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  • Author: Joshua Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper is about the potential of the Internet as a platform for international trade. A traditional understanding of the impact of the Internet on commerce is derived from the dot.com experience of the 1990s, where Internet companies such as Pets.com and Amazon sold goods online. Since then, the impact of the Internet on commerce has grown and changed. Certainly, the ability to sell goods online remains important. However, the key development is that the Internet is no longer only a digital storefront. Instead, the Internet as described in this working paper is a platform for businesses to sell to customers domestically and overseas, and is a business input that increases productivity and the ability of businesses to compete. Understanding the Internet as a platform for trade highlights its broad economic potential. It emphasizes how the commercial opportunities are no longer limited to Internet companies, but are now available for businesses in all sectors of the economy, from manufacturing to services. Moreover, the global nature of the Internet means that these opportunities are no longer limited to domestic markets, but are embraced wherever Internet access is available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Compiled by Brookings Institution experts, this chart is part of a series of issue indices to be published during the 2008 Presidential election cycle. The policy issues included in this series were chosen by Brookings staff and represent the most critical topics facing America's next President. Available voting records and statements vary based on time in office. For candidates who have not been a Member of Congress, public statements are noted when available.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Lael Brainard, David Lipton
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: From the vantage point of 2008, some of the most memorable initiatives of U.S. international economic leadership—the Paris and Louvre Accords, the support for Poland and Russia after the fall of communism, the Uruguay Round, and the Mexican Financing Loan—seem like quaint reminders of a simpler time. In the coming years, the exercise of international economic leadership will surely prove more complex than in the past. The very success of the American vision of a global spread of vibrant and competitive markets has created a huge, rapidly integrating private economy of trade and finance much less amenable to guidance, let alone control, by governments. Unlike in diplomacy and defense, where non state actors are growing in importance but still a side show, in inter- national economics, households, corporations, labor unions, and non-profits are now the dominant players in most parts of the world. While they respond to national laws and policies, their interests are varied and their operations often span borders.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Paris, Poland, Uruguay, Mexico
  • Author: Rachel McCulloch, Chad P. Bown
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The bilateral relationship with China has become a major focus of U.S. trade policy. This paper examines recent U.S. policy toward imports from China, highlighting important explicitly and implicitly discriminatory elements. Discriminatory restrictions on U.S. trade with China protect competing domestic industries as well as non-Chinese foreign suppliers with an established presence in the U.S. market. Unlike discriminatory U.S. treatment of Japan in the 1980s, in which "gray-area" measures like voluntary export restraints were prominent, most U.S. actions toward China are fully consistent with current WTO rules, including the special terms of China's 2001 WTO accession. However, as with earlier discriminatory actions directed primarily at Japan, U.S. trade policy toward China is likely to have complex effects on global trade flows and may produce outcomes far different from those intended.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Richard Bush
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: On the face of it, relations between China and Taiwan have improved significantly since the saber-rattling of 1999 and 2000. Economic relations have never been better. Two-way trade is around $40 billion annually, and the Mainland has become Taiwan's largest export market, displacing the United States. Taiwan companies continue to invest in the PRC at record rates, in order to keep their products competitive through cheaper Chinese labor. The product mix of Taiwan factories on the mainland is shifting from items like shoes and toys to high-end goods like semi-conductors and notebook computers. As machinery moves, so do people, and the number of Taiwan people living most of the time in the PRC is hundreds of thousands. With this growing economic interaction come shared interests and better mutual understanding. Neither side would benefit from conflict, and both know it. The chance of growing tensions seems low.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Richard Bush, Dean Nowowiejski, Tomatsu Nakano
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Most signs during the late summer and early fall of 2002 pointed to progress on the Korean peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had finally grasped, it appeared, the need for international moderation and domestic reform. The United States seemed ready to respond in kind. But with the visit to Pyongyang in October of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly – the first high-level contact since the Bush Administration came into office – the situation quickly unraveled. Instead of offering the “bold initiative” that was reportedly in the works, Kelly confronted his interlocutors with evidence that their government had mounted a new, clandestine uranium-based nuclear program. The North Koreans refused to disavow the program and insisted on their right to nuclear weapons. Kelly responded that the United States would not engage the DPRK unless and until it abandoned the program. The status of the 1994 U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework, which had capped North Korea's plutonium-based program in return for international assistance in meeting its civilian energy needs, was uncertain at best. The Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the mechanism for providing that aid, stopped heavy fuel oil shipments to North Korea at the end of 2002 at American insistence.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Korea, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Martin Kenney, Donald Patton
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Theory and recent research demonstrates that entrepreneurship is a spatially and socially embedded activity. In certain regions, dense support networks of institutions dedicated to assisting entrepreneurial start-ups have been established and a wide variety of authors have given credit to these networks for supporting regional entrepreneurship (Kenney and von Burg 1999; Saxenian 1994; Bahrami and Evans 2000). As Marshall (1890) recognized many, but not all, industries exhibit a strong clustering effect (see also, e.g., Storper and Walker 1988; Porter 1990; 1998). Research on these networks has been hampered by a lack of empirical data that contains spatial variables and identifies the relationship between various actors (i.e., venture capitalists, law firms and investment bankers) and the start-up firm. Thus research has been qualitative and anecdotal or when quantitative limited to certain industries usually biotechnology.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrew Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Why did Enron fail? The easy answer is that Enron was a fraud, a Ponzi scheme designed to enrich scoundrels. But beneath the off-balance sheet transactions and partnerships that have drawn such intense scrutiny, Enron's efforts to reduce complex products into tradable commodities represented one of the most promising ideas of the past twenty-five years. Enron's failure was due in part to a business strategy that regarded competitors as ruthless and uncompromising. That mentality led the company to reject the very real possibility that rivals could, working together, create the new markets that in turn would open up profit opportunities for all. Enron's brilliant vision of the New Economy didn't go far enough; it required a New Economy business model that emphasized cooperation among competitors.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert L. Axtell
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Results on the formation of multi-agent teams are reviewed and extended. Conditions are specified under which it is individually rational for agents to spontaneously form coalitions in order to engage in collective action. In a cooperative setting the formation of such groups is to be expected. Here we show that in non-cooperative environments—presumably a more realistic context for a variety of both human and software agents—self-organized coalitions are capable of extracting welfare improvements. The Nash equilibria of these coalitional formation games are demonstrated to always exist and be unique. Certain free rider problems in such group formation dynamics lead to the possibility of dynamically unstable Nash equilibria, depending on the nature of intra-group compensation and coalition size. Yet coherent groups can still form, if only temporarily, as demonstrated by computational experiments. Such groups of agents can be either long-lived or transient. The macroscopic structure of these emergent 'bands' of agents is stationary in sufficiently large populations, despite constant adaptation at the agent level. It is argued that assumptions concerning attainment of agent-level (Nash) equilibrium, so ubiquitous in conventional economics and game theory, are difficult to justify behaviorally and highly restrictive theoretically, and are thus unlikely to serve either as fertile design objectives or robust operating principles for realistic multi-agent systems.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Timothy R. Gulden
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines detailed records from the civil conflict in Guatemala between 1977 and 1986. It reveals a number of novel patterns which support the use of complex systems methods for understanding civil violence. It finds a surprising, non-linear relationship between ethnic mix and killing; thereby inviting analysis based on group dynamics. It shows the temporal texture of the conflict to be far from smooth, with a power spectrum that closely resembles that of other, better understood, complex systems. The distribution of incident sizes within the data seems to fall into two distinct sets, one of which, corresponding to "regular" conflict, is Zipf distributed, the other of which includes acts of genocide and is distributed differently. This difference may indicate that that agents of the state were proceeding under different types of orders. These results provide an empirical benchmark for the modeling of civil violence and may have implications for conflict prevention, peace keeping, and the post-conflict analysis of command structures.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Central America, Guatemala