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  • Author: Marcus Noland, Cullen S. Hendrix
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Since 2010, Myanmar has been in the midst of a multifaceted transition, involving economic reforms, the resolution of multiple long-standing civil conflicts, and a nascent transition to democratic rule. These transitions are coinciding with a resource-led economic boom. We assess the current status of governance institutions, as well as their performance in comparison to ASEAN and selected other countries. Specifically we discuss outstanding problem areas related to economic governance, particularly in the legal system, the business regulatory framework, and bureaucratic capacity, as well as the potential use of external policy anchors, particularly in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) process, to strengthen Myanmar's ongoing reform effort.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Myanmar
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Kevin Stahler
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper examines determinants of women's participation and performance in the Olympics. Female inclusion and success are not merely functions of size, wealth, and host advantage, but a more complex process involving the socio-economic status of women and, more weakly, broad societal attitudes on gender issues. Female labor force participation and educational attainment in particular are tightly correlated with both participation and outcomes, even controlling for per capita income. Female educational attainment is strongly correlated with both the breadth of participation across sporting events and success in those events. Host countries and socialist states also are associated with unusually high levels of participation and medaling by female athletes. Medal performance is affected by large-scale boycotts. Opening competition to professionals may have leveled the playing field for poorer countries. But the historical record for women's medal achievement is utterly distorted by the doping program in the former East Germany, which specifically targeted women. At its peak in the 1970s and 1980s, the program was responsible for 17 percent of the medals awarded to women, equivalent to the medal hauls of the Soviet or American team in 1972, the last Olympics not marred by widespread abuse of performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: America, Germany
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: A central hope of engagement with North Korea is that increased cross-border exchange will encourage the strengthening of institutions, and eventually, a moderation of the country's foreign policy. An unprecedented survey of Chinese enterprises operating in North Korea reveals that trade is largely dominated by state entities on the North Korean side, although we cannot rule out de facto privatization of exchange. Little trust is evident beyond the relationships among Chinese and North Korean state-owned enterprises. Formal networks and dispute settlement mechanisms are weak and do not appear to have consequences for relational contracting. Rather, firms rely on personal ties for identifying counterparties and resolving disputes. The weakness of formal institutions implies that the growth in exchange does not conform with the expectations of the engagement model and may prove self-limiting. The results also cast doubt that integration between China and North Korea, at least as it is currently proceeding, will foster reform and opening.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Economic integration between North and South Korea occurs through three modalities: traditional arm's-length trade and investment, processing on commission (POC) trade, and operations within the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). In order, these three modalities are characterized by decreasing exposure of South Korean firms to North Korean policy and infrastructure. Through a survey of 200 South Korean firms operating in North Korea we find that these modalities of exchange matter greatly in terms of implied risk. For example, firms operating in the KIC are able to transact on significantly looser financial terms than those outside it. We find that direct and indirect South Korean public policy interventions influence these different modalities of exchange and thus impact entry, profitability, and sustainability of South Korean business activities in the North. In effect, the South Korean government has substituted relatively strong South Korean institutions for the relatively weak Northern ones in the KIC, thus socializing risk. As a result, the level and type of cross-border integration observed in the survey is very much a product of South Korean public policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Israel, Korea
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Donghyun Park
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The maturing of the manufacturing sector in many Asian countries, combined with the relative backwardness of its services sector, has made services sector development a top priority for developing Asia. The authors' central objective is to broadly survey and analyze the current landscape of the region's services sector so as to assess its potential to serve as an engine for inclusive economic growth. Their analysis indicates that services are already an important source of output, growth, and jobs in the region. However, its productivity greatly lags that of the advanced economies, which implies ample room for further growth. The impact of the services sector on poverty reduction is less clear but the authors do find some limited evidence of a poverty reduction effect. One key challenge for all Asian countries is to improve the quality of services sector data. Overall, while services sector development is a long and challenging process, creating more competitive services markets by removing a wide range of internal and external policy distortions is vital for improving services sector productivity. As important as such policy reforms are, complementary investments in physical infrastructure and human capital will also be necessary to achieve a strong services sector.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper uses a survey of 300 North Korean refugees to examine the experience of women in North Korea's fitful economic transition. Like other socialist states, North Korea has maintained a de jure commitment to women's rights. However, the authors find that women have been disproportionately shed from state-affiliated employment and thrust into a market environment characterized by weak institutions and corruption. As a result, the state and its affiliated institutions are increasingly populated by males, and the market, particularly in its retail aspects, is dominated by women. Among the most recent cohort of refugees to leave North Korea, more than one-third of male respondents indicate that criminality and corruption is the best way to make money, and 95 percent of female traders report paying bribes to avoid the penal system. In short, the increasingly male-dominated state preys on the increasingly female-dominated market. These results paint a picture of a vulnerable group that has been disadvantaged in North Korea's transition. Energies are directed toward survival, mass civil disobedience is reactive, and as a group, this population appears to lack the tools or social capital to act collectively to improve their status.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Economic integration between North and South Korea occurs through three modalities: traditional arm's-length trade and investment, processing on commission (POC) trade, and operations within the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC). In order, these three modalities are characterized by decreasing exposure of South Korean firms to North Korean policy and infrastructure. Through a survey of 200 South Korean firms operating in North Korea, the authors find that these modalities of exchange matter greatly in terms of implied risk. For example, firms operating in the KIC are able to transact on significantly looser financial terms than those outside it. The authors find that direct and indirect South Korean public policy interventions influence these different modalities of exchange and thus impact entry, profitability, and sustainability of South Korean business activities in the North. In effect, the South Korean government has substituted relatively strong South Korean institutions for the relatively weak Northern ones in the KIC, thus socializing risk. As a result, the level and type of cross-border integration observed in the survey is very much a product of South Korean public policy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A central hope of engagement with North Korea is that increased cross-border exchange will encourage the strengthening of institutions, and eventually, a moderation of the country's foreign policy. An unprecedented survey of Chinese enterprises operating in North Korea reveals that trade is largely dominated by state entities on the North Korean side, although the authors cannot rule out de facto privatization of exchange. Little trust is evident beyond the relationships among Chinese and North Korean state-owned enterprises. Formal networks and dispute settlement mechanisms are weak and do not appear to have consequences for relational contracting. Rather, firms rely on personal ties for identifying counterparties and resolving disputes. The weakness of formal institutions implies that the growth in exchange does not conform with the expectations of the engagement model and may prove self-limiting. The results also cast doubt that integration between China and North Korea, at least as it is currently proceeding, will foster reform and opening.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder, Marcus Noland, Bonnie S. Glaser, Contributor: Stephan Haggard
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The accession to power of a new leader in North Korea has not increased the prospects for denuclearization. Hints that Kim Jong-un might experiment with agricultural and economic reforms are not accompanied by any suggestion that he is considering abandoning the country's nuclear weapons program. On the contrary, all signs point to North Korea's staunch determination to advance the nuclear program while undertaking efforts to compel the international community to recognize it as a nuclear weapons state. Given the growing urgency of the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons development, it is essential to consider new ways to persuade Pyongyang to freeze, reverse, and eventually eliminate its nuclear capabilities
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Israel, Korea
  • Author: Jennifer Lee, Stephan Haggard, Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Theory tells us that weak rule of law and institutions deter cross-border integration, deter investment relative to trade, and inhibit trade finance. Drawing on a survey of more than 300 Chinese enterprises that are doing or have done business in North Korea, the authors consider how informal institutions have addressed these problems in a setting in which rule of law and institutions are particularly weak. Given the apparent reliance on hedging strategies, the rapid growth in exchange witnessed in recent years may prove self-limiting, as the effectiveness of informal institutions erodes and the risk premium rises. Institutional improvement could have significant welfare implications, affecting the volume, composition, and financial terms of cross-border exchange.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Israel