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  • Author: Adnan Vatansever
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia, the world's largest oil producer, is vigorously promoting the development of new outlets for oil exports. While the recent launch of a long-awaited cross-border oil pipeline between Russia and China has received most of the publicity, it is a part of a much larger Russian initiative aimed at developing new oil export infrastructure in almost every possible direction: Asia, the Baltic Sea region, the Black Sea region, and the Arctic. This export strategy will have considerable policy and economic implications for Eastern and Central Europe and even the United States.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Markets, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Tobias Schulze-Cleven, Henry Farrell
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: What keeps US labor market institutions from more effectively helping the nation cope with the current economic crisis and secure its future prosperity? What is the scope for politically feasible innovation in US labor market policy? These are crucial policy questions. As a result of the global financial crisis, the US unemployment rate climbed into double digits and has remained higher than in many European countries. The US is experiencing the highest level of unemployment for a generation and the highest rate of long-term unemployment for more than half a century. American families are suffering from financial hardship without any fault of their own, and many of the currently unemployed will find it hard to re-enter the workforce during the recovery. Nor is the government easily able to use current programs to help those seeking work. Even though policymakers have launched new initiatives during the past year, the US remains almost uniquely weak among advanced industrialized democracies in its lack of policy programs to support the populace in successfully engaging with the labor market.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Qiong Zhang
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Many researchers have concluded that longer life expectancies prompt increased investment in education, as a prolonged labor supply raises the rate of return on education. Besides explaining the empirical evidence behind this conclusion (at an absolute level), there is another issue to be discussed: does time spent in studying and working increase proportionally with higher longevity? Building on an extended life-cycle model with an assumption on a more realistic distribution of life cycle mortality rates, this article considers dynamic effects of prolonging longevity on economic development by directly introducing changes in longevity into the economy, which is more preferable than comparative static analysis that relies on changes in relevant parameters. It shows that prolonged life expectancy will cause individuals to increase their time in education but may not warrant rises in labor input. Later we show that higher improvement rate of longevity will also promote economic growth, even we exclude the mechanism of human capital formation, and only consider growth effects of higher improvement rate of life expectancy from physical capital investment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Health, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Dan Glickman (Co-Chair), M.S. Swaminathan (Co-Chair)
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: In September 2009, the United States announced a new course in its policy toward Burma following a seven-month review undertaken by the Barack Obama administration. Recognizing that decades of pursuing policies of isolation and sanctions had done little to influence change among Burma's military leaders, the United States introduced a policy of “pragmatic engagement.” Under this new policy, the United States will maintain its sanctions on Burma while simultaneously undertaking direct dialogue with senior leaders of the Burmese regime. Dialogue, according to the United States, will “supplement, rather than replace,” decades of U.S. sanctions policy. These talks have already begun, and the United States has indicated that any improvement in relations between the two countries is possible only when Burma's military regime enacts meaningful and concrete reforms in the country, particularly in the areas of democracy and human rights.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Burma, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Alejandro Foxley
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: While middle-income countries have pursued regional trade agreements since the 1960s, these ties are becoming more important as the global economic crisis curtails demand from the United States and other major markets. With the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks stalled, regional trade agreements (RTAs) offer an alternative approach to increase trade, spur stronger economic growth, and lower unemployment rates in participating countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Arctic is emerging as the world's next hot spot for oil and gas development. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the Arctic seabed could contain 20 percent of the world's oil and gas resources and Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources says the Arctic territory claimed by Russia could be home to twice the volume of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. While accessing those reserves once seemed impossible, the melting ice cap now makes it more feasible and opens new shipping lanes for international trade. Countries around the world—particularly Russia—have noticed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As he prepares to visit India in November, President Obama faces criticism that his administration has done too little to enhance U.S.–Indian relations. Pundits of this persuasion in Washington and New Delhi complain that Obama\'s team has tried too hard to cooperate with China in addressing regional and global challenges and has not done enough to bolster India.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, India, Asia, New Delhi
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked a meltdown of the global financial system, we are at a crucial point that calls for us to step back and examine our progress in the effort to redesign the rules governing global financial markets. The immediacy of the crisis has passed, allowing for clearer analysis of the manifold causes and an evaluation of how the reforms that have been put in place match up with those causes. At the same time, the urgency of the process has not yet entirely dissipated and it is not too late to fill in any holes or to resolve conflicts created by differing approaches around the world.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Steven Dunaway
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The current economic and financial crisis has brought about a significant change in global economic governance as the international forum for discussions on the crisis has shifted from the small group of advanced countries in the Group of Seven (G7) to the Group of Twenty (G20), a broader group including important emerging market countries. The G20 summit held in Washington, DC, on November 15, 2008, dealt with the immediate concerns fostered by the crisis and focused on both macroeconomic policy actions needed to support global growth and ideas for implementing financial market reforms. Follow-up G20 summits are expected, starting with a gathering in the United Kingdom in April 2009. However, for these discussions to have a substantial impact, the agenda will have to be broadened beyond economic stimulus and financial market regulation. If not, global policymakers will miss a critical chance to make the world economy and financial markets more stable, as then U.S. treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. pointed out: If we only address particular regulatory issues—as critical as they are—without addressing the global imbalances that fueled recent excesses, we will have missed an opportunity to dramatically improve the foundation for global markets and economic vitality going forward. The pressure from global imbalances will simply build up again until it finds another outlet.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Information about prices and quantities of assets lies at the heart of well-functioning capital markets. In the current financial crisis, it has become clear that many important actors-both firms and regulatory agencies-have not had sufficient information. Distributed by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies, this Working Paper proposes a new regulatory regime for gathering and disseminating financial market information. The authors argue that government regulators need a new infrastructure to collect and analyze adequate information from large (systemically important) financial institutions. This new information framework would bolster the government's ability to foresee, contain, and, ideally, prevent disruptions to the overall financial services industry.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Laurie A. Garrett
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Though the United States of America faces its toughest budgetary and economic challenges since the Great Depression, it cannot afford to eliminate, or even reduce, its foreign assistance spending. For clear reasons of political influence, national security, global stability, and humanitarian concern the United States must, at a minimum, stay the course in its commitments to global health and development, as well as basic humanitarian relief. The Bush administration sought not only to increase some aspects of foreign assistance, targeting key countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) and specific health targets, such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President's Malaria Initiative, but also executed an array of programmatic and structural changes in U.S. aid efforts. By 2008, it was obvious to most participants and observers that too many agencies were engaged in foreign assistance, and that programs lacked coherence and strategy. Well before the financial crisis of fall 20 08, there was a strong bipartisan call for foreign assistance reform, allowing greater efficiency and credibility to U.S. efforts, enhancing engagement in multilateral institutions and programs, and improving institutional relations between U.S. agencies and their partners, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), recipient governments, corporate and business sector stakeholders, faith-based organizations (FBOs), academic-based implementers and researchers, foundations and private donors, United Nations (UN) agencies, and other donor nations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, Development, Economics, Health, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Brad W. Setser, Arpana Pandey
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: China reported $1.95 trillion in foreign exchange reserves at the end of 2008. This is by far the largest stockpile of foreign exchange in the world: China holds roughly two times more reserves than Japan, and four times more than either Russia or Saudi Arabia. Moreover, China's true foreign port- folio exceeds its disclosed foreign exchange reserves. At the end of December, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE)—part of the People's Bank of China (PBoC) managed close to $2.1 trillion: $1.95 trillion in formal reserves and between $108 and $158 billion in “other foreign assets.” China's state banks and the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China's sovereign wealth fund, together manage another $250 billion or so. This puts China's total holdings of foreign assets at over $2.3 trillion. That is over 50 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), or roughly $2,000 per Chinese inhabitant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Israel, Asia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, C. Christine Fair
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: More than seven years after U.S. forces entered Afghanistan, important gains made in bringing stability and democracy to Afghanistan are imperiled. While there have been some positive developments in such areas as economic growth, the Taliban and other insurgent groups have gained some ground in the country and in neighboring Pakistan, the drug trade remains a significant problem, and corruption has worsened in the Afghan government. According to United Nations data, insurgent incidents have increased every year since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban regime. The situation in parts of Afghanistan's south and east is particularly concerning because of the twin menace of insurgent and criminal activity. Despite these challenges, the insurgency remains deeply fractured among a range of groups, and most have little support among the Afghan population. This presents an opportunity for Afghans and the international community to turn the situation around.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Development, Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Kevin A. Hassett
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the empirical literature on countercyclical policy. It finds that three types of countercyclical policies have been studied in the literature: built in stabilizers, temporary policy changes, and more permanent policy changes. The literature is decidedly mixed on the effectiveness of temporary changes, but more hopeful concerning the other two.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert McMahon
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Interview with Michael Chertoff, Former Homeland Security Secretary, on how immigration reforms are essential to normalize labor flows. The global economic crisis has triggered calls in some U.S. policy circles for tightening immigration rules to prevent non-Americans from competing for scarce jobs. Yet despite conditions, lawmakers should be preparing changes to immigration policy in anticipation of the country's economic revival, says former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who had jurisdiction over immigration issues. "We are going to need to have some workers coming from other parts of the world to do the jobs that Americans will not be willing to do," Chertoff said. In addition, he said, U.S. officials should increase contacts with Mexican authorities to work out a system for rationalizing the legal flow of migrant workers into the United States. He also stressed that tough enforcement of immigration laws, at the workplace and border, must be at the core of comprehensive reforms.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Mohsin S. Khan
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The creation of a monetary union has been the primary objective of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members since the early 1980s. Significant progress has already been made in regional economic integration: The GCC countries have largely unrestricted intraregional mobility of goods, labor, and capital; regulation of the banking sector is being harmonized; and in 2008 the countries established a common market. Further, most of the convergence criteria established for entry into a monetary union have already been achieved. In establishing a monetary union, however, the GCC countries must decide on the exchange rate regime for the single currency. The countries' use of a US dollar peg as an external anchor for monetary policy has so far served them well, but rising inflation and differing economic cycles from the United States in recent years have raised the question of whether the dollar peg remains the best policy.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama, former U.S. Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, and others propose a new government agency that would evaluate the relative effectiveness of medical treatments. The need for “comparative-effectiveness research” is great. Evidence suggests Americans spend $700 billion annually on medical care that provides no value. Yet patients, providers, and purchasers typically lack the necessary information to distinguish between high- and low-value services.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Health, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John H. Cochrane
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: None of us has health insurance, really. If you develop a long-term condition such as heart disease or cancer, and if you then lose your job or are divorced, you can lose your health insurance. You now have a preexisting condition, and insurance will be enormously expensive—if it's available at all. Free markets can solve this problem, and provide life-long, portable health security, while enhancing consumer choice and competition. “Heath-status insurance” is the key. If you are diagnosed with a long-term, expensive condition, a health-status insurance policy will give you the resources to pay higher medical insurance premiums. Health-status insurance covers the risk of premium reclassification, just as medical insurance covers the risk of medical expenses. With health-status insurance, you can always obtain medical insurance, no matter how sick you get, with no change in out-of-pocket costs.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Markets, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This Policy Analysis explains the antecedents of the current global financial crisis and critically examines the reasoning behind the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve's actions to prop up the financial sector. It argues that recovery from the financial crisis is likely to be slow with or without the government's bailout actions. An oil price spike and a wealth shock in housing initiated the financial crisis. Declines in stock values are intensifying that shock, threatening to deepen the current recession as U.S. consumers and investors cut their expenditures. An offsetting wealth injection from additional risk-bearing investors could initiate a quicker recovery. Thus, supporters of government intervention justify the bailout's debt-financed fund injections—in essence, they want to compel future taxpayers to join the group of today's risk bearing investors.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Vern McKinley, Gary Gegenheimer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: A financial-institution bailout involves government intervention through a transaction or forbearance targeted to a financial institution or group of financial institutions. The action is preemptive as the financial institution does not fail and go out of business, but remains a going concern, benefiting creditors, shareholders, or counterparties. In the absence of a bailout, the financial institution would either be forced to go through receivership or bankruptcy in the prescribed legal form, or have its role in financial intermediation disrupted.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel S. Hamilton, Joseph P. Quinlan
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: After a five-year boom in prosperity, the transatlantic economy has fallen into what could be perhaps its deepest recession since World War II. Although the U.S. was the epicenter of the financial crisis, many European banks have exposure to U.S. subprime loans and embraced the risky lending practices of their American counterparts. The financial crisis and attendant recession underscore the deep integration of the transatlantic economy. Notions of “decoupling” are mistaken and are likely to lead to serious policy errors. Never before have Europeans and Americans had a greater stake in each other's economic success. Each has a substantial interest in the other's ability to weather current difficulties and to emerge in sound shape from the crisis.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr, Philip D. Zelikow
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Stephen C. Freidheim Symposium on Global Economics Transcript: Joseph Nye, Philip Zelikow, Sebastian Mallaby, and Richard Medley discuss the global consequences of the financial crisis This session was part of the Stephen C. Freidheim Symposium on Global Economics: Financial Turbulence and U.S. Power, which was made possible through the generous support of Stephen C. Freidheim.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Globalization, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Scott G. Borgerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea—the instrument that created the overarching governance framework for nearly three-quarters of the earth's surface and what lies above and beneath it—has been signed and ratified by 156 countries and the European Community, but not by the United States. The Law of the Sea Convention, with annexes (hereafter in this report referred to as the “convention”), and the 1994 agreement on its implementation have been in force for more than a decade, but while the United States treats most parts of the convention as customary international law, it remains among only a handful of countries—and one of an even smaller number with coastlines, including Syria, North Korea, and Iran—to have signed but not yet acceded to the treaty.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Law, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Maritime Commerce
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, Syria
  • Author: Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: What alternatives to rational choice theory do exist to explain economic phenomena? I argue that American pragmatism presents a viable alternative for the explanation of key economic incidences. First I illustrate the foundations of pragmatism using three problems regularly encountered in action theory. Then I show how innovation, institutional change, price formation and actors' preferences can be analyzed based on pragmatist premises. I conclude by reflecting on why pragmatism has found so little recognition in economics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Political Economy, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Brad W. Setser, Arpana Pandey
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This paper was originally published in January 2009. The May update incorporates quarter one 2009 data on China's foreign reserves, the Treasury International Capital (TIC) capital flows data for December, January, and February, and the results of the June 2008 survey of foreign portfolio investment in the United States. The June 2008 survey indicated that China bought fewer Treasury bonds and more equities than the authors estimated in the January paper.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The last 18 months have dealt a devastating blow to Americans' sense of financial security. Few have been untouched by the financial crisis. For many, wealth accumulated over years of saving and investing has disappeared almost overnight. For many more, the economic crisis has imperiled their jobs, their ability to provide for their families, and their optimism about the future.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Matthew Frank, Jenna Goodward, Sarah Ladislaw, Kate Zyla
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While natural gas can play a critical role during the transition to a secure, low-carbon economy, there are both climate and energy security risks associated with a dramatic shift to natural gas. This paper explores the current role of natural gas in the United States' energy mix, reasons that climate change and energy security policies might increase demand for natural gas, and the implications of such a shift. It concludes with several recommendations for policymakers looking to craft a rational role for natural gas in the U.S. energy sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Julie A. Nelson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Economists are often called on to help address pressing problems of the day, yet many economists are uncomfortable about disclosing the values that they bring to this work. This essay explores how an inadequate understanding of the role of methodology, as related to ethics and human emotions of concern, underlies this reluctance and compromises the quality of economic advice. The tension between caring about the problems, on the one hand, and writing within the existing culture of the discipline, on the other, are illustrated with examples from U.S. policymaking, behavioral economics, and the economics of climate change and global poverty. Potential steps towards a more responsible, "strongly objective," and policy-useful economics are discussed.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeb Bush, Thomas McLarty
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States, a country shaped by generations of immigrants and their descendants, is badly mishandling its immigration policy, with serious consequences for its standing in the world. The urgency of this issue has led the Council on Foreign Relations to convene an Independent Task Force to deal with what is ordinarily regarded as a domestic policy matter. America's openness to and respect for immigrants has long been a foundation of its economic and military strength, and a vital tool in its diplomatic arsenal. With trade, technology, and travel continuing to shrink the world, the manner in which the United States handles immigration will be increasingly important to American foreign policy in the future. The Task Force believes that the continued failure to devise and implement a sound and sustainable immigration policy threatens to weaken America's economy, to jeopardize its diplomacy, and to imperil its national security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As its name suggests, the payoff on a credit default swap (CDS) depends on the default of a specific borrower, such as a corporation, or of a specific security, such as a bond. The value of these instruments is especially sensitive to the state of the overall economy. If the economy moves toward a recession, for example, the likelihood of defaults increases and the expected payoff on credit default swaps can rise quickly. The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTC C) estimates that in April 2009, the notional amount of credit default swaps outstanding was about $28 trillion. As a result of the overall size of the CDS market and the sensitivity of CDS payoffs to economic conditions, large exposures to credit default swaps can create substantial systemic risk.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Peggy Blumenthal(ed.), Robert Gutierrez(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: In order to explore the capacity of U.S. institutions to send more students abroad, IIE, in collaboration with the Forum on Education Abroad, administered an online snapshot survey in September 2008 among the IIE Network and Forum membership groups, two institutional membership associations that represent a large cohort of U.S. institutions deeply involved and committed to expanding study abroad and other international educational opportunities for their students. Typical members include: U.S. higher education institutions, study abroad program provider organizations, overseas institutions, and other organizations involved in international education.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Cooperation, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Arvind Subramanian, Aaditya Mattoo
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper documents an unusual and possibly significant phenomenon: the export of skills, embodied in goods, services or capital from poorer to richer countries. We first present a set of stylized facts. Using a measure which combines the sophistication of a country's exports with the average income level of destination countries, we show that the performance of a number of developing countries, notably China, Mexico and South Africa, matches that of much more advanced countries, such as Japan, Spain and USA. Creating a new combined dataset on FDI (covering greenfield investment as well as mergers and acquisitions) we show that flows of FDI to OECD countries from developing countries like Brazil, India, Malaysia and South Africa as a share of their GDP, are as large as flows from countries like Japan, Korea and the US. Then, taking the work of Hausmann et al (2007) as a point of departure, we suggest that it is not just the composition of exports but their destination that matters. In both cross-sectional and panel regressions, with a range of controls, we find that a measure of uphill flows of sophisticated goods is significantly associated with better growth performance. These results suggest the need for a deeper analysis of whether development benefits might derive not from deifying comparative advantage but from defying it.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Malaysia, India, South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Korea
  • Author: Daniel Gros, Cinzia Alcidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores three areas in which the experience of the Great Depression might be relevant today: monetary policy, fiscal policy and the systemic stability of the banking system. We confirm the consensus on monetary policy: deflation must be avoided. With regard to fiscal policy, the picture is less clear. We cannot confirm a widespread opinion according to which fiscal policy did not work because it was not tried. We find that fiscal policy went to the limit of what was possible within the confines of sustainability, as they existed then. Our investigation of the US banking system shows a surprising resilience of the sector: commercial banking operations (deposit-taking and lending) remained profitable even during the worst years. This suggests one policy conclusion: At present the authorities in both the US and Europe have little choice but to make up for the losses on 'legacy' assets and wait for banks to earn back their capital. But to prevent future crises of this type, one should make sure that losses from the investment banking arms cannot impair commercial banking operations. At least a partial separation of commercial and investment banking thus seems justified by the greater stability of commercial banking operations.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Esther Redmount, Arthur Snow, Ronald S. Warren Jr.
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Economics and Business, Colorado College
  • Abstract: We analyze the effects of a largely ignored 1885 legislative reform in Massachusetts requiring that firms provide workers the option of receiving weekly wage payments. Using an inter-temporal model of deferred compensation, we derive conditions on elasticities of labor supply that determine the effects of the reform on workers' effective wage and utility. We then examine empirically the effects of the reform, using weekly data on mill workers in Lowell. Given the implications of our theoretical analysis, the empirical findings of positive wage and reform elasticities imply that the switch to weekly payment increased workers' effective wage and well-being.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kristina M. Lybecker, Brendan Hannah
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Economics and Business, Colorado College
  • Abstract: The recent stagnation of electronic commerce highlights the need to understand contemporary online consumer behavior. This study incorporates current user demographics and emerging Internet activities to dynamically model the determinants of two key measurements of recent online shopping, a purchase within the last year and the novel dependent variable, percentage of income spent online in the last three months. Logistic regression is applied to a nationally representative 2007 survey of the U.S. online population. Determinants of a recent online purchase include, ownership of a credit card, an online payment account (PayPalTM), listening to podcasts, participating in online auctions, and for the first time, female gender. In a second regression, positive determinants for the percentage of income spent online include male gender, educational attainment, online auctions, instant messenging and online dating. Online spending increases with time online and appears to compete with other forms of online entertainment and social networking.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffrey G. Williamson, Timothy J. Hatton
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper documents a stylized fact not well appreciated in the literature. The Third World has been undergoing an emigration life cycle since the 1960s, and, except for Africa, emigration rates have been level or even declining since a peak in the late 1980s the early 1990s. The current economic crisis will serve only to accelerate those trends. The paper estimates the economic and demographic fundamentals driving these Third World emigration life cycles to the United States since 1970-the income gap between the US and the sending country, the education gap between the US and the sending country, the poverty trap, the size of the cohort at risk, and migrant stock dynamics. It then projects the life cycle up to 2024. The projections imply that pressure on Third World emigration over the next two decades will not increase. It also suggests that future US immigrants will be blacker and fewer will speak Spanish.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Migration, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Marcus Alexander, Matthew Harding, Carlos Lamarche
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Does development lead to the establishment of more democratic institutions? The key to the puzzle, we argue, is the previously unrecognized fact that based on quantitative regime scores, countries over the past 50 years have clustered into two separate, very distinct, yet equally-common stages of political development—authoritarian states with low levels of freedom on one side an d democracies with liberal institutions on the other side of a bimodal distribution of political regimes. We develop a new empirical strategy—exploiting exogenous world economic factors and introducing new panel data estimators—that allows for the first time to estimate the effects of development as well as unobserved country effects in driving democracy at these different stages of political development. We find that income and education have the least effect on democracy when authoritarian regimes are consolidated and that only country effects, possibly accounting for institutional legacies, can lead to political development. Ironically, it is in highly democratic and wealthiest of nations that income and education start to play a role; however greater wealth and better educated citizenry can both help and hurt democracy depending again on what the country's institutional legacies are. Far from accepting the notion that much of the developing world is cursed by unchanging and poor long-run institutions, policy-makers should take note that with democratization we also see country-specific factors that in turn condition the difference income and education make for democracy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Jeremiah S. Pam
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: At this time of the U.S. Treasury's Department's extraordinary prominence in domestic affairs, it is possible to overlook the critical functions that the Treasury performs in U.S. international policy. This would be a significant oversight at any time, as Treasury has long made more international contributions, of greater importance to U.S. policy, than has often been widely understood. It is even more of an oversight in the post-9/11 international environment, which has presented new challenges that have sorely tested many of the United States' more well-known foreign policy and national security institutions.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Affairs, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Steven Dunaway
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The seeds of the current economic and financial crisis were sown by economic policies of the major countries that fostered the growth of global imbalances during the 2000s. Consequently, an essential element in any assessment of prospects for world economic recovery and the pace of future growth has to factor in exactly how these imbalances are likely to unwind—or fail to be resolved—in the period immediately ahead.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Martin S. Feldstein
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This paper comments on the experience of the U.S. economy in the 1930s, its lessons for managing the current economic downturn, and the relation of U.S. economic conditions to our future national security. Some of the conclusions are: (1) Although the current recession will be long and very damaging, it is not likely to deteriorate into conditions similar to the Depression of the 1930s. Policy makers now understand better than they did in the 1930s what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided. (2) The focus on domestic economic policies in the 1930s and the desire to remain militarily neutral delayed the major military buildup that eventually achieved the economic recovery. (3) A well-functioning system of bank lending is necessary for economic expansion. We have yet to achieve that in the current situation. (4) Raising taxes, even future taxes, can depress economic activity. The administration's budget proposes to raise tax rates on higher income individuals, on dividends and capital gains, on corporate profits and on all consumers through the cap and trade system of implicit CO2 taxes. (5) Inappropriate trade policies and domestic policies that affect the exchange rate can hurt our allies, leading to conflicts that spill over from economics to impair national security cooperation. Reducing long-term U.S. fiscal deficits would reduce the risk of inflation and thereby reduce the fear among foreign investors that their dollar investments will lose their purchasing power. (6) The possibilities for domestic terrorism and of cyber attacks creates risks that did not exist in the 1930s or even in more recent decades. The scale and funding of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security is not consistent with these new risks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Everyone agrees that the recent financial crisis started with the deflation of the housing bubble. But what caused the bubble? Answering this question is important both for identifying the best short-term policies and for fixing the credit crisis, as well as for developing long-term policies aimed at preventing another crisis in the future.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, California, Georgia
  • Author: Jagadeesh Gokhale, Peter Van Doren
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Many commentators have argued that if the Federal Reserve had followed a stricter monetary policy earlier this decade when the housing bubble was forming, and if Congress had not deregulated banking but had imposed tighter financial standards, the housing boom and bust—and the subsequent financial crisis and recession—would have been averted. In this paper, we investigate those claims and dispute them. We are skeptical that economists can detect bubbles in real time through technical means with any degree of unanimity. Even if they could, we doubt the Fed would have altered its policy in the early 21st century, and we suspect that political leaders would have exerted considerable pressure to maintain that policy. Concerning regulation, we find that the banking reform of the late 1990s had little effect on the housing boom and bust, and that the many reform ideas currently proposed would have done little or nothing to avert the crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael F. Cannon
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In March 2009, President Barack Obama said, “If there is a way of getting this done where we're driving down costs and people are getting health insurance at an affordable rate, and have choice of doctor, have flexibility in terms of their plans, and we could do that entirely through the market, I'd be happy to do it that way.” This paper explains how letting workers control their health care dollars and tearing down regulatory barriers to competition would control costs, expand choice, improve health care quality, and make health coverage more secure.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: The financial stress indicator is a composite index of a number of indicators including risk spreads, mortgage spreads, equity volatility, commercial paper and commercial loans outstanding and the spread of LIBOR rates over T-bill rates (the “Ted” spread). The stress indicator fell again last week, driven by a further narrowing of corporate bond spreads and lower equity volatility. These shifts offset a rise in 30-year mortgage spreads. Stress levels are now at their lowest levels since February 2008, and while still well above their long-term average have also dropped below the levels seen in previous periods of distress such as in the early 1990s and in 2001- 2003.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: The credit crunch that began in July 2007 intensified dramatically in September 2008, with a series of bank failures prompting rescues and effective nationalisation of major financial institutions in the US, the UK and the Eurozone. Despite massive intervention, financial stress rose to new highs at the start of Q4 2008 as financial markets dried up, with treasury bond yields falling, interbank lending rates still high, emerging market spreads widening sharply and stock markets plunging further. Faced with financial sector meltdown, many governments have recapitalised banking sectors and guaranteed interbank loans and bank deposits to try to shore up confidence in the financial system. These moves have averted a meltdown, but the spotlight has moved onto the rapidly weakening real economy – both world growth and world trade are now expected to decline in 2009, making it the worst year since 1945.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: US mortgage foreclosures have risen to extraordinary heights in recent months, with the scale of the distress in the US mortgage market much greater than in the UK. Key factors behind this divergent performance include laxer underwriting standards in the US and the widespread existence of 'non-recourse' loans. The latter allow borrowers in negative equity to walk away from their mortgage debt and sap the incentive to remain current on 'underwater' loans. As a result, steep house price falls can generate a sharp rise in foreclosures even without high interest rates or unemployment. In the UK, by contrast, there are strong incentives for home owners to remain in their properties, even when in negative equity.As a result, the escalation from arrears to foreclosure in the UK is much more limited. This may head off very abrupt prices falls but could also mean a more drawn out process of adjustment in the housing market.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Since the credit crunch began in Q3 2007, there has been a dramatic slump in the prices of many financial assets. Global equity prices have dropped some 40-50% from their peaks in the major economies and by as much as 70% in some emerging markets. Many classes of other private sector securities have also seen sharp falls in value. Corporate bond spreads have exploded as defaults have soared, as have mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Currently, many classes of MBSs are trading at less than 10% of their par value, and even AAA-rated tranches are trading at as little of 25% of par.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxford Economics
  • Abstract: Steep drops in output have been recorded across the industrialised world and much of the emerging market world in recent months. Such has been the scale of these declines that there is now little doubt that the global economy is set for its worst year since the end of WWII, with world GDP forecast to fall almost 1½% (and more than 2% at 2000US$). Significant uncertainties nevertheless remain about the economic outlook, in particular about how deep and protracted the recession will prove to be and how rapid an eventual recovery can be expected. A key factor generating uncertainty is that the current recession has been sparked by and accompanied by a major financial crisis. Recessions of this sort are often more severe than 'standard' recessions, featuring deeper and more sustained drops in asset prices, and a weaker impact from policy interventions due to malfunctioning banking systems. Equity and house prices have continued to drop in the early part of 2009, and there looks to be a significant risk that this weakness will drag on for some time – the average duration of stock price declines in previous financial crises is more than three years and for house prices around six years. The financial sector also remains in a highly dysfunctional state. Although the credit tightening process is showing some signs of coming to an end, stress levels remain extremely elevated and risk appetite is low with banks stuck in 'balance sheet repair mode'. This process is unlikely to be complete for some time. Retrenchment has also become a priority for the corporate and household sectors. In the face of a plunge in final demand, firms have slashed investment and begun destocking. Worryingly, the destocking process could continue f or several quarters as the ratio of inventory to sales remains high. US households were net re payers of debt in the final quarter of 2008, and it seems unlikely that the appetite to take on more debt will recover quickly there or elsewhere in the face of steep increases in unemployment and large falls in household wealth. Taylor rule analysis suggests that the 'appropriate' short-term interest rate for the major economies has now turned negative, supporting the big shift to quantitative easing now under way. Eventually, this and other stimuli in the pipeline should produce a strong recovery. But the outlook for 2010 has weakened significantly in recent weeks and the risks remain skewed toward a more deflationary outcome than that envisaged by our baseline forecast.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Giovanni Grevi
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Everyone agrees the world is changing. The question is in which direction? This paper offers an original contribution to the debate on the future shape of the international system. Based on a diagnosis of current developments, it argues that many factors point to the emergence of an 'interpolar' world. Interpolarity can be defined as multipolarity in the age of interdependence. The redistribution of power at the global level, leading to a multipolar international system, and deepening interdependence are the two basic dimensions of the transition away from the post-Cold War world. All too often, however, they are treated as separate issues. The real challenge lies in finding a new synthesis between the shifting balance of power and the governance of interdependence.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Thomas J Trebat
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Latin American and Iberian Studies at Columbia University
  • Abstract: As the great global crisis eases its grasp, it is a time to reconsider relations between Brazil and the North, especially the United States and the European Union. While the world economy is still reeling, it is very possible that a new and more productive period in Brazil's relations with the US and Europe is possible. This positive outcome derives from numerous factors, most especially Brazil's “peaceful rise” to a more prominent global role and the arrival of the Obama administration whose promise of a new beginning in U.S. foreign policy has been greeted with such evident enthusiasm in Latin America.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Political Economy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Brazil, Latin America