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  • Author: Daniel Shoag, Stan Veuger
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: We report three findings. First, using evidence from chain bankruptcies and data on 12 million to 18 million establishments per year, we show that large retailers produce significant positive spillovers. Second, local governments respond to the size of these externalities. When a town’s boundaries allow it to capture a larger share of retail spillovers, it is more likely to offer retail subsidies. Third, these subsidies partially crowd out private sector mechanisms that also subsidize large retailers, such as shopping malls. These facts provide powerful evidence of the Coase theorem at work and highlight a concern for local development policies even when externalities can be targeted.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>Brazil's economic malaise and corruption scandals present significant challenges to President Dilma Rousseff's ability to govern, just four months into her second four year term. Latin America's largest economy is rediscovering that stimulating growth and creating jobs requires controlling government spending, increasing trade, and attracting investment by adopting a host of free market reforms. The United States and Brazil should jump start efforts to improve their commercial and diplomatic relations to bolster economic development in a region crucial to both countries.</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>In US education, with all its rich human dynamics, what matters is not whether a reform is attempted, but rather how it is executed. The states, given their sufficient control over schools and colleges and their proximity to their communities, are in a far better position than the federal government to effectively execute policies. Although many education reform efforts have fallen flat over the years, there are promising initiatives on the horizon that state leaders would be well-advised to pursue. Governors and legislators are right to look for strategies that can provide the highest-quality education to the largest number of students. In pre-K, state leaders have a rare opportunity to build a system from the ground up; in K-12, they have the chance to remove barriers to give more freedom to teachers and parents; and in higher education, they have the opportunity to look beyond the existing system to create new, more affordable postsecondary options that allow more flexibility for students and innovation for course providers.</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>One of the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission was that Congress focus on the danger of weapons of mass destruction proliferating to terrorist groups. So in 2007 Congress created a Commission to study the danger and report on measures that could be taken to minimize it. I was asked to co-chair the Commission with Senator Bob Graham of Florida. There were a total of nine members on our bi-partisan Commission. Shortly after our Commission was formed, we met with Senator Harry Reid at his request. Senator Reid explained his interest in the subject of our work, and encouraged us to highlight clearly those aspects of the WMD terrorism threat which we believed were the most significant; he urged us in the strongest terms to tell us what we thought Congress most needed to know about the danger. We did so in a Report released at the end of 2008 called "World at Risk."</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>China's proposed counterterrorism law, which applies to all information technology (IT) companies operating in China, and US "legal-intercept" regulations, which govern all IT companies operating in the United States, are officially acknowledged frameworks to counter terrorist and criminal behavior. Despite the similarities in these regulations, President Obama has criticized China's law. The US must prepare to see practices that it has already adopted become prevalent elsewhere or be ready to modify US surveillance behaviors that US authorities do not want to see spreading around the globe.</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>Many adults without a college degree aspire to some higher credential, but most overestimate the cost of higher education, which could deter them from furthering their education. Many adults without a degree in our survey were uncertain as to the wage returns to different postsecondary pathways. Those who did offer estimates tend to see the bachelor's degree as the most valuable credential and certificates as the least valuable. Adults without a postsecondary degree do not always see the value in returning to school, and efforts to encourage education and training should clarify the benefits to various postsecondary pathways.</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>In April of 2015, AEIs Claude Barfield authored a preliminary paper entitled The Political Economy OF TTIP: The View from the United States. The paper was presented at UC Berkeleys conference, The Political Economy of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Origins, Evolution, and Implications, with the aim of providing a set of hypotheses regarding the immediate US trade agenda. The paper raises more questions than it answers, at a time when it is particularly challenging to render judgment on this agenda./p
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>Malicious Iranian cyber activity has increased significantly since the beginning of 2014. Data collected by AEI and the Norse Corporation indicate that attacks launched from Iranian Internet protocol (IP) addresses increased 128 percent between January 1, 2014, and mid-March 2015. The number of Norse sensors hit by Iranian IPs rose by 229 percent, while the number of distinct IPs used to execute these attacks rose by 508 percent. Iranian companies are renting and buying IT resources in the West, despite sanctions. Hundreds of thousands of domains registered to Iranian people or companies are hosted by companies in the US, Canada, and Europe as a result of Western failures to enforce IT sanctions and regulations governing technology transfers. Some of these resources are then used to conduct cyberattacks on America and its allies. The Islamic Republic is using networks within Iran to conduct sophisticated cyberattacks. Investigations have uncovered efforts launched by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Sharif University of Technology to infiltrate US systems. The technical nature of the attacks makes it more likely that Iran's cyber capabilities are expanding and could pose a risk to US critical infrastructure.</p>
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>For many years, we have reviewed polls about leading political figures, including Hillary Clinton. For this AEI Public Opinion Study, we have examined almost 5,000 questions asked about her and compiled views on Clinton as a first lady, senator, presidential candidate, and secretary of state. Polling data on Hillary Clinton include several long trends, including ratings of her favorability. The first such questions about her were asked in early 1992, when many people knew little about her. In Gallups trend, her favorable rating hit 51 percent in July 1992 after the Democratic convention. Gallup noted that the campaigns effort to improve her image had paid off. She did not receive a post-election bounce as Bill Clinton did, and Gallup reported that her favorable ratings had dipped slightly. Gallup noted that 26 percent of both men and women said they were worried that she would play too large a role in the administration. Forty percent in a November 1992 poll said she came closer to their own views than previous First Ladies, but 40 percent said she did not. Her marks went down in the 1994 to1996 period, hitting an all-time low of 43 percent in January 1996 (Gallup). During her Senate tenure, her national favorable ratings ranged from a low of 43 percent to a high of 58 percent. Her national favorable ratings when she served as Secretary of State were consistently high, though they have declined slightly since she resigned from office. Without a doubt, questions specific to the issues in the presidential race will emerge in the polling data as the race to 2016 heats up, and Americans views of Hillary Clinton will evolve as the presidential election season progresses. See the latest public opinion data on her in AEIs infographic and Public Opinion Study, Public Opinion on Hillary Clinton, 1992-2015./p
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>Do Americans feel less threatened by terrorism now than they did when President Obama took office? The April issue of AEI's Political Report compares public opinion on the George W. Bush and Obama administrations' handling of terrorism, assesses how much terrorism concerns Americans, and assesses Americans' opinions on how the United States should respond to the threat of ISIS. This issue also examines public opinion on taxes, and where slight shifts have begun to emerge in the polls.</p> <p>/p p/p
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>Chairman Johnson, Senator Carper, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to appear here today to discuss unauthorized immigration to the United States and guest worker programs. In the testimony that follows, I will first discuss why people become unauthorized immigrants. I will then discuss what we know about unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. labor market. At the end, I will discuss how future guest worker programs can affect immigration flows and the U.S. economy.</p>
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>The States of Change: Demographics and Democracy project is a collaboration supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation that brings together the Center for American Progress, the American Enterprise Institute, and demographer William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution. The projects goals are: To document and analyze the challenges to democracy posed by the rapid demographic evolution from the 1970s to 2060 To project the race-ethnic composition of every state to 2060, which has not been done for 20 years To promote a wide-ranging and bipartisan discussion of Americas demographic future and what it portends for the nations political parties and policy This report presents the first tranche of findings from this projectincluding detailed analyses on the nation as a whole and on every statewhich we hope will both inform and provoke discussion. We outline 10 broad trends from our findings that together suggest the scale of the transformation our country is living through and the scope of the challenges it will face in the future. These changes admit to a wide variety of interpretations, and as with any report as extensive as this one, it should not be surprising that there are some differences in interpretation among the participating institutions. We believe, however, that differing interpretations are to be welcomed and that they will be useful in stimulating discussion both within and outside our project on the implications of demographic change./p
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>In the 42 years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade (1973), pollsters have asked hundreds of questions about abortion. This AEI Special Poll Report, excerpted from our long AEI Public Opinion Study Attitudes About Abortion, covers some of the highlights.</p>
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: <p>Testimony of Thomas Donnelly, Co-Director, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies, American Enterprise Institute</p>
  • Author: Katherine Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Yemen is at a pivotal moment today, three years after the outbreak of popular protests, and the future of America's strategy against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is on the line. Yemen is in the midst of a political transition process that will eventually reform and decentralize the government. But the success of the effort is by no means assured. The reforms will not, in any case, address the deteriorating socioeconomic conditions that provide fertile ground for al Qaeda. Moreover, the central state, never fully able to exercise its sovereignty throughout the country, is weaker than it was before 2011. Opposition groups, which have turned to violence in the past, may still seek to form independent states of their own, potentially collapsing the fragile Yemeni state structure entirely. American interests are bound up in this process by the fact that AQAP is among the most virulent al Qaeda affiliates that poses a direct threat to the U.S. homeland. Syria, Iran, and other foreign and domestic policy issues are distracting the United States and its regional partners from sustained engagement in Yemen. Without international support, the country is much less likely to ride this transition process smoothly and our security interests will be severely harmed.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Reactions to the Chinese Communist Party's announcement of major economic reforms in November have ranged from unbridled optimism to skepticism about the party's ability to implement sweeping change. In fact, the reforms themselves are flawed in multiple ways-most are inauthentic, uncredible, or nonviable. However, the areas of land and finance offer more limited prospects for true reform. The primary means of judging reform progress should be progress in reducing excess capacity. The most likely outcome is that the party will claim success but the economy will slowly stagnate, harming China's partners.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Danielle Pletka, Frederick W. Kagan, J. Matthew McInnis
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A review of the soft-power strategies of both the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East and Afghanistan makes clear a disturbing fact: Tehran has a coherent, if sometimes ineffective strategy to advance its aims in the Middle East and around the world. The United States does not. This project began with two tour d'horizon reviews of Iranian activities throughout areas Iran has, by its actions, defined as its sphere of influence. From the Persian Gulf through the Levant and into neighboring Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic has consistently invested in soft- and hard-power activities designed not only to extend its own influence but also to limit both American and hostile Arab aims. And while the latter part of the Ahmadinejad administration saw waning rewards for Tehran's efforts-a result more of the growing Sunni-Shia divide in the Middle East than of changes in strategy-the continued existence of a coherent Iranian strategy to dominate or destabilize the region should not be ignored. This report, the culmination of a process of both examining Iranian actions and surveying American policy, policy responses, and soft-power strategies in the region, focuses on the US side of the equation. Despite the Obama administration's commitment to replace hard power with smart power, what the United States pursues in the Middle East is a set of incoherent, ineffective, and increasingly irrelevant policies.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Central Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Rubin, Ahmad Khalid Majidyar
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Shi'ism has a public relations problem, at least, in the United States. Most Americans formed their perception of Shi'ism not by reading its rich internal debates or exploring its diversity and cultural heritage, but rather by seeing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini lead chants of "Death to America" after the 1979 Iranian revolution and Iranian hostage takers scaling embassy walls and then parading blindfolded, abused diplomats on television. Less than four years later, Shi'ite operatives in Lebanon rammed a truck bomb into the headquarters of US Marines serving as peacekeepers in Beirut, killing 241 in an incident that propelled suicide terrorism to the forefront of the American conscience.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Iran's national security decision-making process is not remotely as opaque as it sometimes appears. The recent crisis in Iraq and the nuclear negotiations in Geneva have opened a fascinating window into the efforts of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to bring rival groups within his government together behind a single set of policies. He appears to have been remarkably successful in mediating tensions between President Hassan Rouhani and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps senior leaders. They have come together, at least for the moment, behind a coherent set of strategies for dealing with a number of thorny problems in Iraq, the nuclear negotiations, and even economic reforms. It remains to be seen if these accommodations will survive the current crisis, of course, but the success of Khamenei's efforts so far is impressive.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Governance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Mary Habeck
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Muslim-majority world. While there are many reasons for this failure, three key issues stand out: a poor definition of the enemy, an incorrect view of its objectives, and the adoption of a strategy that will not defeat the latest evolution of this adaptive organization. If the US understood al Qaeda as it is: the leadership and field army of an insurgency with worldwide linkages that hopes to impose its extremist version of shari'a , govern territory, and overthrow the leaders of every Muslim- majority country, the current national strategy for combating al Qaeda would not be confined to counter - terrorism and attrition, but would instead make counterinsurgency-without large numbers of American ground forces-its main technique for confronting and defeating the organization.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, America