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  • Author: Paula J. Dobriansky
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In 1995, at one of the largest international conferences ever held, women from around the world, representing both governments and the private sector, gathered in Beijing to set forth a platform for the political, economic, and social empowerment of women.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, Beijing
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: On December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a tsunami—a series of giant waves—that inundated coastal areas of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and Malaysia, as well as Indian Ocean islands and parts of East Africa.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Africa
  • Author: Fang Cai, Francis E. Warnock
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: We analyze foreigners' and domestic institutional investors' positions in U.S. equities. Controlling for many factors, we uncover a common preference for large firms and firms that are diversified internationally. The domestic preference for internationally diversified firms implies that investors might obtain substantial international diversification by investing at home. Using an international factor model, we show that exposure to foreign equity markets is indeed greater for domestic firms that are more diversified internationally, suggesting that at least some of the home-grown foreign exposure translates into international diversification benefits. After accounting for home-grown foreign exposure, the share of 'foreign' equities in investors' portfolios nearly doubles, reducing (but not eliminating) the observed home bias.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Francis E. Warnock, Charles P. Thomas, Jon Wongswan
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates the performance of U.S. investors' portfolios in the equities of over 40 countries over a 25-year period. We find that these portfolios achieved a significantly higher Sharpe ratio than foreign benchmarks, especially since 1990. We uncover three potential reasons for this success. First, U.S. investors abstained from momentum trading and instead sold past winners. Second, conditional performance tests provide no evidence that the superior (unconditional) performance owed to private information, suggesting that the successful exploitation of publicly available information played a role. Third, the documented preference for cross-listed and well-governed foreign firms appears to have served U.S. investors well. We conclude with a short discussion of the implications of our findings for the home bias literature.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is a global initiative aimed at stopping shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials worldwide, announced by President Bush, May 31, 2003. It stems from the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction issued in December 2002. That strategy recognizes the need for more robust tools to defeat the proliferation of WMD around the world, and specifically identifies interdiction as an area where greater focus will be placed.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Ester Faia, Tommaso Monacelli
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: We analyze welfare maximizing monetary policy in a dynamic two-country model with price stickiness and imperfect competition. In this context, a typical terms of trade externality affects policy interaction between independent monetary authorities. Unlike the existing literature, we remain consistent to a public finance approach by an explicit consideration of all the distortions that are relevant to the Ramsey planner. This strategy entails two main advantages. First, it allows an accurate characterization of optimal policy in an economy that evolves around a steady-state which is not necessarily efficient. Second, it allows to describe a full range of alternative dynamic equilibria when price setters in both countries are completely forward looking and households' preferences are not restricted. In this context, we study optimal policy both in the long-run and along a dynamic path, and we compare optimal commitment policy under Nash competition and under cooperation. By deriving a second order accurate solution to the policy functions, we also characterize the welfare gains from international policy cooperation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nicoletta Batini, Paul Levine, Joseph Pearlman
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: We examine the performance of forward-looking inflation-forecast-based rules in open economies. In a New Keynesian two-bloc model, a methodology first employed by Batini and Pearlman (2002) is used to obtain analytically the feedback parameters/horizon pairs associated with unique and stable equi-libria. Three key findings emerge: first, indeterminacy occurs for any value of the feedback parameter on inflation if the forecast horizon lies too far into the future. Second, the problem of indeterminacy is intrinsically more serious in the open economy. Third, the problem is compounded further in the open economy when central banks respond to expected consumer, rather than pro-ducer price inflation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrea De Michelis
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper examines the effects of firing costs in a dynamic general equilibrium model where firms face stochastic demand. It derives analytically two simple closed-form equations, one for the supply of labor, the other for its demand. These equations determine the comparative static effects of changes in firing costs on the labor market. When negative shocks are more likely to occur than positive shocks, and when the frequency of these shocks is high, firing costs have a substantial negative impact on aggregate employment. In addition, product market integration, as it has occurred in the formation of the European Union, induces firms to be more wary of future possible downturns and therefore intensifies the negative consequences of firing costs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Dale W. Henderson, Ragna Alstadheim
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: We consider monetary-policy rules with inflation-rate targets and interest-rate or money-growth instruments using a flexible-price, perfect-foresight model. There is always a locally-unique target equilibrium. There may also be below-target equilibria (BTE) with inflation always below target and constant, asymptotically approaching or eventually reaching a below-target value, or oscillating. Liquidity traps are neither necessary nor sufficient for BTE which can arise if monetary policy keeps the interest rate above a lower bound. We construct monetary rules that preclude BTE when fiscal policy does not. Plausible fiscal policies preclude BTE for any monetary policy; those policies exclude surpluses and, possibly, balanced budgets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: The Defense Science Board Summer Study Task Force on Future Strategic Strike Forces looks to the 30-year future with the objective of providing the President with a broad range of strike options to Protect the United States and our forces abroad, Assure friends and allies of our future commitment, and Deal with future adversaries on terms favorable to the United States. The Task Force identified currently planned systems that will still be relevant and recommended new systems for development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States