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  • Author: G.B. Madison
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University
  • Abstract: Globalization is a multifaceted phenomenon. In this paper I seek to discern some of the challenges it poses, as well as some of the opportunities it offers. To this end, attention is focused on three major aspects of globalization: the economic, the cultural, and the political. Particular consideration is given to the political-economic lessons to be learned from the recent East Asian financial (and economic) crisis; the homogenizing and civilizing ramifications of globalization in the realm of culture; and the relation between economic globalization, the threat it poses to the traditional notion of national sovereignty, and the prospects for the development of civil society, the rule of law, and democratic governance. The paper concludes by arguing that, as a result of the emerging global economy, we are witnessing the emergence of a new form of capitalism, qualitatively different from both 19th-century laissez-faire capitalism and 20th-century “managed” capitalism.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: George Galster
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: As we approach the 21st century, the public seems increasingly disenchanted with the record of government, and less and less inclined to believe in the value of empirical analysis as a guide to action. Evidence of the loss of confidence in the public sector's ability to operate effectively and efficiently is found in opinion polls, falling rates of electoral participation, and the rising influence of "anti-government" politicians. In such an environment, it is useful to reflect on the historical role that applied social science has played in the public sector and the role it might play in the future.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffrey S. Passel, Rebecca L. Clark
  • Publication Date: 04-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: This report provides essential demographic and economic information on legal immigrants residing in New York State and addresses significant shortcomings in the existing data for immigrants and in analyses of fiscal impacts of legal immigrants. It focuses on four major issues: the size of the legal immigrant populations; the characteristics of legal status groups, including both legal and undocumented populations; the incomes and taxes paid by immigrant populations and natives; and the economic adaptation of immigrants and their descendants.
  • Topic: Government, International Law, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Author: Leighton Ku, Bethany Kessler
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: This work was conducted under Subtask 2.2.12 of HHS Contract HHS-100-94-1009. Many constructive comments were provided by staff of the Department of Health and Human Services, including Linda Sanches, David Nielsen, Penelope Pine and Bob Tomlinson. We gratefully acknowledge data and advice made available by Ron North and Roger Buchanan of the Health Care Financing Administration and Charles Scott of the Social Security Administration. Many colleagues at the Urban Institute offered useful advice or data, including Brian Bruen, Rebecca Clark, Teresa Coughlin, Linda Giannarelli, Jeff Passel, Karen Tumlin and Wendy Zimmerman. All opinions expressed are the authors' and should not be interpreted as opinions of the Urban Institute or the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Topic: Government, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matti Pohjola
  • Publication Date: 11-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is substantial evidence that new information technologies are in many ways transforming the operations of modern economies. More than half of employees use a computer at work in the most advanced industrial countries. About 10 per cent of the value of all private investment in fixed non-residential capital is devoted to computers and peripheral equipment in the United States and some other economies. This share goes up to 25 per cent when investment in information processing equipment is included. Nevertheless, all spending on information technology, including hardware, software and services, does not amount to more than 3-4 per cent of nominal GDP in these countries. The share is, however, increasing rapidly, indicating that a steady state has not yet been reached.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Francis Kramarz
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The rapid diffusion of computers has widely changed the consequences of computer use on the labour market. While at the beginning of the eighties knowledge of computers was an obvious advantage in a career, this same knowledge is now so commonplace that the inability to use these tools is widely seen in many industries as a professional handicap. In relation to such drastic transformations, changes in the North American wage structure during the eighties in favour of the better educated have been interpreted by many analysts as evidence of skill-biased technical change. Evidence outside the US, and in particular in Europe, seems to support the idea that similar transformations affected most other labour markets.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Reconstructing Africa's war damaged economies is an urgent task. This is especially so in a group of countries - Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique - which must also complete their economic and political transition from state socialism. Somalia, which shares their common history, must eventually be rebuilt. All of these countries must address their deep problems of underdevelopment and poverty. The challenges are therefore three-fold: to overcome underdevelopment, to make the transition from state socialism, and to reconstruct economies and societies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau
  • Author: Richard M. Auty
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 1960s the resource-rich developing economies have under-performed compared with the resource-deficient economies. This paper explains why and outlines the reforms that are required in order to achieve environmentally and socially sustainable resource-rich development. It argues that structural change in the resource-rich countries causes the tradeable sector to shrink vis-à-vis the nontradeables sector (that includes protected manufacturing) in a manner that is not sustainable. This adverse trend in the production structure is associated with policies to close the economy and create discretionary rents behind protective barriers that result in the cumulative misallocation of resources. The build-up of produced capital and skills is slower than in the successful resource-deficient countries. Overall, the inherently slower and less egalitarian economic growth trajectory of the resource-rich countries is intensified and the end result is usually a growth collapse. The collapse causes all forms of capital, including institutional, social and natural capital, to run down. Economic reform is therefore protracted and it may take in excess of one generation to restore sustainable rapid growth. The adverse features of resource-rich development tend to be more pronounced in the smaller countries. They are also heightened where the resource rents accrue mainly to the central government, as in the mineral economies and in the slow-reforming transition economies. Successful reform requires not only appropriate macro and micro policies, but also the construction of institutions to limit the scope for governments to misallocate resources. Part of the explanation for the superior performance of the resource-deficient countries is that their spartan endowment of natural capital acts as a constraint on government failure by placing a premium on the need to nurture scarce resources, including skills, institutions and social capital, and to achieve an efficient allocation of capital.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, International Political Economy
  • Author: Sergio Rebelo
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Starting from the celebrated neoclassical (Solow) model of economic growth, this paper discusses new ideas in growth theory focussing on how to make sustained growth feasible. It first reviews models that broadened the notion of capital to include human capital and the state of technology. These extensions of the neoclassical theory are not very satisfying at a descriptive level because productivity growth is associated with either human or physical capital accumulation in a way that does not interact with the invention of new technologies.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Jonathan Krueger
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international community is increasingly turning to the use of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to solve problems of global environmental degradation and transboundary pollution. One of the most important of these MEAs is the 1989 Basel Convention dealing with transboundary movements of hazardous waste. The Convention has been instrumental in helping to eliminate the dumping of industrialized countries' hazardous wastes on developing countries. However, the development of the regime has been slow and it is now tackling the more controversial issue of regulating 'recyclable' hazardous wastes. This briefing paper provides a short guide to the development and current status of the international effort to manage transboundary movements of hazardous wastes.
  • Topic: Environment, Globalization