Research Library

2012
Siegel, Jordan I, and Prithwiraj Choudhury. 2012. A Reexamination of Tunneling and Business Groups: New Data and New Methods, The Review of Financial Studies. Publisher's VersionAbstract
One of the most rigorous methodologies in the corporate governance literature uses firms' reactions to industry shocks to characterize the quality of governance. This methodology can produce the wrong answer unless one considers the ways firms compete. Because macro-level shocks reverberate differently at the firm level depending on whether a firm has a cost structure that requires significant adjustment, the quality of governance can only be elucidated accurately analyzing a firm's business strategy and their corporate governance. These differences can help one determine whether the fruits of a positive macro-level shock have been expropriated by insiders. Using the example of Indian firms, we show that an influential finding is reversed when these differences are considered. We further argue that the conventional wisdom about tunneling and business groups will need to be reformulated in light of the data, methodology, and findings presented here.
Singhal, Monica, Katherine Baicker, and Jeffrey Clemens. 2012. The Rise of the States: U.S. Fiscal Decentralization in the Postwar Period, Journal of Public Economics. Publisher's VersionAbstract
One of the most dramatic changes in the fiscal federalism landscape during the postwar period has been the rapid growth in state budgets, which almost tripled as a share of GDP and doubled as a share of government spending between 1952 and 2006. We argue that the greater role of states cannot be easily explained by changes in Tiebout forces of fiscal competition, such as mobility and voting patterns, and are not accounted for by demographic or income trends. Rather, we demonstrate that much of the growth in state budgets has been driven by changes in intergovernmental interactions. Restricted federal grants to states have increased, and federal policy and legal constraints have also mandated or heavily incentivized state own-source spending, particularly in the areas of education, health and public welfare. These outside pressures moderate the forces of fiscal competition and must be taken into account when assessing the implications of observed revenue and spending patterns.
Re-Thinking Dionysius the Areopagite
Stang, Charles. 2012. Re-Thinking Dionysius the Areopagite. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Dionysius the Areopagite, the early sixth-century Christian writer, bridged Christianity and neo-Platonist philosophy. Bringing together a team of international scholars, this volume surveys how Dionysius’s thought and work has been interpreted, in both East and West, up to the present day.
  • One of the first volumes in English to survey the reception history of Dionysian thought, both East and West
  • Provides a clear account of both modern and post-modern debates about Dionysius’s standing as philosopher and Christian theologian
  • Examines the contrasts between Dionysius’s own pre-modern concerns and those of the post-modern philosophical tradition
  • Highlights the great variety of historic readings of Dionysius, and also considers new theories and interpretations
  • Analyzes the main points of hermeneutical contrast between East and West
Putnam, Robert D. 2012. What's So Darned Special about Church Friends?, in Altruism, Morality & Social Solidarity Forum, American Sociological Association, 3:1,19-21. 2nd ed. DASH Repository Download Paper
Khanna, Tarun. 2012.

A 'Core Periphery' Framework to Navigate Emerging Market Governments—Qualitative Evidence from a Biotechnology Multinational

, Global Strategy Journal 2, no. 1: 71-87.Abstract
We build on the emerging literature of influence-based models to study how multinational firms can navigate host governments. Our ‘core-periphery’ framework posits that the actions that an MNC takes with actors in what we call the ‘periphery’—comprised of state, quasi-state, and civil society actors—can lead to positive or negative influence with interconnected state actors in a ‘core.’ There are two mechanisms by which this can happen: engaging the periphery may either change the information set of the core or help align incentives of multiple core actors. Engaging the periphery might be particularly relevant in settings where the institutional framework is still emerging. We build a case study of a multinational firm in the biotechnology sector to illustrate how the core-periphery framework works in multiple emerging markets across institutional differences. The analysis is based on 32 interviews conducted with the CEO and other executives of Genzyme at the corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in subsidiaries in Brazil, China, Costa Rica, France, India, and the United States.
Viterna, Jocelyn. 2012.

The Left and ‘Life’: The Politics of Abortion in El Salvador

, Politics and Gender 8, no. 2: 248-254. Download Paper
Fallon, Kathleen M, Liam Swiss, and Jocelyn Viterna. 2012.

Resolving the Democracy Paradox: Democratization and Women’s Legislative Representation in Developing Nations, 1975-2009

, American Sociological Review 77, no. 3: 380-408.Abstract
Increasing levels of democratic freedoms should, in theory, improve women’s access to political positions. Yet studies demonstrate that democracy does little to improve women’s legislative representation. To resolve this paradox, we investigate how variations in the democratization process—including pre-transition legacies, historical experiences with elections, the global context of transition, and post-transition democratic freedoms and quotas—affect women’s representation in developing nations. We find that democratization’s effect is curvilinear. Women in non-democratic regimes often have high levels of legislative representation but little real political power. When democratization occurs, women’s representation initially drops, but with increasing democratic freedoms and additional elections, it increases again. The historical context of transition further moderates these effects. Prior to 1995, women’s representation increased most rapidly in countries transitioning from civil strife—but only when accompanied by gender quotas. After 1995 and the Beijing Conference on Women, the effectiveness of quotas becomes more universal, with the exception of post- communist countries. In these nations, quotas continue to do little to improve women’s representation. Our results, based on pooled time series analysis from 1975 to 2009, demonstrate that it is not democracy—as measured by a nation’s level of democratic freedoms at a particular moment in time—but rather the democratization process that matters for women’s legislative representation.
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Simmons, Beth A. 2012.

Reflections on Mobilizing for Human Rights

, Journal of International Law and Politics 44: 729-750.Abstract
NYU Law's symposium "From Rights to Reality: Mobilizing for Human Rights and Its Intersection with International Law" has been a valuable opportunity to reflect on the role that international law has played in the furtherance of human rights around the world over the past six decades. It has also been a stimulating forum to assess the state of our knowledge, experience, and research relating to the development of human rights law and its application in various settings around the world. The scholars and practitioners participating in this symposium have each made remarkable contributions to the development, interpretation, and application of human rights law internationally, and I am very grateful that they have taken the time to engage the arguments and evidence in Mobilizing for Human Rights. The editors of the Journal of International Law and Politics are to be congratulated on a stimulating symposium and a valuable volume. In this concluding article, I will describe what Mobilizing for Human Rights set out to do, what I think it did well, and what it did not, in the end, accomplish. There is much to mention on both scores. While the book was one of the first comprehensive efforts to theorize and test empirically the effects of international legal agreements on a broad range of rights indicators, the research necessarily fails to speak to some issues, raises additional questions, and opens up new avenues for empirical research. I will also engage the observations of my colleagues in the symposium, whose supportive as well as skeptical views I very much appreciate. I hope to make clearer how the research potentially connects with strategies for rights improvements. I conclude on a very humble note: the experience represented by the symposium participants far outstrips the scholarly findings of the book, but I am hopeful that discussion of the kind we have had leads both to better scholarship and broadly informed practice.
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Brenner, Neil, and Christian Schmid. 2012.

Planetary Urbanization

, in Urban Lexicons, 10–13. Jovis. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This book project introduces a theory of planetary urbanization via a critique of dominant ideologies of the contemporary ‘urban age’ and associated discourses on global urbanism.  We argue for a new epistemology of urban studies based on the distinction between concentrated and extended urbanization, which is applied to periodize the capitalist mode of territorialization and to illuminate early twenty-first century sociospatial landscapes.
Planetary Urbanization
Cohen, Dara Kay, and Amelia Hoover Green. 2012. Dueling Incentives: Sexual Violence in Liberia and the Politics of Human Rights Advocacy, Journal of Peace Research 49, no. 3: 445-458. Journal of Peace Research WebsiteAbstract
Transnational advocacy organizations are influential actors in the international politics of human rights. While political scientists have described several methods these groups use—particularly a set of strategies termed ‘information politics’—scholars have yet to consider the effects of these tactics beyond their immediate impact on public awareness, policy agendas or the behavior of state actors. This article investigates the information politics surrounding sexual violence during Liberia’s civil war. We show that two frequently-cited ‘facts’ about rape in Liberia are inaccurate, and consider how this conventional wisdom gained acceptance. Drawing on the Liberian case and findings from sociology and economics, we develop a theoretical framework that treats inaccurate claims as an effect of ‘dueling incentives’—the conflict between advocacy organizations’ needs for short-term drama and long-term credibility. From this theoretical framework, we generate hypotheses regarding the effects of information politics on (1) short-term changes in funding for human rights advocacy organizations, (2) short-term changes in human rights outcomes, (3) the institutional health of humanitarian and human rights organizations, and (4) long-run outcomes for the ostensible beneficiaries of such organizations. We conclude by outlining a research agenda in this area, emphasizing the importance of empirical research on information politics in the human rights realm, and particularly its effects on the lives of aid recipients. DOI: 10.1177/0022343312436769
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Lamont, Michèle. 2012. Toward a Comparative Sociology of Valuation and Evaluation, Annual Review of Sociology 38, no. 21: 201-221. DOIAbstract
This review discusses North American and European research from the sociology of valuation and evaluation (SVE), a research topic that has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The goal is to bring various bodies of work into conversation with one another in order to stimulate more cumulative theory building. This is accomplished by focusing on (a) subprocesses such as categorization and legitimation, (b) the conditions that sustain heterarchies, and (c) valuation and evaluative practices. The article reviews these literatures and provides directions for a future research agenda.
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2012. NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2011. Ed. Jeffrey Frankel and Pissarides, Christopher. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Publisher's Version
Frankel, Jeffrey. 2012. Choosing an Exchange Rate Regime, in The Handbook of Exchange Rates, 767-784. New York: John Wiley. WebsiteAbstract
The single most important aspect of an exchange rate regime is the degree of flexibility. The matter is of course more complicated than a simple choice between fixed exchange rate and floating. One can array exchange rate regimes along a continuum, from most flexible to least, and grouped in three major categories:
  1. Floating corner
    1. Free float
    2. Managed float
  2. Intermediate regimes
    1. Target zone or band
    2. Basket peg
    3. Crawling peg
    4. Adjustable peg
  3. Institutionally fixed corner
    1. Currency board
    2. Dollarization
    3. Monetary Union
    This chapter reviews the state of research concerning how a country should choose where to locate along this continuum of exchange rate regimes. The ‘‘corners hypothesis’’ - that countries are, or should be, moving away from the intermediate regimes, in favor of either the hard peg corner or the floating corner - was proposed by Eichengreen (1994) and rapidly became the new conventional wisdom with the emerging market crises of the late 1990s. But it never had a good theoretical foundation. The feeling that an intermediate degree of exchange rate flexibility is inconsistent with perfect capital mobility is a misinterpretation of the principle of the impossible trinity. To take a clear example, Krugman (1991) shows theoretically that a target zone is entirely compatible with uncovered interest parity. The corners hypothesis began to lose popularity after the failure of Argentina’s quasi currency board in 2001. Many countries continue to follow intermediate regimes and do not seem any the worse for it. Attempts to address the optimal degree of exchange rate flexibility within a single theoretical model are seldom very convincing. Too many factors are involved. Better instead to enumerate the arguments for and against exchange rate flexibility and then attempt to weigh them up. This chapter considers five advantages of fixed exchange rates, followed by five advantages for exchange rate flexibility. We then turn to analysis of how to weigh the pros and cons to choose a regime. The answer depends on characteristics of the individual country in question.
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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2012. The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey of Diagnoses and Some Prescriptions, in Commodity Price Volatility and Inclusive Growth in Low-Income Countries. Washington D.C.: International Monetary Fund. Book WebsiteAbstract
Countries with oil, mineral or other natural resource wealth, on average, have failed to show better economic performance than those without, often because of undesirable side effects. This is the phenomenon known as the Natural Resource Curse. This paper reviews the literature, classified according to six channels of causation that have been proposed. The possible channels are: (i) long-term trends in world prices, (ii) price volatility, (iii) permanent crowding out of manufacturing, (iv) autocratic/oligarchic institutions, (v) anarchic institutions, and (vi) cyclical Dutch Disease. With the exception of the first channel--the long-term trend in commodity prices does not appear to be downward--each of the other channels is an important part of the phenomenon. Skeptics have questioned the Natural Resource Curse, pointing to examples of commodity-exporting countries that have done well and arguing that resource exports and booms are not exogenous. The relevant policy question for a country with natural resources is how to make the best of them.
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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2012. Politically Feasible Emission Target Formulas to Attain 460 ppm CO2 Concentrations, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 6, no. 1: 86-109. DOIAbstract
A new climate change treaty must address three current gaps: the absence of emissions targets extending far into the future; the absence of participation by the United States, China, and other developing countries; and the absence of reasons to expect compliance. Moreover, to be politically acceptable, a post-Kyoto treaty must recognize certain constraints regarding country-by-country economic costs. This article presents a framework for assigning quantitative emissions allocations across countries, one budget period at a time, through a two-stage plan: (a) China and other developing countries accept targets at business-as-usual (BAU) levels in the coming budget period, and, during the same period, the United States agrees to cuts below BAU; (b) all countries are asked to make further cuts in the future in accordance with a formula that includes a Progressive Reductions Factor, a Latecomer Catch-up Factor, and a Gradual Equalization Factor. An earlier proposal (Frankel 2009) for specific parameter values in the formulas achieved the environmental goal that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations plateau at 500 ppm by 2100. It met our political constraints by keeping every country’s economic cost below thresholds of Y = 1 percent of income in Present Discounted Value, and X = 5 percent of income in the worst period. The framework proposed in this article attains a stricter concentration goal of 460 ppm CO2 but only by loosening the political constraints.
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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2012. Are Leading Indicators Useful for Assessing Country Vulnerability? Evidence from the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis, Journal of International Economics 87, no. 2: 246-231. WebsiteAbstract
We investigate whether leading indicators can help explain the cross-country incidence of the 2008–09 financial crisis. Rather than looking for indicators with specific relevance to the recent crisis, the selection of variables is driven by an extensive review of more than eighty papers from the previous literature on early warning indicators. Our motivation is to address suspicions that indicators found to be useful predictors in one round of crises are typically not useful to predict the next round. The review suggests that central bank reserves and past movements in the real exchange rate were the two leading indicators that had proven the most useful in explaining crisis incidence across different countries and episodes in the past. For the 2008–09 crisis, we use six different variables to measure crisis incidence: drops in GDP and industrial production, currency depreciation, stock market performance, reserve losses, and participation in an IMF program. We find that the level of reserves in 2007 appears as a consistent and statistically significant leading indicator of who got hit by the 2008–09 crisis, in line with the conclusions of the pre-2008 literature. In addition to reserves, recent real appreciation is a statistically significant predictor of devaluation and of a measure of exchange market pressure during the current crisis. We define the period of the global financial shock as running from late 2008 to early 2009, which probably explains why we find stronger results than earlier papers such as Obstfeld et al. (2009, 2010) and Rose and Spiegel (2009a,b, 2010, 2011) which use annual data.
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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2012. Slow Passthrough Around the World: A New Import for Developing Countries?, Open Economies Review 23, no. 2: 213-251. DOIAbstract
Developing countries traditionally experience pass-through of exchange rate changes that is greater and more rapid than high-income countries experience. This is true equally of the determination of prices of imported goods, prices of local competitors’ products, and the general CPI. But developing countries in the 1990s experienced a rapid downward trend in the degree of pass-through and speed of adjustment, more so than did high-income countries. As a consequence, slow and incomplete pass-through is no longer exclusively a luxury of industrial countries. Using a new data set - prices of eight narrowly defined brand commodities, observed in 76 countries - we find empirical support for some of the factors that have been hypothesized in the literature, but not for others. Significant determinants of the pass-through coefficient include per capita incomes, bilateral distance, tariffs, country size, wages, long-term inflation, and long-term exchange rate variability. Some of these factors changed during the 1990s. Part (and only part) of the downward trend in pass-through to imported goods prices, and in turn to competitors’ prices and the CPI, can be explained by changes in the monetary environment - including a fall in long-term inflation. Real wages work to reduce pass-through to competitors’ prices and the CPI, confirming the hypothesized role of distribution and retail costs in pricing to market. Rising distribution costs, due perhaps to the Balassa-Samuelson-Baumol effect, could contribute to the decline in the pass-through coefficient in some developing countries.
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Frankel, Jeffrey. 2012. Internationalization of the RMB and Historical Precedents, Journal of Economic Integration 27, no. 3: 329-365. WebsiteAbstract
The possibility that the renminbi may soon join the ranks of international currencies has generated much excitement. This paper looks to history for help in evaluating the factors determining its prospects. The three best precedents in the twentieth century were the rise of the dollar from 1913 to 1945, the rise of the Deutsche mark from 1973 to 1990, and the rise of the yen from 1984 to 1991. The fundamental determinants of international currency status are economic size, confidence in the currency, and depth of financial markets. The new view is that, once these three factors are in place, internationalization of the currency can proceed quite rapidly. Thus some observers have recently forecast that the RMB may even challenge the dollar within a decade. But they underestimate the importance of the third criterion, the depth of financial markets. In principle, the Chinese government could decide to create that depth, which would require accepting an open capital account, diminished control over the domestic allocation of credit, and a flexible exchange rate. But although the Chinese government has been actively promoting offshore use of the currency since 2010, it has not done very much to meet these requirements. Indeed, to promote internationalization as national policy would depart from the historical precedents. In all three twentieth-century cases of internationalization, popular interest in the supposed prestige of having the country’s currency appear in the international listings was scant, and businessmen feared that the currency would strengthen and damage their export competitiveness. Probably China, likewise, is not yet fully ready to open its domestic financial markets and let the currency appreciate, so the renminbi will not be challenging the dollar for a long time. We begin, however, by asking: What is international currency status, and why does it matter?
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Campante, Felipe, and David Chor. 2012. Why was the Arab World Poised for Revolution? Schooling, Economic Opportunities, and the Arab Spring, Journal of Economic Perspectives 26, no. 2: 167-188. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In December 2010, the self-immolation of a Tunisian fruit vendor sparked what has come to be termed the “Arab Spring.” What first appeared as an isolated act of protest against local authorities quickly gained broader significance, as it was followed by a series of demonstrations that has shaken the grip of autocratic regimes across the Arab world. A year later, three longstanding dictators - Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya - have been ousted, after varying degrees of violence. Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain have all witnessed extensive turmoil, raising serious questions about the ahrain have all witnessed extensive turmoil, raising serious questions about the legitimacy and survival of their rulers. Elsewhere, the political leaders of Morocco, Algeria, and Jordan have also been pressured into enacting reforms to try to assuage public demands.
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Campante, Felipe, and David Chor. 2012. Schooling, Political Participation, and the Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics 94, no. 4: 841-859. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We investigate how the link between individual schooling and political participation is affected by country characteristics. Using individual survey data, we find that political participation is more responsive to schooling in land-abundant countries and less responsive in human capital - abundant countries, even while controlling for country political institutions and cultural attitudes. We find related evidence that political participation is less responsive to schooling in countries with a higher skill premium, as well as within countries for individuals in skilled occupations. The evidence motivates a theoretical explanation in which patterns of political participation are influenced by the opportunity cost of engaging in political rather than production activities.
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