Natural disasters and armed conflict have marked human existence throughout history and have always caused peaks in mortality and morbidity. But in recent times, the scale and scope of these events have increased markedly. Since 1990, natural disasters have affected about 217 million people every year,1 and about 300 million people now live amidst violent insecurity around the world.2 The immediate and longer-term effects of these disruptions on large populations constitute humanitarian crises. In recent decades, public health interventions in the humanitarian response have made gains in the equity and quality of emergency assistance.
Political scientists have long been interested in the American public’s foreign policy mood, but they have typically separated the microlevel question (who’s more likely to support isolationism?) from the macrolevel one (when does isolationism’s popularity increase?), even though public opinion is inherently a multilevel phenomenon, as the answers to these two questions interact. Showing how multilevel models can deal with the effects of time rather than just space, I find that both guns and butter drive foreign policy mood, but in different ways. When economic assessments sour, the public’s appetite for isolationism increases, but the impact of these individual-level perceptions is constrained by aggregate economic conditions, which are sufficiently salient that they are accessible irrespective of knowledge. The nature of the international security environment, however, predominantly affects foreign policy mood amongst high-knowledge individuals, thereby suggesting that low- and high-knowledge individuals’ foreign policy views are shaped by different situational cues.
Scholars have begun to investigate the mechanisms that link ethnic diversity to low levels of public goods provision but have paid only minimal attention to the role of preferences for public policies. Some argue that ethnic groups hold culturally distinctive preferences for goods and policies, and that such differences impede effective policy making, but these studies provide little evidence to support this claim. Others argue that preferences do not vary systematically across ethnic groups, but again the evidence is limited. In this article, we engage in a systematic exploration of the link between ethnic identity and preferences for public policies through a series of individual and aggregated analyses of Afrobarometer survey data from 18 sub-Saharan African countries. We find that in most countries, preferences do vary based on ethnic group membership. This variation is not merely an expression of individual-level socioeconomic differences or of group-level cultural differences. Instead, we suggest that citizens use ethnicity as a group heuristic for evaluating public policies in a few predictable ways: We find more persistent disagreement about public policies between politically relevant ethnic groups and where group disparities in wealth are high.
To inform the policy debate in developing countries over strategies for economic development, this paper uses the tertiary sector in India—in particular, the information technology (I.T.) services and banking sectors—as a case study of economic governance. This paper uses a new dataset on the I.T. sector collected from the paper archives of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in New Delhi during July 2013, and a dataset of the 72 largest banks in India collected from public documents at the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai. Socioeconomic indicators, specifically wage level, higher education and urban agglomeration, only partially account for the growth of these sectors. In both the banking and I.T. sectors, government ownership promoted stability and geographical agglomeration but reduced performance. Government investment in a shared infrastructure commons through STPI was critical for the growth of the I.T. sector after 1991. Gradual deregulation following state ownership resulted in significant gains for both sectors. The paper concludes with a theory for the growth of technologically advanced sectors in India, which promotes gradual liberalization in sequence with government promotion of infrastructure and domestic competition.
Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative founded in 1947, eight months before India's independence from British rule, and owned by over three million farmers in the state of Gujarat. It is India's largest food product marketing organization, selling 46 products, including pouched milk, cheese, butter, ice cream and infant food through a million retailers across the country, and is the market leader in almost all the categories that it operates in. Amul is well known among Indian consumers for offering high-quality products at reasonable prices, and runs a highly popular advertising campaign that spoofs current events. It offers its farmers 80% of the consumer's dollar for milk, compared with 35%-40% typical in some Western markets. Amul's cooperative dairy model has been replicated across several Indian states, thereby helping increase the incomes of 80-100 million farmer families across the country. However, despite its success, Amul is beginning to come under increasing pressure. Multinationals like Nestlé and Unilever are increasing their presence in India, and competing fiercely with Amul in value-added products like yogurt. The entry of large multi-brand retailers like Walmart and Carrefour in the Indian market threatens to squeeze Amul's margins and undermine its low-cost distribution network. India's large young rural population is shying away from dairy farming in favor of urban jobs, leaving questions about future procurement. Finally, Amul's farmers form a large vote bank in the state of Gujarat, and its cooperative structure risks being compromised by vested political interests. Should Amul continue with the business model that has served it so well for decades, or should it change its strategy in order to keep up with India's changing social, political and economic landscape?
It is now widely accepted that the lower castes have
risen in Indian politics. Has there been a corresponding
change in the economy? Using comprehensive data
on enterprise ownership from the Economic Census
of 1990, 1998 and 2005, this paper shows there are
substantial caste differences in entrepreneurship across
India. The scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are
significantly under-represented in the ownership of
enterprises and the share of the workforce employed by
them. These differences are widespread across all states,
have decreased very modestly between 1990 and 2005,
and cannot be attributed to broad differences in access
to physical or human capital.
Industrial policy programs are frequently used by governments to stimulate economic activity in particular sectors of the economy. This study explores how an industrial policy program can affect the creation and evolution of an industry and, ultimately, the long-term performance of firms. We examine the history of the Brazilian bioethanol industry, focusing on the industrial policy program implemented by the Brazilian government in the 1970s to develop the industry. We put together a novel data set containing detailed information about the history of bioethanol producers. Our findings show that plants founded during the industrial policy program tend to be, in the long run, more productive than those founded before the program was in place. Based on additional analyses and complementary fieldwork, we infer that the wave of acquisitions that occurred after the end of the industrial policy program had an important effect on the performance of the plants founded when the program was in place. Industrial policy, especially in conjunction with a competitive post-industrial policy business landscape, can succeed in nurturing competitive firms.