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  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Reactions to the Chinese Communist Party's announcement of major economic reforms in November have ranged from unbridled optimism to skepticism about the party's ability to implement sweeping change. In fact, the reforms themselves are flawed in multiple ways-most are inauthentic, uncredible, or nonviable. However, the areas of land and finance offer more limited prospects for true reform. The primary means of judging reform progress should be progress in reducing excess capacity. The most likely outcome is that the party will claim success but the economy will slowly stagnate, harming China's partners.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Chinese foreign investment declined through mid-2014 for the first time since the financial crisis. By sector, energy draws the most investment, but a slump in energy spending means that metals and real estate have been more prominent so far in 2014. The United States has received the most Chinese investment since 2005, followed by Australia, Canada, and Brazil. China invests first in large, resource-rich nations but has also diversified by spending more than $200 billion elsewhere. Chinese investment benefits both China and the recipient nation, but host countries must consider thorny issues like Chinese cyberespionage and subsidies.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, Brazil, Australia
  • Author: Jon Kyl, Jim Talent
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: When President Obama took office, the armed services of the United States had already reached a fragile state. The Navy had shrunk to its smallest size since before World War I; the Air Force was smaller, and its aircraft older, than at any time since the inception of the service. The Army was stressed by years of war; according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, it had been underfunded before the invasion of Iraq and was desperately in need of resources to replace its capital inventory.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: John L. Kokulis
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The rise in military health care spending has been a primary driver of the large growth in military personnel compensation over the past decade. Left unchecked, these costs will impact the ability of the DoD's Military Health System (MHS) to support its three critical missions: 1. Readiness for deployment: Maintaining an agile, fully deployable medical force and a health care delivery system so they are capable of providing state-of-the-art health services anytime, anywhere; 2. Readiness of the fighting force: Helping commanders create and sustain the most healthy and medically prepared fighting forces anywhere; and 3. The benefits mission: Providing long-term health coaching and health care for 9.7 million DoD beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Health, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As the leadership of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (hereafter DPRK, or North Korea) looks to the future, economic development figures centrally in its officially proclaimed agenda. This year, as it has done every year over the past decade, the government's joint New Year editorial stressed the imperative of economic construction, broadly outlining the sorts of improvements that are to be achieved over the remainder of the current calendar year, and intoned that "The present grand onward march for the improvement of the people's standard of living demands that a full-scale offensive be launched in the overall economic front." But economic growth and development has just taken on a whole new importance in North Korean policy, one that extends beyond rhetoric: this past January, for the first time in over two decades, Pyongyang has formally unveiled a new multi-year economic plan: a 10-year "strategy plan for economic development" under a newly formed State General Bureau for Economic Development. The new economic plan is intended not only to meet the DPRK's longstanding objective of becoming a "powerful and prosperous country" [Kangsong Taeguk] by 2012 (the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung), but also to promote North Korea to the ranks of the "advanced countries in 2020."
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Israel, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines global demographic prospects to the year 2030 and assesses the influence that impending population trends may have upon economic performance in coming years for the world as a whole and the major regional economies. A reasonably reliable assessment of prospective global trends to 2030 is feasible today because the overwhelming majority of people who will be living in that future world are already here, alive today. This includes all of that future world's senior citizens and almost its entire workforce. Major changes in global population trends are in the offing--among these, a sharp slowdown in the growth of available manpower, with impending declines of manpower for some regions, and pervasive population aging. Furthermore, in many of today's important "emerging markets" demographic pressures may constrain economic growth more significantly than is currently appreciated. Coping with these looming demographic realities will require far-reaching reforms and innovations if we hope to maintain the pre-crisis tempo of global economic growth (much less accelerate it).
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Author: Apoorva Shah
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In a country where two out of five citizens, about 450 million people, live in poverty, it is no exaggeration to say that the development experience of Kerala – a coastal state on the southwestern tip of India – stands out as extraordinary. Despite a history of anemic economic growth, this state of 32 million boasts effectively universal literacy rates and life expectancy levels close to many Western societies. Because of this, the “Kerala model” has been hailed by NGOs, development experts, and Western academics as an alternative path for human development in which a robust welfare system rather than economic growth drives social progress.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Kerala
  • Author: H. E. Frech III
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The OECD has undertaken an ambitious large-scale statistical analysis of the determinants of health and the relative efficiency of the health care systems of various OECD member countries (Jourmard, André, Nicq and Chatal 2008). The Report makes a useful contribution to a continuing stream of literature that focuses on health outcomes, rather than cost. While the primary emphasis of the Report is on new statistical analysis, it includes a valuable, though spotty, literature review.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Health
  • Author: Kevin A. Hassett
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the empirical literature on countercyclical policy. It finds that three types of countercyclical policies have been studied in the literature: built in stabilizers, temporary policy changes, and more permanent policy changes. The literature is decidedly mixed on the effectiveness of temporary changes, but more hopeful concerning the other two.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This paper comments on the experience of the U.S. economy in the 1930s, its lessons for managing the current economic downturn, and the relation of U.S. economic conditions to our future national security. Some of the conclusions are: (1) Although the current recession will be long and very damaging, it is not likely to deteriorate into conditions similar to the Depression of the 1930s. Policy makers now understand better than they did in the 1930s what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided. (2) The focus on domestic economic policies in the 1930s and the desire to remain militarily neutral delayed the major military buildup that eventually achieved the economic recovery. (3) A well-functioning system of bank lending is necessary for economic expansion. We have yet to achieve that in the current situation. (4) Raising taxes, even future taxes, can depress economic activity. The administration's budget proposes to raise tax rates on higher income individuals, on dividends and capital gains, on corporate profits and on all consumers through the cap and trade system of implicit CO2 taxes. (5) Inappropriate trade policies and domestic policies that affect the exchange rate can hurt our allies, leading to conflicts that spill over from economics to impair national security cooperation. Reducing long-term U.S. fiscal deficits would reduce the risk of inflation and thereby reduce the fear among foreign investors that their dollar investments will lose their purchasing power. (6) The possibilities for domestic terrorism and of cyber attacks creates risks that did not exist in the 1930s or even in more recent decades. The scale and funding of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security is not consistent with these new risks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Philip I. Levy
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Contrary to the common approach in the literature, the economic and other forces that push countries toward democratization are continuous rather than discrete. This paper argues that failure to account for the latent variable of "incipient democracy" can bias estimates of democracy's determinants. The paper presents a new avenue by which economic integration can foster democracy, one that focuses on the means for democratization rather than the motive. This strengthening of civil society is identified as a necessary component of economic integration with modern distributed production, though we would not expect to see it in autocracies dependent on natural resource trade. The arguments are applied to the case of China.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Aparna Mathur, Kevin A. Hassett, Gilbert E. Metcalf
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This paper measures the direct and indirect incidence of a carbon tax using current income and two measures of lifetime income to rank households. Our results suggest that carbon taxes are more regressive when annual income is used as a measure of economic welfare than when proxies for lifetime income are used.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony T. Lo Sasso
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The present upswing in state-level efforts to "do something about health care," combined with presidential campaign-related rhetoric, suggests that health care is back with a vengeance on the public consciousness. Many states are proposing what appear to be new strategies to cover the uninsured when in reality the "new" strategies rely on old approaches that have not proven highly effective in the past, notably community rating and guaranteed issue regulations. Using data culled from a popular health insurance distributor and the published literature provides a compelling portrait of the predictable distortions that can result from regulations aimed at improving perceived deficiencies in the non-group and small group health insurance markets.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Health, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Aparna Mathur, Kevin A. Hassett, Gilbert E. Metcalf
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In discussions over how best to implement mandatory restrictions on carbon, the most commonly discussed option is a cap-and-trade system. One critical economic question surrounding cap-and-trade is how to distribute the permits. The two main competing mechanisms are free allocations to polluters (usually based on past emissions levels, output levels, or carbon intensity) and the auction of permits.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Environment, Markets
  • Author: Robert W. Hahn, Anna Layne-Farrar
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Security in software networks relies on technology, law, and economics. As the cost of software security breaches becomes more apparent, there has been greater interest in developing and implementing solutions for different parts of the problem.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Author: Kevin A. Hassett, Alan D. Viard
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The statutory rate on corporate capital gains currently is equal to the statutory tax rate on ordinary corporate income. Although individual capital gains taxes have received an enormous amount of attention, both in the popular media and in the academic literature, corporate capital gains have received very sparse attention. In principle, however, the distortions that arise from corporate capital gain taxation are analogous to those that might arrive from individual capital gains taxation. Corporations might face a higher user cost of capital and they could find that their previous purchases have been “locked in” in the sense that asset sales are avoided because of their tax consequences.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology
  • Author: Frederick M. Hess, Bryan C. Hassel
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In October 2006, the American Enterprise Institute convened a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss what might be done to grow the human capital pipeline to support entrepreneurship in K–12 education. Participants included foundation officers, educational entrepreneurs, and policy analysts. While the gathering did not seek to formulate any grand consensus or blueprint, the authors hope that the following summary will spark further discussion and action on this critical issues in education reform.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Markets
  • Author: Aparna Mathur, Kevin A. Hassett
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Every year the Census Bureau reports data on income inequality and poverty, based on income estimates derived from the Current Population Survey. Our analysis suggests that the data may not be presenting an accurate picture. By under-reporting incomes, leaving out certain sources of income, and not making equivalence adjustments that are now standard among researchers, the reports present an imperfect picture of overall welfare. We develop an alternative that relies on data from the National Income and Product Accounts. Our data reveal that real median incomes have been increasing in the recent period, albeit at a slower rate than the long-term average. Using the same methodology for consumption, we find that consumption for all income groups, including the middle, has been growing robustly in recent times. This is in contrast to statistics reported by the Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most often cited data for all consumption analysis, which show middle class consumption declining.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Roger Bate
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The World Bank attempts to improve health in poor countries by providing advice in health financing and infrastructure development, as well as grants and loans to poor countries. This is a formidable mission given that the greatest difficulty poor countries have in carrying out public health programs is their lack of infrastructural, managerial and clinical capacity. Its efforts to this end have been diluted by irresponsible forays into disease control financing without a commensurate increase in institutional competence with only limited technical staff capacity. Instead of deferring to the World Health Organization for technical advice on malaria control, Bank staff members have promoted ineffectual malaria prevention and treatment, causing countries to move away from best practices in disease control. The Bank has been criticized in the Lancet medical journal, and its senior staff claim that changes have been made. This working paper reviews the most recent performance from the Bank, which demonstrates the continuing failure of its malaria work. The Bank should stick to its core mission of funding health systems and get out of the disease control business.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics, Third World
  • Author: Roger Bate, Kathryn Boateng, Lorraine Mooney, Richard Tren
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: There are many factors which hamper health care delivery in the developing world. These factors include tariffs, taxes, corruption, such as bribes and other local price inflators on medicines and medical products. Non-tariff barriers, such as lengthy registration periods for medicines and onerous requirements to clear customs, also restrict the availability of medication in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, approximately one-third of the world's population lacks access to essential medicine and proper medical treatment. Drawing upon extensive evidence from surveys and accounts from the field, this paper examines the impact of tariffs, taxes and other markups on imported medicines and medical products provided to lesser developed countries by pharmaceutical companies, not-for-profit groups, for-profit corporations, multilateral and bilateral aid and health agencies. The paper discusses how these regulatory barriers affect access to medication. The authors conclude that although efforts to reform the current system of government revenue generation through tariffs collection may meet resistance in many developing countries, especially those featuring systemic corruption and those with domestic production, governments which take steps to eliminate tariffs could in fact expedite health care delivery and consequently improve the well-being of their people.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Health, Third World