It is widely accepted, not least in the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), that the purpose of the world trade regime is to raise living standards all around the world — rather than to maximize trade per se. Increasingly, however, the WTO and multilateral lending agencies have come to view these two goals — promoting development and maximizing trade — as synonymous, to the point where the latter easily substitutes for the former. The net result is a confounding of ends and means. Trade has become the lens through which development is perceived, rather than the other way around. Imagine a trading regime in which trade rules are determined so as to maximize development potential, particularly that of the poorest nations in the world. Instead of asking, "How do we maximize trade and market access?" negotiators would ask, "How do we enable countries to grow out of poverty?" Would such a regime look different than the one that exists currently? The answer depends on how one interprets recent economic history and the role that trade openness plays in the course of economic development. The prevailing view in G7 capitals and multilateral lending agencies is that economic growth is dependent upon integration into the global economy. Successful integration in turn requires both enhanced market access in the advanced industrial countries and a range of institutional reforms at home (ranging from legal and administrative reform to safety nets) to render economic openness viable and growth – promoting. This can be ca lled the "enlightened standard view" – enlightened because of its recognition that there is more to integration than simply lowering tariff and non–tariff barriers to trade, and standard because it represents the conventional wisdom.In this conception, the WTO ’s focus on expanding market access and deepening integration through the harmonization of a wide range of "trade–related" practices is precisely what development requires. This paper presents an alternative account of economic development, one which questions the centrality of trade and trade policy and emphasizes instead the critical role of domestic institutional innovations. It argues that economic growth is rarely sparked by imported blueprints and opening up the economy is hardly ever critical at the outset. Initial reforms instead tend to combine unconventional institutional innovations with some elements from the orthodox recipe. They are country–specific, based on local knowledge and experimentation. They are targeted to domestic investors and tailored to domestic institutional realities.
Many of the theoretical controversies in the sociology of religion have pertained to trends and patterns of religious mobility . Recently, scholars have claimed that diminishing status differences between denominations have opened denominational boundaries and led to higher rates of religious mobility. Scholars working from rational actor perspectives have generated several hypotheses. First, human capital and adaptive preference theories suggest that switching will remain infrequent, and will tend to occur between similar denominations. Second, "Strict church" perspectives argue that demanding sectarian denominations will have higher retention, and be more attractive destinations. Third, market niche perspectives argue that niche overlap will foster high rates of religious mobility. Finally, theories emphasizing normative constraints on religious choices suggest that quasi–ethnic religious groups will have a greater hold on members. In this article, Darren Sherkat examines trends and patterns of religious mobility in the U.S. between 1973 and 1998 using data from the General Social Surveys. Retention rates, distributions of original and destination affiliations, and mobility tables are compared across three periods, and four broad cohorts using log–multiplicative association models. Sherkat finds some support for hypotheses generated by status theories, and for several propositions from rational actor theories; however, the decline of denominationalism perspective is unsupported.
The terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon triggered the most rapid and dramatic change in the history of U.S.foreign policy. On September 10, 2001, there was not the slightest hint that the United States was about to embark on an all–out campaign against "global terrorism." Indeed, apart from an explicit disdain for certain multilateral agreements and a fixation on missile defense, the foreign policy priorities of George W. Bush and his administration were not radically different from those of their predecessors. Bush had already endorsed continued NATO expansion, reluctantly agreed to keep U.S. troops in the Balkans, reaffirmed the existing policy of wary engagement with Russia and China, and called for further efforts to liberalize global markets. The administration's early attention focused primarily on domestic issues, and newinternational initiatives were notably absent.This business–as–usual approach to foreign policy vanished on September 11. Instead of education reform and tax cuts, the war on terrorism dominated the administration's agenda. The United States quickly traced the attacks to al–Qaeda — the network of Islamic extremists led by Saudi exile Osama bin Laden — whose leaders had been operating from Afghanistan since 1996. When the Taliban government in Afghanistan rejected a U.S. ultimatum to turn over bin Laden, the United States began military efforts to eradicate al–Qaeda and overthrow the Taliban itself. The United States also began a sustained diplomatic campaign to enlist foreign help in rooting out any remaining terrorist organizations "with global reach." U.S.officials emphasized that this campaign would be prolonged and warned that military action against suspected terrorist networks might continue after the initial assault on al–Qaeda and its Taliban hosts.This article analyzes how the campaign against global terrorism alters the broad agenda of U.S.foreign policy. I focus primarily on the diplomatic aspects of this campaign and do not address military strategy, homeland defense, or the need for improved intelligence in much detail. These issues are obviously important but lie outside the bounds this essay.I proceed in three stages. The first section considers what the events of September 11 tell us about the U.S. position in the world and identifies four lessons that should inform U.S. policy in the future. The second section explores how the campaign on terrorism should alter the foreign policy agenda in the near–to–medium term: What new policies should the United States pursue, and what prior goals should be downgraded or abandoned? The third section addresses the long–term implications, focusing on whether the United States will be willing to accept the increased costs of its current policy of global engagement. I argue that this decision will depend in part on the success of the current campaign, but also on whether the United States can make its dominant global position more palatable to other countries.Published in International Security 26, no. 3 (Winter 2001/02): 56-78.
Coercion is as normal a part of life as is exchange; what matters is not its presence or magnitude but rather its structure and form. Violence can take the form of predation; it then results in mere redistribution. But violence can be rendered socially productive; it can be employed to defend property rights, thereby strengthening the incentives to engage in productive activity. To explore how violence can be rendered a source of increased welfare, we develop a model of a stateless society and then introduce a specialist in violence. Using the model and case materials, we explore the conditions under which the specialist will utilize her coercive capabilities not to engage in predation but rather to strengthen the incentives to engage in productive effort.
Bates, Robert H. "Organizing Violence." Working Paper 01–06, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2001.Download PDF
To discern the public and private motivations behind the establishment and continuance of the Bank of England, we analyze the timing of legislation that renewed the Bank’s charter. The Bank’s original 1694 charter specified a life of only eleven years; at the end of that time, the government could exercise an option to repay its loan to the Bank and dissolve the charter. In fact, the government did not exercise the option, and the Bank’s charter was periodically renewed. We argue that the rechartering process reflected the needs of the government to respond to unforeseen contingencies. The government initiated new charters when budgetary circumstances–shaped largely by wars–required new loans, and when the monopoly value of the Bank’s charter rose. The Bank gained from renegotiating its contract with the government when it faced new and unforeseen competition.
Working Paper 01–05, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2001. Download PDF
In a comparative study of Japanese and European trade policy, this paper explains how the institutional context of negotiations affects political outcomes. I examine two pathways by which negotiation structure promotes liberalization: issue linkage and legal framing. Broadening stakes through issue linkage mobilizes domestic lobbying for liberalization. Use of GATT/WTO trade law in dispute settlement legitimizes arguments favoring liberalization. This study on international institutions addresses the theoretical debates in the field regarding how interdependence and the legalization of international affairs change the nature of state interaction. I test my argument in the sensitive area of agricultural trade policy. Statistical analysis of U.S. negotiations with Japan and the EU from 1970 to 1999 indicates that an institutionalized issue linkage makes liberalization more likely for both Japan and Europe. This is the most important source of leverage for bringing major policy reform. However, the effect of GATT/WTO legal pressure interacts with the political context. I conclude that domestic political processes make Japan more responsive to pressure from trade rules than the European Union.
Davis, Christina. "Linkage and Legalism in Institutions: Evidence From Agricultural Trade Negotiations." Working Paper 01–01, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, February 2001.Download PDF
One dimension of global income inequality swamps all others, the inequality due to differences in living standards among nations. This is primarily the result of differential rates of national economic growth. This paper examines current conditions, then looks at how global inequality has evolved over the past 50 years. After an examination of the causal factors that affect this inequality, it engages in a few speculative observations about what the next half–century might bring.
This article introduces a theory of ethnic war. It argues that the likelihood of ethnic violence is largely a function of how the principal antagonists—a state and its dissatisfied ethnic minority—think about territory. Attempts to negotiate a resolution short of war will fail when: (1) the ethnic minority demands sovereignty over the territory it occupies, and (2) the state views that territory as indivisible. Ethnic war is less likely to break out if only one of these conditions is met, and very unlikely if neither condition is met. The article first introduces a theory to explain ethnic war. It then presents a statistical analysis of the theory's key variables and tests the theory's causal logic by comparing Moscow's interactions with Tatarstan and with Chechnya. The article concludes with three implications: ethnic groups are rational; that certain settlement patterns will not be amenable to outside intervention; and partition may not be a good policy option to end violence.
Toft, Monica Duffy. "Indivisible Territory and Ethnic War." Working Paper 01–08, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, December 2001.Download PDF
A straightforward extension of the standard Stigler–Peltzman model of regulation, coupled with the Taagepera–Shugart analysis of electoral–system effects, suggests: (a) that the greater the seat–vote elasticities of majoritarian electoral systems will tilt policy in favor of consumers, while proportional systems should strengthen producers; and (b)that the pro–consumer bias of majoritarian systems should be manifested in systematically lower prices. Empirical tests, controlling for structural determinants of national price levels established in the earlier "law of one price" literature, establish majoritarian electoral systems as a significant and robust predictor, lowering national price levels in the mean OECD country by between ten and seventeen percent.
In overlapping–generations models of public goods provision, in which the contribution decision is binary and lifetimes are finite, the set of symmetric subgame–perfect equilibria can be categorized into three types: seniority equilibria in which players contribute (effort) until a predetermined age and then shirk thereafter; dependency equilibria in which players initially shirk, then contribute for a set number of periods, then shirk for the remainder of their lives; and sabbatical equilibria in which players alternately contribute and shirk for periods of varying length before entering a final stage of shirking. In a world without discounting we establish conditions for equilibrium and demonstrate that for any dependency equilibrium there is a seniority equilibrium that Pareto–dominates it ex ante. We proceed to characterize generational preferences over alternative seniority equilibria. We explore the aggregation of these preferences by embedding the public goods provision game in a voting framework and solving for the majority–rule equilibria. In this way we can think of political processes as providing one natural framework for equilibrium selection in the original public–goods provision game.
How are constitutional rules sustained? The general problem concerns how to structure the political game so that all the players – elected officials, the military, economic actors, and citizens – have incentives to respect the rules. In this paper, we investigate this problem in the context of how the institutions of federalism are sustained. A central design problem of federalism is how to create institutions that at once grant the central government enough authority to provide central goods and police the sub–units, but not so much that it usurps all of public authority. Using a game theoretic model of institutional choice, we show that, to survive, federal structures must be self–enforcing: the center and the states must have incentives to fulfill their obligations within the limits of federal bargains. Our model investigates the tradeoffs among the benefits from central goods provision, the ability of the center to impose penalties for non–compliance, and the costs of states to exit. We also show that federal constitutions can act as coordinating devices or focal solutions that allow the units to coordinate on trigger strategies in order to police the center. We apply our approach to a range of federations, including the United States under the Articles and the Constitution, modern China, and Russia.
Market exchange rates can move around a lot, particularly but not only around currency crises. For this reason, they can properly be averaged over several years for international comparisons. However, the Chinese yuan has been fixed at roughly 8.3/dollar since 1994. In my view it is modestly undervalued, as evidenced by the steady growth of China's foreign exchange reserves, the result of central bank market intervention to keep the yuan from appreciating. China has also had a significant trade surplus in recent years. However, it still maintains controls on outflows of domestic capital. And it is about the enter the WTO, following which under the access agreements China must reduce its import barriers much more than its trading partners do. Many Chinese are fearful of withering foreign competition. If these fears prove to be valid and widespread, the yuan might have to depreciate over the next five years, although my guess is the required depreciation will be modest, e.g. 10-15 percent. Moreover, WTO membership may result in more inbound foreign investment, thus mitigating the required depreciation or even eliminating it altogether. The bottom line is this: the market exchange rate provides a much better basis for converting Chinese GDP into dollars than does some artificially constructed ppp rate. Following the pattern of Japan and Korea, the real exchange rate of the rmb might appreciate over time, as China develops, but that process will occur at a modest rate, over decades.
Paper presented at Congress public hearing "Chinese Budget Issues and the Role of the PLA in the Economy," December 7, 2001.Download PDF
The "new economy" has become a buzzword to characterize the American economy, with positive connotations but imprecise meaning. Sometimes it is used to refer only to selected high technology sectors, specifically computers, semiconductors, software, and telecommunications. But usually the term implies significant changes in the US economy as a whole. At its most dramatic, the term suggested that the traditional business cycle has been banished, inflation and unemployment have been brought forever under control, US long–term growth rates have increased significantly, and the high–value stock market was not over–valued and indeed would continue to rise. More modestly, it suggests that the structure of the US economy has changed fundamentally, with the implication, inter alia, that monetary and fiscal measures affect the economy differently from the way they did in the past. Finally, it suggests that US productivity growth has returned to, or at least toward, the high levels it enjoyed in earlier years, before the slowdown of the mid–1970s. This paper will discuss the factual bases for conjecturing that the United States might indeed have a "new economy," review the controversies and evidence surrounding that claim, and suggest how the emergence of a "new economy," if indeed there is one, might affect economies elsewhere in the world, including the Asia–Pacific region.
The answer to the question posed in the title is "yes." Using a total of 128,106 answers to a survey question about "happiness," we find that there is a large, negative and significant effect of inequality on happiness in Europe but not in the US. There are two potential explanations. First, Europeans prefer more equal societies (inequality belongs in the utility function for Europeans but not for Americans). Second, social mobility is (or is perceived to be) higher in the US so being poor is not seen as affecting future income. We test these hypotheses by partitioning the sample across income and ideological lines. There is evidence of "inequality–generated" unhappiness in the US only for a sub–group of rich leftists. In Europe inequality makes the poor unhappy, as well as the leftists. This favors the hypothesis that inequality affects European happiness because of their lower social mobility (since no preference for equality exists amongst the rich or the right). The results help explain the greater popular demand for government to fight inequality in Europe relative to the US.
The literature on the role of religious institutions in ethnic conflict does not answer the question of whether these institutions support violence or the status quo. From a resource mobilization perspective, religious institutions generally have the organizational resources to facilitate opposition to the status quo. However, it is also clear that most religions at different times have supported both violence and the status quo. An analysis of 105 ethno–religious minorities using data from the Minorities at Risk project shows that religious institutions tend to inhibit peaceful opposition unless there is a sufficient level of perceived threat to the religious institutions or the religion itself, in which case religious institutions tend to facilitate political opposi–tion among ethno–religious minorities. However, the decision to violently oppose a regime is based mostly on secular factors including the desire for some form of autonomy or independence and political discrimination against the ethno–religious minority.Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 22, Iss. 2 (1999): 119-139.
European countries are much more generous to the poor relative to the US level of generosity. Economic models suggest that redistribution is a function of the variance and skewness of the pre–tax income distribution, the volatility of income (perhaps because of trade shocks), the social costs of taxation and the expected income mobility of the median voter. None of these factors appear to explain the differences between the US and Europe. Instead, the differences appear to be the result of racial heterogeneity in the US and American political institutions. Racial animosity in the US makes redistribution to the poor, who are disproportionately black, unappealing to many voters. American political institutions limited the growth of a socialist party, and more generally limited the political power of the poor.
The poor favor redistribution and the rich oppose it, but that is not all. Social mobility may make some of today's poor into tomorrow's rich and since redistributive policies do not change often, individual preferences for redistribution should depend on the extent and the nature of social mobility. We estimate the determinants of preferences for redistribution using individual level data from the US, and we find that individual support for redistribution is negatively affected by social mobility. Furthermore, the impact of mobility on attitudes towards redistribution is affected by individual perceptions of fairness in the mobility process. People who believe that the American society offers equal opportunities to all are more averse to redistribution in the face of increased mobility. On the other hand, those who see the social rat race as a biased process do not see social mobility as an alternative to redistributive policies.