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  • Author: Martin Kenney, Donald Patton
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Theory and recent research demonstrates that entrepreneurship is a spatially and socially embedded activity. In certain regions, dense support networks of institutions dedicated to assisting entrepreneurial start-ups have been established and a wide variety of authors have given credit to these networks for supporting regional entrepreneurship (Kenney and von Burg 1999; Saxenian 1994; Bahrami and Evans 2000). As Marshall (1890) recognized many, but not all, industries exhibit a strong clustering effect (see also, e.g., Storper and Walker 1988; Porter 1990; 1998). Research on these networks has been hampered by a lack of empirical data that contains spatial variables and identifies the relationship between various actors (i.e., venture capitalists, law firms and investment bankers) and the start-up firm. Thus research has been qualitative and anecdotal or when quantitative limited to certain industries usually biotechnology.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Why did Enron fail? The easy answer is that Enron was a fraud, a Ponzi scheme designed to enrich scoundrels. But beneath the off-balance sheet transactions and partnerships that have drawn such intense scrutiny, Enron's efforts to reduce complex products into tradable commodities represented one of the most promising ideas of the past twenty-five years. Enron's failure was due in part to a business strategy that regarded competitors as ruthless and uncompromising. That mentality led the company to reject the very real possibility that rivals could, working together, create the new markets that in turn would open up profit opportunities for all. Enron's brilliant vision of the New Economy didn't go far enough; it required a New Economy business model that emphasized cooperation among competitors.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jay Stowsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: For a brief period in the early 1990's the U.S. Department of Defense pursued an R policy that was explicitly “dual-use,” funding projects aimed at simultaneously developing both military and civilian applications of the same underlying technologies. The policy emerged from more than a decade of bipartisan agitation in Congress and segments of the military-industrial establishment, spurred by a shared belief that more advanced technologies now “spun on” from civilian to military applications than “spun off” in the other direction (US Department of Defense, Office of the Undersecretary for Acquisition, 1987; Gansler, 1989; Alic et al., 1992; Stowsky 1992, 1999). With the end of the Cold War and mushrooming budget deficits constraining defense spending, Pentagon planners saw dual-use development as a strategy for improving efficiency and lowering costs as well as enhancing quality by enabling the construction of sophisticated weapons systems off a more integrated civil-military technology base (US Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1995; US Department of Defense, 1995).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert L. Axtell
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Results on the formation of multi-agent teams are reviewed and extended. Conditions are specified under which it is individually rational for agents to spontaneously form coalitions in order to engage in collective action. In a cooperative setting the formation of such groups is to be expected. Here we show that in non-cooperative environments—presumably a more realistic context for a variety of both human and software agents—self-organized coalitions are capable of extracting welfare improvements. The Nash equilibria of these coalitional formation games are demonstrated to always exist and be unique. Certain free rider problems in such group formation dynamics lead to the possibility of dynamically unstable Nash equilibria, depending on the nature of intra-group compensation and coalition size. Yet coherent groups can still form, if only temporarily, as demonstrated by computational experiments. Such groups of agents can be either long-lived or transient. The macroscopic structure of these emergent 'bands' of agents is stationary in sufficiently large populations, despite constant adaptation at the agent level. It is argued that assumptions concerning attainment of agent-level (Nash) equilibrium, so ubiquitous in conventional economics and game theory, are difficult to justify behaviorally and highly restrictive theoretically, and are thus unlikely to serve either as fertile design objectives or robust operating principles for realistic multi-agent systems.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Timothy R. Gulden
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines detailed records from the civil conflict in Guatemala between 1977 and 1986. It reveals a number of novel patterns which support the use of complex systems methods for understanding civil violence. It finds a surprising, non-linear relationship between ethnic mix and killing; thereby inviting analysis based on group dynamics. It shows the temporal texture of the conflict to be far from smooth, with a power spectrum that closely resembles that of other, better understood, complex systems. The distribution of incident sizes within the data seems to fall into two distinct sets, one of which, corresponding to "regular" conflict, is Zipf distributed, the other of which includes acts of genocide and is distributed differently. This difference may indicate that that agents of the state were proceeding under different types of orders. These results provide an empirical benchmark for the modeling of civil violence and may have implications for conflict prevention, peace keeping, and the post-conflict analysis of command structures.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Central America, Guatemala
  • Author: Christopher D. Carroll
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Since the foundational work of Keynes (1936), macroeconomists have emphasized the importance of agents' expectations in determining macroeconomic outcomes. Yet in recent decades macroeconomists have devoted almost no effort to modeling actual empirical expectations data, instead assuming all agents' expectations are 'rational.' This paper takes up the challenge of modeling empirical household expectations data, and shows that a simple, standard model from epidemiology does a remarkably good job of explaining the deviations of household inflation and unemployment expectations from the 'rational expectations' benchmark. Furthermore, a microfoundations or 'agent-based' version of the model may be able to explain, in a way that still permits aggregation, stark rejections of the pure rational expectations framework like Souleles's (2002) finding that members of different demographic groups have sharply different predictions for macroeconomic aggregates like the inflation rate.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Yann Bramoulle
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: I investigate complementarity games played on graphs, which model negative externalities embedded in structures of interaction. On the complete graph, the traditional economic analysis applies: the number of agents playing one strategy is proportional to its payoff. I show that, in general and contrary to coordination games, the structure crucially influences the equilibria. On an important class of graphs, called bipartite graphs, the equilibria do not depend on strategies' payoffs. On certain highly asymmetric graphs, an increase in the payoff of a strategy even decreases the number of agents playing this strategy. In most cases, equilibria do not maximize welfare.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Jasmina Arifovic, Paul Masson
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: A model of a portfolio allocation between mature and emerging markets is simulated with heterogeneous expectations, imitation, and experimentation. Solutions produce periodic crises. The predictions of the model are compared to a representative-agent, rational expectations model with multiple equilibria.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Martin Ross, Robert Shackleton, Peter Wilcoxen, Warwick J. McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: We use an econometrically estimated multi-region, multi-sector general equilibrium model of the world economy to examine the effects of the tradable emissions permit system proposed in the 1997 Kyoto protocol, under various assumptions about that extent of international permit trading. We focus, in particular, on the effects of the system on international trade and capital flows. Our results suggest that consideration of these flows significantly affects estimates of the domestic effects of the emissions mitigation policy, compared with analyses that ignore international capital flows.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Warwick McKibbin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The economies of South East Asia and Korea have been shaken by a financial and economic crisis that has enveloped the region since mid 1997. There are competing explanations for the cause of the crisis however most commentators would agree that a major shock that impacted on the countries has been a dramatic increase in the perceived risks of investing in these economies. This paper explores the impact of a re-evaluation of the risk in the Asian economies focussing on the differential real consequences of a temporary versus more permanent rise in risk. It contributes to our understanding of the possible consequences of the Asia crisis by applying a global simulation model that captures both the flow of goods as well as international capital flows between countries. The real impacts on the Asian economies of a rise in risk perceptions in the model are large and consistent with observed adjustment. However the spillovers to the rest of the world are relatively small because the loss in export demand that accompanies the crisis in Asia is offset by a fall in long term interest rates as capital flows out of Asia into the non-Asian OECD economies. Thus strong domestic demand in economies such as the US induced by the general equilibrium effects of the reallocation of financial capital can more than offset the consequences of lower export growth. The analysis also highlights the impacts on global trade balances reflecting the movements of global capital and points to both potential problems and lesson for policymakers over the coming years.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia