Article A Decomposition of Poverty Headcount: Income and Population Dynamics Melchior Vella, Gilmour Camilleri Pages: 62 - 73 Read Abstract | View full article |
PDF Abstract: We formalise and present a detailed decomposition method to explain changes in poverty when the poverty line is not fixed and depends on the income distribution. Using the shift-share simulation approach, we decompose poverty change into four components, namely income growth, change in inequality, change in poverty line, and change in total population. We provide empirical illustrations with EU-SILC data for Malta between 2005 and 2018. We find that the poverty line and income growth have been the most important contributors to poverty changes, especially during periods of rapid income growth. This decomposition can be used either to interpret changes between two periods or to microsimulation models of taxes and benefits.
Article Understanding the Economic and Sociodemographic Determinants of Early School Leaving: A Configurational Approach Fabri Stephanie, Victor Martinelli, Spiteri Jonathan, Vincent Cassar Pages: 74 - 85 Read Abstract | View full article |
PDF Abstract: Education is at the heart of any nation's social and economic development and certainly within the specific scope of the European Union’s strategic development. As a result, early school leaving is a subject of inexorable importance because its effect reverberates in other social and economic realities. This paper examines the macroeconomic and socioeconomic determinants of ESL by adopting a multi-analytical strategy involving a linear regression method and a configurational approach. The outcomes highlight the complexity of ESL involving nonlinearity, equifinality, and asymmetric relations. Inequality and parental education emerge as key determinants of ESL; these relationships are more robust compared to the other determinants, namely Gross Domestic Product per capita, youth unemployment, and parental job status. The practical and theoretical aspects of these outcomes are explained throughout the discussion.
Article Designing an evaluation strategy for a large-scale science and arts festival using Science in the City, Malta as a case study Edward Duca, Simone Cutajar, Simona Seligova Pages: 86 - 102 Read Abstract | View full article |
PDF Abstract: In this work, we analyse and present a step-by-step guide on how to set up a valuable and informative mixed method evaluation strategy of large-scale science festivals and events. A literature analysis helped identify the best technique to set up a multi-approach methodology (multiple-choice questionnaire and silent observers). Questionnaire data was to be collected using systematic sampling. The approach was applied to a local case study to develop a best practice. Its implementation was analysed and assessed to provide festival organisers with useful recommendations to enhance the evaluation strategy, and improve festival quality and researcher engagement in subsequent editions. Combining a mixed-method approach to collect both qualitative and quantitative data helped gather a good and comprehensive overview of the festival. It set a baseline for future editions to improve upon. All the evaluation efforts carried out in this work were very dependent on volunteers, therefore an effective and appropriate volunteer recruitment, training and retainment strategy was essential. This work has developed a baseline assessment of the festival establishing a professional evaluation strategy with limited funds and experience. It is a step-by-step guide for large science festival organisers who want to set up effective evaluation of their efforts.
Article Public opinion and protest efficacy: A study on the proposed yacht marina in Marsaskala, Malta. Valerie Visanich Pages: 103 - 114 Read Abstract | View full article |
PDF Abstract: Public opinion data regarding environmental concerns are central to a better understanding of the effects of social movements in sensitising environmental issues, and at times changing political decisions. In August 2021, Transport Malta issued an expression of interest for the design, construction and operation of a 700-berth yacht marina in the bay of Marsaskala, a fast-growing locality in the south east of the Maltese Islands. A social movement made up of residents, non-residents, an environmental NGO and local stakeholders organised a number of protests following the publication of the marina plans. The aim of this article is to identify underlying factors causing individuals’ concerns on the proposed development. It explores the environmental movement surrounding this concern and analyses survey data on public opinion. It does so to better understand the extent of specific areas of impact that the proposed marina would have on the community of Marsaskala. Specifically, it focuses on how this would impinge on the everyday life of citizens. Results point to the social, environmental and economic impacts that this development would have, particularly on the community infrastructure of the locality of Marsaskala. Discussion focuses on how the ongoing impact on public opinion and protest, not only on mobilising public opinion but impacting political decisions.
Article Factors influencing the abundance and distribution of feral pigeons (Columba livia) in urban environments in Malta Cassandra Borg Muscat, Fiona Sammut, Patrick J. Schembri Pages: 115 - 126 Read Abstract | View full article |
PDF Abstract: This study aimed at identifying factors that influence the abundance and distribution of feral pigeons (Columba livia) in urban environments in Malta, making it the first study of its kind locally. Feral pigeons were censused using transect surveys in different types of urban environments, which were categorised as in proximity of an agricultural area, main road, park, side street and suburb. The cluster density and the cluster abundance were then estimated using distance sampling analysis. The number of pigeons in clusters was two or three. The cluster density of feral pigeons was estimated to be 6.51x10-5±1.57x10-5 (1.44x10-5 Km-2) in a total area of 4.52km2, with the highest estimate corresponding to the 'Park' , followed by the 'Mainroad', 'Agricultural area', 'Sidestreet' and 'Suburb' , in this order. The cluster abundance in the same area was estimated to be 293.89±70.87, with the highest estimate corresponding to the 'Mainroad' , followed by 'Park', 'Sidestreet', 'Agricultural area' and 'Suburb' in this order. Negative binomial regression was used to study the possible influence of environmental factors on feral pigeon abundance. The results of statistical analysis showed that the abundance of feral pigeons is mostly affected by architecture: abundance was low where there was a preponderance of modern buildings. This study may contribute to a tailor-made and economical scientific management plan for controlling feral pigeons in urban settings.