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  • Author: Emily Erikson, Peter Bearman
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Drawing on a remarkable dataset compiled from ships' logs, journals, factory correspondence, ledgers, and reports that provide unusually precise information on each of the 4,572 voyages taken by English traders of the East India Company (hereafter EIC), we describe the EIC trade network over time, from 1601 to 1833. From structural images of voyages organized by shipping seasons, we map the (over time and space) emergence of dense, fully integrated, global trade networks: of globalization before globalization. We show that the integration of the world trade system under the aegis of the EIC was the unintended by-product of systematic individual malfeasance (private trading) on the part of ship captains seeking profit from internal Eastern trade.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Florencia Torche, Seymour Spillerman
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: This paper examines aspects of the replication of inequality across generations and attempts to assess the extent to which parental resources influence the life chances and living standards of adult children. We expect household wealth to be a critical matter, especially in a society in which there is a weak public safety net or in which the credit market is inefficient. In the former case, families need to self-insure--accumulate savings to smooth consumption expenditures over periods of income fluctuation, such as might result from illness or job loss. In the latter case, financial wealth is necessary in order to finance large expenditure items (e.g., a home, a new business) or to provide collateral in seeking a bank loan for such an expenditure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Peter Bearman, Christopher Weiss
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Seemingly endless tinkering and adjustment of the structure of education in the United States over the past century has led to the adoption of different school forms at different times. Currently the middle school is the dominant form of schooling for the middle years of education; however, the middle school is a relatively new form that replaced the junior high school, which itself replaced previous schooling forms. Despite the rhetoric of policymakers and practitioners, little research has considered what school forms work for what kinds of adolescents across what dimensions. In this article, we show that for both academic and non-academic outcomes, how school systems structure the transition from 8th to 9th grade makes almost no difference. Where differences appear, they are small and point to the benefits of school transitions for providing fresh starts to adolescents in socially difficult situations. The policy implications are correspondingly clear: the optimal school structure for any school district is the one that maximizes building space, reduces crowding, and achieves administrative rationality.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William McAllister
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Many social problems can be understood as “conceptual caseloads”, e.g., people in poverty, and actual programmatic caseloads are a major, specific concern for policymakers and public administrators. Thus, a crucial and fairly general concern is how caseloads—whether conceptual or programmatic—can be reduced. To address this concern, officials often fall back on politically or intuitively attractive ideas—preventing people from entering caseloads, for example. Failure to incorporate caseload dynamics, however, may mean prevention and other caseload reduction policies will deliver much less than promised, and may cause caseloads to grow. In this paper, we first show how caseload size depends only on the number of entrants to a caseload and the rate at which people leave a caseload. With this framework in mind, we then address two common, seemingly appropriate policy responses: preventing entrants and hastening leaving. However, we show how too little is now known about homeless prevention to pin high hopes on its utility and that some social welfare problems, like homelessness, may be too inhospitable for prevention's logic. We then explain how allocating resources to hasten leaving is not as straightforward as policymakers have assumed but rather must recognize caseload dynamics to avoid unintended growth. We conclude by explaining some limits and opportunities in using caseload dynamics for policymaking.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Author: Mary Clare Lennon, Robert L. Wagmiller, Philip M. Alberti, J. Lawrence Aber
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Recent research suggest that child well-being and subsequent status attainment are influenced not only by the overall magnitude of exposure to family economic disadvantage during childhood, but also by the age of exposure and significant changes in family economic circumstances. Unfortunately, traditional measures of children's economic deprivation – such as, permanent and transitory income, persistent or cumulative poverty, and the number and length of poverty spells – fail to differentiate between exposure to disadvantage at different stages in childhood and largely ignore how family economic circumstances are changing over time. In this paper we propose a new method for assessing economic disadvantage during childhood that captures both children's overall levels of exposure to economic disadvantage and their patterns of exposure. This new method, which takes advantage of recent advances in finite mixture modeling, uses a longitudinal latent class model to classify children into a limited number of groups with similar histories of exposure to family economic disadvantage. Using this new methodology, group membership can be related to both family background characteristics and achievement in childhood and early adulthood, making it possible both to assess how family characteristics affect patterns of exposure to disadvantage during childhood and directly test alternative theories about the effect of different patterns of exposure on achievement. In this paper the relationship between background factors – such as race, parental education, and family structure – and group membership is investigated, as is the association between group membership and achievement in early adulthood. The use of this technique is demonstrated using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Development, Economics
  • Author: Harrison C. White
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Varieties of quality competition across producers are extrapolated out of the two dual forms of perfect competition, oriented upstream and downstream. Only then are general, path-dependent solutions for market derived (which came first in the previous book of 2002). Attention is focused on advanced markets for high ratios of sensitivities between upstream and downstream relations of producers. Parameter identification and estimations identify impacts from substitutability with cross-stream markets as being major only for certain bands of sensitivity ratios, identified within the state space for production market contexts. Illustrative applications are sketched for strategic manipulations and investment decisions and trends in sectors.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Jennifer Hill
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University
  • Abstract: Matching based on estimated propensity scores (that is, the estimated conditional probability of being treated) has become an increasingly popular technique for causal inference over the past decade. By balancing observed covariates, propensity score methods reduce the risk of confounding causal processes. Estimation of propensity scores in the complete data case is generally straightforward since it uses standard methods (e.g. logistic regression or discriminant analysis) and relies on diagnostics that are relatively easy to calculate and interpret. Most studies, however, have missing data. This paper illustrates a principled approach to handling missing data when estimating propensity scores makes use of multiple imputation (MI). Placing the problem within the framework of the Rubin Causal Model makes the assumptions explicit by illustrating the interaction between the treatment assignment mechanism and the missing data mechanism. Several approaches for estimating propensity scores with incomplete data using MI are presented. Results demonstrating improved efficacy compared with existing methodology are discussed. These advantages include greater bias reduction and increased facility in model choice.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Education
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: The purpose of this memorandum is to ascertain whether the acts of violence and aggression in Darfur, Sudan meet the legal standard for genocide as set forth in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention). The memorandum concludes there is sufficient evidence to meet the legal requirements for a determination that genocide is occurring in Darfur, Sudan.
  • Topic: Crime, Genocide, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: David Grondin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Raoul Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Abstract: Hans Morgenthau once said that “the intellectual lives in a world that is both separate from and potentially intertwined with that of the politician. The two worlds are separate because they are oriented towards different ultimate values… truth threatens power, and power threatens truth” (Morgenthau, quoted in Hill and Beshoff, 1994: xi). For Christopher Hill and Pamela Beshoff, this means that, as international relations practitioners and theorists, “Like it or not, we are 'intellectuals in politics' and 'the study of international relations is not an innocent profession'”
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Diplomacy, National Security
  • Author: Anne Marie D'Aoust
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Raoul Dandurand Chair of Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Abstract: In Political Science, the discipline of IR has been widely regarded as an “American Science” ever since Stanley Hoffman published his renowned essay in 1977. This “American Science” is mainly dominated by a single theoretical approach – that of Neorealism – which relies primarily on the concept of historical recurrence to ground its arguments. Other “new” theoretical approaches which challenge this parochialism, namely feminism, constructivism and Critical Theory, remain outside the “official boundaries” of the field. These boundaries are largely set by the Neorealist agenda and its variations, which rarely diverge from an unquestioned central rationalist-empiricist theme. Thus, with respect to its methodological and epistemological stance, Neorealist theory implicitly views History as a vast field of objective data and primary sources ready to reveal their truth to the social scientist. To test and/or prove the validity of Neorealist theory in the field of International Relations, one must refer to historical data and confront theory with “straight facts”. What I propose to do here is to analyze the ways in which the Neorealist approach to International Relations makes use of history, and subsequently to consider some crucial epistomological and theoretical debates in the field of History that are ignored by Neorealists like Waltz.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: America