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  • Author: Benedicte Callan, Sean Costigan, Kenneth Keller
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: One of the great strengths of the U.S. economy is its capacity for innovation. Relatively young companies like Microsoft, Genentech, Intel, and Netscape bring verve to the American industrial landscape. The products they introduce transform the way we do business and the way we live. Older companies, like AT T, Ford, and IBM, prove that they can adapt new technologies to stay vital. Old or young, it is the commitment to research and development (R D) that has allowed these companies to come up with novel ideas, products, and processes. The American ability to foster high-technology industries is the envy of both advanced and industrializing countries alike.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edward Lincoln, Kenneth Flamm
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, provides an opportunity for 18 countries with strong trade and investment ties to discuss a wide range of economic issues. APEC has scored two tangible achievements to date: a sweeping but vaguely worded 1994 pledge by its member states to open up to free trade and investment by 2010 and 2020, and a central role in the negotiation of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA). However, APEC is in danger of fading. When this year's summit begins on November 19, the United States must push for major reform of the APEC bargaining process if the organization is to have any chance of realizing its ambitious trade reform targets.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence, Robert E. Litan
  • Publication Date: 10-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The outcome of the fast-track debate that opened this month will determine whether the United States continues to lead the world toward a more open global economy or whether, for the first time since the end of World War II, it sends the opposite message.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peter A. Hall, Robert J. Franzese Jr.
  • Publication Date: 09-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Abstract: Plans for European Monetary Union are based on the conventional postulate that increasing the independence of the central bank can reduce inflation without any real economic effects. However, the theoretical and empirical bases for this claim rest on models of the economy that make unrealistic information assumptions and omit institutional variables other than the central bank. When the signaling problems between the central bank or other actors in the political economy are considered, we find that the character of wage bargaining conditions the impact of central bank independence by rendering the signals between the bank and the bargainers more or less effective. Greater independence can reduce inflation without major employment effects where bargaining is coordinated, but it brings higher levels of unemployment where bargaining is uncoordinated. Thus, currency unions like the EMU may require higher levels of unemployment to control inflation than their proponents envisage; they will have costs as well as benefits, costs which will be distributed unevenly among and within the member nations based on the changes induced in the status of the bank and of wage coordination.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Maurice Obstfeld
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Abstract: This paper studies the constraints placed by the Maastricht Treaty on the rates at which member currencies will exchange against the Euro at the start of stage 3 of economic and monetary union (EMU). The paper shows that the stage 3 bilateral conversion factors for EMU member currencies must correspond to closing market exchange rates as of December 31, 1998; furthermore, currency conversion rates into the Euro cannot be determined until that date. Moreover, official announcements about intended conversion factors will carry no credibility with markets, as market rates must be chosen over any prennounced rates according to the Treaty. Unless there is heavy official intervention in the runup to stage 3, EMU members' bilateral market rates will exhibit excessive volatility and may induce beggar-thy-neighbor policy behavior. On the other, hand, exchange-rate targeting may open the door to speculative currency crises. The only feasible solution appears a widely-publicized institutional reform to subjugate national central banks' policies entirely to the goal of intra-EMU exchange stability in the final months of stage 2.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Cesare P. R. Romano
  • Publication Date: 02-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The issue of the financing of international justice has been generally neglected by international research. Legal scholars have rarely ventured beyond generic calls for the widening of the jurisdiction of international courts or for the creation of new courts. The financing of international justice has usually been conceived as an essentially political and technical issue and, therefore, as outside of the scope of legal discourse. Economists, on their side, have never taken a hard look at the way international law works, aside from decisions that effect the functioning of the international economic system per se. It is not surprising, therefore, that there does not exist any serious study on how much international rule of law costs, how and if efficiency could be enhanced, and where and if additional resources could be tapped to enhance the functioning of the courts themselves and allow a greater use of existing means. Hopefully, the data presented in this paper, together with some general observations proposed in the conclusions, will elicit constructive criticism and new thoughts on these much neglected aspects of this particular area of international cooperation.
  • Topic: International Law, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Dieter Ernst
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: The "China fever" that has raged through the Japanese industry over the last few years, has drastically changed the locational patterns of Japanese investment within East Asia. The share of China in the investment of Japanese electronics firms abroad has increased by leaps and bounds: from the measly 0.6% of 1990 ( the year after the Tianmen massacre), it has now reached almost 7%, catching up fast with the 7.7% share of ASEAN.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Miquel Ángel Valverde
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: This paper examines the theoretical discussion on interdependence, and its use for analyzing US-Mexican economic relations. It combines interdependence's premises with other perspectives on the position of North American economies in the global marketplace, arguing that NAFTA is an institutional response to these developments.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Miquel Ángel Valverde
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: In June 1990, President George Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari announced their intention to begin negotiating a free trade agreement. Canada joined the negotiations the following August. The proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provoked an intense lobbying campaign in the US Congress, in what became a major political battle for its congressional approval. Some economic interests would win, others would lose with NAFTA. Congress members were worried about the loss of American low-skilled jobs and environmental issues. Regional interests were voiced loudly in the House of Representatives. A loose coalition of interest groups, including the AFL-CIO, public interest groups, and environmental organizations, coordinated opposition to the agreement. On the pro-NAFTA side was an ad hoc group of corporations, labeled USA-NAFTA, which included the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce. The Mexican government mounted an extensive lobbying campaign in favor of the trade pact. After intense congressional lobbying, President Bush obtained fast-track negotiating authority for NAFTA. Negotiations concluded in August 1992, and the following December, Presidents Bush and Salinas, as well as Canada's Prime Minister Mulroney, signed the pact, Presidential candidate Bill Clinton, under intense pressure from key constituencies of the Democratic Party, supported NAFTA "in principle," but only if complementary agreements on labor and environmental issues were included. Once in the office, Clinton negotiated these "side agreements" with Mexico and Canada, but still, strong opposition to NAFTA continued. In order to win congressional votes needed for the pact's approval, President Clinton engaged in a series of political compromises or "side-payments" with legislators, being able to form a congressional bipartisan coalition that allowed NAFTA passage.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Mark Aspinwall, Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: How autonomous is a state in today's highly interdependent international economy to pursue policies that diverge widely from the international norm? does the degree of autonomy vary for different domestic sectors? We adapt and apply Benjamin Cohen's unholy trinity model (1993), to a comparative assessment of how France responded to globalization over agriculture and shipping, focusing on three dimensions—investment, transaction costs, and government policy responses. Although France is reputed to possess a strong state machinery (Katzenstein, 1987; Wilson, 1987; Skocpol, 1985), our analysis raises qualifications. On the one hand, regardless of government policy intentions, we find irreversible forms of disinvestments in both sectors, though different in nature—geographic for shipping, and functional for agriculture; on the other, we also find continued dependence upon the state–for internal and endogenous, as well as external and exogenous, factors influence policy-making, the nature of these factors are different for the two sectors. We conclude by drawing implications of our findings for state-society relations and European integrations.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Sofía Gallardo
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: The concern for the quality of the environment reached significant proportions in the 1960's and 1970's throughout North America and Europe as other new social movements were emerging. Unlike some of the others, environmentalism has endured as a vital and major social phenomenon, one that has reoriented human perceptions, attitudes, and behavior.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, North America
  • Author: Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: What factors made the attainment of a regional trading bloc a priority at the Summit of the Americas? Why was it so inclusive a gathering? What are the prospects and problems of an American Free Trade Association? How can regionalism in this part of the world be explained theoretically?
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: America, North America
  • Author: Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: Why do policy outcomes invariably fall short of expectations? Almost all studies of this puzzling topic over the last generation have revolved around a study of the limits of rational behavior. Although this literature is extraordinarily enriching, as society becomes more complex, the gap between policy intentions and outcomes seems to be widening, and constrained rational behavior appears to be accounting for increasingly less of that gap. Three incompatible policy areas today are environmentalism, free trade, and regionalism. This investigation undertakes a comparative analysis of the principles and key dimensions of those three policy areas, then transforms Benjamin Cohen's unholy monetary trinity into an unholy developmental trinity to offer a theoretical framework within which this incompatible policy-mix may be explained.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: Asking "How have trade disputes over agriculture been settled in North America?", this study examines 11 appeals made to binational panels established under Chapter 19 of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1989. By disaggregating the process of dispute settlement into complaints, rulings, country responses, and overall settlement, it reassesses an old debate (whether dispute outcomes are influenced by collective rules or the pursuit of self-help) and sheds new light. Whereas extant studies make the argument, through a study of appeals to G.A.T.T., that collective rules temper the blind pursuit of self-help, this study makes the argument that self-help is equally important an explanation. Whereas the former focus on outcomes which are non-binding, this study focuses on outcomes which are binding. Implications are drawn, at a time when domestic interests, nationalistic sentiments, and supranational pursuits compete to influence policy outcomes at all levels, for agriculture, integration in North America, and dispute settlement at the multilateral level.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America
  • Author: Walt Patterson
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Like the international dimension of electricity discussed in Working Paper 1, the liberal dimension of electricity has emerged only recently, at least as a recognized concept. However, whereas the international dimension is genuinely new, the dimension now characterized as 'liberal' needs closer examination. The language of policy discourse is not always consistent. Until the 1990s, policy analysts habitually referred to the electricity industry as 'conservative', in the sense that it was resistant to change and deeply wary of risk. However, those who first acted to 'liberalize' electricity were themselves 'conservative', in conventional political terms, notably the governments of Chile and the UK in the 1980s. That apparent irony in itself suggests that 'liberalizing' electricity is a more subtle and complex process than the term itself might indicate.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Chile
  • Author: Sidney Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 07-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: On December 20, 1994, Mexican financial and monetary authorities raised the band within which the peso was permitted to fluctuate by 15 percent. They expected a short-lived shock, some economic adjustment, and then back to business as usual with a modestly devalued peso. Mexico, after all, had a history of currency devaluations, particularly during the transitions from one administration to another. Beyond that, Mexico was not a world monetary powerhouse and what it did would not normally attract great or sustained international attention.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Anthony T. Bryan
  • Publication Date: 06-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: The challenges confronting the Caribbean with respect to trade with Europe and the Americas are essentially similar: the future of existing regimes of significant preferences, the need to plan for the long term without such preferences, and the development of a strategy to meet the transition. Unfortunately, the dialogue on these matters often has been characterized as a protocol for the Caribbean to “choose between friends.” Growth in the economies of the Caribbean will depend to a large extent on participation in or access to global trade arrangements. Ideally, a Caribbean strategy for participation should involve simultaneous access to as many pacts as possible. This paper is an overview of the legacy and the future of trade relations between the Caribbean and Europe, and between the Caribbean and the Americas, as these relationships constitute the Caribbean's most urgent global agenda.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Caribbean
  • Author: Gerardo Gonzalez
  • Publication Date: 05-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes how Cuban entrepreneurs perceive the importance of their role in Cuba's reintegration into the Caribbean. In the context of recent Cuban-Caribbean economic relations, Caribbean entrepreneurs have taken the lead, and Cuban entrepreneurs are trying to conduct business under changing and challenging conditions. As the Cuban economy gradually adapts to new national and international realities, an increasing number of Cuban firms are beginning to participate directly and actively in Cuba's external economic relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Caribbean
  • Author: Glenn W. Harrison, Thomas F. Rutherfod
  • Publication Date: 05-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: This paper examines the net economic benefits and government revenue implications for Chile of forming a free trade area with MERCOSUR as an associate member, forming a free trade area with NAFTA, and reducing its external tariff multilaterally and unilaterally. The research shows that NAFTA would benefit Chile, but Chile must obtain improved access in non-grain crops, one of its key export sectors, or NAFTA will result in losses for Chile. Chile will lose from the MERCOSUR agreement as presently constituted but can gain from participation in MERCOSUR by reducing its external tariff to between 6 percent and 8 percent. Such a lowering of the external tariff would lead to a reduction of costly, trade-diverting imports (on which Chile does not collect tariffs) from high-priced partner country suppliers. The paper indicates that Chile should continue to push for NAFTA membership, while moving toward broader multilateral trade liberalization. Additionally, collecting the value added tax at more uniform rates in Chile would reduce domestic distortions and enhance the effectiveness of trade policy reforms.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Carter Garber
  • Publication Date: 01-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In this paper, economist and development finance consultant Carter Garber examines the process of complementing donations and commercial bank credit with private investments as a source of capital for international microenterprise finance. First, he describes the large expectations for private capital in the rapid growth of microenterprise finance. Second, Garber discusses the varied sources of private capital, especially those involving socially responsible investment. The third and central section is an examination of eight “socially responsible investment” mechanisms that currently channel $27 million of U.S. private credit to microfinance lending institutions. Garber demonstrates the variety of available mechanisms and examines their track record to date. The final section identifies policy changes that will be necessary for these types of private investment in microenterprise to grow fast enough to meet the expected demand during the coming decade.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance