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  • Author: Barry Bosworth, Gabriel Chodorow-Reich
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper uses a panel data set of 85 countries covering 1960-2005 to investigate the macroeconomic linkages between national rates of saving and investment and population aging. The issue takes on added significance because of the recent suggestion that the decline in global interest rates has been driven by demographic changes in the industrial economies. We do find a significant correlation between the age composition of the population and nations' rates of saving and investment, but the effects vary substantially by region. They are very strong for the non-industrial economies of Asia, but weak in the high-income countries. We also find evidence demographic effects on both the public and private components of national saving. Furthermore, we conclude that the demographic effects on saving will be less disruptive than sometimes believed because of offsetting declines in investment. However, the effects on saving are stronger than those for investment, implying that most aging economies will ultimately be pushed in the direction of current account deficits.
  • Topic: International Relations, Demographics, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Eugenie L. Birch
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Over the past few decades, public and private officials have tried to re-invent their downtowns with a variety of tactics. One of the most popular—and arguably most successful—strategies of recent years has been downtown residential development. In this effort, creating a vibrant, “24-hour” downtown has become the mantra for injecting life into struggling main streets and business districts.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: New York, Asia, Los Angeles, Chicago
  • Author: Rachel McCulloch, Chad P. Bown
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The bilateral relationship with China has become a major focus of U.S. trade policy. This paper examines recent U.S. policy toward imports from China, highlighting important explicitly and implicitly discriminatory elements. Discriminatory restrictions on U.S. trade with China protect competing domestic industries as well as non-Chinese foreign suppliers with an established presence in the U.S. market. Unlike discriminatory U.S. treatment of Japan in the 1980s, in which "gray-area" measures like voluntary export restraints were prominent, most U.S. actions toward China are fully consistent with current WTO rules, including the special terms of China's 2001 WTO accession. However, as with earlier discriminatory actions directed primarily at Japan, U.S. trade policy toward China is likely to have complex effects on global trade flows and may produce outcomes far different from those intended.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Andrew; Gaddy Eggers
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper studies the effect of regional unemployment rates on subjective well-being in post-Soviet Russia. Research conducted in Europe and the United States has documented that higher unemployment rates lead to lower reported life-satisfaction. By contrast, our Russian study finds a small but significant effect in the other direction. We estimate that du ring the period of our study (1995-2001), each percentage point increase in the local unemployment rate was correlated with the average well-being of people in the region increasing by an amount equivalent to moving 2% of the population up one level in life satisfaction measured on a five-point scale. Our intuition is that the so-called comparison effect drives this result: when individuals observe their peers suffering in a troubled economy, they lower their standards of what is good enough. All else equal, they thus perceive themselves to be better off in worse times. In highlighting the dependence of subjective well-being scores on expectations and reference groups, we sound a note of caution against using happiness data from economies in crisis to draw macroeconomic policy conclusions.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Catharin Dalpino, Juo-yu Lin
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Over a span of several years, China's relations with the nations of Southeast Asia have shifted in quiet increments. The accumulated effect, however, has been profound. A concerted diplomatic effort to woo countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which now includes all countries in the region excepting East Timor, has reaped multiple benefits for Beijing. It is beginning to alter the political balance in the region as alignments with extra-regional powers are shifting, however subtly. In some aspects, the change is more dramatic. Economic relations have expanded rapidly; for example, trade between China and Southeast Asia is seventeen times larger today than it was twenty-five years ago.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Richard Bush
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On the face of it, relations between China and Taiwan have improved significantly since the saber-rattling of 1999 and 2000. Economic relations have never been better. Two-way trade is around $40 billion annually, and the Mainland has become Taiwan's largest export market, displacing the United States. Taiwan companies continue to invest in the PRC at record rates, in order to keep their products competitive through cheaper Chinese labor. The product mix of Taiwan factories on the mainland is shifting from items like shoes and toys to high-end goods like semi-conductors and notebook computers. As machinery moves, so do people, and the number of Taiwan people living most of the time in the PRC is hundreds of thousands. With this growing economic interaction come shared interests and better mutual understanding. Neither side would benefit from conflict, and both know it. The chance of growing tensions seems low.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Wilson Wong
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In the more than five years since Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty, it has suffered economical, social, and political decline. The root cause of this decline, and the key variable for the next five years, is institutional weakness. Specifically, the Hong Kong government must address the dual problems of poor performance and low capacity in order to reverse the decline and get Hong Kong back on track for economic growth and institutional development.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Edward Lincoln
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: One of the discouraging problems in Northeast Asia over the past decade has been the lengthy malaise in the Japanese economy and the inability of government, business, and the public to forge effective solutions. In the decade since 1992, the average annual real (inflation-adjusted) economic growth rate has been only one percent—positive but very low and punctuated by four recessions in which gross domestic product (GDP) fell for at least two consecutive quarters. The financial sector is weighed down under an enormous amount of non-performing loans that has only grown larger over time. Meanwhile, Japan has become the first industrial country since the 1930s to experience deflation—a decline in the overall price level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Jae Ho Chung, Zhang Ye
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Sixteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was convened during November 8-15, 2002. The Congress reconfirmed the Party's strong commitment to the three key tasks of achieving modernization, accomplishing national unification, and safeguarding world peace and development. The outgoing CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin, on behalf of the Fifteenth Central Committee, emphasized the need for further political changes at the grassroots and presented the target of quadrupling China's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. Jiang also projected that China's armed forces would possess fewer but better troops “ with Chinese characteristics. ”
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Richard Bush, Dean Nowowiejski, Tomatsu Nakano
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Most signs during the late summer and early fall of 2002 pointed to progress on the Korean peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had finally grasped, it appeared, the need for international moderation and domestic reform. The United States seemed ready to respond in kind. But with the visit to Pyongyang in October of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly – the first high-level contact since the Bush Administration came into office – the situation quickly unraveled. Instead of offering the “bold initiative” that was reportedly in the works, Kelly confronted his interlocutors with evidence that their government had mounted a new, clandestine uranium-based nuclear program. The North Koreans refused to disavow the program and insisted on their right to nuclear weapons. Kelly responded that the United States would not engage the DPRK unless and until it abandoned the program. The status of the 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework, which had capped North Korea's plutonium-based program in return for international assistance in meeting its civilian energy needs, was uncertain at best. The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the mechanism for providing that aid, stopped heavy fuel oil shipments to North Korea at the end of 2002 at American insistence.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Korea, Sinai Peninsula