The London School of Economics and Political Science
Recent publications
Men’s involvement in abortion is significant, intersecting across the individual, community and macro factors that shape abortion-related care pathways. This scoping review maps the evidence from low- and middle-income countries relating to male involvement, including male abortion providers, in abortion trajectories. Five databases were searched, using search terms, to yield 7,493 items published in English between 01.01.2010-20.12.2019. 37 items met the inclusion criteria for items relating to male involvement in women’s abortion trajectories and were synthesised using an abortion-related care-seeking framework. The majority of studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and were qualitative. Evidence indicated that male involvement was significant, shaping the ability for a woman or girl to disclose her pregnancy or abortion decision. Men as partners were particularly influential, controlling resources necessary for abortion access and providing or withdrawing support for abortions. Denial or rejection of paternity was a critical juncture in many women’s abortion trajectories. Men’s involvement in abortion trajectories can be both direct and indirect. Contextual realities can make involving men in abortions a necessity, rather than a choice. The impact of male (lack of) involvement undermines the autonomy of a woman or girl to seek abortion, and shapes the conditions under which abortion seekers are able to access care. This scoping review demonstrates the need for better understanding of the mechanisms, causes and intensions behind male involvement, centering the abortion seeker within this
Background Adolescent childbearing increases the risk of adverse health and social consequences including school dropout (SDO). However, it remains unclear why some teenage mothers drop out of school and others do not, especially in sub-Saharan Africa settings. We aimed to investigate the background and behavioral characteristics of single mothers, associated with school dropout in a sample of 18,791 Cameroonian girls, who had their first child during adolescence. Methods We used data from a national registry of single mothers, collected during the years 2005–2008 and 2010–2011. Both bivariate analysis and logistic binary regression models were used to explore the relationship between adolescence motherhood and SDO controlling for a range of socio-economic, family, sexual and health seeking behavior characteristics. Results Among the 18,791 single mothers, 41.6% had dropped out of school because of pregnancy. The multivariable regression model showed that SDO was more common in those who were evicted from their parental home (aOR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.69–2.04), those who declared having other single mothers in their family (aOR: 1.16; 95% CI 1.08–1.25) and in mothers who had their first child before 15. Using modern contraceptive methods, having declared no sexual partner during the last year and having less than 2 children were associated with a reduced likelihood of school dropout. Conclusions Strong social support is essential to ensure school continuity in this vulnerable population. Dropping out of school may put the teenage mother more at risk of unsafe health behaviour and new pregnancies.
Economic evaluations of public health interventions to prevent malaria should consider the adoption of wider perspectives and the inclusion of non-health impacts, particularly economic development outcomes, such as education. This is especially relevant in malaria elimination settings and in the context of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Liquidity lines between central banks are a key part of the international financial safety net. In this review article, we lay out some of the economic questions that they pose. Research has provided answers to some of these questions, but many more require further research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Financial Economics, Volume 13 is November 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Equitable resilience is an increasing focus of development policy, but there is still insufficient attention to how the framings of equity itself shape what, and who, is targeted through development efforts. Universalistic assumptions about climate risk or social marginalization can define equity in ways that hide dynamic and intersectional influences on what constitutes risk to whom under different circumstances. This paper investigates the implications of two different equity framings for resilience in Jumla District, western Nepal. Drawing on more than one hundred household surveys plus in-depth qualitative interviews in six villages, we find that state-led efforts to present post-civil war development as the “equal distribution” of roads and infrastructure, agricultural commercialization, and protection against systemic climate risk fail to reflect local experiences of risk, which are often expressed in terms of social exclusion rather than vulnerability to climate change. Yet, simultaneously, other efforts at building resilience that use caste and gender as indicators of social marginalization overlook how transitions in livelihoods and individual agency have changed vulnerability contexts for many people, or the increasing vulnerability to climate change of more landed farmers. The paper urges more critical attention to how normative framings of equity shape what, and for whom is considered equitable resilience, including assumptions about transformative change from analysts themselves. Representing risks and vulnerability in terms of socially marginalized groups alone might deny the dynamic, intersectional, and contextual interconnection of risks and social agency; and might impose unhelpful subjectivities of their own.
Marine tourism is promoted as a substitute economic activity to unsustainable fishing, which is compatible with conservation. However, benefits of marine tourism do not typically accrue in small-scale fisheries (SSFs), which often bear the costs of conservation; they accrue to tourists and tourist-focussed businesses. We explored how marine tourism levies could operationalise the beneficiary-pays principle and address these cost-benefit inequities using an online contingent valuation (CV) survey to measure international tourists' willingness-to-pay (WTP) towards community-based shark conservation (N = 1033). Levies were widely supported (96%), with median and Turnbull mean WTP of US$ 10–14.99 and $22.02 per person per day, respectively. We combined these results with data from two marine tourism hotspots in Indonesia – Lombok and Pulau Weh – to explore the feasibility of implementing tourism levies to incentivize pro-conservation behaviour in local SSFs. Our conservative estimates indicate that marine tourism levies in Lombok and Pulau Weh could respectively generate US$ 2.3–10 million and US$ 300,000–1.3 million annually – several times greater than the estimated costs of conservation incentives in local SSFs. The marine tourism industry offers an under-utilised revenue stream for marine conservation, which could support policy aspirations such as ‘a sustainable and equitable blue economy’.
Food value chains (FVCs) in developing countries are transforming rapidly, with some regions in the modern stage (led by supermarkets and large processors) and other regions in a transitional stage (led by midstream small and medium enterprises). With transformation, however, come market-performance issues related to monopoly and monopsony power, vertical bargaining, contracting, and other issues addressed by empirical industrial organization (EIO) researchers. Although the concepts and methods of EIO are evolving rapidly, the two bodies of literature on EIO and FVC transformation as part of the food markets and food industries branches of development economics have not sufficiently cross-pollinated. Applying tools of modern EIO to FVCs in developing countries is now relevant because of the transformation that has occurred and possibly due to the increasing availability of data from surveys of farms, processors, and wholesalers, and for some retailers, from scanner data. We review the transformation trends, the EIO themes and tools relevant to them, and the emerging data sources. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Resource Economics, Volume 14 is October 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
This paper measures social mobility rates in Hungary during the period 1949 to 2017, using surnames to measure social status. In those years, there were two very different social regimes. The first was the Hungarian People’s Republic (1949–1989), which was a communist regime with an avowed aim of favouring the working class. The second is the modern liberal democracy (1989–2017), which is a free-market economy. We find five surprising things. First, social mobility rates were low for both upper- and lower-class families during 1949–2017, with an underlying intergenerational status correlation of 0.6–0.8. Second, social mobility rates under communism were the same as in the subsequent capitalist regime. Third, the Romani minority throughout both periods showed even lower social mobility rates. Fourth, the descendants of the eighteenth-century noble class in Hungary were still significantly privileged in 1949 and later. And fifth, although social mobility rates did not change measurably during the transition, the composition of the political elite changed rapidly and sharply.
Maladaptation to climate change is often portrayed as arising from the unjust exclusion of vulnerable people. In turn, analysts have proposed knowledge co-production with marginalized groups as a form of transformative climate justice. This paper argues instead that maladaptation arises from a much deeper exclusion based upon the projection of inappropriate understandings of risk and social identity that are treated as unquestioned circumstances of justice. Drawing on social studies of science, the paper argues that the focus on co-production as an intentional act of inclusion needs to be considered alongside “deep” or “reflexive” co-production, which instead refers to the non-cognitive and unavoidable simultaneous generation of knowledge and social order. These processes have linked visions of planetary justice with an understanding of climate risk based on global atmospheric change, and an assumption that community forms an antidote to individualism. The paper uses a discussion of adaptation in western Nepal to illustrate how such deep forms of co-production have significantly reduced understandings of “what” adaptation is for, and “who” is included. Maladaptation, therefore, is not simply unjust implementations of an essentially fair model of adaptation, but also the allocation of exclusionary visions of what and for whom adaptation is for. Debates about transformative climate justice therefore need to understand how their critiques of classical liberal justice generate exclusions of their own, and to engage vulnerable people in reframing, rather than just receiving, circumstances of justice. There is also a need to examine how these circumstances remain unchallenged within environmental science and policy.
Does electoral democracy improve public goods provision for the poor? This paper considers whether and how the introduction of elections to choose slum-level representatives affects the provision of basic public goods and services in these communities. To address this question I take advantage of an unexpected interruption in the judicial process that introduced elections in urban slums in Argentina. Drawing on an original household survey, an expert survey, and insights from in-depth interviews, I show that the introduction of elections enhanced public goods and services provision only in slums with high organizational density. In such a context, existing organizational structures and citizens’ organizational experience facilitated individuals’ endeavors to demand and monitor the provision of public goods and the emergence of new leaders other than partisan brokers that skewed political competition towards the provision of public goods. These findings contribute to our understanding of the relationship between elections, organizational activity and public goods provision in urban informal settlements and have implications for development practitioners: Under the right conditions, the democratic selection of slum intermediaries vis-à-vis the state can substantially improve the livelihood of these communities.
The delivery of effective climate adaptation on the ground requires that the (climate adaptation) practitioner community be better incorporated into the process of producing, gathering and synthesizing evidence on adaptation as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process. This is not a recent issue and the co-production of knowledge, that goes beyond the traditional realms of ‘science speaks to power’, can only fully inform adequate and robust adaptation if it incorporates more practitioners, end-users, and those working at the interface of science, policy and practice. Through a high-level analysis of authors of the IPCC’s Working Group II reports and special reports of AR6, we explore the evolution of representation of practitioners in IPCC WGII author teams from AR5 to AR6 and we find that practitioner representation has increased in AR6, however this remains low. We discuss how this low representation can affect readership and the potential to inform climate adaptation practice. As the IPCC evolves and reflects on its own practices, we seek to inform this process by providing further reflection on how the IPCC outputs can continue to be policy-relevant and maintain neutrality while ensuring accesibility and usability by climate adaptation practitioners.
Introduction Active travel is currently gaining popularity worldwide as a sustainable form of travel. However, very few studies have examined how the built environment affects active travel behaviour on university campuses, particularly in China. It is a key feature of Chinese university campuses that they are generally gated communities, which are spatially organised in a very different way from campuses in other countries, and they often also provide for students’ daily needs, meaning that students tend to travel off-campus less frequently. Aims This research aims to explore the link between street greenery and the active travel behaviour of students on closed university campuses in China. Methods The study combined sensor data from Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre (HEMC), China, with individual cross-sectional survey data from university students and applied a multilevel logistic regression model to conduct the analysis. Street-view images were analysed using a deep learning approach, which represents an emerging method for assessing urban green space. Results The results demonstrated that street greenery on campuses is positively associated with active travel among university students. Modes of travel also influenced active travel, with university students who owned bicycles tending to participate in active travel more; however, those who travelled by electric bikes were less likely to participate in active travel. Conclusions This study suggests that policymakers and transport planners should focus more on greening urban areas and improving walking and cycling environments to achieve green transport goals through urban planning.
Rapid electrification of the transport system will generate substantial volumes of Lithium-ion-battery (LiB) waste as batteries reach their end-of-life. Much attention focuses on the recycling processes, neglecting a broader systemic view that considers the concentration of the costs and impacts associated with logistics and transportation. This paper provides an economic, environmental and geospatial analysis of a future LiB recycling industry in the UK. Hitherto, state-of-the-art assessment methods have evaluated life cycle impacts and costs but have not considered the geographical layer of the problem. This paper develops a GSC derived supply chain model for the UK electric vehicle and end-of-life vehicle battery industry. Considering both pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling technologies, the optimisation process takes into account anticipated EV volumes, and, based on anticipated near-term technological evolution of LiBs, the evolution of the mix of battery cathodes in production, and presents a number of scenarios to show where LiB recycling facilities should ideally be geographically located. An economic and environmental assessment based on a customised EverBatt model is provided.
Metaphors are found all throughout science: in published papers, working hypotheses, policy documents, lecture slides, grant proposals, and press releases. They serve different functions, but perhaps most striking is the way they enable understanding, of a theory, phenomenon, or idea. In this paper, we leverage recent advances on the nature of metaphor and the nature of understanding to explore how they accomplish this feat. We attempt to shift the focus away from the epistemic value of the content of metaphors, to the epistemic value of the metaphor’s consequences. Many famous scientific metaphors are epistemically good, not primarily because of what they say about the world, but because of how they cause us to think. Specifically, metaphors increase understanding either by improving our sets of representations (by making them more minimal or more accurate), or by making it easier for us to encode and process data about complex subjects by changing how we are disposed to conceptualize those subjects. This view hints towards new positions concerning testimonial understanding, factivity, abilities, discovery via metaphor, and the relation between metaphors and models.
This paper investigates the structural transformation associated with the ‘twin transition’ of decarbonisation and digitalisation in European economies by placing it in a broader historical perspective. With this in mind, this paper analyses the long run trends in energy intensity and communication intensity since 1850. The evidence indicates that these economies experienced a coevolution of energy and communication intensities during their industrialisation phase, followed by a divergence in the energy and communication intensities associated with the development of high tech and ICT. Overall, this reflects the dematerialisation of these European economies. The paper also analyses the speed of historical energy transitions and communication technology transitions in these economies, finding that communication transitions appear to be substantially faster than energy transitions. The evidence suggests that twin transitions of the decarbonisation and digitalisation of economies are likely to experience a process of imbalanced structural transformation (with ICT continuing to forge ahead). This expectation should guide policy recommendations – increasing the need for low carbon industry to develop and create synergies between the two industries in order to avoid the new industrial revolution being high‑carbon.
The unchecked spread of misinformation is recognised as an increasing threat to public, scientific, and democratic health. Online networks are a contributing cause of this spread, with echo chambers and polarization indicative of the interplay between the selective search behaviours of users, and the reinforcement processes within the system those users inhabit. Recent empirical work has focussed on interventions aimed at inoculating people against misinformation, yielding success on the individual level. However, given the evolving, dynamic information context of online networks, important questions remain regarding how such inoculation interventions interact with network systems at large. Here we use an Agent-Based Model (ABM) of a social network populated with belief-updating users. We find that although equally rational agents may be assisted by inoculation interventions to reject misinformation, even among such agents, intervention efficacy is temporally sensitive. We find that as beliefs disseminate, users form self-reinforcing echo chambers, leading to belief consolidation—irrespective of their veracity. Interrupting this process requires “front-loading” of inoculation interventions by targeting critical thresholds of network users before consolidation has taken place. We further demonstrate the value of harnessing tipping point dynamics for herd immunity effects, and note that inoculation processes do not necessarily lead to increased rates of “false-positive” rejections of truthful communications.
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Valentina Iemmi
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  • Department of Geography and Environment
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  • Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science
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