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  • Author: Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of income inequality in Latin America over the long run, comparing them with explanations of why the whole region is unequal. I first show how land inequality can account for differences between Latin America and other parts of the world but how it does not explain within-region differences. Using qualitative comparative analysis, I then consider how political institution and actors interact with the economic structure (i.e., type of export specialization) and with the ethnic composition of the population. The paper has several findings. A low indigenous/afrodescendant population is a necessary condition for relatively low inequality. I identify two sufficient-condition paths, both of which include the role of democracy, political equality, and a small indigenous and afrodescendant population. The first path also includes a favorable export specialization, while the second one includes the presence of leftist presidents instead. The paper calls for more explicit comparisons between our analytical models for the whole region and our explanations of between-country differences. Hopefully, the paper can also trigger more research on how the interactions between ethnicity, politics, and the export structure shape inequality in Latin America.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Race, Social Movement, Democracy, Inequality, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Tijan L. Bah, Catia Batista
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Irregular migration to Europe by sea, though risky, remains one of the most popular migration options for many sub-Saharan Africans. This study examines the determinants of irregular migration from West Africa to Europe. We implemented an incentivized lab-in-thefield experiment in rural Gambia, the country with the region’s highest rate of irregular migration to Europe. Male youths aged 15 to 25 were given hypothetical scenarios regarding the probability of dying en route to Europe and of gaining legal residence status after successful arrival. According to the data we collected, potential migrants overestimate both the risk of dying en route to Europe and the probability of obtaining legal residency status. In this context, our experimental results show that providing potential migrants with official numbers on the probability of getting a legal residence permit decreases their likelihood of migration by 2.88 percentage points (pp), while information on the death risk of migrating increases their likelihood of migration by 2.29 pp—although the official numbers should be regarded as a lower bound to actual mortality. Follow-up data collected one year after the experiment show that the migration decisions reported in the lab experiment correlate well with actual migration decisions and intentions. Overall, our study indicates that the migration decisions of potential migrants are likely to respond to relevant information.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Migration, Internet, Economic growth, Borders, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Gambia
  • Author: Séverine Deneulin
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The concept of integral human development is central to the Catholic social tradition. Yet, it remains under-explored with regard to its integrating components and their implications. What does taking an integral human development perspective mean for social analysis and action? The paper seeks to answer this question on the basis of the four encyclicals in which the idea of integral human development is treated, and in combination with two other sources: 1) the literature on “human development” in the multidisciplinary social science field of international development studies and its conceptual foundations in Amartya Sen’s capability approach; and 2) the life of a faith community in a marginalized Latin American urban neighborhood. Based on a combination of these sources, the paper concludes by proposing an understanding of “integral human development” that it calls a spirituality-extended capability approach to the progress of peoples.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Education, Poverty, Religion, Inequality, Youth, Violence, Christianity, Catholic Church
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Stuart Kirsch
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This article discusses two affidavits submitted to the Inter-American court system. The first is concerned with Suriname’s refusal to recognize indigenous land rights despite its international obligation to do so. The second addresses problems associated with indigenous land titles in Guyana. Comparing the two cases permits observations about ethnographic research conducted for expert witness reports, including the need to make affidavits legible to three different audiences, each with its own frame of reference: the legal system, communities seeking recognition of their rights, and anthropology (Paine 1996). I also consider the narrative choices in these affidavits, the political dilemmas of being an expert witness, and the compromises of short-term ethnography.
  • Topic: Development, Culture, Economic growth, Social Justice, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: South America, Amazon Basin, Suriname
  • Author: Sandra Polanía-Reyes
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This study tests an unintended benefit of a conditional cash transfer program in Colombia: the ability to overcome coordination failures. Participants interact with fellow beneficiaries, which gives rise to a coordination device. Beneficiaries participate in a minimum effort coordination game. Those enrolled in the program for over a year are exerting the highest level of effort. The improvement in coordination is not due to potential confounds such as willingness to cooperate or connectivity. A structural choice model illustrates that when beliefs about other’s behavior are sufficiently high the Pareto- dominant equilibrium holds. The findings support nascent initiatives to influence beliefs through policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Communications, Governance, Inequality, Economic growth, Public Policy, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Fabrice Lehoucq
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of civil war on regime change. It focuses on Central America, a region where several countries underwent transitions to democracy in the wake of civil war during the second half of the twentieth century. It argues that armed conflict, not increasing levels of economic development, led to political change. Violence liquidated stubbornly resilient autocracies in El Salvador and Nicaragua, catalyzed the democratization of Costa Rican politics, and was the backdrop to regime liberalization in Guatemala. Postwar negotiations, at a time when Cold War bipolarity was ending, led to the establishment of more open, civilian regimes on the isthmus. This paper also notes that the transition from autocracy was enormously costly in both lives and economic well-being, which helps to explain why political change has given birth to low-quality democracies or mixed regimes on the isthmus, ones that also have witnessed the explosion of criminal and drug-related violence.
  • Topic: Civil War, Crime, Democratization, Development, Regime Change, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America