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Economics

Responsiveness of nutrient consumption to income levels in China

Dung Doan
Income programs or subsidies aiming at alleviating problems of nutrient deficiencies have been justified by the assumption that low nutrient intakes are largely a consequence of low income. However, recent nutrition research has revealed that income growth in developing countries has been accompanied by a structural shift in food consumption towards a diet higher in fat and animal-source foods, yet less diversified in nutrients. The consequence of this dietary transition is major increases in diet-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes, especially in the low income groups. This cautions against assuming a positive and straightforward relationship between nutrient intakes and income. This paper examines the responsiveness of nutrient consumption to income levels and tests the hypothesis that raising income improves diet quality using repeated cross-sectional data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey 2000-2009. For the first time econometric methods are used to determine the relationship between energy shares from macronutrients and income using repeated cross-sections.

Dung’s recent research focuses on the role of income and non-monetary factors in explaining changes in diet quality, and the impacts of such changes on labor quality in China. Her scholarly interests also include poverty, inequality, and social welfare.

E: dung.doan@anu.edu.au

T: +612 6125 8450





A new test of financial contagion with application to the US banking sector

Cody Yu-Ling Hsiao
A new test for financial market contagion based on increases in extremal dependence (co-kurtosis and co-volatility) is developed to identify the propagation mechanism of shocks across international financial markets. Simulation studies show the statistic for contagion based on changes in co-volatility presents a good approximation of the finite sample distribution regarding the relatively large sample period of the non-crisis but the relatively short sample period of the crisis. This new method is applied to test for contagion in equity markets and banking sectors following the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. The results of the tests show strong significant contagion effects are widespread from the US banking sector to global equity markets and banking sectors. The extremal dependence tests capture more extreme co-movements than the asymmetric dependence tests in extreme events.

I am a third year PhD candidate in Economics at the Australian National University. My current research focuses on Bayesian Model comparison, classical hypothesis testing, and financial contagion and crises. In particular, I am interested in developing statistical frameworks to model the transmission of financial market crises, and testing different transmission channels through international financial markets around the world.

E: yu.hsiao@anu.edu.au

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West and Central African iron ore development and its impact on world prices

Luke Hurst
The focus of the paper is on the potential of iron ore supplies from West and Central Africa to enter the export market over the short and medium terms and how this could impact the supply-side capacity and market price. To assess this, three export development scenarios (low, medium and high risk) are constructed for 17 iron ore mines (over 27 production expansion projects) across West and Central Africa. The projections for African iron ore are compared to the latest medium-term import forecasts and suggest that the development of West and Central African iron ore has the potential to create significant downward pressure on the price of iron ore exports over the medium term. The increased export capacity could push marginal producers – mainly in China but also India and elsewhere – out of the market.

Luke's research focuses on Chinese overseas direct investment, and the impact of China on the global iron ore market - the latter will be the topic of his PhD thesis. His recent publications look at Australia's investment policy; the Australian-Chinese investment relationship; China's future resource demand; and the impact of Africa's iron ore development on the global market.

E (preferred): luke.hurst@anu.edu.au
M: 0413969479




Institutions that matter for economic performance

Greg Lopez
This paper investigates whether institutions matter for economic performance; and if they do, which institutions matter at the different levels of economic development. These two questions are interrogated on a sample of 101 countries applying Battese and Coelli (1995)’s stochastic frontier production method at the aggregate level. The results showed that institutions, measured through the Kaufmann's Governance Indicators, mattered in improving economic performance. Overall, institutions related to ‘Government Effectiveness’ had the strongest impact on economic performance when compared to institutions relating to ‘Voice and Accountability’, ‘Political Violence’, ‘Regulatory Quality’, ‘Rule of Law’, and ‘Control of Corruption.’ This result, across countries, for the period 1990 to 2008, supports the perspective that economic performance was not influenced so much by regime type, but rather by how effective the regime is.

Greg's research focuses on the interaction between politics and the economy in Southeast Asia in general, and in Malaysia specifically. His thesis investigates the institutional challenges that Malaysia faces in human capital development in its ambition to become a high income economy.

E: gregore.lopez@anu.edu.au

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Emissions intensity targeting: from China's 12th Five Year Plan to its Copenhagen commitment

Yingying Lu
China is currently the world’s largest single source of fossil fuel related CO2 emissions. In response to pressure from the international community, and in recognition of its role in global climate change mitigation, the Chinese government has announced a series of climate policy commitments, in both the Copenhagen Accord and its domestic 12th 5 Year Plan, to gradually reduce emissions intensity by 2020. Emissions intensity reduction commitments differ significantly from emission level reduction commitments that are commonly adopted by developed economies. In this paper, we investigate the economic implications of China’s recent commitments to reduce emissions intensity, and highlight the complexities involved in modelling intensity targets under uncertainty. Using G-Cubed, an intertemporal, computable general equilibrium model of the world economy, we show that China’s emissions intensity targets could be achieved with a range of low and high growth emissions level trajectories corresponding to low and high growth GDP scenarios, which lead to different welfare consequences.

Yingying Lu, a finishing-year PhD student from Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at Crawford School. My research interests include: public economics, climate change and economic modelling. I also love cooking, baking and hiking.

E: yingying.lu@anu.edu.au

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Fixed investment, uncertainty and financial market volatility in Japan

Luke Meehan
“Uncertainty shocks” have been identified as a key driver of business cycles (Bloom et. al 2012). This paper considers the idea that “uncertainty shocks” embody variations in the distribution of expected returns to investment. Variations in private fixed investment were the proximate cause of Japan’s ‘Lost Decade’ (Horioka, 2006) and are consequently of significant interest to policymakers. Accordingly I evaluate the relationship between shocks and private fixed investment over the past 25 years in Japan. This represents an empirical challenge as the impact of uncertainty may vary with time and magnitude. The paper addresses these issues by incorporating stochastic volatility in a time-varying parameter model of a simple net present value criterion. The resulting simulations identify a strong role for uncertainty and volatility in driving Japanese private fixed investment before, during and after the ‘Lost Decade’.

Luke holds the Australia-Japan Business Co-operation Committee doctoral scholarship and was a member of the inaugural Ph.D in Economic Policy cohort at the Crawford School. He is presenting an early draft of the first paper from his thesis "An investigation into Japanese financial markets and private fixed investment". A former financial analyst and journalist, Luke's interest in macroeconomics stems from his coverage of the GFC impacts on Shanghai, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Earlier this year, Luke spent a month at as a Visiting Associate Researcher at Keio University, Tokyo as part of the Japan Foundation JENESYS Graduate program. Luke is sporting ridiculous facial hair as part of 'Movember' fund-raising for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and encourages you all to a) give generously and b) discuss the issue with the men in your life.

E: luke.meehan@anu.edu.au

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Export performance in landlocked developing countries

Ramesh Paudel
This paper examines the determinants of export performance in landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) compared with that of other developing countries. The paper begins with an overview of export performance of landlocked countries compared to the other developing countries, with emphasis on product lines in which landlocked countries have revealed comparative advantage. This is followed by an econometric analysis of the determinants of trade flows within the standard gravity modelling framework employing state-of-the-art estimation methods. Despite recent policy reforms, overall LLDCs' export performance seems poor compared to other developing countries. The conventional wisdom that “export performance is aided economic openness” applies to LLDCs too. There is also evidence that that landlockedness matters more to export performance of poor landlocked countries compared to their rich counterparts. Distance seems to deter the exports more adversely in LLDCs than other developing countries. There is no evidence to suggest that African landlocked countries are in a disadvantage compared to other landlocked countries in export performance. A key policy inference is that LLDCs have the potential to improve export performance by specifically focussing on specific products lines which are less subject to ‘landlockedness-related’ disadvantages in the world trade.

Qualifications
  • PhD student in ACDE since 2010.
  • Master by Research in Economic from Wollongong University
  • BA and MA from Tribhuvan University Nepal
Publication
  • 4 articles in peer reviewed journals
  • 2 text books for year 11 and 12 in Nepal
Working on
  • Trade and Growth Performance of landlocked countries
T: 6125 9693
E: ramesh.paudel@anu.edu.au

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Household bargaining and the relationship to risk in remote Papua New Guinea

Cate Rogers
The paper uses a unique data set collected from four remote villages in Eastern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea to explore models of intra-household bargaining. The research finds support for a separate spheres model of the household with a high degree of interdependence. The research adds to the economic literature through its explicit consideration of the role of risk and relationship networks on aspects of decision making within the household. The research is relevant to the development of social protection policies and those aimed at providing direct assistance to poor families.

Cate is undertaking her PhD in economics, focusing on risk and poverty in four remote villages in Papua New Guinea. Prior to commencing her PhD, Cate was the Director of Evaluation in the Office of Development Effectiveness, AusAID, for four years. In this role Cate wrote a range of issues notes on development effectiveness and designed and participated in major evaluations of the Australian aid program. Most recently this has included a country strategy and program evaluation of Australia’s aid to the Philippines.

E: cate.rogers@anu.edu.au
M: 0410 922 960

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Is financial globalization welfare decreasing?

Marcel Schröder
A sizable literature documents a substantial increase in valuation effects (changes in net external assets arising from movements in exchange rates, asset returns, or prices) due to financial globalization. Empirically, the question of how the amplification in valuation-term volatility affects welfare remains an open one. The study aims to fill this gap. Theoretically, the relationship between valuation-effect volatility and welfare depends on the currency decomposition of a country's balance sheet and/or its ability to share risk internationally. The econometric results are consistent with these predictions. They suggest that valuation-effect volatility imposes welfare costs through volatility in consumption on countries with a high share of their liabilities denominated in foreign currency, whereas this is not the case for countries not sharing this characteristic. The latter countries are also typically able to share risk. Developing countries should therefore take a cautious approach to liberalizing their capital account transactions.

E: marcel.schroder@anu.edu.au

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Overseas R&D investment: insights from U.S.-based multinational enterprises in manufacturing industries of developed countries

Yixiao Zhou
The location of R&D activities continues to spread beyond the borders of multinational enterprises’ (MNEs’) home countries. The existing literature finds that inward R&D-intensive foreign direct investment (FDI) works as a powerful mechanism for international technology transfer and can enable host locations to integrate more advantageously into global value chains (Calsson 2006). But how can other countries tap into this outflow of knowledge?

To answer this question, this study narrows its focus onto the determinants of overseas R&D investment by MNEs from a single country, the U.S.. The study covers seven two-digit level NAICS manufacturing industries in 24 developed countries over the period 1999-2008. The findings are largely consistent with Athukorala and Kohpaiboon (2010) who use the overseas R&D investment data by U.S.-based MNES at the country level.

The empirical findings of this study suggest that technology-seeking motive, access to an abundant pool of researchers and the market-seeking motive determine the R&D intensity of US-based MNEs. The investment position of MNEs, institutional quality and distance are not found to exert significant impacts on the R&D intensity of MNEs. The above findings point to a need for policies that strengthen domestic R&D or knowledge stock, enhance human capital endowment and institutional quality, and support a domestic market that is open to the world.

Yixiao is a PhD (economics) candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy of the Australian National University (ANU). Before coming to Crawford School, she double- majored in atmospheric physics and economics in Peking University, China. Currently, her main research interest is on the channels of technological catch-up of economies, industrial upgrading of the economy and economic growth. She is also interested in the economics behind R&D development in China. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano.

E: yixiao.zhou@anu.edu.au

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Policy and Governance (POGO)

The Ghost of Nanny: airing the ‘toxic’ in democratic debate

John Boswell
Abstract: The role of ‘toxic’ perspectives on social issues in democratic debate is a contentious issue. For some theorists, debate should feature all competing perspectives across all formal democratic institutions. For others, perspectives that reproduce prejudice have no place in such institutions. In this paper, I contribute to this debate with empirical evidence. Building on a narrative analysis of debate on obesity-related policymaking across different venues in Australia and the UK, I show how the ‘toxic’ (anti-)Nanny State account—which aggressively vilifies and ridicules obese people—is consciously censored from institutions in Australia but not from those in the UK. I demonstrate that this works to constrain debate and create anxiety about the perceived legitimacy of the debate in Australia. Using these findings, I argue that ‘toxic’ perspectives do not necessarily threaten democratic ideals, but that analysing the way they are aired across debate can be informative about the broader context.

John Boswell is a PhD candidate in the PoGo program at Crawford. His research is on democratic theory and practice in Australia and the UK, focusing in particular on how and to what effect actors construct and perform narratives on the issue of obesity across different arenas of public debate.

E: john.boswell@anu.edu.au

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The influence of traditional donors on the quality of government in Lao PDR

Phanthanousone (Pepe) Khennavong
This Chapter aims to explain which dimensions of governance aid donors to Laos have been able to influence, and how. The impact of aid on governance has been studied for decades. However, cross-country results are unreliable, and there are few case studies. This Chapter offers a case study in Laos replicating a study by Ear (2007) on Cambodia. Based on a survey of donors and government officials, and also looking at governance indicators for Laos, it seems donors have been able to positively influence three out of the six governance dimensions defined by Kaufman et al: voice and accountability, government effectiveness, and rule of law. The Chapter then attempts to explain why donors have had a positive role in Laos, and why the results are more positive than for Cambodia.

Pépé Khennavong is undertaking a PhD in public policy at the ANU. His research focus is the influence of foreign aid and the role of non-traditional donors in Laos PDR. Prior to his PhD at ANU, he worked for United Nation Development Program (UNDP) in Laos for almost eight years as a Programme Analyst managing aid coordination and aid effectiveness in the country.

E: phanthanousone.khennavong@anu.edu.au

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Can the United States’ aid program leverage policy cooperation? Evidence from Pakistan

Alicia Mollaun
The American aid program (military and civilian) to Pakistan is highly politicized in both countries and it has been argued that the US uses both aspects of its aid program to leverage cooperation on security and counterterrorism cooperation. Whether aid can achieve leverage, either in Pakistan or more generally, is debated in the literature.

Given the important role the ‘policy elite’ play in the United States in influencing policy and public opinion, this research focuses on elite perceptions of the use of military and economic aid to achieve economic and security policy leverage in Pakistan.

This research highlights an interesting paradox whereby the policy elite advocate for a policy they don’t actually believe will succeed. The majority (65%) of policy elite agrees that conditionality does not work in the Pakistani context and that aid does not achieve leverage. Logically it would follow that the majority would advocate against conditionality being imposed on U.S. aid to Pakistan given it is unsuccessful. However, 75% believed in imposing conditions on military aid, while 58% supported conditions on economic aid. On the surface this looks irrational: why advocate for policy you don’t think will succeed?

I argue that this represents the geo-strategic reality of the United States’ relationship with Pakistan. The U.S. has used aid in the decade following 9/11 to signal its long-term, good faith commitment to Pakistan but also to signal to Pakistan its strategic and economic goals. I link this finding to the literature on conditionality, not as leverage, but as a form of international signaling.

Alicia Mollaun is public policy PhD candidate in her second year and her research looks at U.S. and Pakistan elite perceptions of U.S. aid to Pakistan in the post 9/11 period. Alicia is based in Islamabad, Pakistan and has lived there since mid-2010. Alicia has worked at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Deputy Prime Minister's Office, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Alicia would love visitors to Pakistan and can be contacted at alicia.mollaun@anu.edu.au.

E: alicia.mollaun@anu.edu.au

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Children’s values and the value of children in the social inclusion policy agenda

Yu Wei Neo
Under the social inclusion policy agenda, it is assumed that the path to achieving socially desirable values such as fairness, trust, respect and dignity for those deemed to be socially excluded, lies in their engagement in paid work or in school. However, under this policy discourse, children and young people become constructed as future citizen-workers whose value is mainly defined and measured in terms of the potential economic returns they will bring as adult workers. This not only reinforces the entrenched social construction of children and young people as “deficient” beings who need to be constantly “developed” or “socialised”, it also treats children and childhood as a perpetual policy “problem”. Ironically, children and young people often talk about the importance of fairness, trust, respect and dignity in their relationships with their peers and adults. Furthermore, they often demonstrate varied and creative ways to negotiate or respond to situations when adults fail to treat them fairly. The mismatch between the policy value of children as economic “problems” to be solved and children’s own cherished values of fairness, trust, respect and dignity exposes a fundamental contradiction in the social inclusion policy agenda. It also challenges the construction of children as morally “deficient” beings in constant need of adult discipline. Indeed, the reverse is probably more evident - children’s problems often begin when the adults in their lives fail to treat them fairly and abuse their positions of authority over them. This chapter of my thesis suggests that when children are valued only in economic terms and not as capable citizens whose views matter, the policy goal of achieving a child-inclusive society will remain elusive.

Yu Wei is currently a third-year PhD candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy and is writing up her thesis on ‘Social Inclusion and Children in Australia’. Her thesis is about understanding the multiple layers of meanings of social inclusion and how those meanings have an impact on policies and services for children and young people deemed as being socially excluded. Prior to her doctoral studies, Yu Wei spent more than eight years at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) in Singapore. During her time at the Ministry, she was involved in various advocacy campaigns to promote children’s rights in Singapore as well as conducting in-house research projects related to young offenders and domestic violence.

Tel: 02 6125 1830
E: yuwei.neo@anu.edu.au

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Relationships between patient organisations and the pharmaceutical industry in Australia: implications for pharmaceutical policy

Joy Pettingell
Patient organisations and pharmaceutical companies have some shared objectives particularly around timely access to new medicines and this leads to various forms of collaboration. While most collaborations have the potential for mutual benefit, there are risks that need to be identified and managed if patient organisations are to continue to be seen as the legitimate voice of the patients they represent.

Much of the published research in this area relates to the US, the UK and Europe with relatively little research relating to Australia. Studies have tended to focus on financial relationships rather than non-financial relationships.
The aim of the proposed study is to examine the relationships between patient organisations and pharmaceutical companies in Australia and the ways in which these relationships affect broader policy debates around access to medicines, regulation of the pharmaceutical industry's promotional activities and inclusion of patient organisations in policy deliberations.

Joy is a PhD student in the Policy and Governance stream at the Crawford School. She is a former public servant who worked in health policy and program roles in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Finance and Deregulation and Department of Health and Ageing.

E: joy.pettingell@anu.edu.au
M: 0400 122 147

Inside the hot house: parliamentary tactics in the Australian Parliament 1996 - 2012

Marija Taflaga
The Hung parliament and minority government in Australia has opened up new opportunities for experimentation and innovation in parliamentary practice. At the same time the poor behaviour of MPs in the parliament is the subject of unprecedented debate and discussion. But has anything changed? This paper examines whether parliamentary tactics have changed as a result of the Hung parliament and the tight numbers of the floor of the chamber. The study examines the use of censures, suspensions of standing orders and other disruptive parliamentary tactics by both the government and the opposition. The study finds that the use of disruptive parliamentary tactics is cyclical but the hung parliament has exacerbated the use of disruptive procedural tactics and the tense environment has led to the development of new procedural tactics.

Marija Taflaga is PhD researcher in the school of Politics and International Relations. Marija’s current research focuses on Australian Politics, specifically the Federal Liberal Party during periods of opposition. Marija is also researching the behaviour of MPs in parliament over the last 30 years and whether MPs behaviour has changed over time. Marija has worked as a researcher in the Parliamentary Press Gallery for Fairfax Media for four and half a years.

marija.taflaga@anu.edu.au

Dynamic of public sector reforms: the implementation of the Position Classification System in Bhutan

Lhawang Ugyel
The presentation examines the dynamics of public sector reforms by using the case of the Position Classification System (PCS) in Bhutan that was initiated in 2006. The PCS is a set of public sector reforms, which includes a comprehensive performance management system and other human resources related strategies. Over the years these reforms have been met with differing perspectives, and the presentation will cover the analysis of the factors that led to the formation of these perspectives. It will assess the issues at each stage of the policy cycle—agenda setting, formulation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation—by using data collected from civil servants in Bhutan. The data was gathered primarily with the help of two main methods, that is, from in-depth interviews with senior managers and those who were involved in the reform formulation process and a broader survey with general civil servants. The presentation concludes with the main findings based on the experience of the implementation of the PCS: that the institutional context within which the reforms are applied matters; and the values that best-practice reforms are attached with or where the reforms originate from must match the values of the country these reforms are applied to.
  • Lhawang Ugyel
  • Country: Bhutan
  • Professional Experience: Worked for the Royal Government of Bhutan for 10 years before pursuing a PhD.
  • Qualifications: Currently enrolled in the PhD program in Public Policy (into my third year). I have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in International Development from Cornell University.
  • Contact Details: Room 1.20, Stanner Building, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. Phone: 61256704

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Environment and Development

The state of deforestation in a decentralised Indonesia

Fitrian Ardiansyah
More than a decade ago, Indonesia, a diverse archipelago rich in natural resources, began to adopt a strongly decentralised political and fiscal system. Significant powers are now at the district level, including over land use and forest management. Decentralisation is, therefore, expected to deliver a more efficient, effective and responsive mode of government, including in managing forests, which in turns significantly reduces deforestation and the country’s carbon emissions.

Several studies, however, argue that decentralisation has led to a worse deforestation rate – compared to the one during the centralised government system’s period. By analysing more than 200 districts in the period of 1990-2009, this paper aims to discover whether the deforestation rate at district level has accelerated during the decentralisation era. As an initial part of PhD research, this paper also provides an assessment on different policies which may contribute to the state of deforestation at district level.

Fitrian Ardiansyah is a PhD Candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University, having obtained support from the Australian Leadership Award and Allison Sudradjat Award. He has more than 15 years working experience in the field of ecological and environmental economics, natural resource management, integrated spatial and land use planning, sustainable commodities, sustainable forest management as well as climate change and energy, in Indonesia, Australia and the Asia Pacific. Since 2011, Fitrian has been acknowledged as Fellow by the International League of Conservation Writers.

E: fitrian.ardiansyah@anu.edu.au

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The impacts of corruption on forest management in Indonesia.

Fiona Downs
Deforestation and forest degradation is a well-recognised environmental and developmental problem in many countries across Asia. Programs aimed at improving governance, particularly controlling corruption, are increasingly seen as vital to reducing deforestation and improve the condition for communities in forest areas. Whilst the link between corruption and deforestation is widely assumed, few studies have analysed the local-level mechanisms by which corruption may contribute to deforestation and forest degradation. This is an important gap because corruption is complex phenomenon and is likely to impact on forests in many diverse and context specific ways. In this paper I analyse the mechanisms by which different types of corruption impact upon forests in Indonesia. The findings of this analysis have important implications for designing policies that not only reduce corruption but to reduce it in a way that can also reduce deforestation and forest degradation.

Fiona’s PhD thesis is looking at the contribution of poor governance to deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea’s forests. With a background in both conservation biology and politics, her research interests include corruption, environmental crime, natural resource management and environmental justice. Fiona was awarded the Australian Indonesian Governance Research Program Young Scholar Award in 2009, and has presented her research in conferences in Indonesia and the UK.

E: fiona.downs@anu.edu.au

Changing resource access and its impact on pastoral land management in Mongolia

Undargaa Sandagsuren
In Mongolia, overgrazing is considered a result of open access or absence of formal pastoral institutions to manage pastureland. Because of this, both national and international development agencies have attempted to strengthen local pastoral institutions by implementing policy that is based on market-based land reform and community-based natural resource management. However, these approaches have failed because such policies are incompatible with local means of regulating pastoral resources. To date, there has been limited research on how these policy reforms have contributed to altering local pastoral resource management. Focusing on a case study of the oldest State Reserve Pasture Area, this PhD research examines how and why herders’ changing resource access pattern affects pastoral land management. Based on my findings, I argue that improvements to pastureland management in Mongolia cannot be achieved simply through land-based policy approaches, but needs to address pastoral production management within a context of local territorial administrative units.

Undargaa Sandagsuren is a PhD candidate with the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University. She is from Mongolia and her research is focused on examining current pastureland management in Mongolia under changing socio-economic situation. Since 2000, she has been involved in different international research and development projects in nature conservation, gender and pastureland management throughout Mongolia. She completed her Master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Auckland.

E: undarga.san@anu.edu.au

Growing trees as bioenergy crops needs more than economic incentives

Sandra Velarde
There is private and public interest in exploring growing trees for bioenergy as an additional farming opportunity in the Central West region in New South Wales. This presentation shows the preliminary results of a recent landholder survey in the region. This survey offered different bundles of biomass growing agreements to landholders, using choice sets to elicit their preferences.

These preliminary results indicate that landholders’ willingness to grow future biomass for bioenergy will not only depend on the expected economic benefits but also rely on past experiences (own and others’) with tree planting. These experiences have influenced their trust on government agencies and private companies and their attitudes towards public policies.

A novel approach to survey landholders was used to recruit respondents through participation in locally organized events such as agricultural shows. Through this approach, the normally under represented independent landholders (i.e. those who are not associated to any farmer organization, Landcare group or local government project) were given the opportunity to participate in the research (more than 50% of respondents).

Sandra Velarde is a PhD Candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy, the Australian National University. She holds an Energy Transformed Flagship scholarship from the Commonwealth Industry and Research Organization (CSIRO). Sandra has more than eight years working experience in natural resource management, tradeoff analysis, climate change, deforestation and environmental economics, in the Amazon, the Congo Basin and South east Asia, having worked for the World Agroforestry Centre and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture.

E: sandra.velarde@anu.edu.au

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