Research projects approved in 2018
This project aims to study a public policy program of certification (rating) of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) that was introduced in Portugal in 2008 by a governmental agency (IAPMEI), jointly with a group of banks and the national system of Mutual Guarantee. Known as SME-Leader, the program gained additional international visibility after winning the European Commission’s 2016 European Enterprise Promotion Award. This project intends to understand the real effects of the program for SMEs that are certified, including access to financing, investment, and performance, as well as potential network externalities for companies that have business links with these firms. To establish a causal effect between certification of SME and firm-level outcomes we will use regression discontinuity design (RDD). We also plan to examine the incentives and effects for banks involved. We will combine firm level financial data (IES database), with Central Credit Register (CCR) data and information from IAPMEI.
The research project aims to understand the relationship between two modes of innovation based on knowledge and learning (i.e. the science, technology, and innovation mode and the doing, using, and interacting mode) and the social networks where the innovation process takes place. Furthermore, it is our intent to collect and analyse data from innovation networks in Portugal in order to contribute to the scarce knowledge about innovation in the Portuguese economy.
Research will be carried out in three stages:
1) we intent to propose conceptual models for the agency and structure of STI and DUI networks based on extensive literature review;
2) we aim to assemble empirical models for the agency and structure of STI and DUI networks through social network analysis and multiple case studies;
3) we will test the empirical models from the second stage through a survey to a sample of Portuguese firms.
The project, consisting of two studies and an international seminar, aims to analyze closely how state and non-state actors of development cooperation can establish synergies in promoting innovation for international development. The work will focus in particular on the role of the private sector, which has affirmed itself as a crucial partner in meeting Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, following the recommendations of the Busan Forum for Aid Effectiveness in 2011 and the International Conference on Development Financing for 2015.
Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua & Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
This project looks at how rich donors are progressively and explicitly transforming their international aid policies (ODA) to support their business and business interests. Since the 1960s, grants and concessional loans (or more simply APD) have been the main type of official aid offered by wealthy donors, along with debt relief and technical assistance. But ODA is no longer the main source of finance for the development of most developing countries, now supplanted by private financial flows: foreign direct investment (FDI), remittances, and philanthropy. Within the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), rich donors are discussing the modernization of ODA to include private sector instruments (PSI). This follows a period of budgetary austerity following the 2008 financial crisis and two major international conferences on ODA: Busan (2011) and Addis Ababa (2015). While the former highlighted the importance of the private sector to lead economic growth, the second opened the possibility to re-codify finance for development as Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (AOTDS). This emerging trend has been encouraged by the success of South-South Cooperation (SSC) since the early 2000s and by how it challenges the hegemony of the ODA paradigm of wealthy donors.
Principal Researcher: Luís Mah (CEsA/CSG/ISEG-ULisboa)
Co-IR: Pedro Miguel Raposo de Medeiros Carvalho (CEsA/CSG/ISEG, ULisboa)
Soyeun Kim (Sogang UniversitySeoul, Seoul, South Korea);
Elsje Fourie (Maastricht University);
Emma Mawdsley (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies);
Yang Jiang (Danish Institute for International Studies)
At a time when the Decade of African descent (2015-2024) is celebrated, proclaimed by the UN, it is of high social and academic/scientific relevance to address the issue in Portugal. The UN considers that “people of African descent still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security … Their situation remains largely invisible and recognition of the effort to find in addition to being discriminated against in access to justice and presenting alarming rates of police violence associated with racial profiling.”
In this project we propose to characterize the Portuguese population of African origin whose self-identification as African descent guides their participation in the Portuguese social scene.
Principal Researcher: Iolanda Maria Alves Évora (CEsA/CSG/ISEG – ULisboa)
Co-IR: Inocência Luciano dos Santos Mata (FLUL)
Pedro Schacht Pereira (The Ohio State University);
Jessica Waleska Fernandez Norales (PhD Student CEsA/ISEG);
Sadik Sultanali Habib (The Institute of Ismaili Studies, UK);
Rik Apolo Pereira Sanches de Carvalho.
This project studies the interplay between sovereign debt, domestic credit markets and the colonial economy in Portugal between 1668 and 1797. The project is designed to test a specific hypothesis, namely that the state’s creditworthiness, which hinged on buoyant colonial revenue sources, led to the crowding out of private funds, affecting certain social groups and/or the availability of capital for investment.
The confirmation of this hypothesis requires reconstructing:
a) changes in public debt stocks, in the revenue sources assigned to debt-servicing, in interest rates and in the social distribution of public debt;
b) analyze the impact of these changes on the creditors, namely on major players in both public and private credit markets: the Misericórdias. The well-preserved accounts of these institutions (that of Porto inter alia) provide a unique vantage point on the way that changes in the management of public debt affected credit supply to private borrowers.
Principal Researcher: Leonor Freire Costa (GHES/CSG/ISEG – ULisboa)
Co-IR: Isabel Cristina dos Guimarães Sanches e Sá (ICS, Universidade do Minho)
António Maria Braga de Macedo de Castro Henriques (CEPESE)
The underrepresentation of women on corporate boards is an area of increasing relevance for policymakers, managers and other business stakeholders, scholars and the public in general. In Portugal, the debate is particularly timely due to the low representation of women on boards (WoB) and the legislative change that will take effect in January 2018 and introduce binding legal measures to promote gender balance on the boards of state-owned and listed companies. Despite the strides that women have made in terms of their investment in education and their relatively high labour market participation, they lack career advancement prospects, being underrepresented in management positions, particularly on the boards of companies (in 2016, they represented 8% of board members in the largest 500 companies, 14% in the largest listed companies, and 26% in state-owned companies).
This will be the first comprehensive study on WoB to be made in Portugal. It adopts an innovative integrative approach. Firstly, it is intended to enhance both theory and practice by integrating scientific contributions from the fields of sociology, gender studies, management and finance, and by employing mixed-research methods. Secondly, it seeks to adopt a triangular analytical perspective by looking into the macro, meso and micro levels. Thirdly, it is also intended to integrate inputs, processes and outcomes; in addition to the full characterisation of the profile of men and women on the boards of state-owned and listed companies (inputs), the project is designed to look into the social dynamics of the boardroom (processes) and the respective outcomes. As far as the processes are concerned, equality may be conceptualised according to multiple parameters, with the focus being on: the degree of equal influence exercised by male and female board members in relation to operational, monitoring and strategic issues, as well as in the definition of short and long-term corporate decisions; the opportunity to occupy executive positions, to assume the chair role and to take on prominent directorships; increasing social capital; and being remunerated on an equal basis (including in terms of variable earnings). As for the outcomes, the focus is on the extent to which an increasing share of WoB leads to a review of internal corporate policies, practices and processes, eliciting more gender-inclusive work organisation models and work cultures. A complementary focus will be on the market reactions to the new framework by using an event study methodology.
Finally, this study seeks to integrate theory, research, policy and practice, by institutionalising a forum for debate (a think tank), involving scholars, policymakers, representatives from gender equality bodies, key business actors and grass-root women’s organisations in evidence-based reflections on gender balance on boards and the impact on challenging gender stereotypes and sustaining gender-equality values in society.
Although sociological research has shown the importance of place and environment to children’s lives, namely to their health, independent mobility, approach to social problems, social identity, sense of safety, and general impact on inequality and inequity, children are still seldom included in urban planning. As a consequence of this invisibility of children, cities lack safe public places for the multitude of children that live there, to walk, play, and build healthy relationships with the environment. This project aims to tackle this inequity by using a participatory approach to investigate children’s relationships with urban public places in the two major Portuguese cities (Lisbon and Porto) and major tourism centers.
Both Lisbon and Oporto are interesting case studies as they prepare this year their respective applications for the certification ‘UNICEF-friendly city’ of UNICEF. Starting from the assumption that children are social actors with valid knowledge and capable of political participation, with a “right to the city”, we build from the literature on children’s relationships with place and child-friendly cities, understanding “childhoods as socio-cultural spaces”, performed by children. Analysing children’s relationship with place from their own perspective, we use an ethnographic, child-centered and participatory approach based on a plurality of methodological resources. The main objective is to understand children’s appropriation of urban public places, and more specifically, how these appropriations are related with child-environmental identities and the role played by ICTs, as well as art in these identities; children’s confrontation with urban difference (including that difference associated to foreigners and tourists); children’s sense of safety and relationship with urban violence; children’s care for the environment and relationship with the non-human world; children’s agency and sense of community; and children’s practices of transgression. Considering children as “experts”, we aim to transpose this data into urban planning by fostering dialogue with the community and decision-makers in order to design possibilities for a childfriendly-city.
The team includes sociologists with strong experience in urban studies and ethnography, researchers from the fields of sociology of infancy and development, and other members with relevant work in political participation of young people, science and technology studies and collaborative methodologies. The PI, a PhD in sociology, with a background in psychology, has worked on issues related with people-place bonds, local knowledge and political participation, involvement of the citizens in environment issues and qualitative and collaborative methodologies.
Principal Researcher: Eunice Cristina do Nascimento Castro Seixas (SOCIUS/CSG/ISEG – ULisboa)
Co-IR: Paulo Alexandre do Nascimento Castro Seixas (CAPP/ISCSP)
Maria Benedita de Lemos Portugal e Melo (Instituto de Educação ULisboa);
João Miguel Trancoso Vaz Teixeira Lopes (FLUP);
Lígia Sofia Alves Passos Ferro (FLUP);
Idalina Maria Fernandes de Jesus (CIS/ISCTE-IUL);
Catarina Almeida Tomás (Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa).