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  • Author: Rafael Tamayo-Álvarez, Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez, Juan David Rodriguez-Rios
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Free trade agreements (FTAs) and international investment agreements (IIAs) are regarded as instruments to promote world trade, investment flows and market liberalization. The question, however, is whether they promote sustainable development as well. This Perspective contemplates incorporating voluntary codes of conduct for multinational enterprises (MNEs) in IIAs to strengthen the protection of labor rights, "the social component [...] embedded in the notion of sustainable development."
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Author: Anna De Luca
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Many governments offer incentives to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). For example, the renewable energy sector has benefitted from large national incentive schemes in the past decade. However, the withdrawal of such incentives can lead to investors bringing investment treaty claims against host countries. This Perspective looks at some claims host countries face from investors in the renewable energy sector and their implications.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Alan Gelb, Anton Dobronogov, Fernando Brant Saldanha
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Natural resources are being discovered in more countries, both rich and poor. Many of the new and aspiring resource exporters are low-income countries that are still receiving substantial levels of foreign aid. Resource discoveries open up enormous opportunities, but also expose producing countries to huge trade and fiscal shocks from volatile commodity markets if their exports are highly concentrated. A large literature on the "resource curse" shows that these are damaging unless countries manage to cushion the effects through countercyclical policy. It also shows that the countries least likely to do so successfully are those with weaker institutions, and these are most likely to remain as clients of the aid system. This paper considers the question of how donors should respond to their clients' potential windfalls. It discusses several ways in which the focus and nature of foreign aid programs will need to change, including the level of financial assistance. The paper develops some ideas on how a donor like the International Development Association might structure its program of financial transfers to mitigate volatility. The paper outlines ways in which the International Development Association could use hedging instruments to vary disbursements while still working within a framework of country allocations that are not contingent on oil prices. Simulations suggest that the International Development Association could be structured to provide a larger degree of insurance if it is calibrated to hedge against large declines in resource prices. These suggestions are intended to complement other mechanisms, including self-insurance using Sovereign Wealth Funds (where possible) and the facilities of the International Monetary Fund.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana
  • Author: Shuja Nawaz, Mohan Guruswamy
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan, born out of a single British-ruled entity in 1947, have continued an implacable rivalry marked by periodic wars and hostilities as well as through proxies. This unending conflict has led them to invest heavily in their militaries and even to choose nuclear weaponry as a deterrence on the part of Pakistan toward India and on India's part toward both Pakistan and China. Although there have been occasional moves toward confidence building measures and most recently toward more open borders for trade, deep mistrust and suspicion mark this sibling rivalry. Their mutual fears have fuelled an arms race, even though increasingly civil society actors now appear to favor rapprochement and some sort of an entente. The question is whether these new trends will help diminish the military spending on both sides.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, India, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Dungan
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Competitiveness encompasses all the factors that will serve to make a society, an economy, and a country successful in the globalized world of the twenty-first century. France and the United States rank among the most competitive countries overall, but both have seen their position decline in recent years in key attributes of competitiveness.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France
  • Author: David L. Goldwyn, Cory R Gill
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: It has been nearly ten years since the launch of Petrocaribe, a program designed to win the political loyalty of the Caribbean states through generous credit subsidies to help import Venezuelan crude oil and products. Recipient states have grown dependent on high-cost, high-carbon fuels for power generation and Venezuelan credit to balance their budgets.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Caribbean, Venezuela
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014.The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union.The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless, this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Ana-Maria Fuertes, Elena Kalotychou, Orkun Saka
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Paul De Grauwe ' s fragility hypothesis states that member countries of a monetary union such as the eurozone are highly vulnerable to a self – fulfilling mechanism by which the efforts of investors to avoid losses from default can end up triggering the very default they fear. The authors test this hypothesis by applying an eclectic methodology to a time window around Mario Draghi ' s " whatever it takes " (to keep the eurozone on firm footing) pledge on 26 July 2012 . This pledge was soon followed by the announcement of the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program me (the prospective and conditional purchase by the European Central Bank of sovereign bonds of eurozone countries having difficulty issuing debt) . The principal components of eurozone credit default swap spreads validate this choice of time frame . An event study reveals significant pre – announcement contagion emanating from Spain to Italy, Belgium, France and Austria. Furthermore, time – series regression confirms frequent clusters of large shocks affecting the credit default swap spreads of the four eurozone countries but solely during the pre – announcement period. The findings of this report support the fragility hypothesis for the eurozone and endorse the Outright Monetary Transactions programme.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Belgium, Italy
  • Author: Jeronim Capaldo
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Official estimates tend to overstate the benefits of trade facilitation and ignore its costs. When all underlying assumptions are brought to light, expecting large gains appears unreasonable. At the same time, estimated employment benefits may easily turn into net losses.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Caroline Freund, Mélise Jaud
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The empirical literature on the relationship between democracy and growth has yielded conflicting results. Cross-country studies have failed to identify a significant impact of democracy on growth, while within-country studies have found a strong positive effect of the transition to democracy on growth. We reconcile the conflicting evidence by showing that the positive effect of democratic transitions results from regime change as opposed to democratization. We identify over 100 transitions in the last half-century with various outcomes: to and from democracy, some partial, and some failed. The variety of experiences allows us to compare the growth outcome of democratic transitions with that of other transitions rather than with a no-transition counterfactual. Conditioning on regime change filters out selection effects and shows that transition to democracy yields no growth dividend compared to other types of regime change. We also show that countries that democratize slowly do not gain from regime change. These results suggest that the growth dividend from political transition results from swift regime change rather than from democratization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: David G. Blanchflower, David N. F. Bell
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines the amount of slack in the UK labor market and finds the downward adjustments made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to both unemployment and underemployment invalid. Without evidence to support its assessment of the output gap, the MPC reduces the level of unemployment based on its claim that long-term unemployment does not affect wages. The authors produce evidence to the contrary and present arguments on why the MPC's halving of the level of underemployment in the United Kingdom is inappropriate. Bell and Blanchflower set out arguments on why they believe the level of slack is greater than the MPC calibrates. Consistent with that is the fact that real wages in the United Kingdom continue to fall.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Katherine Trebeck, Malcolm Sayers
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: We live on a fragile planet which is under increased human stress, to the extent that we are transgressing several of the planetary boundaries as mapped out by the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). We share this planet with over seven billion fellow human beings, too many of whom face extraordinary challenges in building a life free of poverty, indignity, powerlessness and fear. While a small number of people are using the most resources, simultaneously too many are unable to lead lives in which they can flourish and live with dignity.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: How are rapid recent food price changes linked to climate and environmental change? How do people who are vulnerable to these changes view these links? This note explores the views of people living on low and precarious incomes on these connections, based on research designed to explore experiences of food price volatility in 2012, through qualitative research in 23 research sites in 10 countries. The research was not specifically designed to study perceptions of climate and environmental change; these views are collected here because they offer interesting, relatively unmediated insights into how people perceive the causal connections between their food security and environment across varied social and ecological settings.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics, Food
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: This Think Piece explores how integration into international trade through global networks of production (GPNs) and innovation (GINs) might affect a region's innovation capacity. As regions across the globe are progressively integrated into those global networks - some certainly more than others - these regions are all faced with a fundamental challenge: How might progressive integration of its firms into GPNs and GINs affect learning, capability development and innovation? Will network integration unlock new sources of industrial innovation? Or will it act as a poisoned chalice that will sap and erode the region's accumulated capabilities?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Author: Robert A. Pollard, Gregory N. Hicks
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At a time when economics has become a more central feature of international relations, the United States needs to raise its game in international economic policy to sustain global leadership. Yet the U.S. government is not well organized at present to meet this challenge.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine, the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues. The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiations currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Alex Nowrasteh
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The fiscal impact of immigration-how immigrants and their descendants affect government budgets-is a widely debated and contentious issue. Economists overwhelmingly accept the economic gains of immigration, but are less certain about immigrants' impact on government budgets. Contention over this issue is fueled by the numerous methodologies and complexity of analysis that obscure the fiscal costs of immigration.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Immigration, Governance, Budget
  • Author: Wenhua Shan, Lu Wang
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Since China and the European Union (EU) announced their decision to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) at the 14th China-EU Summit in February 2012, the two sides have engaged in two rounds of negotiations. If successful, it will be the first standalone EU BIT, a BIT between the world's largest developed economy and the world's largest developing economy, and will occupy a unique place in the history of BIT negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Chinese foreign investment declined through mid-2014 for the first time since the financial crisis. By sector, energy draws the most investment, but a slump in energy spending means that metals and real estate have been more prominent so far in 2014. The United States has received the most Chinese investment since 2005, followed by Australia, Canada, and Brazil. China invests first in large, resource-rich nations but has also diversified by spending more than $200 billion elsewhere. Chinese investment benefits both China and the recipient nation, but host countries must consider thorny issues like Chinese cyberespionage and subsidies.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, Brazil, Australia
  • Author: Mathew J. Burrows
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: With new crises sprouting almost on a daily basis in the Middle East, there is increasing interest in knowing the possible medium- and long-term consequences of the cascading developments in the region. This report attempts to think about the alternative futures possible in the Middle East over the next five to ten years. This is a shorter-term forecast than usual, but in the Middle East more deep-seated and structural factors are in flux than in most other regions. A longer-term forecast would allow for more optimism, but would be less useful for decision-makers who not only need a bird's eye view of where developments are headed but also a notion of the pressure points to effect positive change now.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Regime Change, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Andy Sumner, Sergio Tezanos Vázquez
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Many existing classifications of developing countries are dominated by income per capita (such as the World Bank's low, middle, and high income thresholds), thus neglecting the multidimensionality of the concept of 'development'. Even those deemed to be the main 'alternatives' to the income-based classification have income per capita heavily weighted within a composite indicator. This paper provides an alternative perspective: clusters of developing countries. We take 4 'frames' on the meaning of development: economic development, human development, better governance, and environmental sustainability. We then use a cluster procedure in order to build groups of countries that are to some extent internally 'homogeneous', but noticeably dissimilar to other groups. The advantage of this procedure is that it allows us identify the key development characteristics of each cluster of countries and where each country fits best. We then use this taxonomy to analyze how the developing world has changed since the late 1990s in terms of clusters of countries and the country groupings themselves.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This report examines the increase in drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa and their impact on the state and on society. It concludes with recommendations on how the region can respond humanely, effectively and preemptively to these problems.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, War on Drugs, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at the trade policy landscape of the EU and the wider Europe, with a focus on issues arising from the signature on 27 June 2014 of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) between the EU and three East European countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and actual or prospective issues relating to the customs union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan (BRK), and the Eurasian Economic Union whose founding treaty was signed on 29 May 2014. While the contrived collision between these projects has tragically induced Russia to break all the established international security norms by waging war against Ukraine , the present paper deals essentially with trade policy issues . The huge expansion of intercontinental free trade area negotiation s currently underway, in which the EU is an active participant alongside much of the Americas and Asia, stands in contrast with Russia's choice to restrict itself to the Eurasian Economic Union, which is only a marginal extension of its own economy. Alone among the major economies in the world, Russia does not seek to integrate economically with any major economic bloc, which should be a matter of serious concern for Moscow. Within the wider Europe, the EU's DCFTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are a major new development, but Russia now threatens trade sanctions against Ukraine in particular, the economic case for which seems unfounded and whose unilateral application would also impair the customs union. The Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan customs union itself poses several issues of compatibility with the rules of the WTO, which in turn are viewed by the EU as an impediment to discussing possible free trade scenarios with the customs union, although currently there are far more fundamental political impediments to any consideration of such ideas. Nonetheless this paper looks at various long-term scenarios, if only as a reminder that there could be much better alternatives to the present context of conflict around Ukraine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Patricia M. Goff
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In October 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada had reached a "political agreement" with the European Union on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The timing of Mr. Harper's statement was not coincidental. Evidence suggests that talks between Canada and the European Union are actually continuing several months after his announcement, if only on technical elements. Nonetheless, it seems the Government of Canada wanted to signal that a successful end to Canada-EU talks was in sight, just as talks between the United States and the European Union were getting under way towards the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The Canadian government did not want to risk a redirection of European energies away from the Canadian negotiation toward their American counterparts.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada
  • Author: Pierre Siklos, Martin T. Bohl, Philipp Kaufmann
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Soaring prices in European alternative energy stocks and their subsequent tumble have attracted attention from both investors and academics. This paper extends recent research to an international setting and analyzes whether the explosive price behaviour of the mid-2000s was driven by rising crude oil prices and an overall bullish market sentiment. Inflation-adjusted US alternative energy stock prices do not exhibit signs of explosiveness. By contrast, we find strong evidence of explosive price behaviour for European and global sector indices, even after controlling for a set of explanatory variables. Interestingly, while the sector indices plunged with the outbreak of the global financial crisis, idiosyncratic components continued to rise and did not start to decline until after world equity markets had already begun to recover in 2009. This finding suggests a substantial revaluation of alternative energy stock prices in light of intensifying sector competition and shrinking sales margins, and casts some doubts on the existence of a speculative bubble. Nevertheless, this paper observes temporary episodes of explosiveness between 2005 and 2007 followed by rapid collapses, indicating the presence of some irrational exuberance among investors.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Elizabeth Fraser, Malambo Moonga, Johanna Wilkes
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is facing high rates of urbanization and increasing food insecurity. The informal food economy addresses food insecurity by providing access to affordable food and significant employment opportunities to the urban poor in SSA. The Committee on World Food Security should recognize the informal food economy as a critical governance issue. Different policy approaches need to be taken into account to address the diverse needs of the informal food economy, including the needs of "survivalist" traders, larger constrained enterprises and female vendors. Municipalities in SSA often have restricted budgets, which hinder their ability to appropriately govern and support the local informal food economy. Increases in municipal budgets to align with food security needs in urban Africa should be considered as decentralization continues across SSA.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Labor Issues, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Between the late 1980s and the late 2000s, many countries in Southeast Asia were viewed, by global democracy analysts and Southeast Asians themselves, as leading examples of democratization in the developing world. By the late 2000s, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore all were ranked as "free" or "partly free" by the monitoring organization Freedom House, while Cambodia and, perhaps most surprisingly, Myanmar had both taken sizable steps toward democracy as well. Yet since the late 2000s, Southeast Asia's democratization has stalled and, in some of the region's most economically and strategically important nations, gone into reverse. Over the past ten years, Thailand has undergone a rapid and severe regression from democracy and is now ruled by a junta. Malaysia's democratic institutions and culture have regressed as well, with the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition cracking down on dissent and trying to destroy what had been an emerging, and increasingly stable, two-party system. Singapore's transition toward contested politics has stalled. In Cambodia and Myanmar, hopes for dramatic democratic change have fizzled. Only the Philippines and Indonesia have stayed on track, but even in these two countries democratic consolidation is threatened by the persistence of graft, public distrust of democratic institutions, and continued meddling in politics by militaries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelhoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of leasehold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women's precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Tania Zgajewski
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Energy saving has been a stated policy objective of the EU since the 1970s. Presently, the 2020 target is a 20% reduction of EU energy consumption in comparison with current projections for 2020. This is one of the headline targets of the European Energy Strategy 2020 but efforts to achieve it remain slow and insufficient. The aim of this paper is to understand why this is happening.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Human Welfare
  • Author: Alex Nowrasteh
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The fiscal impact of immigration—how immigrants and their descendants affect government budgets—is a widely debated and contentious issue. Economists overwhelmingly accept the economic gains of immigration, but are less certain about immigrants' impact on government budgets. Contention over this issue is fueled by the numerous methodologies and complexity of analysis that obscure the fiscal costs of immigration.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Immigration, Budget
  • Author: Benjamin Powell, Alex Nowrasteh, J. R. Clark, Robert A. Lawson, Ryan H. Murphy
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The economics literature generally finds a positive, but small, gain in income to native-born populations from immigrants and potentially large gains in world incomes. But immigrants can also impact a recipient nation's institutions. A growing empirical literature supports the importance of strong private property rights, a rule of law, and an environment of economic freedom for promoting long run prosperity. Although the literature on the impact of economic freedom on various social and economic outcomes is quite large, comparatively little work has tried to explain economic freedom as a dependent variable. This paper empirically examines how immigration impacts a region's policies and institutions. We find small but positive increases in institutional quality as a result of immigration.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance, Immigration
  • Author: Tang Xiaoyang
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Asian investors' impact on Africa's cotton, textile, and apparel sectors may have profound consequences for the continent's industrialization and development. As southeast African countries seek to industrialize and build indigenous cotton-textile-apparel value chains, the interactions between Asian—particularly Chinese—investors and African companies become more and more complex. Indeed, Asian investors present both a challenge to and an opportunity for local industries, and southeast African countries need a clear vision and tailored policies to make the most of the opportunities. Asian investors' impact on Africa's cotton, textile, and apparel sectors may have profound consequences for the continent's industrialization and development. As southeast African countries seek to industrialize and build indigenous cotton-textile-apparel value chains, the interactions between Asian-particularly Chinese-investors and African companies become more and more complex. Indeed, Asian investors present both a challenge to and an opportunity for local industries, and southeast African countries need a clear vision and tailored policies to make the most of the opportunities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia
  • Author: Edwin M. Truman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of the Federal Reserve and its engagement with the global economy over the last three decades of the 20th century: 1970 to 2000. The paper examines the Federal Reserve's role in international economic and financial policy and analysis covering four areas: the emergence and taming of the great inflation, developments in US external accounts, foreign exchange analysis and activities, and external financial crises. It concludes that during this period the US central bank emerged to become the closest the world has to a global central bank.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William R. Cline, Jared Nolan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper applies time series analysis to distinguish between cyclical and demographic causes of the decline of the labor force participation rate. Some public discussions suggest that the decline of US unemployment from its 2009 peak of 10 percent to about 6 percent by mid-2014 grossly exaggerates recovery because most of the decline reflects the exit of discouraged workers from the labor force. This study finds instead that one-half to two-thirds of the decline in labor force participation by about 3 percentage points from late 2007 to early 2014 is attributable to aging of the population. Although about one-third is found attributable to the lagged influence of high, and especially long-term, unemployment, going forward the potential rebound in the participation rate from recovery is projected to be approximately offset by further aging of the population.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Labor Issues, Population
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Marigold Norman, Smita Nakhooda
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper presents a thorough synthesis of available data to illuminate the current global state of finance for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+). It adds to a growing body of work that seeks to understand the size and composition of finance for REDD+ initiatives, as well as the delivery of climate finance more generally. The analysis shows that aggregate pledges of both public and private finance are significant, at more than US $8.7 billion for the period between 2006 and March 2014, but the pace of new pledges slowed after 2010. The public sector contributes nearly 90% of reported REDD+ finance, with the preponderance of funding concentrated among a relatively small number of donors and recipient countries. The paper analyzes early experience with performance-based finance, although such finance represents less than two-fifths of pledges to date. The extent to which new institutions in the climate finance architecture such as the Green Climate Fund will provide a new and effective channel for increasing support for REDD+ remains to be seen.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Cooperation, Politics
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry, Lori Beaman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We partnered with a micro-lender in Mali to randomize credit offers at the village level. Then, in no-loan control villages, we gave cash grants to randomly selected households. These grants led to higher agricultural investments and profits, thus showing that liquidity constraints bind with respect to agricultural investment. In loan-villages, we gave grants to a random subset of farmers who (endogenously) did not borrow. These farmers have lower – in fact zero – marginal returns to the grants. Thus we find important heterogeneity in returns to investment and strong evidence that farmers with higher marginal returns to investment self-select into lending programs.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Frances Z. Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the U.S.-led "surge" of 2009 onward and the closure of provincial recon¬struction teams and other local civil-military installations have affected how aid is delivered in Afghanistan's more remote and contested areas. The time is ripe for a recalibration of donor approaches to local governance and development in areas previously targeted by the surge. Specifically, foreign stakeholders should reexamine three central principles of their previous subnational governance strategy. First, donors should revise their conception of assisting service delivery from the previous approach, which often emphasized providing maximal inputs in a fragmented way, to a more restrained vision that stresses predictability and reliability and acknowledges the interlinked nature of politics, justice, and sectoral services in the eyes of the local population. Second, donors should reframe their goal of establishing linkages between the Afghan govern¬ment and population by acknowledging that the main obstacles to improving center-periph¬ery communication and execution are often political and structural rather than technical. Third, donors should revise the way they define, discuss, and measure local governance prog¬ress in contested areas, away from favoring snapshots of inputs and perceptions and toward capturing longer-term changes on the ground in processes, structures, and incentives. The coming political and development aid transition provides an overdue opportunity for Afghan governance priorities to come to the fore. At the same time, the ever growing chasm between Kabul's deliberations on the one hand and local governance as experienced in more remote, insurgency-wracked areas on the other presents renewed risks. In the short term, donors let the air out of the aid bubble carefully. In the long term, resolving Afghanistan's local governance challenges continues to demand sustained commitment and systematic execution.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Tania Zgajewski
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Like other regions of the world, the EU is developing biofuels in the transport sector to reduce oil consumption and mitigate climate change. To promote them, it has adopted favourable legislation since the 2000s. In 2009 it even decided to oblige each Member State to ensure that by 2020 the share of energy coming from renewable sources reached at least 10% of their final consumption of energy in the transport sector. Biofuels are considered the main instrument to reach that percentage since the development of other alternatives (such as hydrogen and electricity) will take much longer than expected.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Biofuels
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Xavier Vanden Bosch
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Despite renewed interest in an EU industrial policy, the concept remains particularly elusive because it has no universal definition. This paper relies on a broad and inclusive definition of industrial policy proposed by Warwick (in an OECD working paper) to provide a clearer picture of what the concept encompasses when applied to the EU. It therefore includes an original visual taxonomy of the EU policies that constitute industrial policy. It can serve as a guiding framework for reflecting on industrial policy in the EU.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ansgar Belke, Timo Baas
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Member countries of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) initiated wide-ranging labour market reforms in the last decade. This process is ongoing as countries that are faced with serious labour market imbalances perceive reforms as the fastest way to restore competitiveness within a currency union. This fosters fears among observers about a beggar-thy-neighbour policy that leaves non-reforming countries with a loss in competitiveness and an increase in foreign debt. Using a two-country, two-sector search and matching DSGE model, we analyse the impact of labour market reforms on the transmission of macroeconomic shocks in both non-reforming and reforming countries. By analysing the impact of reforms on foreign debt, we contribute to the debate on whether labour market reforms increase or reduce current account imbalances.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Politics, Labor Issues, Reform
  • Author: Karsten Mau
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The paper shows that the relationship between GDP per capita and levels of specialization can be predicted differently depending on whether the intensive or the extensive margin is considered. It shows that at the extensive margin countries continuously diversify their exports and that cross-sectional patterns can be captured well by a gravity equation. Prior studies documenting nonmonotone patterns with respecialization appear to have obtained their results from sample-selection bias, the omitted log-transformation of the income variable, and the neglect of control variables. Furthermore, results from dynamic panel analyses (system GMM) suggest that causality goes in both directions, with income having a contemporaneous impact on diversification, while the feedback effect of diversification on GDP per capita may be delayed. This pattern fits into theoretical rationales that view diversification as driven by technology or efficiency and where diversification generates additional revenues as it proves to be persistent.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is unclear that the United States has any current assessments and strategy to deal with either these governance or economic issues. If it does, it has provided no transparency as to what these plans are, and has failed to develop any effective public measures of the effectiveness of its civil aid programs after more than 10 years of effort, and in spite of the fact that the civil dimension of counterinsurgency efforts is at least as important as the military efforts. It is also important to note that World Bank and UN reporting show the same lack of progress in governance, economics, and human development in Pakistan as in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, India
  • Author: Sadika Hameed
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between the United States and Pakistan have begun to improve after several years of heightened tensions. Yet many challenges remain. Among them is how to improve Pakistan's economy. Its economic crisis is one of the main sources of its internal tensions, but multiple opportunities exist to improve its economic performance. The policy debate in the United States, however, is still dominated by a focus on terrorism and extremism. While Pakistan's stability is a natural concern for the United States, focusing primarily on security issues limits the options for improving stability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States
  • Author: Medin Hege
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper presents a simple new trade theory model with results that contradict those from standard model. A home market effect in domestic sales of manufactured goods is found to co-exist with a reversed home market effect in exports of manufactured goods. In consequence, for a small country the number of manufacturing firms that sell in the domestic market is lower than proportional whereas the number of exporters is higher than proportional to country size. The proportion of firms that export, decreases with relative size of the home market. Empirical support for the latter prediction is found in a cross-sectional dataset on firm level exports for 116 countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Innwon Park
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Both intra - and inter-regional trade agreements are proliferating in East Asia. Deepening regional interdependence through trade and investment, and the necessity for stability and revitalization of the regional economy since the East Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s led the East Asian countries to adopt discriminatory RTAs. Accordingly, East Asian commercial policy stance has shifted from unilateral to bilateral to mega-lateral liberalization. This report attempts to assess the East Asian countries' efforts to liberalize the regional market by cooperating with each other. We investigate (i) why RTAs have been proliferating in East Asia, (ii) what the main characteristics of East Asian RTAs are, (iii) whether the East Asian countries are natural trading partners for each other to enhance welfare gains from RTAs, and (iv) whither East Asian RTAs. From our analysis, we recommend following policy options. First, East Asian RTAs should follow an expansionary RTA path (for example, AFTA and five ASEAN+1 FTAs → RCEP and/or TPP → FTAAP). Second, as we consider the high dependence on external economies through global trade and investment, East Asia needs to cooperate with major external trading partners by forming cross-regional RTAs with the EU and US. Third, in order to enable East Asian economies to take the more desirable expansionary RTA path, harmonizing or simplifying ROO, the cumulation of value contents among the RTA members in East Asia, and enhancing trade facilitation should be a prerequisite considering the complicated web of RTAs, regional production networks, and the consolidation of the FTAAP.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Rich Karl, Magda Rich, P.G. Chengappa
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite estimates that the global butterfly trade generates over US$100 million annually in sales of pupae for exhibitions and deadstock for a range of collector and artisanal uses, almost no research has been conducted that unpacks the dynamics of these value chains. This paper remedies this gap by highlighting the governance structure of the value chain, with important implications on the benefits for chain participants, upgrading strategies, sectoral sustainability, and the potential for new market entrants. This research on live butterfly chains reveals the fragility of current modes of economic organization that promote overproduction as threatening the long-term viability for the industry as a whole. The authors propose an alternative governance model based on the use of individually transferrable quotas, or ITQs, as a means of improving the performance of certain butterfly value chains.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Governance
  • Author: Rich Karl, Magda Rich, Ganga Changappa, Babu Raghavan
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In many parts of the developing world, those with physical or mental handicaps are often considered to be a burden on society, with limited to no remunerative activities available in the workforce. Activities such as butterfly farming, which require precision and attention to detail, are potentially relevant for disadvantaged groups as a source of livelihoods. At the same time, such activities can be integrated with community-led conservation efforts as well. We provide a case study of the development of a butterfly garden at the Swastha Centre for Special Education and Rehabilitation in the Kodagu area of Coorg, a region in the state of Karnataka in India through which conservation-based activities are integrated with special education in a manner than builds skills, improves livelihoods, and serves as an important resource for environmental education. Our case demonstrates a scalable means by which butterflies can be used to educate, improve the environment, and offer livelihoods to the disadvantaged in a country where such opportunities are greatly needed.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Karnataka
  • Author: Rich Karl, Magda Rich, P.G. Chengappa, Arun Muniyappa, Yadava C.G, Ganashruthi M.K., Pradeepa Babu B.N., Shubha Y.C.
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Certification programs has been employed in many agricultural products as a means to encourage and communicate compliance with standards associated with various attributes, such as organic, fair-trade, GMO free, and eco-friendly, among others. Such programs further seek to provide added value, through a price premium, to producers and supply chain actors associated with the label. In this paper, we review a number of global labeling and certification programs that could add value for coffee farms in India through the promotion of conservation and environmental protection. We provide results from a survey conducted on a sample of coffee farms in Coorg district, India to assess their awareness and perceptions related towards certified coffee and environmental conservation in general. Survey results illustrate strong positive associations with the environment by coffee planters, particularly among certified and organic producers. However, price premiums for certified and organic coffee are relatively small. While the potential of conservation-oriented certification for coffee in Coorg could be relatively limited outside of a few individual-level niches, branding Coorg more generally as a conservation-oriented region could hold promise, leveraging and personalizing the uniqueness of the natural offerings from Coorg and tapping into burgeoning associations with place and region in India.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Magda Rich, P.G. Chengappa, Arun Muniyappa, Pradeepa Babu B.N., Karl M. Rich, Yadava C.G.
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Indian coffee sector is at an important transition point, increasingly stuck in the middle between quality and value segments of the market. A potential niche for India is in the development of eco-friendly (green) coffees, leveraging the natural environment and biodiversity present in many regions. In this study, we conducted a value chain assessment of the coffee sector in Coorg, a major production area in India, to identify the potential entry points and constraints to a conservation-oriented strategy of upgrading. The results highlight that coffee value chains in Coorg are fragmented and largely uncoordinated, with innovative upgrading efforts largely individually motivated. This suggests that integrating conservation principles in a broad-based branding strategy could be difficult at the level of the chain without institutional support or the entry of chain champions. On the other hand, integrating conservation as a diversification activity e.g. through the development of butterfly gardens for tourism, could provide a low-cost way of adding value for farmers while promoting good environmental stewardship.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Biosecurity
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Medin Hege
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The new trade theory, which emerged in the early 1980s, emphasised economies of scale and market failures as driving forces behind international trade. As opposed to the earlier theory, which mainly assumed perfect competition, the new trade theory provided a rationale for industrial policy. This article shows how industrial policy targeting specific firms or industries may be socially desirable within the new trade theory framework. Models from new economic geography and the more recent 'new' new trade theory with heterogeneous firms are also discussed. The main focus is put on models with pecuniary externalities.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Politics
  • Author: Tiberius Barasa, Andvig Jens Chr
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The starting point of the paper is the spatial characteristics of slums when it seeks to explain why rulers tend to neglect the welfare of their dwellers: they don't have to. Their economies are fairly closed. While located close to the centers of power, their high population density implies that they cover small space and are easy to cordon off in case of danger. The ease of control from the outside allows rulers to spend less attention to the control of their complex inside. Particularly when a slum is based on shack architecture, the high degree of mutual monitoring among dwellers may cause sharp shifts in the control regime of crime. The emphasis on spatial configurations motivates the focus on one specific slum: Mathare Valley. Paths back to colonial rule are outlined. The paper is stylistically unkempt.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Leonard Seabrooke, Duncan Wigan
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This working paper creates a theoretical framework to explain how Global Wealth Chains are created, maintained, and governed. We draw upon different strands of literature, including scholarship in international political economy and economic geography on Global Value Chains, literature on finance and law in institutional economics, and work from economic sociology on network dynamics within markets. This scholarship assists us in highlighting three variables in how Global Wealth Chains are articulated and change according to: (1) the complexity of transactions, (2) regulatory liability and (3) innovation capacities among suppliers of products used in wealth chains. We then differentiate five types of global value chain governance - market, modular, relational, captive, and hierarchy - which range from simple 'off shelf' products shielded from regulators by advantageous international tax laws to highly complex and flexible innovative financial products produced by large financial institutions and corporations. This paper highlights how Global Wealth Chains intersect with value chains and real economies, and provides three brief case studies on offshore shell companies, family property trusts, and global-scale corporate tax avoidance.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, Politics, Governance
  • Author: Shannon K. O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: North America was once called the New World. The people, their ideas, and the resources of the continent shaped the histories of the Old World—East and West. Today, North America is home to almost five hundred million people living in three vibrant democracies. If the three North American countries deepen their integration and cooperation, they have the potential to again shape world affairs for gen-erations to come.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Bowman Kimberly
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This report summarizes an internal review of Women‟s Economic Leadership (WEL) programming in Asia. Conducted by an internal MEL advisor in 2013–2014, the review draws upon project documentation, evaluation reports, site visits and staff and partner interviews to try and reflect how WEL programming is being implemented by Oxfam and partners in Asia. Part of a formative evaluation activity, the report aims to help gather and consolidate good practice, based on what Oxfam project teams and partners have learned through recent experience and evaluation. There are at least four distinct topics covered in this report that may be of specific interest to readers.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Paul Kriews
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Natural resources play a significant role for a country's development: The beneficial dynamics of a prosperous commodity sector have therefore long been considered as a key factor for a country's positive economic development. Paradoxically, however, one can observe frequently in resource-rich countries that the commodity sector has no positive effect, but rather fatal implications for a country's development. The assumption that resource-rich countries use their wealth for the advancement of sustainable development appears to be incomplete. This paper identifies the basic problems and dangers associated with resource wealth; possible options for action are identified and traced, using the example of Mongolia. The central question is whether Mongolia can escape the so-called resource curse. In this paper, a set of criteria is used, to elaborate whether the necessary conditions for a responsible use of the existing resource wealth in Mongolia are given.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Author: Robert Nalbandov
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph analyzes the interconnections between the democratic institutionalization of the newly independent states of Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus, their political (in)stability, and economic development and prosperity. By introducing the concept of regime mimicry into the field of public administration, this monograph extends the epistemological frameworks of the democratization school to the phenomenon of political culture. Successes and failures of the democratic institutionalization processes in these countries largely depend on the ways their institutional actors reacted to internal and external disturbances of their domestic political, econmic, and cultural environments. While Georgia's political culture revealed the highest degree of flexibility in accepting the externally-proposed institutional frameworks and practices, the bifurcate political culture in Ukraine impeded its democratic institutionalization, while the rigid political culture in Belarus completely stalled the process of institutional transformations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Asia, Georgia, Belarus
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Pakistan's relations with Afghanistan have been largely characterised by mutual mistrust and devised through a narrow security prism. While it will require considerable effort to end deep-seated animosity, both countries share close ethnic, linguistic, religious and economic ties. Longstanding Afghan migration to the territories that now compose Pakistan makes them an integral part of Pakistani society. Yet, military-devised interventionist policies, based on perceived national security interests, including support for Afghan, mainly Pashtun, proxies, have marred the relationship. The incoming Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has offered to expand bilateral ties, providing Islamabad fresh opportunities to improve the relationship. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has responded positively, but the Pakistani military and civilian leadership's preferences toward Kabul are diverging further as Afghanistan's transition draws closer. By recalibrating relations toward economic ties and seeking solutions to the presence of millions of Afghan refugees on its soil, Pakistan could engage more constructively with its neighbour.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia
  • Author: Emma Seery, Ana Arendar
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Nthabiseng was born to a poor black family in Limpopo, a rural area in South Africa. On the same day, Pieter was born nearby in a rich suburb of Cape Town. Nthabiseng's mother had no formal schooling and her father is unemployed, whereas Pieter's parents both completed university education at Stellenbosch University and have well-paid jobs.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Gender Issues, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Kevin Stahler
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Prima facie, competitiveness adjustments in the eurozone, based on unit labor cost developments, appear sensible and in line with what the economic analyst might have predicted and the economic doctor might have ordered. But a broader and arguably better—Balassa-Samuelson-Penn (BSP)—framework for analyzing these adjustments paints a very different picture. Taking advantage of the newly released PPP-based estimates of the International Comparison Program (2011), we identify a causal BSP relationship. We apply this framework to computing more appropriate measures of real competitiveness changes in Europe and other advanced economies in the aftermath of the recent global crises. There has been a deterioration, not improvement, in competitiveness in the periphery countries between 2007 and 2013. Second, the pattern of adjustment within the eurozone has been dramatically perverse, with Germany having improved competitiveness by 9 percent and with Greece's having deteriorated by 9 percent. Third, real competitiveness changes are strongly correlated with nominal exchange rate changes, which suggests the importance of having a flexible (and preferably independent) currency for effecting external adjustments. Fourth, internal devaluation—defined as real competitiveness improvements in excess of nominal exchange rate changes—is possible but seems limited in scope and magnitude. Our results are robust to adjusting the BSP framework to take account of the special circumstances of countries experiencing unemployment. Even if we ignore the BSP effect, the broad pattern of limited and lopsided adjustment in the eurozone remains.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Joseph E. Gagnon, Tamim Bayoumi, Christian Saborowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: We use a cross-country panel framework to analyze the effect of net official flows (chiefly foreign exchange intervention) on current accounts. We find that net official flows have a large but plausible effect on current account balances. The estimated effects are larger with instrumental variables (42 cents to the dollar on average compared with 24 without instruments), reflecting a possible downward bias in regressions without instruments owing to an endogenous response of net official flows to private financial flows. We consistently find larger impacts of net official flows when international capital flows are restricted and smaller impacts when capital is highly mobile. A further result is that there is an important positive effect of lagged net official flows on current accounts that we believe operates through the portfolio balance channel.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, Monetary Policy
  • Author: Adam S. Posen, David G. Blanchflower
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In this paper we examine the impact of rises in inactivity on wages in the US economy and find evidence of a statistically significant negative effect. These nonparticipants exert additional downward pressure on wages over and above the impact of the unemployment rate itself. This pattern holds across recent decades in the US data, and the relationship strengthens in recent years when variation in participation increases. We also examine the impact of long-term unemployment on wages and find it has no different effect from that of short-term unemployment. Our analysis provides strong empirical support, we argue, for the assessment that continuing labor market slack is a key reason for the persistent shortfall in inflation relative to the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) 2 percent inflation goal. Further, we suggest our results point towards using wage inflation as an additional intermediate target for monetary policy by the FOMC.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Yukon Huang, Canyon Bosler
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Much of the media coverage of China's economy suggests that the country is headed for a financial crisis. China's mountain of debt is decried, local government finances are labeled menacing, and a property bubble is called disastrous. But this picture is misleading. While China has serious debt problems, with prudent macroeconomic policies and productivity-enhancing structural reforms, the challenges should be manageable if underlying fiscal issues and growth-related reforms are addressed.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Reform
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Jeronim Capaldo
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: According to its proponents, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will stimulate growth in Europe and in the US. Projections endorsed by the European Commission point to positive, although negligible, gains in terms of GDP and personal incomes. In a paradox, these projections also show that any gains in Trans-Atlantic trade would happen at the expense of intra-EU trade reversing the process of European economic integration. Furthermore, recent literature has pointed out several problems in the most influential assessment of the TTIP's effects. Projections by different institutions have been shown to rely on the same Computable General Equilibrium model that has proven inadequate as a tool for trade policy analysis. In this paper we assess the effects of TTIP using the United Nations Global Policy Model, which incorporates more sensible assumptions on macroeconomic adjustment, employment dynamics, and global trade. We project that TTIP will lead to a contraction of GDP, personal incomes and employment. We also project an increase in financial instability and a continuing downward trend in the labor share of GDP. Evaluated with the United Nations model, TTIP appears to favor economic dis-integration, rather than integration, in Europe. At a minimum, this shows that official studies do not offer a solid basis for an informed decision on TTIP.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Solomon Dersso
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), composed of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda with its secretariat headquartered in Djibouti, covers northeast Africa, a region continuing to experience major changes, arguably more than any other part of the continent. This is the only region of Africa where colonially drawn borders have been redrawn. In contrast to other regions of Africa, this is also where the prospect of further redrawing of borders—with Somaliland seeking international recognition as a separate state—remains a real possibility.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Economics, Environment, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Daniel H. Rosen
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: PRESIDENT XI JINPING ANNOUNCED a sweeping overhaul for China's economy in November 2013, with pledges to make market forces decisive, treat homegrown and foreign investors with the same laws and regulations, and change the mission statement of the government. The reform program, known as the Decisions plan and presented at the Communist Party leadership's Third Plenum meeting, is comprehensive and marks a turning point in China's modern history. The degree of boldness also indicates that after 35 years of world-beating economic performance, China's development model is obsolete and in need of urgent, not gradual, replacement. To justify the risks, President Xi quoted an impassioned plea for policy modernization by his predecessor Deng Xiaoping: the only way to avoid a dead end – a blind alley – is to deepen reform and opening both at home and with the world.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Reform
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Jamal Ibrahim Haidar, Takeo Hoshi
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Improving the environment for business is an important part of the growth strategy of Abenomics. As the KPI (Key Performance Indicator) for this effort, the Abe Administration aims to improve Japan's rank in the World Bank Doing Business Ranking from the current #15 among high-income OECD countries to one of the top three. This paper clarifies what it takes for Japan to be among top three countries in terms of ease of doing business. By looking at details of the World Bank Doing Business ranking, we identify various reforms that Japan could implement to improve the ranking. Then, we classify the reforms into four groups depending on whether the reform requires legal changes and whether the reform is likely to face strong political resistance. By just doing the reforms that do not require legal changes and are not likely to face strong political opposition, Japan can improve the ranking to 9th. To be in the top 3, Japan would need to implement all the reforms except for those that require changing the laws and are likely to face strong political resistance, even under the unrealistic assumption that the other countries do not reduce the cost of doing business. Thus, in order to be one of the top three countries among OECD countries in terms of ease of doing business, Japan would most likely need to carry out all the reforms identified in this paper.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Japan
  • Author: Colby Farber
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 2014 Financial Security Summit examined how policymakers, the financial services industry, advocates, and academics can advance new policies and products to make it easier for households to build financial security and to reinvigorate the American Dream.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In 1987, back at the dawn of the Internet age, two studies were published that provided perceptive looks at the evolution of electronic networks and the impact that they would likely have on the way business is conducted in the U.S. and globally. Both studies concluded that rapidly evolving information technologies were helping to break down old hierarchical business structures in favor of new, more decentralized models of economic activity.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Americans have fallen out of the saving habit. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the household saving rate, which fell to low single digits in the run-up to the 2007–08 financial crisis, is just 3.8% today, and over 75% of Americans do not have enough saved to cover six months' expenses, whether the need arises because of job loss or an unexpected life event. Projecting the current rate forward, and adjusting only for the aging of the population, we found that the saving rate will fall to an extremely low 3% in the 2030s.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report is based on the themes and messages discussed during the Business Opportunities in Housing for the Base of the Pyramid event held in São Paulo, Brazil on 2 September 2013. The event brought together between key actors developing housing solutions for low-income communities in Brazil. More than 70 members from the United Nations Development Programme in Brazil, city government, civil society, real estate developers, private-sector companies and investors attended this invite-only event, a collaborative effort between Business Call to Action (BCtA) and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Brazil Chapter which enabled participating stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Jefferson Fox, Duong Nong, Miguel Castrence, Tomoaki Miura, James Spencer, Qi Chen
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Vietnam is experiencing one of the greatest urban transitions over the last two decades after the embankment of "Doi Moi" policy in 1986. The urban transition is vividly manifested in social, economic and physical aspects. While the urbanization can boost the industrialization and modernization goals of the country, it can cause adverse impact on natural environment as well as society and economy. To support a sound urban development plan, it is important that data and analysis on urban built-up areas are accurate and timely available. In this study, the Support Vector Machine Classification Algorithm (SVM) was applied to the multi-temporal image stacks of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) from 1993 to 2010 to quantify the changes of built-up areas over three time periods, 1993-2001, 2001-2006, and 2006-2010 and across twelve buffer zones. Our SVM classification algorithm has produced a highly accurate map of land use/land cover change with the overall accuracy of 95%. The study showed that most of the urban expansion occurred in the periods 2001-2006 and 2006–2010. The analysis was strengthened by the analysis of population census and other socio-economic figures. Through out this study, an implicit correlation between the urban growth, the trend of spatial expansion and other relevant geographic and socio-economic factors can be proposed. Result of this study would allow urban planners and decision makers to timely evaluate and adjust accordingly the urban growth and be aware of the sustainable usage of the invaluable natural lands and other environmental, social and economical problems.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Vietnam
  • Author: Chinh C. Tran, John F. Yanagida
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Occurrence of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza subtype H5N1 usually results in the complete loss of the producer's entire flock due to high mortality rate and stamping out conducted to contain the virus. This study explores the expected economic impacts of HPAI H5N1 on smallholder duck producers in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. A conceptual model is developed to describe how a producer responds at each week of duck production to maximize profit and evaluate expected profits/losses of the producer in light of HPAI H5N1. The results suggests that in the case of no disease occurrence, the optimal time to sell ducks is at week 10 of the production cycle when ducks reach the age of 8 weeks. Maximum profit gained is US$805 for a producer with an average flock size of 794 ducks. However, the producer would suffer serious losses once the disease occurs. The expected investment loss is far higher than the maximum profit received at each production cycle and is estimated to be 3 times higher.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Infectious Diseases, Food
  • Political Geography: Vietnam
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: China's new strategy to upgrade its semiconductor industry (outlined in the "Guidelines to Promote National Integrated Circuit Industry Development," June 24, 2014), seeks to move from catching-up to forging ahead in semiconductors, by strengthening simultaneously China's integrated circuit (IC) design industry and domestic IC foundry services.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Egypt's big business community provided strong, early support for the military- backed government that came to power in June 2014. But despite that endorsement, the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made changes that are putting pressure on the private sector. Still, there are signs that some of those shifts are only temporary and that they have been taken out of necessity as the new political leadership attempts to repair a struggling economy. While elements of state-business relations may be reconfigured, big business remains essential to Egypt's long-term recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Roberto Alvarez, José De Gregorio
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Latin American performance during the global fi nancial crisis was unprecedented. Many developing and emerging countries successfully weathered the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Was it good luck? Was it good policies? In this paper we compare growth during the Asian and global fi nancial crises and fi nd that a looser monetary policy played an important role in mitigating crisis. We also fi nd that higher private credit, more fi nancial openness, less trade openness, and greater exchange rate intervention worsened economic performance. Our analysis of Latin American countries confi rms that eff ective macroeconomic management was key to good economic performance. Finally, we present evidence from a sample of 31 emerging markets that high terms of trade had a positive impact on resilience.
  • Topic: Economics, Global Recession, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As the largest emerging economy, China believes that the Group of Twenty (G20), instead of the Group of Eight (G8), is the ideal platform for its participation in global governance. This paper examines the reasons why China joined the G20 rather than the G8, and then focuses on a detailed review of China's participation in G20 summits since the enhanced forum began in 2008. China took a very active and cooperative attitude in dealing with the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. The paper observes that China also insisted on its own agenda for reforms to the international monetary system, through reforms to the international financial institutions that manage it — in particular, raising the number of voting shares and the representation of developing countries at the IMF and the World Bank. Based on the reviews of China's performance in the G20 summits since 2008, the paper explores China's policy making through its participation in the G20, determining that it is shaped by several major economic departments in addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and coordinated by a vice premier responsible for economic and financial affairs. The paper concludes that China has gained immensely from its participation in the G20. Most importantly, China entered the centre stage of global economic governance through the G20, which allowed the country to demonstrate that it is a responsible great power, and communicate and maintain relations with other major powers. The main challenges China has faced since joining the G20, from the perspective of some Chinese scholars, are a lack of capacity for agenda setting and shaping initiatives, as well as inadequate communication and coordination among different government departments and between the Sherpa and financial tracks of the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, International Monetary Fund, Global Recession, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Bruce Muirhead
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Since its widespread settlement by Europeans in the 1840s, New Zealand (NZ) has been an agricultural economy. As has been pointed out “there [has been] no serious challenge to the fundamental precept that the country's economy rested on an agricultural foundation” (Macdonald and Thomson 1987, 231), and dairy has been a significant focus of that base. Dairy production was introduced to New Zealand with the clear intent to establish New Zealand as an adjunct to the economic needs of Britain (Hawke 1985). Indeed, the closeness of the relationship between “the Britain of the south” and the metropolitan centre is one of the fundamental characteristics of any environmental history of NZ agriculture (Pawson 2008). This would persist in a material sense for more than a century, until the United Kingdom joined the European Community (EC) in 1973.
  • Topic: Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand
  • Author: Alex He
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The G20 has emerged as the lynchpin of China's involvement in global economic governance. It remains the only economic institutional setting where the country can operate on par with major Western powers. China has a strong interest in maintaining the status of the G20 as the premier forum for economic cooperation, and a vested interest in ensuring that the G20 does not degrade into yet another “talk shop” of multilateral diplomacy. However, the Chinese leadership's current approach to the G20 is not driven by a desire to position the country as a leading agenda setter. Instead, China's main policy priority is ensuring that the country is treated as an equal and respected partner. China recognizes that in many ways it is still in a comparatively weak position and does not have the institutional capabilities and talents needed to operate in global financial and economic institutions such as the G20.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Skylar Brooks, Ezra Suruma
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On August 7 and 8, 2014, CIGI's Global Economy Program co-hosted a conference with Uganda Debt Network to discuss African perspectives on sovereign debt restructuring. The proceedings, opened by the vice president of Uganda, took place in Kampala, and featured several distinguished participants — including current and former finance ministers and central bank governors, academics and practitioners, and civil society representatives — from Uganda, Liberia, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Participants also came from civil society organizations and intergovernmental institutions representing broader groups of African countries or the continent as a whole.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As a result of a speech delivered by Republic of Korea (ROK) president Park Geun- hye in Dresden, Germany, on March 28, 2014, the topic of unification of the Korean peninsula has been on the minds of many. This is, of course, not the first time that unification has been in the news. During the Cold War era, unification was defined as the absolute military victory of one side over the other. In Korean, this was known as “songgong t'ongil” or “p'ukch'in t'ongil” (“march north” or “unification by force”). In political science literature influenced by the European experience, it was defined as the perfect integration of the two countries. After the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, unification was seen as the economic and political absorption of one side by the other. And yet at other times, it was defined, by both North and South Korea, as the imperfect operation of one country, two systems. For a decade during the period of “sunshine” policy, 1997–2007, unification was defined as something to be avoided for generations. It was framed as an outcome that was too difficult to contemplate, too dangerous to suggest, and too expensive to afford.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Germany
  • Author: Phuong Nguyen
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Expectations for this week's East Asia Summit and related meetings have been rather modest given the increasing complexity of issues facing countries in Asia and the limited capacity of Myanmar as host. To be clear, Myanmar has done a commendable job given this is its first time chairing ASEAN and hosting other regional meetings.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Eleonora Poli
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Before the 1997 economic crisis in Asia, the institutional evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was very different from the European model. The economic downturn in the late 1990s and the global shift toward a neo-liberal economic era urged ASEAN countries to rethink their regional integration strategy and to mimic some of the institutional models in Europe. In light of this, this paper analyses the rationale behind the evolution of ASEAN since the late 1990, evaluating how and why the organization on a surface replicated aspects of the EU model without engaging in meaningful supranational institutionalization.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia
  • Author: Giulia Rosa Maria Cavallo
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After the adoption of a single monetary policy which commits the European Central Bank to maintaining the euro's purchasing power and price stability in the Eurozone, the European Union is facing a new, but equally fundamental challenge: the implementation in a relatively short time of the so-called "Banking Union". Its purpose is twofold: (1) breaking the link between banking and sovereign risk, with the ultimate goal of achieving full protection of EU savers in the event of a crisis; and (2) ensuring uniformity of credit conditions - which are still too fragmented - within the European banking market, to ensure greater EU integration of the financial system. Starting from the Communication in which the European Commission stressed the need for a banking union, this paper intends to explore the complex process towards its establishment by looking at the EU institutional mechanisms and the legal aspects. In particular, the analysis will be based on two building blocks: (1) the Single Supervisory Mechanism, with a single supervisor at the heart of the banking union; and (2) the Single Resolution Mechanism as a new integrated resolution framework and a resolution fund to address the failure of banking institutions. The paper then assesses the next steps for a fully fledged banking union, necessary in order for this new instrument to lay the foundations for a genuine Economic and Monetary Union, thereby fostering financial and economic stability in the euro area and in the EU as a whole.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Lant Pritchett, Yamini Aiyar
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We combine newly created data on per student government expenditure on children in government elementary schools across India, data on per student expenditure by households on students attending private elementary schools, and the ASER measure of learning achievement of students in rural areas. The combination of these three sources allows us to compare both the “accounting cost” difference of public and private schools and also the “economic cost”—what it would take public schools, at their existing efficacy in producing learning, to achieve the learning results of the private sector. We estimate that the “accounting cost” per student in a government school in the median state in 2011/12 was Rs. 14,615 while the median child in private school cost Rs. 5,961. Hence in the typical Indian state, educating a student in government school costs more than twice as much than in private school, a gap of Rs. 7,906. Just these accounting cost gaps aggregated state by state suggests an annual excess of public over private cost of children enrolled in government schools of Rs. 50,000 crores (one crore=10 million) or .6 percent of GDP. But even that staggering estimate does not account for the observed learning differentials between public and private. We produce a measure of inefficiency that combines both the excess accounting cost and a money metric estimate of the cost of the inefficacy of lower learning achievement. This measure is the cost at which government schools would be predicted to reach the learning levels of the private sector. Combining the calculations of accounting cost differentials plus the cost of reaching the higher levels of learning observed in the private sector state by state (as both accounting cost differences and learning differences vary widely across states) implies that the excess cost of achieving the existing private learning levels at public sector costs is Rs. 232,000 crores (2.78% of GDP, or nearly US$50 billion). It might seem counterintuitive that the total loss to inefficiency is larger than the actual budget, but that is because the actual budget produces such low levels of learning at such high cost that when the loss from both higher expenditures and lower outputs are measured it exceeds expenditures.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Privatization, Reform
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: John McArthur, Gordon C. McCord
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper uses cross-country panel data to estimate the agronomic inputs that lead to cereal yield improvements and the consequences for developing countries' processes of structural change. The results suggest a clear role for fertilizer, modern seeds and water in boosting yields. It then estimates empirical links in developing economies between increased agricultural yields and economic growth; in particular, the spillover effect from yield growth to declines of labor share in agriculture and increases of non-agricultural value added per capita. The identification strategy for the effect of fertilizer includes a novel instrumental variable that exploits variation in global fertilizer price, interacted with the inverse distance between each country's agriculturally weighted centroid and the nearest nitrogen fertilizer production facility. Results suggest that a half ton increase in staple yields (equal to the within-country standard deviation) generates a 13 to 20 percent higher GDP per capita, a 3.3 to 3.9 percentage point lower labor share in agriculture five years later, and approximately 20 percent higher non-agricultural value added per worker a decade later. The results suggest a strong role for agricultural productivity as a driver of structural change.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Labor Issues
  • Author: Atlantic Council, CEEP
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: One of the greatest successes of our new century has been the progress made in unifying Europe. The accession of Central Europe's countries to the European Union (EU) has contributed to the end of division that wrought confrontations and conflicts. Yet this task is far from finished. Europe's economic woes, as well as new security challenges along the Union's eastern border add to the urgency of completing and consolidating the European integration project as part of our transatlantic vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Europe
  • Author: Martin Rhodes, Rachel A. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: European states have a long history of banking sector nationalism. Control over credit allocation is believed to contribute to economic development and competitiveness goals, insulation from external economic shocks, and control over monetary policy. This paper explains the potentially dramatic loss in domestic control over banks created by the European Banking Union (EBU). First, we argue that ongoing liberalization in the global and European economies has made banking sector protectionism both more costly and conflictual. Second, we contend that because many of the biggest banks have internationalized their operations, they now prefer centralized European regulation and supervision. Third, supporting a modified neofunctionalist argument, we find that behind the sometimes frenetic intergovernmental bargaining in 2012-14, it is primarily the European Commission and the European Central Bank that have pushed Banking Union ahead. Supranational institutions have argued, with some success, that they have unique capacity to solve collective action and prisoners' dilemma problems. Contrary to accepted wisdom, Germany has not set or limited the Banking Union agenda to a great extent, in part because of its own internal divisions. Moreover, the Commission and the ECB have managed at critical junctures to isolate Germany to secure the country's assent to controversial measures.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Ron Duncan, Hilarian Codippily, Emele Duituturaga, Raijieli Bulatale
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The emergence of a large number of small states over the past four decades or so (there are presently around 50 states with populations with less than 1.5 million) has led to considerable interest amongst researchers, member governments, and international agencies in their economic and environmental viability. The literature generated in the process has focused on the special problems and development challenges faced by such states, including their prospects for integration with the changing global environment. The study presented here builds upon this literature in examining the binding constraints to development. It is our hope that this study will benefit policy makers, researchers, and the donor community.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Island
  • Author: Jan Schablitzki
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The Sixth BRICS Summit, held in July 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil, resulted in agreements to establish a New Development Bank (NDB) as well as a Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). This Policy Brief discusses the impact of the NDB on the existing architecture of development finance, focusing on the bank’s potential contribution to the BRICS’ South-South cooperation. The first section outlines the BRICS countries’ rational for establishing the NDB. In the following section potential development paradigms that are likely to be adopted by the NDB are addressed. Since no decision has been taken on the bank’s future governance, this section will be based on the experiences from the BRICS’ national development banks. Once the NDB’s governance is agreed upon, it will impact whether and to what extent the new bank will cooperate with the existing international system of development finance. A third section discusses the NDB’s potential appeal for the Global South. The Global South shares with the BRICS a disappointment with the existing system, and connects specific hopes and expectations with the foundation of the NDB. Examining the Banks effect on South-South cooperation, the section includes prospects on the Bank’s capital potential and by that its potential contribution to the prevalent demand for infrastructure financing in developing countries. A final section summarises the points made and aims to put the present perceptions of the NDB in rather cautious perspectives.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Antonio Missiroli, Gerald Stang et al
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: The last 20 years have brought huge reductions in global poverty, opening economic, political and personal opportunities for hundreds of millions of people and the countries where they live and work. This is changing old power balances, altering how humanity uses the earth’s scarce resources, and democratising – for good and for ill – access to many advanced technologies. Governance institutions are struggling to react to all these changes. And while economic, demographic and technological trends will greatly influence the changing international balance of power, concerns of security and geopolitics will likely retain their own unique rationale. The first section of this Chaillot Paper explores these issues through thematic, and the second through geographic, lenses.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Poverty, European Union
  • Author: Fritz W. Scharpf
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: At the end of the postwar period, the politically shaped configurations of normatively integrated European political economies differed greatly among “social-market” and “liberal market economies.” Such differences persist even though the characteristic achievements of social market economies have since eroded under the pressures of global capitalism and of European integration. Focusing on European integration from a social-market perspective, there is no question that it has widened the range of individual options. But it has also reduced the capacity of democratic politics to deal with the challenges of global capitalism, and it has contributed to rising social inequality and the erosion of public services and transfers. This paper will first summarize those asymmetries of European integration which have done the most to constrain democratic choices and to shift the balance between capital, labor, and the state by establishing an institutional priority of negative over positive integration and of monetary integration over political and social integration. It will then explain why efforts to democratize European politics will not be able to overcome these institutional asymmetries and why politically feasible reforms will not be able to remove the institutional constraints. The changes that would be required to restore democratic capacities to shape the political economy could only have a chance if present veto positions were to be fundamentally shaken. On the speculative assumption that the aftermath of a deep crisis might indeed create the window of opportunity for a political re-foundation of European integration, the concluding section will outline institutional ground rules that would facilitate democratic political action at both the European and national levels.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Politics, Labor Issues, Democracy, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Damien Krichewsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a global component of business-society relationships has triggered many controversial debates in which CSR is either advocated as a source of virtuous business or disregarded as mere “window dressing.” This paper proposes an alternative perspective on the CSR phenomenon based on N. Luhmann’s social systems theory, which guides a study of CSR in India combining macroscopic observations and the case of the cement manufacturer Lafarge India. The study shows that CSR is not primarily constituted of corporate attempts to “do well by doing good,” as the CSR doxa suggests. However, the phenomenon generates significant transformations of business-society relationships. While increasing financial expectations tend to blunt large companies’ sensitivity toward competing societal expectations, other social systems react with protest movements and political interventions. Companies respond to the perceived threat of these uncertainties by introducing new CSR-related organizational structures, which improve their ability to observe the uncertainties as parameters of economic risks. Companies subsequently mobilize calculated CSR-related practices to shield business opportunities from the possible negative consequences of sociopolitical constraints. The analytical framework outlined in the present paper introduces new angles for studying how the CSR phenomenon proceeds from and transforms the way social systems observe and regulate the role of companies in society.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Politics, Sociology, Business
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Mark Lutter
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This article analyzes how social network structures affect career success in a project based labor market. The literature on team success has shown that teams perform well if they integrate both weak and strong ties simultaneously. Applying the literature to careers in the creative industries, the study suggests that creative artists are more likely to receive critical recognition if they build their careers in both familiar project networks and heterogeneous sets of creative conventions. It is argued that familiarity and diversity operate as complementary elements in the development of innovative ideas. While diversity is important to maximize the flow of new ideas, it needs to be embedded within trustworthy and familiar network structures in order to fully develop its creative potential. The suggested mechanism is tested by means of full career data of 55,097 film directors, covering 478,859 directing jobs in 330,142 film productions during the years 1900–2010. It is shown that familiarity and diversity explain a considerable part of a director’s critical success. Results from interaction effects show that diversity has greater effects on critical success if it is socially embedded within familiar social structures. The article contributes to the emerging understanding of the role of group processes and network structures in explaining individual career success.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Jens Beckert, Jörg Rössel, Patrick Schenck
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Understanding the valuation of goods in markets has become one of the key topics in economic sociology in recent years. Especially in markets for goods that are valued for their aesthetic qualities, the ascription of value appears to be a complex social process because product quality is highly uncertain. The wine market is an extraordinary example because most consumers and even experts are not able to differentiate between wines based on objective sensory characteristics and cannot rank wines in blind tastings according to their price. Our premise is that assessed quality differences cannot be explained by the sensual qualities of the wine. Instead, we explain variations in valuation by social processes in which quality is constructed and contested. To do so we make use of Bourdieu’s field theoretical perspective, which is strongly supported in our empirical analysis of the German wine field. It shows that his model of the structure of fields has considerable power in explaining price differentiation between wineries and that the orientation of consumers towards different segments of the field is based on class hierarchy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Food, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fritz W. Scharpf
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper attempts a normative assessment of the input and output-oriented legitimacy of the present euro-rescuing regime on the basis of policy analyses examining the causes of present crises, the available policy options, and the impact of the policies actually chosen. Concluding that the regime lacks input-oriented legitimacy and that its claim to output-oriented legitimacy is ambivalent at best, the paper explores potential – majoritarian or unilateral – exits from the present institutional constellation that is characterized by the synthesis of a non-democratic expertocracy and an extremely asymmetric intergovernmental bargaining system.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel Kinderman
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Do employers in coordinated market economies (CME’s) actively defend the non-liberal, market-constraining institutions upon which their strategic coordination and competitive success depends? This paper revisits the debate over firms’ employer preferences with an in-depth examination of employers in Germany – a paradigmatic CME and crucial “test case” for Varieties of Capitalism. It is based on interviews with key officials and an in-depth examination of a large-scale campaign – the New Social Market Initiative or INMS – founded and funded by German metalworking employers to shape public opinion. The paper argues that German employers have a strong preference for liberalization: they have pushed hard for the liberalization of labor markets, the reduction of government expenditures, the expansion of market-oriented freedoms, and cuts to social protection, employment protection and benefit entitlements. I find no empirical support for the claim that the INSM is an attempt to appease discontented firms within employers’ associations. On the contrary: for many employers, the Agenda 2010 reforms did not go far enough. Following the discrediting of the Anglo-American model in the financial crisis, far-reaching concessions by employees, and the unexpected revitalization of the German economy, employers have moderated their demands – but liberalization remains their default preference. This paper also addresses the role of ideas and the conditions under which employer campaigns can influence policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: W. Streeck, L. Elsässer
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Regional disparities within the European Union have always been perceived as an impediment to monetary integration. This is why discussions on a joint currency, from their very beginning, were linked to compensatory payments in the form of regional policy payments. Structural assistance to poor regions and member states increased sharply at the end of the 1980s. Today, however, fiscal support has to be shared with the new member states in the East. Moreover, due to the financial crisis, the cheap credit that poor EMU member countries enjoyed as a result of interest rate convergence is no longer available. We predict that in the future, some sort of financial aid will have to be provided by rich member countries to poor ones, if only to prevent a further increase in economic disparities and related political instability. We also expect long-lasting distributional conflict between payer and recipient countries far beyond current rescue packages, together with disagreement on the extent of aid required and the political control to be conceded by receiving countries to giving countries. We illustrate the dimension of the distributional conflict by comparing income gaps and relative population size between the center and the periphery of Europe on the one hand and on the other, between rich and poor regions in two European nation-states characterized by large regional disparities, Germany and Italy. While income gaps and population structures are similar in the two countries to those between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean periphery, regional redistribution is much more extensive in the two nation-states. We conclude that this presages a difficult future for the domestic politics of Euroland.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Financial Crisis, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Capitalism is an economic and social order oriented toward the future. In this paper, I describe the unfolding of the temporal order of capitalism and relate it to the restless dynamism of capitalism we have observed since the Industrial Revolution. Since the future is open, actors are confronted with the uncertainty of the outcomes of their decisions. What can expectations be under conditions of uncertainty? To answer this question, I introduce the notion of fictional expectations which can be used to describe decisions made under conditions of an open and uncertain future. In the paper’s penultimate section, I apply the concept of fictional expectations to the analysis of four crucial processes of capitalism: money and credit, investments, innovation, and consumption. The main thrust of the paper is that in order to understand economic action in capitalism, actors’ perceptions of the future need to take center stage. Not only “history matters,” but also the “future matters.”
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Socialism/Marxism, Social Movement, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus