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Session 18A-18C 11:30-13:00 // day two

18A Joint University of Warwick and Nanyang Technological University

The main aim of the paper is to investigate the existence of wage gaps between immigrant groups and provide a comprehensive analysis for explaining the difference in earnings. “Nativity Penalty” basically represents the inexplicable component (if any) of the wage gap which, if exists, results in a lower pay for immigrants. It further aims to provide a comprehensive report explaining the causes of wage gaps. The classification of immigrant groups is done on the basis of geographical location and relative density in UK. The comparison group is British born individuals. The paper also accounts for differences between males and females.

The empirical analysis is based on data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) obtained from the UK data service website. The model followed will be similar to the one depicted in the paper by Dustmann and Fabbri (2005). The methodology used to estimate the model is pooled ordinary least square (OLS) analysis because the model looks at the wages of an individual at a particular point of time and not over a period of time.

Unlike most papers that analyse the wage gaps between ethnic minorities and natives, this paper also analyzes the gap between British-born ethnic minorities and foreign-born individuals belonging to the same ethnicity. The results showed that despite controlling for numerous characteristics such as educational qualifications, age, and marriage etc. the wage gaps among some immigrant groups still persists pointing towards existence of ‘nativity penalty’.

One of the big trends of computing nowadays is cloud computing. More users rely on cloud computing for data storage because of its usefulness and mobility. However, the cloud server may be untrustworthy and may modify or manipulate the outsourced data without our knowing. The scheme presented in this paper has the ability to spot any abnormality in the data stored and also retrieve back the lost data in some cases. It also supports dynamic data (data that can be modified, inserted or deleted). That means the authentication data can be updated as soon as the outsourced data are changed. The scheme also protects an honest cloud server over a dishonest client.

The study examines the effect of exchange rate regimes on the macroeconomic performances of small open economies in response to foreign real interest rate shocks using Vector Error Correction Model (VECM). Particularly, experiences from Hong Kong and Singapore are studied from both theoretical and empirical approach because they are comparable economies with broadly similar economic structures (Rajan and Siregar, 2002) and they adopt different exchange rate regimes during the period of 1984 to 2010. Macroeconomic performance indicators of small open economies are Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Real Exchange Rate (RER). The macroeconomic performances of Hong Kong and Singapore characterized by real GDP, CPI and RER are compared under their respective exchange rate regimes.

First and foremost, the significantly smaller volatility and impulse response of Singapore variables compared with Hong Kong signify the role of floating exchange rate regime as the shock absorber to mitigate the impact from external interest rate shocks. Secondly, Hong Kong CPI and GDP react negatively to a positive foreign interest rate shocks whereas Singapore CPI and GDP respond positively to a positive foreign interest rate shock, which is consistent with our theoretical derivation based on Mundell-Fleming Model. This result implies that different exchange rate economies respond to foreign interest rate shocks through different transmission mechanisms. The study contributes to explain the phenomenon where floating exchange rate gains increasing popularity in the recent decades when the world has never been so integrated in both real sectors and financial sectors before.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR) is an experimental technique that exploits a property of the nucleus of an atom, which is the nuclear spin. This technique provides rich information about the structure and chemical environment of molecules. There are two main areas of NMR, namely liquid and solid state NMR. The former is more widely used ever since it was first discovered due to the resulting data being easier to interpret. Meanwhile, the latter only came into focus by recent modern software and hardware developments allowing even high-resolution 1H magic-angle spinning.[1] This is a great leap to science as compounds behave differently in the solid and in the liquid state. Hence, this technique acts as a bridge between X-ray crystallography and liquid-state NMR in the understanding of the properties of different compounds. This project involves analysing organolithium samples.[2] These compounds are essential for organic synthesis, thus deep knowledge of the structure can enhance the effectiveness of the processes. However, very few articles can be found of experiments that utilised solid-state NMR in order to understand organolithiums further. Therefore, four different samples were investigated, each having a different characteristic composition and structure. The NMR spectra of different nuclei (e.g. 1H, 13C, 7Li, etc) in the samples allow full characterisations of the molecular structure and modern developed programs like specialized 2D NMR experiments facilitate the understanding of the chemical environment within the molecule and its intermolecular interactions. Combining this with density functional theory (DFT) calculations,[3] a powerful computational technique, provides solid understanding of the samples

18B Joint University of Warwick and Monash University, South Africa

The Hukou system, a Chinese system of household registration, has been deeply internalised as part of China’s political, cultural and social norms. The report surveys different arguments from a range of authors about the direct economic effects and indirect social effects which the restrictions imposed by the Hukou system on migrant workers have on the Chinese economy. The report focusing on the debate of the trade-off between maintaining the current system and proceeding with reforms.

On the one hand, the Hukou system gives economic incentives for capital accumulation in urban areas and prevents capital flight. It has provided and prolonged the large pool of unskilled labour force that is essential to Chinese economic growth. Its economic importance is unlikely to change in the near future given the huge risks underlying the reform. On the other hand, the system has created a huge underclass of people that is lacking access to basic social services and securities, hence widening the inequality between urban and rural areas. By exploring different authors’ arguments and their methodology, this paper argues that although Hukou system had serviced China relatively well in the past, it need to adopt the changes of the economic environment due to globalisation and the social costs of implementing the system will soon be reflected in the economy in terms of inefficient allocation of resources. The report finishes by suggesting the possibility that a similar system could be imposed on different countries where it is experiencing population explosion.

This paper addresses the rise of the global migration crisis. Many recent migration incidents stress the negative effects of tightened immigration policies and border control in Mediterranean Europe and South Africa resulting from the general trend of illegal migration, and criminalisation of migration. Taking the paradigmatic case of the 2015 xenophobic incidents in South Africa and the 2015 Libyan crisis with the drowning of 800 immigrants on Italian waters, it engages an approach to address the contemporary migration phenomenon. Drawing on the above, the paper discusses how integration and social cohesion can be achieved in host countries and how to reduce illegal immigration fluxes. The paper also provides an analysis of the extent to which migration policies are selective and discriminatory. To what extent have these incidents echoed in the public perception and hypocritical approach of policy-makers. The paper is structured around three major orientations. Firstly, it discusses a retrospective account on the political upheaval and economic instability state of Africa as migration push factors. Secondly, the paper extends analyses policies in place for migration management such as border control and immigration policies of South Africa, and the Mediterranean coast precisely Italy and the broader EU. Thirdly, there is a very likelihood that this is going to be a repeated process. Thereafter concluding remarks will be made on the possibility of a more inclusive and integrative immigration policy regime. Such an exploration can in turn provide a foundation for articulating a more normative agenda for migration studies looking at migration as a new open-minded cosmopolitan culture in our globalised world.

The success of microcredit loans to low-income individuals for poverty alleviation is commonly attributed to the joint-liability lending model; however there remains ambiguity on its effectiveness with contrasting works by Besley and Coate, and Varian for example. Theoretically joint-liability bypasses lender requirements for physical collateral, instead making groups mutually responsible (jointly-liable) for loans. This predicts social relationships between borrower groups to incentivise repayment as groups support each other’s repayment; however it can promote free-riding where individuals strategically default expecting other members to shoulder their repayment.

The author conducts game-theoretic fieldwork in Manikganj in Bangladesh based on methodology by Kono (2013) from which results are used to model and analyse the key theoretical hypothesise predicted in joint-liability. Treated groups of microcredit borrowers are compared to control groups of non-borrowers alongside questionnaire findings.

Results find treated groups to more likely repay loans and subsequently play more rounds compared to control groups under a joint-liability setting. Treated players are significant less likely to free-ride and more likely to help their partner compared to control. The experiments also find that treated players forego short-run gains from non-repayment and benefit from long-run gains from progressing onto further rounds. Characteristics of optimal groups that maximise likelihood of repayment are then identified.

The findings provide evidence of social relationships positively impacting microcredit repayment, predicting the sustainable success of joint-liability for poverty alleviation. The application of game-theory to microcredit remains novel and methods used can be extended to compare different lending models or variations in joint-liability in future.

In this project, the Finite Element Analysis modelling tool Abaqus is used to run simulations of double-sided asymmetric joints with beams of different vertical alignment under different loading conditions. There is an absence of guidance on asymmetric joints within Eurocode 3. This work evaluates the suggestions made by The Steel Construction Institute (SCI) on calculating the level of shear present in the column web panel for asymmetric joints. In a steel frame, joints are responsible for 50% of the cost. By developing an understanding of the strength behaviour of asymmetric joints, designers can ensure that the joints are designed in the most effective way possible. The component method is currently used which considers the mechanical properties of each component in a joint and their overall impact on the strength. This paper focuses on the column web panel in shear and the contribution it makes to the joint strength and deformation characteristics. A series of simulations are conducted on a single-sided joint, a double-sided symmetrical joint and 3 double-sided asymmetric joints. The results are presented using stress plots, moment-rotation curves and shear-rotation curves. The deformation of the column web panel for each configuration is also displayed. The results show that in some of the models tested there is an interaction between the left and right beams which negatively impacts the stiffness of the joint. Additionally, if the model has a gap large enough between the two beams, the joint can be treated as two single-sided joints. Further research is required which tests more configurations at smaller increment.

18C Joint University of Warwick and University of North Carolina, Greensboro

This essay will be begin by exploring the theoretical debate in the literature on the economics of climate change. Specifically, it will critique the strategies for climate change mitigation that one might describe as rooted in the neoclassical school of economics, before contrasting these with Keynesian strategies. Furthermore, it will do so in the context of UK government policies which have been aimed at promoting sustainability. Despite the UK’s strong role in pursuing climate change mitigation discourses in the international community, internally, the country has failed to deliver compared to other members of the G8. Indeed statistics from the EU point to a lowly 4% increase in the consumption of renewable energy between 2004 and 2013. In contrast, countries like China who take a much more hands on approach with climate change mitigation has actually seen renewable power installation surpass new fossil fuel and nuclear capacity in 2013. The aim of this paper will be to argue that the failures of climate change policy in the UK can be attributed to the laissez faire type thinking that has guided UK climate policy, and that using Keynesian theory, the UK can reach better outcomes from its green policies.
Similar to humans, all organisms experience different kinds of stresses which can impact health in the short or long term. Correlative evidence suggests that early life stress profoundly influences later life success, but experimental evidence is still rare. Therefore, we designed an experiment to study the effects of early life stress on the later life history of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Honey bees are ecologically important and good biological models due to their abundance and relatively short life span. To test the hypothesis that early life stress affects behavior and life expectancy, we exposed honey bee workers to two economically and ecologically important stressors. We exposed young bees to either a parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, or a commonly used herbicide, paraquat. Individuals were observed daily to quantify effects of stressors on their behavior and lifespan. Additionally, we conducted molecular assays to test for physiological consequences of stress. Behavior and life expectancy were affected by both stressors. Contrary to our hypothesis, we observed a decrease in survival only during the first fifteen days in stressed individuals. Behavior effects were minor. Additionally, there was no significant treatment effect on gene expression patterns and measures of oxidative stress in the adult workers. Together, our results suggest that early life stress effects can persist through metamorphosis into adulthood of honey bees. However, the mortality effects were not long term and other stress outcomes were minor, which might be explained by social protection of the individual.
During the hurricane season, residents in southeast coast area experience frequent warnings for hurricanes. The residents need to be evacuated to safety at least 20 to 50 miles away from the impacted area. With a mass evacuation, even 24-hour notice may not be enough since necessities such as lodging are limited and the actual evacuation distance can easily be more than 100 miles. When a hurricane is approaching, the residents prepare with installing blocks on windows, buying gas/food and deciding if and when to evacuate. In general, if they are getting ready too early, the cost to prepare is too high due to the frequent false warnings (long term hurricane path predictions are not yet reliable). However, if the residents wait almost till the end, their lives get threatened (short term predictions are relatively accurate). Moreover, when everybody evacuates at the same time, there will be logistical issues such as traffic congestions and no fuel in gas stations. The goal of this project is to find an optimal evacuation time. The optimal time depends on individual circumstances and risks (for example, a family with young children is in a different situation than a single healthy young person) and the objective is to find the time as a function of the individual risk and the rick distribution within the population.
This research project focuses on the issue of water privatisation within a democratic framework. It focuses on one case study: Tunisia. Since the Arab Spring in 2011, the country aspires to be democratic and transparent. This is currently reflected in the management of their water resources, with two public companies in charge. However, both companies are running at a loss. According to a report written by the OECD, one solution would be to privatise, at least partially, water resources. Through qualitative research – especially structured and semi-structured interviews – the conclusion reached is the following: Although the privatisation of water resources in Tunisia would make sense from an economical point of view, it doesn’t necessarily fit within a democratic framework. On the assumption that water should be a human right, privatising such a resource puts the lives of many in the hands of a few. While water privatisation in Tunisia is a very specific issue, a further aim of this research project is to extrapolate the case of Tunisia. That is, raising awareness to the problem of water privatisation, not simply from an economical point of you, but mostly from an ideological and political point of view.