The economic integration of markets induces a broad variety of new conditions and opportunities for economic units. Multinational enterprises are key players in this regard. The increasing liberalization of trade and capital flows facilitates entries into foreign markets and international fragmentation of production processes. The effects of foreign direct investments (FDI) have yet to be fully investigated. The empirical literature on this subject conducted so far refers to selective databases, which underrepresent small and medium-sized parent companies and/or affiliates. This doctoral thesis makes an important contribution to the closure of gaps in the literature on labor market effects of FDI. Part of this dissertation is the establishment of a unique database that covers the total population of German affiliates in the Czech Republic and the corresponding parent companies. By developing a new method for linking firm-level data with the plant-level data of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), this database is linked with the data of the Federal Employment Agency. Therefore, it permits reliable conclusions to be drawn regarding the impact of FDI in this specific case. As the exact dates of the investments in the Czech Republic are known, the employment trend of German firms with Czech affiliates and firms without FDI is compared to evaluate the effects on the German workforce. Moreover, this thesis provides profound insights into the types of FDI and the location of German parent companies and their Czech affiliates, which reveals new findings on cross-border firm linkages and the role of border regions.
The dissertation is located within the (behavioral) economics of education and focuses on institutional determinants of educational outcomes, evaluation of educational policies, and educational inequality. More specifically, after an introduction in chapter 1, the first part (chapter 2) seizes on one determinant of educational achievement, whereas the second part (chapters 3 and 4) is concerned with students' behavior towards federal interventions aiming at achieving efficiency and equality of opportunity in German higher education. Chapter 2 studies, together with Johanna Sophie Quis and Guido Heineck, whether the shift into daylight saving time (which affects sleep and the relative timing of school start) affects European elementary students' performance in international student assessments. Chapter 3 investigates, together with Michael Kalinowski, the existence of and reasons for non-take-up of German need-based student financial aid (BAföG), providing first-time evidence that two fifths of eligible students do not claim their benefits. Chapter 4 contains results from a randomized field-experiment in Germany. I analyze whether high-achieving students from non-academic families where nobody attained a university degree lack knowledge on merit-based aid and are, therefore, less likely to apply for scholarships than comparable students from academic families. Especially the last two parts of my dissertation underline the importance of “non-traditional” explanations for unequal access to higher education (funding) and discuss starting points to increase equality of opportunity in Germany.
The central highlands of Kenya frequently suffer the impacts of rainfall-induced landslides resulting from the interaction of slope stability and elements of environmental change (land-use and climatic variables). The impacts of rainfall-induced landslides affect the country’s fight against poverty, bearing in mind the limited budgets to cope with the socioeconomic losses incurred by landslide hazards. On the other hand, a fast population growth rate puts pressure on the country’s resources which is majorly agricultural based, thus contributing to more people settling on steep slopes and increasing their vulnerability to rainfall landslide hazards. Thus, this research sought to contribute to the mitigation measures by mapping the landslide areas, performing landslide susceptibility assessment, and investigating the impacts of predicted environmental change on the frequency and magnitude of rainfall-induced landslides. The role of environmental change was investigated using specific objectives which assessed the impacts of land-use on slope stability, and the impact of precipitation characteristics on landslide susceptibility. Several data types ranging from topographic, soil and geology, land-use land-cover (LULC), hydrology, and precipitation landslide controlling factors were mapped and used in the modelling process.
The methodology comprised of LULC change detection with Landsat multitemporal data for the years 1995, 2002, 2010 and 2014; structural geology and soil mapping; landslide inventory creation with Landsat multitemporal data for the years 1995, 2000, 2010 and 2014; landslide susceptibility mapping with Combined Hydrological and Slope stability Model (CHASM) and landslide modelling with Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model. The success of mapping and visualizing geology lineaments was owed to the digital image enhancement methods involving band ratioing, False Colour Composites (FCC), feature data transformation and data reduction methods of principal and independent component analysis. In addition to the feature data transformation and data reduction, the landslide inventory mapping was enhanced by utilizing a Normalized Difference Mid-Red (NDMIDR) spectral index involving Landsat geology and red bands.
The key results of this research indicated that human activities relating to land-use (mostly agricultural) did aggravate the landslide processes on the sloppy terrain. This was confirmed by the CHASM model results where forested slopes maintained low landslide susceptibility levels. In addition, the ANN model rated LULC, rainfall, and proximity to drainage network factors high in contributing to landslide occurrence in the study area. Thus, majorly shallow types of landslides dominated, although the ANN model mapped some areas with deep-seated landslide areas along lineament features. The impacts of heavy precipitation were observed to increase slope instability, especially in bare land covers and high density drainage network areas due to rapid soil saturation, while prolonged precipitation increased infiltration thus maintaining high landslide susceptibility levels. The effects of climatic variables were associated with increased rock weathering observed on bare volcanic rocks, hence high instability rates around such areas. Landslide hazard zonation with ANN model captured several landslide types and the stability classification. The results of this study can guide targeted policies on land-use management as it has been established that rainfall induced landslides are a result of the interactions of land-use, slope and rainfall landslide conditioning factors. Moreover, creating a landslide inventory which can be updated with landslide attributes was a success since this had not been done in this geographical location to indicate the potential of landslide reactivation.
Christian Haag holds a diploma degree in Sociology from the University of Bamberg and also studied at the National University of Ireland in Galway. He has taught and researched at the chair of Sociology I at the University of Bamberg, at the State Institute for Family Research at the University of Bamberg (ifb), and at the Goethe University Frankfurt. His work is focussed on social inequality, life course research, and family sociology. Specialties include employment of women and mothers, reconciliation of family and employment, same-sex relationships and homosexuality, attitudes towards the family and normative images of the family, and parenting intentions, particularly in the context of artificial reproductive techniques.
In his dissertation, Christian Haag contributes to the body of research in family sociology in providing original results on parenting intentions of homosexual women and men. Based on a quantitative German dataset from the State Institute for Family Research at the University of Bamberg (ifb), the thesis delineates parenting intentions, finds evidence for influencing factors which are important in the development of these intentions, and furthermore describes and discusses intended family patterns of homosexual women and men. The implications are discussed at an individual and a societal level. Results throughout point towards the importance of the social and legal framework. Results and their implications extend to common issues and topics for all couples in treatment with assisted reproductive techniques.
This dissertation will explore conspiracy theories from a psychological viewpoint—both theoretically and empirically. Conspiracy theories are introduced here as a phenomenon relevant for many aspects of entertainment, history, popular culture, society, politics, and ideology. The phenomenon is defined and discussed, with its epistemic characteristics and ramifications, from a philosophical viewpoint. It is argued that there is no standard practice for the judgement of conspiracy theories, and that a case-by-case consideration is a pragmatic resolution for this epistemic problem. Along with proposing and implementing a new means of measurement for the belief in conspiracy theories in Raab, Ortlieb, Auer, Guthmann, and Carbon (2013) called narrative construction, it is argued that nearly everyone will construct a conspiracy theory for an important event (exemplified with the 9/11 attacks), which is probably
not a sign of delusion, but of identity construction and management. However, the genesis of such beliefs is prone to distortions. The mere presence of extreme (in terms of conspiratorial value) information might foster the construction of narrations significantly more extreme—without people noticing it. In Raab, Auer, Ortlieb, and Carbon (2013), we have called this the Sarrazin effect. To better understand why conspiratorial narrations are so widespread, powerful and possibly dangerous, psychological and philosophical theories are applied; for example, narrations (and thus conspiracy theories) can be considered cognitive simulations of possible states of the world. Here, it would also be desirable to understand why a given person adheres to a specific narrative content, so the link between personal values (in a psychological sense) and conspiracy belief was analysed empirically. The results were reported in a conference paper (Raab, Kammerl, & Carbon, 2015). Also, a current research question is if people automatically begin to elaborate conspiracy beliefs for a new event, or if it takes psychological triggers to start this process. We found empirical evidence in Gebauer, Raab, and Carbon (2016) that
information has to include testimony of causation (someone causing an event directly) and purpose (someone causing this deliberately), so that people begin to assume a conspiracy at work. To make the knowledge presented here, as well as the results gathered by researchers in the past years and decades, available to a larger audience, a work-in-progress project for a popular science book on conspiracy theories is presented. The conspiracy theory is the message then (speaking with Marshall McLuhan), as those theories extend our realm of human affairs. To integrate the findings of this thesis, a construction kit for conspiracy theories is proposed; and dangers as well as chances of such narrations are discussed with regard to societal progress.
In this book, I study how and with what consequences the creation of sanctions committees within Security Council sanctions regimes affects the Council’s dominant logic of decision-making and the content of decisions taken. Security Council sanctions regimes increasingly involve complex governance projects that require the adoption of numerous detailed implementation decisions over extended periods of time. The Security Council increasingly delegates these decisions to its sanctions committees with identical membership. In a first step, I develop a theoretical model of committee governance. I argue that the establishment of sanctions committees creates a two-stage decision process which affects collective decision processes in ways that favor rule-based decisions even though the same group of actors adopts all relevant decisions. This effect occurs if a group of actors separates a comprehensive decision-process into a stage of rule-making and a stage of subsequently applying these rules to a stream of implementation decisions. While rulemaking actors are subject to constraints of consistency, in rule-application, actors face coordination situations that create the demand for externally provided rules or internally produced precedents as focal points. Subsequently, based on previously neglected documents, I analyze the effects of committee governance for five Security Council sanctions regimes (Iraq, Al-Qaida, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Iran). I conclude that delegating implementation decisions to sanctions committees may commit even the most powerful member states to rule-based decision-making.