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Session 2: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Moderated by Dr. Lakshmi Iyer, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics & the Keough School of Global Affairs


Bridget Hart, University of Notre Dame
“Why Are Women Less Likely to Find a Job after Completing the Same Workforce Development Program as Men in Honduras?”

Training women as well as men with employable skills is important in any society, but especially in societies where women face barriers finding jobs. Empleando Futuros, a workforce development program in Honduras funded by USAID, aims to help young people around the country gain skills for employment so they do not become involved in crime and violence. Women assess higher in improving their employability skills, yet having less success finding jobs than their male peers who complete the Empleando Futuros program. My research project uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to identify reasons women experience the program differently than men. Forty in-depth interviews were used to understand what men and women were getting out of the program as well as their experience with the job search. Women are more likely to emphasize the soft skills and interpersonal growth from the program, whereas men are more likely to talk about the program being a path to a job. Survey results from when participants entered the program were analyzed to understand differences in family pressures each gender faced. Women are entering the program at older ages, in more committed relationships, and with more children. These differences in experience for each gender can give insight into ways this program and other workforce development initiatives can better serve all of its participants in the future.

Katherine Fulcher, University of Tennessee
“A Tale of Twinned Cities”: A Comparative Analysis to Predict Potential Twinning on the US-Mexico Border

Twinning is an official agreement between two cities separated by an international boundary which share cultural or economic ties. Scholarship on twinning primarily focuses on European cases of cross-border integration. The potential for twinning on the US-Mexico border remains an understudied, yet contested question. Some researchers argue US and Mexican cities developed separately and cannot officially integrate. However, this research is limited, as no data set exists allowing for broader analysis. This paper asks where and under what conditions could official twinned relationships emerge on the US-Mexico border? I build a novel data set of European twinned and non-twinned cities and potential twinned cities on the US-Mexico border. I also develop a model of European twinning to uncover the economic, cultural, and political conditions that are conducive to engaging in official twinned relationships. I then estimate the likelihood of twinned relationships at different locations on the US-Mexico border.

Margaret Kenney, St. Louis University
Counterinsurgency and Economic Development

With the prevalence of insurgency an ever-growing concern, identifying effective counterinsurgency plans is of utmost importance. Various approaches have been taken to deter insurgent attacks ranging from strategic military operations to social development programs. This paper will proceed in three steps. First, I will analyze counterinsurgency literature and its implication on two case studies. Second, I will outline the two case studies, describing the economic development approaches utilized for counterinsurgency in both countries. Finally, I will compare the two case studies, explaining how implementation and human reactions varied.