On Wednesday, May 27th, Maryam Naghsh Nejad from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA-Bonn) presented her work in progress “Children of Afghan Migrants in Iran” to the ISET community. The study tries to identify whether there are disparities between Iranian natives and Afghan immigrants and what the sources of these discrepancies are.
As Ms. Naghsh Nejad pointed out, Afghan refugees are one of the largest displaced population in the world. According to the data retrieved for 2012, there were between 2.4 to 3 million Afghan immigrants living in Iran. Afghan refugees started to arrive in Iran from 1978, in several different waves. Iran, a host country, did accept Afghan refugees but its policy towards these people has never been stable.

On Thursday, May 14th, ISET hosted Helena Schweiger, Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at the EBRD, London. Ms. Schweiger presented her recent paper “The impact of armed conflict on firms’ performance and perceptions”, co-authored with Carly Petracco. This study explores the short-run impact of August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia on firms’ performance and their perceptions of the business environment.
Authors used the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance (BEEP) Survey data before and nine months after this armed conflict. The difference-in-differences estimates suggest that despite the short duration, armed conflict had a significant and negative impact on share of exports in sales and employment for at least a subset of firms.

On Thursday, April 16th, Muhammad Asali, ISET’s resident faculty member, presented his paper, named “Compulsory Military Service and Future Earnings: Evidence from a Quasi Experiment” to the ISET community.

Military service can have either positive, negative or no effect on future earnings of the former military servants. On the one hand, military service keeps people out of the labor market and therefore, harms their labor market skills, resulting in lower wages afterwards.

On the other hand, it might help acquire some new skills (e.g. discipline) which are needed in the labor market and therefore, benefit the former military servants in terms of earnings. There is little consensus in the literature about this relationship.

On Monday, May 18th, ISET hosted Mr. Jan Klingelhöfer from RWTH Aachen University who presented his paper titled “The Swing Voters' Blessing" to the ISET community. The paper deals with the following question: can democracy work well if the electorate is neither fully informed nor fully rational?
In order to answer this question, Mr. Klingelhöfer gave an affirmative answer in a model with quality differences between two ideological candidates running for office. The candidates commit to policy platforms before an election takes place. All voters care about the quality of the candidates as well as the policies they offer. However, the quality differences are only observable to a limited number of informed voters.

On Friday, April 3rd, Professor Sergey Popov from the Queen's University Belfast visited ISET to present his paper titled "On Publication, Refereeing, and Working Hard” co-authored with Sascha Baghestanian, junior professor at the department for management and applied microeconomics at Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany.

Mr. Popov started his talk by providing some real-life examples – when authors got rejected from journals or vice versa. He explained that publication process in Economics has changed significantly in the last decades. New journals emerged, both general and field-specific.

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