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  • Author: Susan Clyde
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: American speaker programs were long a staple of US Information Agency (USIA) programs overseas. Not all went as planned. In 1975 in Chile we were preparing to receive an experimental film maker, sent by USIA to speak to film classes at the universities. The gentleman was first scheduled to speak at various venues in Buenos Aires, and we were told that he would be flying his own small plane from Chicago to Buenos Aires, then over the Andes to Santiago. Because the flights depended on weather conditions, we did not have an exact date of arrival. He’d call us when he got there, we were told.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Film, Memoir
  • Political Geography: South America, Chile, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Bridges
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Henry Kissinger left government service in 1977; after serving earlier as National Security Adviser he was replaced as Secretary of State by Carter’s incoming Secretary, Cyrus Vance. Now it was 1984; since 1981 I had been the deputy chief of mission to Reagan’s ambassador to Italy, Maxwell Rabb. We learned that Dr. Kissinger was coming to Venice to brief the board of a major American corporation that was meeting there. Max Rabb asked me to go to Venice and make sure the Italians would provide proper protection for the famous—some would have said infamous—man.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Memoir, Henry Kissinger
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Mark Wentling
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: In April 1991, while I was serving in Lomé, Togo as the USAID Representative for Togo and Benin, protests in Lomé against the dictatorial regime of President Eyadéma reached the boiling point. One night, President Eyadéma’s barbaric soldiers entered the original neighborhood of Lomé, Bè, and killed a couple dozen people or more. They collected the bodies and threw them into the lagoon which cut across the northern part of old Lomé. Their morbid idea was that when the people saw the dead bodies, they would cease revolting against Eyadéma, his cronies and all for which they stood.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Trauma, Memoir, USAID
  • Political Geography: Africa, Togo
  • Author: Trevon Logan, Peter Temin
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: This paper records the path by which African Americans were transformed from enslaved persons in the American economy to partial participants in the progress of the economy. The path was not monotonic, and we organize our tale by periods in which inclusiveness rose and fell. The history we recount demonstrates the staying power of the myth of black inferiority held by a changing white majority as the economy expanded dramatically. Slavery was outlawed after the Civil War, and blacks began to participate in American politics en masse for the first time during Reconstruction. This process met with white resistance, and black inclusion in the growing economy fell as the Gilded Age followed and white political will for black political participation faded. The Second World War also was followed by prosperity in which blacks were included more fully into the white economy, but still not completely. The Civil Rights Movement proved no more durable than Reconstruction, and blacks lost ground as the 20th century ended in the growth of a New Gilded Age. Resources that could be used to improve the welfare of whites and blacks continue to be spent on the continued repressions of blacks.
  • Topic: Economics, Race, History, Capitalism, Slavery
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Sophie Harman
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London
  • Abstract: This video is the first in a series on global health security and pandemics, presented by Professor Sophie Harman (QMUL). In this episode, she will explore whether we should have seen the current global health crisis coming.
  • Topic: Infectious Diseases, Global Security, Public Health, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sophie Harman
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Mile End Institute, Queen Mary University of London
  • Abstract: The second episode in the series on global health security and pandemics will focus on community involvement and responses to coronavirus. The episode is introduced by Professor Tim Bale and presented by Professor Sophie Harman.
  • Topic: Infectious Diseases, Global Security, Public Health, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paolo Brunori, Guido Neidhofer
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: We show that measures of inequality of opportunity (IOP) fully consistent with Roemer (1998)’s IOP theory can be straightforwardly estimated by adopting a machine learning approach, and apply our novel method to analyse the development of IOP in Germany during the last three decades. Hereby, we take advantage of information contained in 25 waves of the Socio-Economic Panel. Our analysis shows that in Germany IOP declined immediately after reunification, increased in the first decade of the century, and slightly declined again after 2010. Over the entire period, at the top of the distribution we always find individuals that resided in West-Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, whose fathers had a high occupational position, and whose mothers had a high educational degree. East-German residents in 1989, with low educated parents, persistently qualify at the bottom.
  • Topic: Education, Inequality, Post Cold War, Reunification
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Guillermo Falcone, Carlo Lombardo
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: In this paper we characterize workers’ vulnerability to automation in the near future in Argentina as a function of the exposure to routinization of the tasks that they perform and the potential automation of their occupation. In order to do that we combine (i) indicators of potential automatability by occupation and (ii) worker’s information on occupation and other labor variables. We find that the ongoing process of automation is likely to significantly affect the structure of employment. In particular, unskilled and semi-skilled workers are likely to bear a disproportionate share of the adjustment costs. Automation will probably be a more dangerous threat for equality than for overall employment.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Employment, Inequality, Job Creation, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Maho Hatayama, Mariana Viollaz, Hernan Winkler
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: The spread of COVID-19 and implementation of “social distancing” policies around the world have raised the question of how many jobs can be done at home. This paper uses skills surveys from 53 countries at varying levels of economic development to estimate jobs’ amenability to working from home. The paper considers jobs’ characteristics and uses internet access at home as an important determinant of working from home. The findings indicate that the amenability of jobs to working from home increases with the level of economic development of the country. This is driven by jobs in poor countries being more intensive in physical/manual tasks, using less information and communications technology, and having poorer internet connectivity at home. Women, college graduates, and salaried and formal workers have jobs that are more amenable to working from home than the average worker. The opposite holds for workers in hotels and restaurants, construction, agriculture, and commerce. The paper finds that the crisis may exacerbate inequities between and within countries. It also finds that occupations explain less than half of the variability in the working-from-home indexes within countries, which highlights the importance of using individual-level data to assess jobs’ amenability to working from home.
  • Topic: Employment, Pandemic, Job Creation, COVID-19, Hospitality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Claudio Neidhofer, Guido Neidhofer
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: The rapid spread of COVID-19 forced policy-makers to swiftly find solutions to reduce infection rates and keep mortality as low as possible. Empirical analyses on the effectiveness of control measures are hereby of primary importance. School closures were among the earliest measures enacted by the governments of most countries. However, while schools are now reopening in many countries, the impact of school closures on the course of the epidemic is still an open question. Adopting parametric and non-parametric synthetic control methods we estimate the effectiveness of pro-active school closures, and other early social distancing interventions, in three countries that reacted relatively early during the course of the pandemic. Our findings suggest that these interventions were effective at reducing the mortality rate of COVID-19, especially when enacted early.
  • Topic: Education, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South Korea, Argentina, South America, Italy