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  • Author: Kelly Hugger
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Economics and Business, Colorado College
  • Abstract: The recent emergence of the Euro, combined with the completion of a decade of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has sparked interest in adopting a common currency for North America. This study examines the likelihood that Canada, Mexico, and the United States will adopt a common currency under fixed exchange rate regimes. The benefits and costs of a common currency are explored using the theory of optimum currency areas (OCA). Empirical research focuses on several variables including intra-regional and intra-industry trade, trade openness, gross domestic product, inflation rates, interest rates, economic growth rates, business cycle synchronization, factor mobility, fiscal policy and monetary policy coordination. The analysis also presents a comparative analysis of NAFTA with Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) nations on different economic criteria. Finally, correlation and regression analysis further explores the likelihood that members of NAFTA will economically integrate. Though this research concludes that it is economically feasible for NAFTA members to move towards a common currency, this venture depends on the political readiness of the nations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Shashank Joshi
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: The concept of honor has an extensive and distinguished lineage in the study of international relations, although contemporary theory has lost sight of its importance. This study begins to remedy that situation. It does so by first setting out the place of honor in relation to a number of other related concepts, like prestige and status. It then outlines a theory of "negative honor," and situates this in relation to existing theoretical and empirical accounts of honor-related variables. This theory draws on extant work in social psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and other fields, to set out hypotheses on why, how, and when political leaders of states might respond to certain kinds of challenges in a way that constitutes honor-seeking behavior. The second part of the paper tentatively sets out one way to empirically evaluate these hypotheses. While unsuccessful, this provides a blueprint for further research and a number of soon-to-be-implemented refinements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Filiz Garip, Bruce Western
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Sociological research often examines the effects of social context with hierarchical models. In these applications, individuals are nested in social contexts-like school classes, neighborhoods or villages-whose effects are thought to shape individual outcomes. Although applications of hierarchical models are common in sociology, analysis usually focuses on inference for fixed parameters. Researchers seldom study model fit or examine aggregate patterns of variation implied by model parameters. We present an analysis of Thai migration data, in which survey respondents are nested within villages and report annual migration information. We study a variety of hierarchical models, investigating model fit with DIC and posterior predictive statistics. We also describe a simulation to study how different initial distributions of migration across villages produce increasing inter-village inequality in migration.
  • Topic: Migration, Social Stratification, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Regina Abrami, Edmund Malesky, Yu Zheng
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Over the past two decades, no two economies have averaged more rapid economic growth than China and Vietnam. But while China's income inequality has risen rapidly over that same time frame, Vietnam's has only grown moderately. Structural and socio-cultural determinants fail to account for these divergent pathways. Existing political variables are also unhelpful. China and Vietnam are coded in exactly the same way, even in the path-breaking work on authoritarian regimes. In this paper, we take a deeper look at political institutions in the two countries, demonstrating that profound differences between the polities directly impact distributional choices. In particular, we find that Vietnamese elite institutions require construction of broader coalitions of policymakers, place more constraints on executive decision making, and have more competitive selection processes. As a result, there are stronger political motivations for Vietnamese leaders to provide equalizing transfers that limit inequality growth.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Henry Lee, William C. Clark, Michael Devereux
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Liquid biofuels can provide a much needed substitute for fossil fuels used in the transport sector. They can contribute to climate and other environmental goals, energy security, economic development, and offer opportunities for private companies to profit. If not implemented with care, however, biofuel production can put upward pressure on food prices, increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, exacerbate degradation of land, forests, water sources, and ecosystems, and jeopardize the livelihood security of individuals immediately dependent on the natural resource base. Guiding biofuel development to realize its multiple potential benefits while guarding against its multiple risks requires the application of a similarly diverse set of tailored policy interventions. Most session participants agreed that any single rule – such as production subsidies, a simple ban on biofuel production, or the immediate revocation of existing mandates for biofuel use – is too blunt an instrument, and will almost certainly do more harm than good.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ulrich Petersohn
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The outsourcing of military functions is always accompanied by a loss of control over the use of force. Whereas the variances in handling consequences by weak versus strong states have already been addressed in other studies, we know little about the causes of differences among strong states. I will argue that strong states are very well aware of the risk of losing control by outsourcing. In order to mitigate the risk, they develop outsourcing strategies. The strategies of the two states considered here—the United States and Germany—are similar. Despite the resemblance, the U.S. Army faces much greater losses of control than does the German Bundeswehr. This is the result of differences in the compliance with their respective strategies. Whereas the Bundeswehr almost always sticks to its strategy, the U.S. Army instead violates it in numerous cases. This difference can be explained by the different scopes of the two forces' demand-capability gap, a factor that directly affects compliance-behavior with the strategy. The larger the gap, the less compliance is shown and the greater the loss of control. Since the U.S. Army experiences a larger gap than the Bundeswehr, the former suffers a greater loss of control.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: William C. Clark, Kira J. M. Matus, Paul T. Anastas, Kai Itameri-Kinter
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Harvard-Yale-ACS GCI Green Chemistry Project is investigating the overall question of the circumstances under which firms can enact innovations that have both economic and environmental benefits, through a focused examination of the implementation of green chemistry. The research project has taken up three fundamental, interrelated questions: What factors act as barriers to the implementation of green chemistry? What actions can be taken by the government, academia, NGO's and industry that will help alleviate these factors? What are the policy implications of these barriers and potential actions, for all of the involved stakeholders?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jason Beckfield
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Research on the determinants of inequality has implicated globalization in the increased income inequality observed in many advanced capitalist countries since the 1970s. Meanwhile, a different form of international embeddedness — regional integration — has largely escaped attention. Regional integration, conceptualized as the construction of international economy and polity within negotiated regions, should matter for inequality. This paper offers theoretical arguments that distinguish globalization from regional integration, connects regional integration to inequality through multiple theoretical mechanisms, develops hypotheses on the relationship between regional integration and inequality, and reports fresh empirical evidence on the net effect of regional integration on inequality in Western Europe. Three classes of models are used in the analysis: (1) time-series models where region-year is the unit of analysis, (2) panel models where country-year is the unit of analysis, and (3) analysis of variance to identify how the between- and within-country components of income inequality have changed over time. The evidence suggests that regional integration remaps inequality in Europe. Regionalization is associated with both a decrease in between-country inequality, and an increase in within-country inequality. The analysis of variance shows that the net effect is negative, and that within-country inequality now comprises a larger proportion of total income inequality.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Robert H. Bates
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This chapter explores the political economy of agricultural trade protection in Sub-Saharan Africa. Figure 1.1 portrays the impact of government intervention in support of agricultural and non-agricultural products by governments 1955-2005 in different regions of the globe. In devising these measures, World Bank researchers calculated for a sample of agricultural and non-agricultural commodities the degree to which government policies – tariffs, subsidies, or currency distortions -- led to a separation of domestic from world market prices. The measures represent un-weighted averages. When greater than 0, they indicate that government policies favor farming; when below, that their policies favor other sectors.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Kremer, David Clingingsmith, Asim Ijaz Khwaja
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: We estimate the impact on pilgrims of performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Our method compares successful and unsuccessful applicants in a lottery used by Pakistan to allocate Hajj visas. Pilgrim accounts stress that the Hajj leads to a feeling of unity with fellow Muslims, but outsiders have sometimes feared that this could be accompanied by antipathy toward non-Muslims. We find that participation in the Hajj increases observance of global Islamic practices such as prayer and fasting while decreasing participation in localized practices and beliefs such as the use of amulets and dowry. It increases belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic sects and leads to more favorable attitudes toward women, including greater acceptance of female education and employment. Increased unity within the Islamic world is not accompanied by antipathy toward non-Muslims. Instead, Hajjis show increased belief in peace, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions. The evidence suggests that these changes are more a result of exposure to and interaction with Hajjis from around the world, rather than religious instruction or a changed social role of pilgrims upon return.
  • Topic: Islam, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Middle East, Arabia, Mecca