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  • Author: David Deming
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs are a key contributor to economic growth and national competitiveness. Yet STEM workers are perceived to be in short supply. This paper shows that the “STEM shortage” phenomenon is explained by technological change, which introduces new job skills and makes old ones obsolete. We find that the initially high economic return to applied STEM degrees declines by more than 50 percent in the first decade of working life. This coincides with a rapid exit of college graduates from STEM occupations. Using detailed job vacancy data, we show that STEM jobs change especially quickly over time, leading to flatter age-earnings profiles as the skills of older cohorts became obsolete. Our findings highlight the importance of technology-specific skills in explaining life-cycle returns to education, and show that STEM jobs are the leading edge of technology diffusion in the labor market.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Dobbie
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We estimate the causal effects of parental incarceration on children’s short- and long-run outcomes using administrative data from Sweden. Our empirical strategy exploits exogenous variation in parental incarceration from the random assignment of criminal defendants to judges with different incarceration tendencies. We find that the incarceration of a parent in childhood leads to a significant increase in teen crime and significant decreases in educational attainment and adult employment. The effects are concentrated among children from the most disadvantaged families, where criminal convictions increase by 10 percentage points, high school graduation decreases by 25 percentage points, and employment at age 25 decreases by 29 percentage points. In contrast, there are no detectable effects among children from more advantaged families. These results suggest that the incarceration of parents with young children may significantly increase the intergenerational persistence of poverty and criminal behavior, even in affluent countries with extensive social safety nets.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Dobbie
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper tests for bias in consumer lending using administrative data from a high-cost lender in the United Kingdom. We motivate our analysis using a new principal-agent model of bias, which predicts that profits should be higher for the most illiquid loan applicants at the margin if loan examiners are biased. We identify the profitability of marginal applicants using the quasi-random assignment of loan examiners. Consistent with our model, we find significant bias against immigrant and older applicants when using the firm’s preferred measure of long-run profits, but not when using the short-run measure used to evaluate examiner performance. Keywords: Discrimination, Consumer Credit
  • Topic: Debt, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph Halevi
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: The paper highlights the position of German authorities, showing that they were quite lucid about the fundamental weaknesses inherent in a process that separated monetary from fiscal policies by giving priority to the centralization of the former. Instead of repeating the well known critiques levelled against the EMU – for which readers are referred to the unsurpassed treatment by Stiglitz, the essay highlights the splintering of Europe in the way in which it has unfolded during the 1990s and in the first decade of the present millennium. In particular the early economic and political origins of the terminal crisis of Italy are located between the late 1980s and the 1990s. France is shown to belong increasingly to the so-called European periphery by virtue of a weakening industrial structure and persistent balance of payments deficits. The paper argues that France regains its central role by political means and through its weight as an active nuclear military power centered on maintaining its imperial interests and posture especially in Africa. The first decade of the present millennium is portrayed as the period in which a distinct German economic area had been formed in the midst of Europe with a strong drive to the east with an increasingly powerful gravitational pull towards the People’s Republic of China.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Political Economy, History, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s first year as President has been marked by continuity in US security policy, a partial challenge to the global principles of free trade, and a sea change in commitments to the liberal international order. These reflect a view of the international system as a zero-sum competitive realm.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Theory, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Martyna Berenika Linartas
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
  • Abstract: Not only has been economic inequality on the rise, but also the research agenda on inequality has moved decisively from the fringes to the center of policy and academic interest. This new concern and concentration in respect to this topic, data records, and methodological approaches have given rise to a vast amount of literature. It is for this reason that I review the most important recent works engaging with the origins of economic inequality – a debate which remains highly controversial. The usual categorization to explain the different storytelling – “to be or not to be neoliberal” – seems inappropriate. In this review on “the rockstars of the realm” (Thomas Piketty, Anthony Atkinson, Branko Milanovic and Walter Scheidel), I argue that the question and reason behind different approaches is instead: politics or the economy, which is the master that defines the space for action? The gradually established allegory of “the mirrored hourglass of inequality” illustrates the salience of this cleavage.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Economy, Capitalism, Inequality, Neoliberalism, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the choice between—and design of—CO2 cap-and-trade and tax policies through a political-economy lens. It draws from insights in economics and political economy to highlight important public policy principles and policy options in carbon-pricing policy design. The paper illustrates each of these insights with examples from cap-and-trade and tax-policy experiences. Revealed political preferences about carbon-pricing-policy design can, in practice, inform our understanding of how decision-makers weigh various policy principles, as well as policy objectives. The balance of the paper examines the following design choices: establishing and phasing-in policy targets; setting the point of compliance and scope of coverage; addressing uncertainties in emission and cost outcomes under carbon pricing; updating carbon-pricing targets over time; using revenue and other forms of economic value created by carbon pricing; mitigating adverse competitiveness impacts of pricing carbon; accounting for the existing, complex policy landscape in designing carbon pricing; and linking of carbon-pricing programs. The final section concludes with a discussion of policy implications and next steps for policy-relevant scholarship.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper links the foreign economic engagement of India’s states with the literature on federalism, thereby contributing to an understanding of the political economy of FDI in‐flows in a parliamentary federal system. More specifically, it studies subnational governments’ international engagements to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and investigates whether the political affiliations of states’ chief ministers and parliamentarians determine the spatial distribution of FDI across the Indian states, correcting for the influence of per capita income, population density, urbanisation, infrastructure, policy regime, and human development. Although the central government plays no direct role in determining the state to which FDI goes, the centre–state relations in a federal structure play a role in creating perceptions about the relative political risk involved in different investment destinations. Employing multiple linear regressions to analyse time‐series (2000–2013) cross‐sectional (12 states) data using the panel procedure, the study finds that affiliated states attract relatively more FDI per capita in comparison to states ruled by opposition parties or coalition partners. However, some exceptions do result, primarily due to two phenomena: first, the presence of a strong state leadership and, second, the presence of a significant share of members of parliament belonging to the prime minister’s party in the non‐affiliated states. Further, states ruled by outside supporters have been most successful in attracting FDI inflows during the coalition period.  
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ali Enami, Nora Lustig, Rodrigo Aranda
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical foundation for analyzing the redistributive effect of taxes and transfers for the case in which the ranking of individuals by pre-fiscal income remains unchanged. We show that in a world with more than a single fiscal instrument, the simple rule that progressive taxes or transfers are always equalizing not necessarily holds, and offer alternative rules that survive a theoretical scrutiny. In particular, we show that the sign of the marginal contribution unambiguously predicts whether a tax or a transfer is equalizing or not.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kristin McKie
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since presidential term limits were (re)adopted into many constitutions during the third wave of democratization, 207 presidents across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have reached the end of their terms in office. Of these, 30% have attempted to contravene term limits whereas 70% have stepped down in compliance with tenure rules. Furthermore, of the presidents who have attempted to alter tenure restrictions, some have succeeded in fully abolishing term limits, others have only managed a one-term extension, while a minority have failed in their bids to secure any additional terms in office. What explains these divergent trajectories? On the basis of a series of statistical analyses, I argue that trends in electoral competition over time are the best predictor of the range of term limit contravention outcomes across the board, with the least competitive elections permitting full term limit abolition and the most competitive elections saving off attempts at altering executive tenure rules. Furthermore, results show that failed contravention attempts are true borderline cases, rather than instances gross miscalculations of success by the president and her party, in that they feature less competitive elections than non-attempt cases but more competitive elections than successful contravention cases. These findings suggest a linkage between political uncertainty and constitutional stability more generally.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steve Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: It is well established that companies based in the UK’s Overseas Territories (OTs) and Crown Dependencies are widely used in money laundering and grand corruption cases.1 The absence of any public information about them allows corrupt beneficial owners to buy luxury goods and property with anonymity and enjoy their ill-gotten gains with impunity. Journalists, citizen investigators and businesses looking to find out who’s behind these anonymous corporate entities hit a brick wall whenever they encounter them, and rely almost entirely on periodic leaks like the Panama Papers to unveil who really owns them.2 Their use is so problematic that the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has openly cited their opacity as a strategic risk to the UK.3
  • Topic: Corruption, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
  • Abstract: Every year the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) surveys its members. This survey, conducted in 2017, polled over 90 agencies on numerous aspect
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luke Patey, Michal Meidan
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The size and sophistication of Chinese foreign investment is on the rise. In 2014, inbound investment to China was outpaced by outbound investment for the first time. Chinese foreign investment has surpassed the $100 billion mark for the past three years, making China the third largest overseas investor. At the same time, beyond oil and gas, which dominated headlines over the past decade, Chinese state-owned enterprises and private corporations are making multi-billion dollar investments in construction, telecommunications, nuclear, and high-tech across the globe. What political and security implications do these new investment have for host government in North America and Europe? What is the view point of Beijing towards the growing reach of its corporations overseas? A new policy brief by Michal Meidan, research associate at Chatham House and Asia Analyst at Energy Aspects, and DIIS senior researcher Luke Patey explores these questions.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Malcolm D. Knight
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The past 20 years have witnessed a profound change in the types of non-resident investors who provide funding to emerging market economies (EMEs) and the nancial instruments through which emerging market (EM) corporations borrow from abroad. Until the beginning of the new millennium, private capital ows to EMEs were mainly intermediated by large global banks, and EMEs were subjected to massive volatility in their external payments balances, exchange rates and domestic nancial systems. But since the early 2000s the role of bank- intermediated credit has declined, as the base of investors willing to take on exposure to EM corporate debt has become much larger and more diverse. These structural changes have encouraged a vast growth in ows of funds, not only from the mature economies to EMEs as a group, but also among EMEs themselves.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hugo Perezcano
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Investor-state arbitration (ISA) has been a controversial topic and a source of criticism and debate for quite some time. Yet, it continues to be a standard feature of modern international investment agreements (IIAs). While opposition to ISA has traditionally come from certain sectors of civil society, there appears to be a growing discomfort now among states as well. Some critics suggest that ISA is unnecessary and should be left out of IIAs altogether. Others argue that it may be needed in IIAs between developed nations that are mostly capital exporters, on the one hand, and developing countries that require foreign capital to promote development, on the other, but that it is unwarranted in IIAs that developed countries enter into among themselves. They reason that developed countries have robust legal frameworks and institutions, including responsive judiciaries, that adequately protect private investment and, therefore, ISA can safely be omitted from such IIAs without any detriment to foreign investors or their investments. This paper addresses some of the aws in the arguments that have been advanced in support of this position, as well as some of its implications, especially the reaction that might be expected from developing countries if developed countries were to back away from ISA in their dealings with other developed nations but continue to demand its inclusion in their agreements with developing countries.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M. Boughton
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Economic con ict between nation-states has been a major concern throughout the past century and will continue to threaten progress for the foreseeable future. The language evolves, but the issues persist. The “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies and “competitive devaluations” that aggravated the Great Depression of the 1930s have become the “currency wars” of the twenty- rst century. De ning the problem, however, is easy compared with the task of solving it. A central recurring question is whether policy makers can — and should — cooperate and try to coordinate their policies in an effort to alleviate con icts and improve outcomes.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marc Lalonde
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: I have rarely seen, in my long life, a change as unjustified as the one represented by the new investment tribunal structure now found in the agreed text of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. First of all, it is a poor solution based on a faulty premise. It is the result of an ill-informed but obviously effective campaign by mainly European lobbies[1] and some groups in the European Parliament, which have argued, without proper quantitative or qualitative support, that the present system is biased in favour of foreign investors. If this were the case, how can they explain that, according to the latest statistics from the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), only 46 percent of all ICSID awards upheld (in part or in full) investors’ claims, while 53 percent of the claims were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or on the merits, and another one percent were rejected as manifestly without legal merit.[2] Similarly, in its 2014 World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) came to the conclusion that, out of 274 concluded investment treaty cases in 2013, 43 percent were decided in favour of the state, 31 percent in favour of the investor and 26 percent were settled.[3]
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Yoon Yeo Joon, Whang Un Jung
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: We propose a new measure of inter-industry ‘distance’. This is constructed a la Antras et al. (2012). While they measure the distance of an industry from its final use ? what they call ‘downstreamness’ of an industry ? we measure the distance between a pair of industries. Our proposed index is a measure of input-output linkages between industries that incorporates a ‘distance’ flavor. Our measure distinguishes the number of vertical production stages that an industry’s product goes through until it is finally used by another industry by assigning larger weights to the value of input use with longer production chains. Hence our measure contains more information on the relation between two industries along the vertical production chain. We use this index to construct an aggregate measure of ‘industry connectedness’ of regions in the U.S. It measures the degree of industrial linkages of a region. We then empirically establish that each region’s labor productivity is positively associated with the ‘industry connectedness’. The result contributes to the large literature of agglomeration economies that the industrial linkage is one of the main sources of agglomeration economies and productivity growth, as emphasized by Marshall (1920). It also suggests that our index can serve as an alternative measure of the industrial linkages.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kim Wongi
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: In this paper, I empirically examine the effects of uncertainty about government spending policy on economic activity using U.S. time series data. To this end, I constructed government spending policy uncertainty indexes and estimate proxy SVAR model. Proxy SVAR model with constructed indexes shows that an increase in government spending policy uncertainty has negative, sizable, and prolonged effects on economic activity. Moreover, the results imply that the commonly adopted recursive SVAR model in literature on policy uncertainty systematically underestimates the adverse effect of government spending policy uncertainty because of the endogeneity issue. One policy suggestion based on the empirical finding is clear announcement of future government spending path.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Cline critiques OECD findings on "too much finance," which seem to imply that the optimal amount of credit in an economy is zero, given the linear specification of the main tests. If these results were taken literally, there would be a radical policy implication: Growth would be maximized by completely eliminating credit finance. He then finds that the negative impact of additional finance on growth is reversed when the appropriate (purchasing-power-parity) per capita income is applied and country fixed effects are removed. Separate tests for countries with intermediated finance below and above 60 percent of GDP show a significant positive effect of finance on growth in the lower group but an insignificant effect in the higher group. He also responds to critics of his earlier study.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, GDP
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Eujiin Jung, Tyler Moran, Martin Vieiro
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Hufbauer and colleagues critically evaluate the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s ambitious multipart project titled Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which contains 15 "Actions" to prevent multinational corporations (MNCs) from escaping their "fair share" of the tax burden. Spurred by G-20 finance ministers, the OECD recommends changes in national legislation, revision of existing bilateral tax treaties, and a new multilateral agreement for participating countries. The proposition that MNCs need to pay more tax enjoys considerable political resonance as government budgets are strained, the world economy is struggling, income inequality is rising, and the news media have publicized instances of corporations legally lowering their global tax burdens by reporting income in low-tax jurisdictions and expenses in high-tax jurisdictions. Given that the US system taxes MNCs more heavily than other advanced countries and provides fewer tax incentives for research and development (R&D), implementation of the BEPS Actions would drive many MNCs to relocate their headquarters to tax-friendly countries and others to offshore significant amounts of R&D activity.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus