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  • Author: David Deming
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs are a key contributor to economic growth and national competitiveness. Yet STEM workers are perceived to be in short supply. This paper shows that the “STEM shortage” phenomenon is explained by technological change, which introduces new job skills and makes old ones obsolete. We find that the initially high economic return to applied STEM degrees declines by more than 50 percent in the first decade of working life. This coincides with a rapid exit of college graduates from STEM occupations. Using detailed job vacancy data, we show that STEM jobs change especially quickly over time, leading to flatter age-earnings profiles as the skills of older cohorts became obsolete. Our findings highlight the importance of technology-specific skills in explaining life-cycle returns to education, and show that STEM jobs are the leading edge of technology diffusion in the labor market.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Dobbie
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We estimate the causal effects of parental incarceration on children’s short- and long-run outcomes using administrative data from Sweden. Our empirical strategy exploits exogenous variation in parental incarceration from the random assignment of criminal defendants to judges with different incarceration tendencies. We find that the incarceration of a parent in childhood leads to a significant increase in teen crime and significant decreases in educational attainment and adult employment. The effects are concentrated among children from the most disadvantaged families, where criminal convictions increase by 10 percentage points, high school graduation decreases by 25 percentage points, and employment at age 25 decreases by 29 percentage points. In contrast, there are no detectable effects among children from more advantaged families. These results suggest that the incarceration of parents with young children may significantly increase the intergenerational persistence of poverty and criminal behavior, even in affluent countries with extensive social safety nets.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Will Dobbie
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper tests for bias in consumer lending using administrative data from a high-cost lender in the United Kingdom. We motivate our analysis using a new principal-agent model of bias, which predicts that profits should be higher for the most illiquid loan applicants at the margin if loan examiners are biased. We identify the profitability of marginal applicants using the quasi-random assignment of loan examiners. Consistent with our model, we find significant bias against immigrant and older applicants when using the firm’s preferred measure of long-run profits, but not when using the short-run measure used to evaluate examiner performance. Keywords: Discrimination, Consumer Credit
  • Topic: Debt, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: James M Dorsey
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Much of the Middle East’s recent turmoil stems from internecine Middle Eastern rivalries spilling onto third country battlefields and Saudi and UAE-led efforts to roll back the achievements of the 2011 popular Arab revolts and pre-empt further uprisings. The recent successful toppling of ailing Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and months of anti-government demonstrations that have put Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir on the defensive suggest that the Saudi-UAE effort may be faltering.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Joseph Halevi
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: The paper highlights the position of German authorities, showing that they were quite lucid about the fundamental weaknesses inherent in a process that separated monetary from fiscal policies by giving priority to the centralization of the former. Instead of repeating the well known critiques levelled against the EMU – for which readers are referred to the unsurpassed treatment by Stiglitz, the essay highlights the splintering of Europe in the way in which it has unfolded during the 1990s and in the first decade of the present millennium. In particular the early economic and political origins of the terminal crisis of Italy are located between the late 1980s and the 1990s. France is shown to belong increasingly to the so-called European periphery by virtue of a weakening industrial structure and persistent balance of payments deficits. The paper argues that France regains its central role by political means and through its weight as an active nuclear military power centered on maintaining its imperial interests and posture especially in Africa. The first decade of the present millennium is portrayed as the period in which a distinct German economic area had been formed in the midst of Europe with a strong drive to the east with an increasingly powerful gravitational pull towards the People’s Republic of China.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Political Economy, History, Macroeconomics
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Kai Gehring, Lennart C. Kaplan, Melvin H.L. Wong
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: China’s development model challenges the approaches of traditional Western donors like the World Bank. We argue that both aim at stability, but differ in the norms propagated to achieve that. Using fixed effects and IV estimations, we analyze a broad range of subnational stability measures in Africa. Aid by both the WB and China does not increase outright conflict nor any type of citizen protest, on average. Both even reduce outright conflict by governments against civilians. Still, Chinese aid is associated with more government repression and an increased acceptance of authoritarian norms, while WB projects strengthen democratic values.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, Political Economy, World Bank, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Ana Karen Negrete-García
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the existence and nature of constraints prevailing among Mexican microenterprises. It provides inter‐temporal insights by relying on firm‐level data span‐ning from 1994 to 2012. A performance index is defined based on firm levels of capital stock and monthly profits, and is used to estimate the empirical probability of a business’s success. The predicted values are used to classify every microenterprise into one of three categories: upper, middle, or lower segment. Overall, the study provides evidence of con‐ strained productivity and capital misallocation. Specifically, middle‐segment firms exhibit entrepreneurial features and their average marginal returns are 15 percent. Because this segment faces mainly external constraints, cost‐effective interventions are plausible. Re‐garding the lower‐segment firms, it is estimated that their average monthly marginal re‐ turns are 30 per cent, compared to 1 per cent for the upper segment. It is also shown that, over time, the share that middle‐segment firms represent relative to all microenterprises increased from 16 to 22 percent. Lastly, the sources of variation in monthly profits among segments are explored using the Oaxaca‐Blinder decomposition method.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen, Mika Aaltola
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Finnish Institute for International Affairs
  • Abstract: Donald Trump’s first year as President has been marked by continuity in US security policy, a partial challenge to the global principles of free trade, and a sea change in commitments to the liberal international order. These reflect a view of the international system as a zero-sum competitive realm.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Theory, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maria Demertzis, Stavros Zenios
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Since the financial crisis, EU countries' economies have recovered to the point that they are exiting their adjustment programmes. Institutional stability mechanisms have been improved at the European level, with the promotion of the banking union and the establishment of a European Monetary Fund, for instance. However, the authors argue that such crisis contingencies should include markets in their risk-sharing, which would require better coordination with institutions.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Chinese economy rebounded more significantly than expected. There is now general anticipation that growth in 2018 will fall slightly compared with that of 2017, but that it will remain stable at 6.5 percent or above. However, there are some factors that could lead to downward pressure on investment and consumption in 2018
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Marilena Koppa
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article explores the role of Greece in the Balkans since the end of Communism and the impact of the sovereign debt crisis that followed. Since the beginning of the 1990s, while Greece failed to accomplish its vocation at the political level, at the level of the economy the country acted as an important regional actor. The article examines the dynamics of the Greek crisis on the Balkan economies and analyses the major challenges for Greece in this new reality. At the same times, it tries to identify the triple crisis faced currently by Greece: at the level of credibility and status, at the level of mediation between the region and the EU and, finally, at the level of the gradual peripherisation of the country.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Martyna Berenika Linartas
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program on Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region (trAndeS)
  • Abstract: Not only has been economic inequality on the rise, but also the research agenda on inequality has moved decisively from the fringes to the center of policy and academic interest. This new concern and concentration in respect to this topic, data records, and methodological approaches have given rise to a vast amount of literature. It is for this reason that I review the most important recent works engaging with the origins of economic inequality – a debate which remains highly controversial. The usual categorization to explain the different storytelling – “to be or not to be neoliberal” – seems inappropriate. In this review on “the rockstars of the realm” (Thomas Piketty, Anthony Atkinson, Branko Milanovic and Walter Scheidel), I argue that the question and reason behind different approaches is instead: politics or the economy, which is the master that defines the space for action? The gradually established allegory of “the mirrored hourglass of inequality” illustrates the salience of this cleavage.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Political Economy, Capitalism, Inequality, Neoliberalism, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joseph E. Aldy
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the choice between—and design of—CO2 cap-and-trade and tax policies through a political-economy lens. It draws from insights in economics and political economy to highlight important public policy principles and policy options in carbon-pricing policy design. The paper illustrates each of these insights with examples from cap-and-trade and tax-policy experiences. Revealed political preferences about carbon-pricing-policy design can, in practice, inform our understanding of how decision-makers weigh various policy principles, as well as policy objectives. The balance of the paper examines the following design choices: establishing and phasing-in policy targets; setting the point of compliance and scope of coverage; addressing uncertainties in emission and cost outcomes under carbon pricing; updating carbon-pricing targets over time; using revenue and other forms of economic value created by carbon pricing; mitigating adverse competitiveness impacts of pricing carbon; accounting for the existing, complex policy landscape in designing carbon pricing; and linking of carbon-pricing programs. The final section concludes with a discussion of policy implications and next steps for policy-relevant scholarship.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Climate Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chanchal Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper links the foreign economic engagement of India’s states with the literature on federalism, thereby contributing to an understanding of the political economy of FDI in‐flows in a parliamentary federal system. More specifically, it studies subnational governments’ international engagements to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and investigates whether the political affiliations of states’ chief ministers and parliamentarians determine the spatial distribution of FDI across the Indian states, correcting for the influence of per capita income, population density, urbanisation, infrastructure, policy regime, and human development. Although the central government plays no direct role in determining the state to which FDI goes, the centre–state relations in a federal structure play a role in creating perceptions about the relative political risk involved in different investment destinations. Employing multiple linear regressions to analyse time‐series (2000–2013) cross‐sectional (12 states) data using the panel procedure, the study finds that affiliated states attract relatively more FDI per capita in comparison to states ruled by opposition parties or coalition partners. However, some exceptions do result, primarily due to two phenomena: first, the presence of a strong state leadership and, second, the presence of a significant share of members of parliament belonging to the prime minister’s party in the non‐affiliated states. Further, states ruled by outside supporters have been most successful in attracting FDI inflows during the coalition period.  
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ali Enami, Nora Lustig, Rodrigo Aranda
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical foundation for analyzing the redistributive effect of taxes and transfers for the case in which the ranking of individuals by pre-fiscal income remains unchanged. We show that in a world with more than a single fiscal instrument, the simple rule that progressive taxes or transfers are always equalizing not necessarily holds, and offer alternative rules that survive a theoretical scrutiny. In particular, we show that the sign of the marginal contribution unambiguously predicts whether a tax or a transfer is equalizing or not.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kristin McKie
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since presidential term limits were (re)adopted into many constitutions during the third wave of democratization, 207 presidents across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have reached the end of their terms in office. Of these, 30% have attempted to contravene term limits whereas 70% have stepped down in compliance with tenure rules. Furthermore, of the presidents who have attempted to alter tenure restrictions, some have succeeded in fully abolishing term limits, others have only managed a one-term extension, while a minority have failed in their bids to secure any additional terms in office. What explains these divergent trajectories? On the basis of a series of statistical analyses, I argue that trends in electoral competition over time are the best predictor of the range of term limit contravention outcomes across the board, with the least competitive elections permitting full term limit abolition and the most competitive elections saving off attempts at altering executive tenure rules. Furthermore, results show that failed contravention attempts are true borderline cases, rather than instances gross miscalculations of success by the president and her party, in that they feature less competitive elections than non-attempt cases but more competitive elections than successful contravention cases. These findings suggest a linkage between political uncertainty and constitutional stability more generally.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Steve Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Transparency International
  • Abstract: It is well established that companies based in the UK’s Overseas Territories (OTs) and Crown Dependencies are widely used in money laundering and grand corruption cases.1 The absence of any public information about them allows corrupt beneficial owners to buy luxury goods and property with anonymity and enjoy their ill-gotten gains with impunity. Journalists, citizen investigators and businesses looking to find out who’s behind these anonymous corporate entities hit a brick wall whenever they encounter them, and rely almost entirely on periodic leaks like the Panama Papers to unveil who really owns them.2 Their use is so problematic that the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has openly cited their opacity as a strategic risk to the UK.3
  • Topic: Corruption, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephen L. Magiera
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Foreign investors can lodge a complaint against a host country for alleged treaty violations under the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions of bilateral investment treaties (BITs). The complaints are arbitrated internationally outside the host country's domestic court, sometimes involve claims exceeding US$1 billion, and give rise to significant financial risk of international arbitration for host countries. Because of this, Indonesia has recently cancelled many of its BITs. But at the same time, Indonesia has agreed to ISDS under the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) and ASEAN's five agreements with Dialogue Partners. Furthermore, President Joko Widodo has expressed strong interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which contains provisions for ISDS. ASEAN's Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will also provide for ISDS. This note reviews the status of Indonesia's international obligations with respect to ISDS, evaluates some of the benefits and costs of ISDS, and reviews the extent to which Indonesia would be undertaking new ISDS obligations under TPP. The note concludes with a discussion of ways that Indonesia can reduce the risk of international arbitration through domestic regulatory reforms.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas, Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Integrated capital markets facilitate risk sharing across countries. Lower home bias in financial investments is an indicator of risk sharing. We highlight that existing indicators of equity home bias in the literature suffer from incomplete coverage because they consider only listed equities. We also consider unlisted equites and show that equity home bias is much higher than previous studies perceived. We also analyse home bias in debt securities holdings, and euro-area bias. We conclude that European Union membership may foster financial integration and reduce information barriers, which sometimes limit cross-country diversification. We calculate home bias indicators for the aggregate of the euro area as if the euro area was a single country and report remarkable similarity between the euro area and the United States in terms of equity home bias, while there is a higher level of debt home bias in the United States than in the euro area as a whole. We develop a new pension fund foreign investment restrictions index to control for the impact of prudential regulations on the ability of institutional investors to diversify geographically across borders. Our panel regression estimates for 25 advanced and emerging countries in 2001-14 provide strong support for the hypothesis that the larger the assets managed by institutional investors (defined as pension funds, insurance companies and investment funds), the smaller the home bias and thereby the greater the scope for risk sharing.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Economic structure, Europe Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Yakov Ben-Haim, Maria Demertzis, Jan Willem Van Den End
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: This paper applies the info-gap approach to the unconventional monetary policy of the Eurosystem and so takes into account the fundamental uncertainty on inflation shocks and the transmission mechanism. The outcomes show that a more demanding monetary strategy, in terms of lower tolerance for output and inflation gaps, entails less robustness against uncertainty, particularly if financial variables are taken into account. Augmenting the Taylor rule with a financial variable leads to a smaller loss of robustness than taking into account the effect of financial imbalances on the economy. However, in some situations, the augmented model is more robust than the baseline model. A conclusion from our framework is that including financial imbalances in the monetary policy objective does not necessarily increase policy robustness, and may even decrease it
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe