Search

You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Topic Economics Remove constraint Topic: Economics
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Reimut Zohlnhöfer, Herbert Obinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The 1990s have witnessed unprecedented attempts at privatizing state owned enterprises in virtually all OECD democracies. This contribution analyzes the differences in the privatization proceeds raised by EU and OECD countries between 1990 and 2000. It turns out that privatizations are part of a process of economic liberalization in previously highly regulated economies, as well as a reaction to the fiscal policy challenges imposed by European integration and the globalization of financial markets. In addition, institutional pluralism and union militancy yield significant and negative effects on privatization proceeds. Partisan differences only emerge if economic problems are moderate, while intense economic, particularly fiscal, problems foreclose differing partisan strategies.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Duane Swank
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: I offer an explanation for the widespread diffusion of neoliberal tax policies in the developed democracies. Specifically, I argue that the highly visible 1980s market-conforming tax reform in the United States, the late twentieth century's dominant political economy, creates significant incentives for adoption of neoliberal tax policies by decision makers in other polities. As such, I stress a dominant actor model of the diffusion of neoliberalism that is grounded in asymmetric competition for mobile assets and policy learning. However, while the incentives to follow U.S. tax policy are substantial, the relative weight assigned the costs and benefits of reform and, in turn, the pace and degree of neoliberal policy adoption by other nations is fundamentally contingent on features of domestic political and economic environments. I assess these arguments with empirical models of 1981-to-1998 tax rates on capital in sixteen nations. I find that changes in U.S. tax policy influence subsequent reforms in other polities; in the long-term, all nations move toward the U.S. neoliberal tax structure. Analysis also shows, however, that the responsiveness to US tax reforms is notably greater where linkages with U.S. markets are stronger, where domestic economic stress is deeper, and where uncoordinated market institutions are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: are dominant. I conclude with a discussion of the implications of the present analysis for the volume's central questions: of international policy interdependence and domestic political economic forces in shaping policy change?
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Daniele Archibugi, Alberto Coco
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The paper discusses the condition and perspective of the European Union in the knowledge economy and the feasibility of the goal given by the European Council at the Summits held in Lisbon (March 2000) and Barcelona (March 2002), that is, to increase European R expenditure up to 3 percent of GDP by 2010. The paper focuses on two aspects: comparative performance with its direct counterparts, in particular the US..; and intra-European distribution of resources and capabilities. A set of technological indicators is presented to show that Europe is still in a consistent delay when compared to Japan and the U.S., especially in R investment and in the generation of innovations. A small convergence occurs in the diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the sector most directly linked to the concept of the "new economy." In the field of knowledge collaboration, Europe reveals opposing paths in the business and in the academic worlds. Within Europe, the level of investment in scientific and technological activities is so different across countries that it does not merge into a single continental innovation system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: David R. Cameron
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The accession of ten new member states in May 2004 and the prospective accession of several more in the near future will pose severe budgetary, administrative, and operational challenges for the European Union. But however great, the challenges of enlargement pale in comparison with the challenges of accession that will be faced by the new member states, especially those which until a decade ago were governed by Communist parties that presided over centrally-planned and predominantly-collectivized economies. This paper explores five of the most critical challenges that will face the new member states of post-Communist Europe: 1) administering the acquis; 2) deepening and extending the reform and transformation of the economy; 3) reducing the high levels of unemployment and large government, trade, and current account deficits; 4) financing accession in the face of the EU’s budgetary constraints and financial provisions; and 5) coping with all of those challenges in the face of low levels of support for enlargement in many of the member states and high levels of ambivalence and skepticism about membership in most of the new member states. The chapter concludes by noting the low levels of trust in the national government and satisfaction with the way democracy works that exist in most of the new member states and suggests that those low levels of trust and satisfaction will make it difficult for the governments in the new member states to address these challenges while also maintaining sufficient public support to retain office.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Anna Grzymala-Busse
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Theories of institutional development have tended to view discretion, or the leeway to act within institutional bounds, as an often unintended consequence of agency design and institutional specification. Yet the post-communist states show that discretion is a fundamental goal of institutional creation among competing elites. In turn, while political competition has been identified as a key constraint on discretion in institutional creation, widely-used indicators of political competition are inadequate. As post-communist democracies show, the number or seat share of political parties matters far less than what parties do in parliament. The key factor is a robust opposition: a clear, credible, and contentious threat to governing parties. Such opposition leads to the rise of formal institutions that both minimize the discretion necessary for rent-seeking, and favor equitable distributional outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniele Archibugi
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Will Kymlicka has argued “democratic politics is politics in the vernacular.” Does it imply that democratic politics is impossible in a multilingual community, whether at the local, national, regional or global level? This paper discusses this assumption and maintains that democratic politics should imply the willingness of all players to make an effort to understand each other. Democratic politics imply the willingness to overcome the barriers to mutual understanding, including the linguistic ones. Any time that there is a community of fate, a democrat should search for methods that allow deliberation according to the two key conditions of political equality and participation. If linguistic diversity is an obstacle to equality and participation, some methods should be found to overcome it, as exemplified by the Esperanto metaphor. The paper illustrates the argument with four cases of multi-linguistic political communities: a) a school in California with English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students; b) the city of Byelostok in the second half of the nineteenth century, where four different linguistic communities (Polish, Russian, German and Yiddish) coexisted. This led Markus Zamenhof to invent Esperanto; c) the linguistic problems of the Indian state, and the role played by English – a language unspoken by the majority of the Indian population in 1947 – in developing Indian democracy; and d) the case of the European Parliament, with twenty languages and a wealth of interpreters and translators.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, India, California, Germany
  • Author: Bo Rothstein, Eric M. Uslaner
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The importance of social trust has become widely accepted in the social sciences. A number of explanations have been put forward for the stark variation in social trust among countries. Among these, participation in voluntary associations received most attention. Yet, there is scant evidence that participation can lead to trust. In this paper, we shall examine a variable that has not gotten the attention we think it deserves in the discussion about the sources of generalized trust, namely equality. We conceptualize equality in two dimensions: one is economic equality and the other is equality of opportunity. The omission of both these dimensions of equality in the social capital literature is peculiar for several reasons. One is that it is obvious that the countries that score highest on social trust also rank highest on economic equality, namely the Nordic countries, the Netherlands, and Canada. Secondly, these are countries that have put a lot of effort in creating equality of opportunity, not least in regard to their policies for public education, labor market opportunities and (more recently) gender equality. The argument for increasing social trust by reducing inequality has largely been ignored in the policy debates about social trust. Social capital research has to a large extent been used by several governments and policy organizations to send a message to people that the bad things in their society are caused by too little volunteering. The policy implication that follows from our research is that the low levels of trust and social capital that plague many countries are caused by too little government action to reduce inequality. However, many countries plagued by low levels of social trust and social capital may be stuck in what is known as a social trap. The logic of such a situation is the following. Social trust will not increase because massive social inequality prevails, but the public policies that could remedy this situation cannot be established precisely because there is a genuine lack of trust. This lack of trust concerns both “other people” and the government institutions that are needed to implement universal policies.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, Netherlands
  • Author: Dorothee Bohle, Bela Greskovitz
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the past decade of European economic integration vastly worse standards have emerged in work conditions, industrial relations, and social welfare in Eastern Europe than in the West. Area scholars explain this divide by labor weakness caused by the ideological legacy of communism, and do not problematize the impact of transnational capital. In contrast, this essay argues that the reason why the European social model has not traveled to the East is that its socio-economic foundations, the industrial building blocks of the historical compromise between capital and labor, have not traveled either. In the West, the compromise had been rooted in capital-intensive consumer durables industries, such as car-manufacturing, and their suppliers. These sectors brought together organized and vocal labor with businesses willing to accommodate workers' demands, because for them labor had been less a problem as a cost-factor and more important as factor of demand. However, the main driving force of the eastward expansion of European capital has been the relocation of labor-intensive activities where business relies on sweating masses of workers, whose importance as consumers is marginal, and who are weak in the workplace and the marketplace. With this general conceptualization of how the emerging new European division of labor constrains the social aspects of East European market societies as a background, the essay studies the cases of Hungarian electronics and Slovak car industries in order to better understand how particular features of various leading sectors mediate the general pattern.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Sebastian Royo
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to outline the main consequences for Portugal and Spain of EU integration. It uses the integration of Portugal and Spain into the European Union as an opportunity to draw some lessons that may be applicable to East European countries as they pursue their own processes of integration into the European Union. It examines challenges and opportunities that new member states from central and Eastern Europe will face when trying to integrate in the EU. Finally, the paper analyzes the impact the 2004 enlargement will have on the Iberian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Claes H. de Vreese
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This study tests competing hypotheses about popular support for European integration. It introduces anti-immigration sentiments as a key variable for understanding reluctance towards integration. Drawing on survey data, it is found that anti-immigration sentiments, economic considerations, and the evaluation of domestic governments are the strongest predictors of both support for integration and individuals' propensity to vote “Yes” in a referendum on the enlargement of the EU. When extrapolating the findings to future referendums on issues of European integration, it may be predicted that such referendums will result in a “No” outcome under the conditions of high levels of anti-immigration sentiments, pessimistic economic outlooks, and/or unpopularity of a government.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe