New Corporate Social Responsibility Brand Evaluation in Developing Country

Organizations strive to satisfy salient and unmet consumer needs by providing value through their products and services. If environmentally sustainable “green” brands successfully exist by addressing environmental issues in developed countries where environmental consciousness is high, there may be a potential for the existence of newly created CSR brands that aim to deliver socio-economic benefits in developing countries. We empirically tested the potential of a brand that offers socio-economic corporate social responsibility benefits in a developing country- Uzbekistan.

As Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in developing countries is a relatively new concept with little empirical research, this research examined the impact that brands with socio-economic CSR initiatives have on consumers’ purchase intentions. In addition, brands with socio-economic CSR initiatives were compared with brands with no CSR initiatives. Drawing on both marketing and psychological theories, we hypothesized that brands with socio-economic benefits would be received more favorably by consumers in developing countries where economic needs are more salient.

To empirically test the hypotheses, 397 Uzbekistan consumers responded to an online survey. The Brand Potential Index indicators were regressed on consumers’ purchase intentions to a brand with CSR socio-economic benefits and to a brand with no CSR benefits. Regarding the brand with socio-economic benefits, consumers’ perception of brand uniqueness, potential popularity, trust, empathy, and recommendation significantly predicted buying intentions.  In contrast, only trust and recommendation significantly predicted buying intention for the brand that lacked socio-economic benefits.  While both were significant, the relationship between the BPI indicators was stronger for the brand with socio-economic benefits (R2 = .63 versus .49, p .001). Consumers were more willing to pay a price premium for the brand with socio-economic benefits even though they perceived such brands were of lower quality.

The results supported the potential of CSR brands in developing countries that focus on socio-economic benefits. This research adds value to our understanding of CSR in developing countries, and predictors of consumer purchase intentions using theory from both the marketing and psychological literature. Implications for brand management and future research are provided, including the need to target CSR initiatives that are salient to consumers.

The Road Back Home is Never Long: Refugee Return Migration

Building on qualitative research for refugees’ return migration, this research provides an empirical evaluation of return migration. The study focuses on the effect of political and economic stimuli on refugees’ return. We used a negative binomial model with fixed effects on a longitudinal dataset for more than 150 countries over 1991–2018. Our results reveal that the strongest predictors of return migration are political factors. Notably, a reduction in human rights violations, the elimination of genocides, and peace agreements are the most influential variables. Economic incentives are relatively weak, indicating they are not the principal factor for refugee returnees’ decision-making.

You don't know what you've got until it's gone: impact evaluation of the closure of the non-bank microfinance sector

Microfinance became a buzz term in the world of development economics and a promising tool for poverty alleviation. Most impact evaluations of microfinance programs focus on measuring the impact of introducing new microfinance programs. Empirical evidence on measuring what might occur if microfinance institutions (MFIs) exit an economy, is rather scarce. From 2008 to 2011, seven microfinance crises hit national economies in Nicaragua (2008 farmers’ protest), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009 over-indebtedness), India, Kolar (2009 religious issues), India, Andhra Pradesh (2010 suicides), Pakistan (2010 floods), and Nigeria (2010 liquidity crisis). In this project, we provide a novel contribution to the literature by characterizing the effect of the 2011 closure of the entire non-bank MFI sector in Uzbekistan. We use mixed methods to measure the impact of the closure, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods. For the quantitative part, we employ a modified difference-in-difference model to estimate the impact of the closure on the socio-economic and business outcomes of the borrowers. Overall results indicate that microfinance programs influence societies and regional economies as they are deeply rooted in the life of borrowers and also influence non-borrowers. Shocks on the supply side of microfinance provision could shatter the well-being of middle-income entrepreneurs who boost local economies the most. More importantly, dramatic shocks on the market also lead to changes in institutional and behavioral aspects, such as trust in MFIs and financial literacy, which may be difficult to restore.

European Green Deal toward the Green Transition in Saudi Arabia

In the last years the GCC and Middle East Region are changing very fast due to the diversification economic process from oil industry to other emerging sectors. The cities are the main pillars of this transformation according to their regional dynamics, socio-economic structure and local economies which are considered important assets for implementing their regional planning and sustainable development goals. Saudi Arabia currently is leading this urban-economic change implemented by Saudi Vision 2030. Through this project financed by EU Commission, Dr. Angelo Battaglia has suggested and oriented new research projects urban-based for the city of Riyadh as new green city in the Gulf Region.

A Sociologist’s View of Education in Central Asia

What is sociology and how are education systems analyzed? To demonstrate what sociologists investigate, Dr. Whitsel will present a brief synopsis of some of his recent projects and the research tools and resources he used in the projects. Projects include, documenting trends 

in educational attainment in Central Asia, his model of factors that influence educational participation, and the educational market in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.

Motherhood and Female Labor Supply: Causal Evidence from Central Asia

This paper estimates the impact of having more children on women’s labor supply in Central Asia. By using OLS method, I find significant negative association between fertility rate and mother’s current labor supply, employment and occupation type. Once potential endogenity issue is solved using IV-regression estimation, having more children decreases only female’s current labor supply. Estimated negative effect is strong among females living in rich households and urban regions. However, if estimation is restricted to mothers who have children, it becomes insignificant factor. Hence, I can state that becoming a mother decreases female’s labor supply significantly but, once female entered to motherhood, marginal change in the number of children does not effect on their working probability. 

The impact of political culture's characteristics on non-pharmaceutical intervention effectiveness

Different countries implemented in 2020 combinations of non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI). These governments imposed restrictions difficult to enforce in order to protect public health. This is an interesting quasi-experimental setting to test the compliance with government prescriptions of populations with different political cultures. With European Social Survey data, and the John Hopkins University dataset on COVID-19 around the world, we aim to test the impact in a sample of European countries of different political culture characteristics on the spread of coronavirus, and thus on compliance with NPIs. Results show that countries with higher social capital follow NPIs more strictly, that trust plays a role.

New Perspectives on Energy Security in EU-China Relations

As a consequence of the 2018 EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy and the New EU Central Asian Strategy of 2019, the European Union (EU) attempts to fulfil long-awaited expectations to position itself with concrete approaches towards Central Asia. Energy is an important commodity to the EU and China. Major national security concerns are involved, such as for natural gas supply sources. Significant differences among the EU´s and China´s approaches towards Central Asia are observed in several studies, which introduce challenges for the EU.

Household impact of COVID-19 pandemic in development economics perspective

Talking about socio-economic crisis, the ravages of the pandemic shock indicates that those who are from developing countries are likely to be more vulnerable. The same direction of impact could be expected in COVID -19 pandemic case; however, both scale and speed of this pandemic differ than they occurred in the past. The systematic analysis provided in this study is based on cluster analysis of 150 literature provided in the international literature. Our study shows distinct impact of COVID-19 pandemic is food security and market imbalance together with socio-economic consequences, in which a large number of studies identify them as a core of pandemic.


Household Resilience to Food Security under Covariate

Discussions on the role of resilience to food security in the face of risk conveys a message that the static nature of resilience capacity is limited to show emerging patterns of resilience; therefore panel data findings are nontrivial to understand dynamic nature of the concept. This paper contributes to the existing literature on measuring resilience capacity and determining its magnitude of impact on food security outcomes. Our results from the case of Kyrgyzstan generally suggest that household resilience capacity serves to increase household diet diversity and food consumption in the presence of shock.



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