Research Library

2012
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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Viterna, Jocelyn. 2012.

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

, Politics and Gender 8, no. 2: 248-254. Download Paper
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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Frankel, Jeffrey, and Christopher Pissarides, eds. 2012. NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2011. 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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Good, Mary-Jo DelVecchio, and Byron J Good. 2012. Significance of the 686 Program for China in Global Mental Health, Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry 24, no. 3: 175-177. Shanghai Archives of PsychiatryAbstract
Quietly, with little apparent notice from even the strongest advocates for global mental health, China is undertaking the world’s largest - and arguably most important - mental health services demonstration project, a project focused on providing comprehensive care for persons with severe mental illnesses. As Professor Ma indicates in her short report, the ‘686 Project’ was launched as part of China’s commitment to rebuild its public health infrastructure following the SARS epidemic, and has now moved beyond the initial pilot phase into a process of scaling up community mental health services throughout the country. China is currently moving toward passage of its first national mental health law, so the project has profound implications for mental health policy in the country. It will also provide useful models for the development of mental health policies in other countries with limited mental health personnel.
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2011
Antràs, Pol. 2011. Offshoring and the Role of Trade Agreements, American Economic Review. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The rise of offshoring of intermediate inputs raises important questions for commercial policy. Do the distinguishing features of offshoring introduce novel reasons for trade policy intervention? Does offshoring create new problems of global policy cooperation whose solutions require international agreements with novel features? In this paper we provide answers to these questions, and thereby initiate the study of trade agreements in the presence of offshoring. We argue that the rise of offshoring will make it increasingly difficult for governments to rely on traditional GATT/WTO concepts and rules—such as market access, reciprocity and non-discrimination—to solve their trade-related problems
Ferguson, Niall. 2011. What If 9/11 Had Never Happened?. Publisher's VersionAbstract
How different would the world be today if there had been no 9/11? What if the attacks had been foiled or bungled? One obvious answer is that Americans would probably care a lot less than they do about the rest of the world. Back on the eve of destruction, in early September 2001, only 13 percent of Americans believed that the U.S. should be “the single world leader.” And fewer than a third favored higher defense spending. Now those figures are naturally much higher. Right? Wrong. According to the most recent surveys, just 12 percent of Americans today think the U.S. should be the sole superpower—almost exactly the same proportion as on the eve of the 9/11 attacks. The share of Americans who want to see higher spending on national security is actually down to 26 percent. Paradoxically, Americans today seem less interested in the wider world than they were before the Twin Towers were felled. In the past 10 years, the U.S. has directly or indirectly overthrown at least three governments in the Muslim world. Yet Americans today feel less powerful than they did then. In 2001 just over a quarter felt that the U.S. had “a less important role as a world leader compared to 10 years ago.” The latest figure is 41 percent. Three explanations suggest themselves. First, wielding power abroad proved harder in practice than in neoconservative theory. Second, the financial crisis has dampened American spirits. A third possibility is that 9/11 simply didn’t have that big an impact on American opinion. Yet to conclude that 9/11 didn’t change much is to misunderstand the historical process. The world is a seriously complex place, and a small change to the web of events can have huge consequences. Our difficulty is imagining what those consequences might have been. So let’s play a game like the one my friends at the Muzzy Lane software company are currently designing, which has the working title “New World Disorder.” The game simulates the complex interaction of economics, politics, and international relations, allowing us to replay the past. Let’s start in January 2001 and thwart the 9/11 attacks by having Condi Rice and Paul Wolfowitz heed Richard Clarke’s warnings about Al-Qaeda. The game starts off well. Al-Qaeda is preemptively decapitated, its leaders rounded up in a series of covert operations and left to the tender mercies of their home governments. President Bush gets to focus on tax cuts, his first love. But then, three years later, the murky details of this operation surface on the front page of The New York Times. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for the presidency, denounces the “criminal conduct” of the Bush administration. Liberal pundits foam at the mouth. Ordinary Americans, unseared by 9/11, are shocked. Osama bin Laden issues a fierce denunciation of the U.S. from his Saudi prison cell. It triggers a wave of popular anger in the Middle East that topples any regime seen as too close to Washington. The government of Qatar - gone. The government of Kuwait - gone. Above all, the government of Saudi Arabia - gone. True to form, the experts are soon all over network TV explaining how this fundamentalist backlash against the U.S.-backed oil monarchies had been years in the making (even if they hadn’t quite gotten around to predicting it beforehand). “Who lost the Middle East?” demands Kerry, pointing an accusing finger at George W. Bush. (Remember, prior to 9/11 Bush favored a reduction of U.S. overseas commitments.) The Democrats win the 2004 election, where-upon bin Laden’s new Islamic Republic of Arabia takes hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh… In other words, if things had happened differently 10 years ago - if there had been no 9/11 and no retaliatory invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq - we might be living through an Islamist Winter rather than an Arab Spring. Replaying the history game without 9/11 suggests that, ironically, the real impact of the attacks was not on Americans but on the homelands of the attackers themselves.
Antràs, Pol. 2011. Grossman-Hart (1986) Goes Global: Incomplete Contracts, Property Rights, and the International Organization of Production.Abstract
I survey the influence of Grossman and Hart's (1986) seminal paper in the field of International Trade. I discuss the implementation of the theory in open-economy environments and its implications for the international organization of production and the structure of international trade flows. I also review empirical work suggestive of the empirical relevance of the property-rights theory. Along the way, I develop novel theoretical results and also outline some of the key limitations of existing contributions.
Ferguson, Niall. 2011. You Were Expecting Statehood?. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s bid for full U.N. membership was dead on arrival in New York. So why bother even raising the subject? The answer: to drum up international sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. Yet other defeated peoples have suffered far more than they. Think only of how—and at whose expense—the U.N. itself began. Born in the gently foggy city of San Francisco, the U.N. was conceived in the Ukrainian resort of Yalta. Though nestled amid the green Crimean hills and lapped by the Black Sea’s languid waves, the city was severely battle-scarred in February 1945; Winston Churchill dubbed it “the Riviera of Hades.” Its diabolical master was the Soviet despot Joseph Stalin, who acted as host to Churchill and the ailing American President Franklin Roosevelt. Of the Big Three, as Sergei Plokhy shows in his riveting study Yalta: The Price of Peace, Roosevelt alone truly believed in the dream of a world parliament, and even he knew the U.N. would need to give greater weight to the great powers than its ill-starred predecessor, the League of Nations. Thus it was Roosevelt who proposed a Security Council on which the war’s victors—plus France and China—would be permanently represented and armed with veto powers. Churchill and Stalin were realists. They saw the postwar world in terms of “spheres of influence.” Though perfectly capable of such realism in practice, Roosevelt still yearned for the idealist’s world of peace based on collective security. Yet Churchill was deeply reluctant to accept that Stalin’s postwar sphere of influence would include Poland. His predecessor had acquiesced in the destruction of Czechoslovakia at Munich but had gone to war when Hitler (and Stalin) carved up Poland between them. Was Yalta to be the Poles’ Munich? “We can’t agree,” grumbled Churchill, “that Poland shall be a mere puppet state of Russia, where the people who don’t agree with Stalin are bumped off.” But that was exactly what postwar Poland became. A staggering 19 percent of the prewar population of Poland had been killed as a result of World War II, including a huge proportion of the country’s large Jewish population. Yalta inflicted further punishment. The country not only shrank; it was also shifted westward so that Stalin could keep his gains from the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact. And it became a Soviet vassal state for the next half century. After Yalta, chess players devised a variant of their game for three players, using a six-sided board. As at the conference, in the game “Yalta” two players can join forces against the third, but all such alliances are temporary. Briefly, Churchill got Roosevelt on his side over Poland, but the American cared more about getting Stalin to agree to join the U.N.; Poland was a pawn to be sacrificed. Having got what he wanted, Roosevelt left Yalta early. His destination? The Middle East, which he was intent on adding to ... the American sphere of influence. The conflicting commitments he made on that trip—to the Arabs and the Jews—have bedeviled U.S. foreign policy ever since. Asked by Roosevelt if he was a Zionist, Stalin replied elliptically that he “was one in principle, but he recognized the difficulty.” That “difficulty” remains that a Jewish state could be created only at the expense of non-Jews living in Palestine. The Arabs resisted Israel’s creation, but they lost. So it goes. A trip to Yalta provides a salutary reminder that throughout history those who lose at war generally lose land, too, and sometimes sovereignty with it. By comparison with what the Poles endured last century, the Palestinians have got off lightly. They will get their own state eventually. But not until all the permanent members of the Security Council are convinced the Palestinians will not abuse the privileges of statehood. Like it or not, that was how the U.N. was meant to work when the Big Three conceived it on Hell’s Riviera.