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  • Author: Alastair Iain Johnston
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many scholars and policymakers in the United States accept the narrative that China is a revisionist state challenging the U.S.-dominated international liberal order. The narrative assumes that there is a singular liberal order and that it is obvious what constitutes a challenge to it. The concepts of order and challenge are, however, poorly operationalized. There are at least four plausible operationalizations of order, three of which are explicitly or implicitly embodied in the dominant narrative. These tend to assume, ahistorically, that U.S. interests and the content of the liberal order are almost identical. The fourth operationalization views order as an emergent property of the interaction of multiple state, substate, nonstate, and international actors. As a result, there are at least eight “issue-specific orders” (e.g., military, trade, information, and political development). Some of these China accepts; some it rejects; and some it is willing to live with. Given these multiple orders and varying levels of challenge, the narrative of a U.S.-dominated liberal international order being challenged by a revisionist China makes little conceptual or empirical sense. The findings point to the need to develop more generalizable ways of observing orders and compliance.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Military Affairs, Information Age, Liberal Order
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Myroslava Lendel
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: Since 2009, the main mechanism of Eurointegration in Ukraine, in addition to the bilateral diplomatic efforts and internally driven pro-European reforms, has been the Eastern Partnership (EaP), a multilateral project has that brought Kyiv both new opportunities and additional challenges and uncertainty. Although the positives outcomes have generally been welcomed, these have not detracted from the commonly held view among experts that despite good outcomes in stimulating economic reform, support for the new government and citizen institutions, and a tangible contribution to stability on the EU borders, the current strategy alone will not secure the stable development of the democracy and market economy in Eastern Europe generally, and Ukraine in particular. The commitment of these countries to general European principles has to be supported by the prospect of EU membership and that means revisiting the current format and especially the philosophy behind the Eastern Partnership. One possible scenario could be the formation of EaP+3 within the European Partnership, which would bring together Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – the countries with Association Agreements with the EU – and a commitment to EU membership.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia
  • Author: Petra Kuchyňková
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: According to Petra Kuchyňková, assistant professor at Masaryk University in Brno, the Eastern Partnership has been relatively successful, despite the frequent political instability in EaP countries. However, the EU has not always been consistent in its neighborhood policy. This is easily understood if we look at the heterogeneity of the EaP countries and the differences in the extent of Russian influence in the region. According to Kuchyňková, the EU should not abolish the sanctions on Russia unless there is visible progress in the Minsk process, so as to avoid damaging its reputation as normative actor. Cooperation between the EU and the EEU seems unlikely due the atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion. EU neighborhood policy could receive new impetus as a result of it being given more attention in the new multiannual financial framework.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Public Policy, Trade Liberalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Slawomir Matuszak
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The paper analyzes the first years of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, focusing on the economic part: the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement (DCFTA). It describes the causes and results of changes in the flow of goods, and the implications of these for Ukraine’s policy. The DCFTA was one of the key tools that allowed Ukraine to survive the difficult period of economic crisis. The aim of this article is to show to what extent, starting from 2015, Ukraine has begun to integrate with the EU market and at the same time become increasingly independent of the Russian market and more broadly the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. It can be assumed that this process will only accelerate. It is just the first stage on the pathway followed by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s. To achieve full integration requires an increase in investment cooperation, currently at a fairly low level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Iurie Gotişan
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Issues: Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs
  • Institution: Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Abstract: The article attempts to outline the main trends and dynamics in Moldova’s development over the ten years since it became part of the EU’s Eastern Partnership. This article analyzes the main dimensions in Moldova’s relationship with the EU, in particular the essential elements are emphasized vis-à-vis the EU–Moldova Association Agreement, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and the dialog on abolishing the visa regime with the EU. Moreover, it attempts a regional comparison of the EaP member states, from an interdisciplinary analytical perspective offered by some civil society entities in Moldova.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus
  • Author: Maciej Kotowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the formation of production and trading networks in an economy with general interdependencies and complex property rights. The right to exclude,a core tenet of property, grants asset owners a form of monopoly power that influences granular economic interactions. Equilibrium networks reflect the distribution of these ownership claims. Inefficient production networks may endure in equilibrium as firms multi-source to mitigate hold-up risk. Short supply chains also reduce this risk, but may preclude the production of complex goods. A generalized Top Trading Cycles algorithm, applicable to a production economy, identifies equilibrium outcomes in the model. Such outcomes can be decentralized via a price system.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Intellectual Property/Copyright, National & provincial initiatives
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Patricio Goldstein, Ana Grisanti, Tim O'Brien, Jorge Tapia, Miguel Ajgel Santos
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Jordan faces a number of pressing economic challenges: low growth, high unemployment, rising debt levels, and continued vulnerability to regional shocks. After a decade of fast economic growth, the economy decelerated with the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09. From then onwards, various external shocks have thrown its economy out of balance and prolonged the slowdown for over a decade now. Conflicts in neighboring countries have led to reduced demand from key export markets and cut off important trade routes. Foreign direct investment, which averaged 12.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) between 2003-2009, fell to 5.1% of GDP over the 2010-2017. Regional conflicts have interrupted the supply of gas from Egypt – forcing Jordan to import oil at a time of record prices, had a negative impact on tourism, and also provoked a massive influx of migrants and refugees. Failure to cope with 50.4% population growth between led to nine consecutive years (2008-2017) of negative growth rates in GDP per capita, resulting in a cumulative loss of 14.0% over the past decade (2009-2018). Debt to GDP ratios, which were at 55% by the end of 2009, have skyrocketed to 94%. Over the previous five years Jordan has undertaken a significant process of fiscal consolidation. The resulting reduction in fiscal impulse is among the largest registered in the aftermath of the Financial Crises, third only to Greece and Jamaica, and above Portugal and Spain. Higher taxes, lower subsidies, and sharp reductions in public investment have in turn furthered the recession. Within a context of lower aggregate demand, more consolidation is needed to bring debt-to-GDP ratios back to normal. The only way to break that vicious cycle and restart inclusive growth is by leveraging on foreign markets, developing new exports and attracting investments aimed at increasing competitiveness and strengthening the external sector. The theory of economic complexity provides a solid base to identify opportunities with high potential for export diversification. It allows to identify the existing set of knowhow, skills and capacities as signaled by the products and services that Jordan is able to make, and to define existing and latent areas of comparative advantage that can be developed by redeploying them. Service sectors have been growing in importance within the Jordanian economy and will surely play an important role in export diversification. In order to account for that, we have developed an adjusted framework that allows to identify the most attractive export sectors including services. Based on that adjusted framework, this report identifies export themes with a high potential to drive growth in Jordan while supporting increasing wage levels and delivering positive spillovers to the non-tradable economy. The general goal is to provide a roadmap with key elements of a strategy for Jordan to return to a high economic growth path that is consistent with its emerging comparative advantages.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Finance, Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Josh Felman
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We examine the pattern of growth in the 2010s. Standard explanations cannot account for the long slowdown, followed by a sharp collapse. Our explanation stresses both structural and cyclical factors, with finance as the distinctive, common element. In the immediate aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), two key drivers of growth decelerated. Export growth slowed sharply as world trade stagnated, while investment fell victim to a homegrown Balance Sheet crisis, which came in two waves. The first wave—the Twin Balance Sheet crisis, encompassing banks and infrastructure companies—arrived when the infrastructure projects started during India’s investment boom of the mid-2000s began to go sour. The economy nonetheless continued to grow, despite temporary, adverse demonetization and GST shocks, propelled first by income gains from the large fall in international oil prices, then by government spending and a non-bank financial company (NBFC)-led credit boom. This credit boom financed unsustainable real estate inventory accumulation, inflating a bubble that finally burst in 2019. Consequently, consumption too has now sputtered, causing growth to collapse. As a result, India is now facing a Four Balance Sheet challenge—the original two sectors, plus NBFCs and real estate companies—and is trapped in an adverse interest-growth dynamic, in which risk aversion is leading to high interest rates, depressing growth, and generating more risk aversion. Standard remedies are unavailable: monetary policy is stymied by a broken transmission mechanism; large fiscal stimulus will only push up already-high interest rates, worsening the growth dynamic. The traditional structural reform agenda—land and labour market measures—are important for the medium run but will not address the current problems. Addressing the Four Balance Sheet problem decisively will be critical to durably reviving growth. Raising agricultural productivity is also high priority. And even before that, a Data Big Bang is needed to restore trust and enable better policy design.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economy, Global Political Economy, Economic growth, Global Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Jie Bai, Jiahua Liu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is well known that various forms of non-tariff trade barriers exist within a country. Empirically, it is difficult to measure these barriers as they can take many forms. We take advantage of a nationwide VAT rebate policy reform in China as a natural experiment to identify the existence of these intranational barriers due to local protectionism and study the impact on exports and exporting firms. As a result of shifting tax rebate burden, the reform leads to a greater incentive of the provincial governments to block the domestic flow of non-local goods to local export intermediaries. We develop an open-economy heterogenous firm model that incorporates multiple domestic regions and multiple exporting technologies, including the intermediary sector. Consistent with the model’s predictions, we find that rising local protectionism leads to a reduction in interprovincial trade, more “inward-looking” sourcing behavior of local intermediaries, and a reduction in manufacturing exports. Analysis using micro firm-level data further shows that private companies with greater baseline reliance on export intermediaries are more adversely affected.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Reform, Tariffs
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jie Bai, Panle Barwick, Shengmao Cao, Shanjun Li
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Are quid pro quo (technology for market access) policies effective in facilitating knowledge spillover to developing countries? We study this question in the context of the Chinese automobile industry where foreign firms are required to set up joint ventures with domestic firms in return for market access. Using a unique dataset of detailed quality measures along multiple dimensions of vehicle performance, we document empirical patterns consistent with knowledge spillovers through both ownership affiliation and geographical proximity: joint ventures and Chinese domestic firms with ownership or location linkage tend to specialize in similar quality dimensions. The identification primarily relies on within-product variation across quality dimensions and the results are robust to a variety of specifications. The pattern is not driven by endogenous joint-venture network formation, overlapping customer base, or learning by doing considerations. Leveraging additional micro datasets on part suppliers and worker flow, we document that supplier network and labor mobility are important channels in mediating knowledge spillovers. However, these channels are not tied to ownership affiliations. Finally, we calibrate a simple learning model and conduct policy counterfactuals to examine the role of quid pro quo. Our findings show that ownership affiliation facilitates learning but quality improvement is primarily driven by the other mechanisms.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Developing World
  • Political Geography: China, Asia