My primary focus is on the mechanisms that drive regulatory harmonization in international finance. Just as we would like to know whether firms have arrived at similar prices for a good through collusion or competition, we want to know whether harmonization occurs through political or market pressures. My argument also informs a discussion about whether international institutions will play a role in the process of harmonization, and if so, what that role will be. In short, the dependent variable of this study is primarily harmonization processes. By focusing on process mechanisms, I provide a theoretical and practical explanation of the relative roles of market incentives, political pressure, and multilateral institutions in the coordination of regulatory policies.
The structure of international monetary relations has gained increasing prominence over the past two decades. Both national exchange rate policy and the character of the international monetary system require explanation. At the national level, the choice of exchange rate regime and the desired level of the exchange rate involve distributionally relevant tradeoffs. Interest group and partisan pressures, the structure of political institutions, and the electoral incentives of politicians therefore influence exchange rate regime and level decisions. At the international level, the character of the international monetary system depends importantly on strategic interaction among governments, driven by their national concerns and constrained by the international environment. A global or regional fixed–rate currency regime, in particular, requires at least coordination and often explicit cooperation among national governments.
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.
Despite some success stories in the 1960s and early 1970s, Africa is poor and getting poorer. There is also an almost universally pessimistic consensus about its economic prospects. This consensus started to emerge in recent empirical work on the determinants of growth with Barro's (1991) discovery of a negative "African Dummy" and was summed up by Easterly and Levine?s (1997) title, "Africa's Growth Tragedy." Table 4.1 collects some familiar comparative evidence on Africa?s economic performance. The average sub–Saharan African country is poorer than the average low–income country and getting poorer. Indeed, the average growth rate has been negative since 1965, and there is approximately a 35–fold difference between the per capital income level of the average sub–Saharan country and the United States.Against this background of poor performance, one African country, Botswana, has not only performed well, but better than any other country in the world in the last 35 years. In table 4.2 we examine the facts about Botswana in both an African and more general context. Botswana had a PPP–adjusted income per capital of $5,796 in 1998, almost four times the African average, and between 1965 and 1998, it grew at an annual rate of 7.7 percent.
Contrary to popular opinion, increasing numbers of migrants continue to participate in the political, social, and economic lives of their countries of origin even as they put down roots in the United States. The Transnational Villagers offers a detailed, compelling account of how ordinary people keep their feet in two worlds and create communities that span borders. Peggy Levitt explores the powerful familial, religious, and political connections that arise between Miraflores, a town in the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood in Boston and examines the ways in which these ties transform life in both the home and host country.The Transnational Villagers is one of only a few books based on in-depth fieldwork in the countries of origin and reception. It provides a moving, detailed account of how transnational migration transforms family and work life, challenges migrants' ideas about race and gender, and alters life for those who stay behind as much, if not more, than for those who migrate. It calls into question conventional thinking about immigration by showing that assimilation and transnational lifestyles are not incompatible. In fact, in this era of increasing economic and political globalization, living transnationally may become the rule rather than the exception.
We offer the first independent scholarly evaluation of the claims, forecasts, and causal inferences of the State Failure Task Force and their efforts to forecast when states will fail. State failure refers to the collapse of the authority of the central government to impose order, as in civil wars, revolutionary wars, genocides, politicides, and adverse or disruptive regime transitions. States that sponsor international terrorism or allow it to be organized from within their borders are all failed states. This task force, set up at the behest of Vice President Gore in 1994, has been led by a group of distinguished academics working as consultants to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. State Failure Task Force reports and publications have received attention in the media, in academia, and from public policy decision–makers. In this article, we identify several methodological errors in the task force work that cause their reported forecast probabilities of conflict to be too large, their causal inferences to be biased in unpredictable directions, and their claims of forecasting performance to be exaggerated. However, we also find that the task force has amassed the best and most carefully collected data on state failure in existence, and the required corrections which we provide, although very large in effect, are easy to implement. We also reanalyze their data with better statistical procedures and demonstrate how to improve forecasting performance to levels significantly greater than even corrected versions of their models. Although still a highly uncertain endeavor, we are as a consequence able to offer the first accurate forecasts of state failure, along with procedures and results that may be of practical use in informing foreign policy decision making. We also describe a number of strong empirical regularities that may help in ascertaining the causes of state failure. Forthcoming in World Politics. You may also be interested in the last state failure task force report, the state failure data we used to write this paper, or the related paper, Nathaniel Beck, Gary King, and Langche Zeng. "Improving Quantitative Studies of International Conflict: A Conjecture," American Political Science Review, Vol. 94, No. 1 (March, 2000): 21–36 [Abstract] (winner of the Gosnell Prize).
Samuel Huntington's controversial "clash of civilizations" thesis posits that, among other things, the extent of both international and domestic conflict between 'civilizations' will increase with the end of the Cold War. This is expected to be especially true of clashes involving the Western and Islamic civilizations and even more so for clashes between these two civilizations. In this article the author, using the Minorities at Risk dataset along with independently collected variables, tests these ethnic conflict propositions of Huntington's. The results from the author's analysis are examined from there perspectives: globally, from the perspective of the Islamic civilization, and from the perspective of the Western civilization. Globally, there has been little change in Islamic involvement in civilizational ethnic conflict since the end of the Cold War. However, from a Western perspective, the proportion of civilizational conflicts involving Western groups that are with Islamic groups increased dramatically after the end of the Cold War. Thus, the results show that if one focuses narrowly on the perspective of the Western civilization, there is some support for Huntington's claims regarding Islam, but not for a general increase in civilizational conflict. However, from the perspective of the Islamic civilization and from a broader global perspective, ther is little support for Huntington's argument.Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, no. 4(2001): 459-472.
The new agenda of global integration is built on shaky empirical ground and is seriously distorting policy makers? priorities. Making compliance with it the first order of business diverts human resources, administrative capabilities, and political capital away from more urgent development priorities such as education, public health, industrial capacity, and social cohesion. It undermines nascent democratic institutions by removing the choice of development strategy from public debate. World markets are a source of technology and capital; it would be silly for the developing world not to exploit these opportunities. But globalization is not a short cut to development.
This paper reports some preliminary cost–effectiveness estimates for vaccine purchase commitments. Besides assessing the merit of a purchase program, this analysis can be used to examine the cost–effectiveness of purchasing vaccines with different characteristics, and thus to help establish eligibility requirements and identify prices at which vaccines with different characteristics might be purchased.
Most explanations of female under-representation in democratic polities emphasize either
demand for female representatives (say, as a function of female labor force participation),
the political mobilization of women, or overt or covert discrimination by male-dominated
political organizations. We offer a different—though not necessarily competing—explanation based on an analysis of democratic politics as a particular type of career
market. Because seniority is an important factor in legislative effectiveness in candidatecentered
systems, career interruptions for the sake of childcare and other family work
hurts female aspiring politicians more seriously in majoritarian systems than in PR
systems where political parties control the policy platform and constituency service is a
minor consideration in the careers of candidates. We find support for this explanation
from several sources. First, we find that personalistic electoral systems penalize females
(following the rank ordering technique provided by Carey and Shugart 1995). Second,
we find that in countries with mixed electoral systems women do better in seats elected
by PR than by SMP.
Genetically modified (GM) food crops have inspired increasing controversy over the past decade. By the mid-1990s they were widely grown in the U.S., Canada, and Argentina, but precautionary regulations continue to limit their use elsewhere. The restrictive policies of Europe and Japan toward GM crops have been much discussed. Less attention has been paid to the policies affecting the adoption of GM crops in the developing world, where their potential impact on the availability and quality of food is even greater.In this book Robert Paarlberg looks at the policy choices regarding GM food made by four important developing countries: Kenya, Brazil, India, and China. Of these, so far only China has approved the planting of GM crops. Paarlberg identifies five policy areas in which governments of developing countries can either support or discourage GM crops: intellectual property rights, biosafety, trade, food safety, and public research and investment. He notes that highly cautious biosafety policies have so far been the key reason that Kenya, Brazil, and India have hesitated to plant GM crops. These cautious policies have been strongly reinforced by international market forces and international diplomatic and NGO pressures. China has been less cautious toward GM crops, in part because there is less opportunity in China for international organizations or independent critics of GM crops to challenge official policy.
The high-tech bubble seems to have burst-or has it? Knowing where you are in the business cycle is crucial. Historical perspective helps, and so does keen analysis. Ruling the Waves offers both.Debora Spar begins the historical context with pirate tales. Jean Lafitte's domination of the seas and Rupert Murdoch's domination of the British airwaves with BskyB have much in common. Tales of the telegraph and radio help you understand the natural evolution of Microsoft, the trials of the codemakers who fought the U.S. government to protect Internet privacy, and the revolutionary rap stars who challenged the record industry. Great stories of quirky pioneers and their roller-coaster rides make this the one book that you need to become an expert on the path of future innovations and the natural development from idea to market in a changing world.
Exchange rates have been central to the course of economic development in Latin America from the heyday of import substitution to the rapid expansion of foreign debt in the 1970s, and from the debt crisis and its troubled aftermath to renewed growth and borrowing in the 1990s.Why do governments choose the currency policies they do, and how do economic and political factors affect these policies? Although currency policy is made by governments operating in a political environment, there has been little study of the political economy of exchange rate policy. The Currency Game looks to fill this void by examining the range of potential determinants of currency choices by Latin American governments. While purely economic factors (especially economic structure, trade patterns, and exogenous economic conditions) are of course important to these choices, the book focuses on the political and political economy considerations that have typically been underrepresented in the literature. These include the effects of interest groups, electoral competition, and the timing of elections on exchange rate decisions. Since exchange regimes are adopted for reasons as diverse as inflation control, reduced volatility and improved competitiveness, the book also features a cross-country analysis of national exchange rate policies, as well as case studies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
In recent years the German economy has grown sluggishly and created few new jobs. These developments have led observers to question the future viability of a model that in the past seemed able to combine economic growth, competitiveness in export markets, and low social inequality. This volume brings together empirical and comparative research from across the social sciences to examine whether or not Germany's system of skill provision is still capable of meeting the economic and social challenges now facing all the advanced capitalist economies. At issue is the question of whether or not the celebrated German training system, an essential element of the high-skill, high-wage equilibrium, can continue to provide the skills necessary for German companies to hold their economic niche in a world characterized by increasing trade and financial interdependence. Combining an examination of the competitiveness of the German training system with an analysis of the robustness of the political institutions that support it, this volume seeks to understand the extent to which the German system for imparting craft skills can adjust to changes in the organization of production in the advanced industrial states.