Therefore, this study introduced community trust as a composite indicator used to measure community opportunities, as perceived by citizens, in addition to discovering their local culture. A third-order construct model was proposed, specifying community trust as a multidimensional construct, which is composed of two different domains: Community Action Orientation and Community Future Opportunities (CFO). Each domain was considered separately, although they are integral parts of community trust. The results showed that the proposed model performs well in measuring community trust. All blocks of variables indicated good internal consistency, and factor analysis results were consistent with the hypothesized dimensions in each block. Furthermore, the social ties indicator, known as sense of community, was measured using the Italian-version of the Sense of Community Scale. Factor analysis was applied to analyze data and to provide an indicator for sense of community. Finally, through a logistic regression, the relationship between both community trust and sense of community with community engagement were analyzed. We found that community trust is significantly associated with community engagement, while sense of community is not. The proposed community trust indicator offers some guidance to urban planners and local governments, when promoting urban development, social empowerment, and community wellbeing.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors estimate the importance of attained education and occupational categories as mediating channels in the generation of inequality of opportunity in 26 European countries using the Intergenerational Transmission modules from the EU-SILC.
Abstract: Inequality of Opportunity (IO) refers to that inequality stemming from factors, called circumstances, beyond the scope of individual responsibility, such as gender, race, place of birth or socioeconomic background. In general, circumstances do not directly convert into future individual’s income. Indeed, different circumstances in childhood lead to different levels of education and different occupational categories which, in turn, contribute to generate divergent levels of income during adulthood. Using the Intergenerational Transmission modules in 2005 and 2011 from the EU-SILC, we estimate the importance of attained education and occupational category as mediating channels in the generation of IO in 26 European countries. We find that the attained level of education channels up to 30% of total IO, with important differences across Europe. Once attained education is taken into account, occupation explains less than 5% of IO in most countries. Moreover, the importance of education as a channel for IO is negatively correlated both with the share of the population that attains tertiary levels of education and with the importance of government expenditure in education relative to GDP.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated the food security of drought prone rural households in a broader context by linking the dimensions of food security with dimensions of climate change vulnerability, and employed polychoric principal component analysis to construct an aggregate food security index.
Abstract: In spite of green revolution and rapid economic growth, India’s vast population still suffers from hunger and poverty, especially in the rural areas. Moreover, drought adversely affects India’s economy by declining agricultural production and purchasing power. It also escalates rural unemployment which ultimately affects household food security. Our study investigated the food security of drought prone rural households in a broader context by linking the dimensions of food security with dimensions of climate change vulnerability. We used the primary data of 157 drought prone rural households of Odisha state in India for analysis. This study employed polychoric principal component analysis to construct an aggregate food security index. An ordered probit model was used to estimate the determinants of food security. The FSI showed that three-fourth of the respondents were facing food security issues with varying degrees. The estimates of ordered probit model indicated that joint family, education, migration and health insurance are key variables that determine food security, whereas drought adversely affected food security of rural households. Overarching strategies are required to effectively address food security issues in the wake of increased drought risk. This study provides an insight for policy makers in India and in similar south Asian countries who must consider food security in the light of drought.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors classify European Union (EU) member states in terms of their ability to handle the economic challenges of the past decade, based on an analysis of changes in economic growth, inequality and poverty across all 28 EU member states.
Abstract: A country’s poverty rate is influenced by numerous factors, including economic growth and the distribution of its effects. This article aims to classify European Union (EU) member states in terms of their ability to handle the economic challenges of the past decade. A country’s ability to negotiate global challenges in conjunction with their respective social and economic growth, as well as that of the EU, represents a key classification attribute. In this article, classification is based on an analysis of changes in economic growth, inequality and poverty across all 28 EU member states. The classification emerges from monitoring trends in economic growth and inequality, and their interconnections with poverty across the different countries. In order to analyse these interactions, this investigates uses the Bourguignon model (Poverty-Growth-Inequality Triangle–PGI) and the Growth Incidence Curve. The article reveals that economic growth is connected with a decrease in poverty. However, as inequalities in income increase, poverty also increases. Nevertheless, rates of development differ across countries. Four broad categories of country sharing similar attributes are defined, and an additional, special category assigned to Greece owing to its distinctive attributes. These partial classifications facilitated the complex classification of the EU member states, by which different development tendencies across the countries in the period 2005–2015 might be deciphered. By analysing the relationships between gross domestic product, income distribution and poverty rates, and by developing a system by which to classify countries, essential information regarding individual countries’ economic and social development is revealed, with implications for their distinctive challenges in reducing inequality and poverty. The article also highlights considerable diversity in countries’ relative abilities to handle a range of unfavourable global trends, such as the recent global financial crisis. In general, countries with strong economies are better able to weather challenges such as inequality and poverty during a period of crisis.