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.
This study seeks to better understand the long-term development of efforts to manage interactions between society and the global environment. It conceives "management" broadly to include problem and goal definition, as well as the formulation and implementation of action programs and policy. It explores the impact and interactions of ideas, interests, and institutions on the development of management practice. It investigates the extent to which, and means by which, efforts at global environmental management entrain multiple actors in multiple national and super-national arenas. Similarly, it is interested in the extent to which the management capacity for dealing with any specific global environmental concern is affected by the management capacity developed for dealing with other issues. Finally, it asks to what extent and in what ways, learning has played a significant role in the development of society's approach to the management of its interactions with the global environment.
To illuminate these questions, the study traces the evolution of efforts to address the issues of acid rain, stratospheric ozone depletion, and climate change over a period extending from the International Geophysical Year of 1957 through the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development of 1992. It offers a comparative exploration of the development of these issues across a range of national and international settings including Japan, the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, the former Soviet Union, Hungary, the European Union and the family of international environmental organizations. It describes the development of management response along two dimensions: one focusing on problem framing, agenda setting, and issue attention; the other on management functions of risk assessment, monitoring, option assessment, goal and strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation.
Numerous studies of global environmental change have concentrated on particular countries, issues, institutions, periods and policies. This work seeks to complement such focused efforts by fashioning a long-term, large-scale overview of how the interplay between ideas and actions across multiple problem areas has laid the foundations on which contemporary efforts in global environmental management are now building. It has been written by, and should be of interest to, scientists, policy advisors and others involved in contemporary efforts to manage global environmental change, as well as scholars seeking to advance our broader understanding of global environmental issues and governance.
Prosperity and Violence considers the history of human civilization and explains the origins of the modern state, focusing on the evolution of capitalism as cultures move from dispersed agrarian clans to the dense modern metropolis. Informed by firsthand experience with the political and economic development of many diverse cultures, Bates demonstrates how successful modern states harness ethnic diversity for prosperity rather than for violence and political power. Brief and compelling, Prosperity and Violence is certain to be an excellent supplement in any comparative politics course.
Social protection does not always mean "politics against markets." In this chapter we argue, as did Polanyi (1994), that social protection rescues the market from itself by preventing market failures. More specifically, we contend that social protection aids the market by helping economic actors overcome market failures in skill formation. We show, in this chapter, that different types of social protection are complementary to different skill equilibria.
The Holocaust has been a constant presence and a pervasive influence in my life and work. In this chapter, I reflect on my personal experience in confronting the Holocaust as a social scientist – which is, of course, my particular way of confronting it as a human being. The Holocaust has had an impact – in both obvious and subtle ways – not only what I chose to study as a social scientist but also on my very choice of this profession as my lifelong career.
In a hierarchical relationship, by definition, the superior is entitled to exert influence on the subordinate and the subordinate is obligated to accept the superior’s influence. These rights and duties, however, are not unlimited. Ethical use of influence presupposes certain intraorganizational and extraorganizational limits on the demands and requests that the superior is entitled to make and that the subordinate is expected – at times, in fact, permitted – to carry out. To set the stage for discussion of such limits, I first review some of the moral principles according to which influence attempts must be assessed and present a typology that distinguishes among different means of influence.
"The most important political distinction among countries concerns not their form of government but their degree of government. The differences between democracy and dictatorship are less than the differences between those countries whose politics embodies consensus, community, legitimacy, organization, effectiveness, stability, and those countries whose politics is deficient in these qualities." So begins Samuel P. Huntington's 'Political Order in Changing Societies,' one of the most widely influential and insightful books on comparative politics ever written. Its concern is normative as well as analytic. In a retrospective comment on his own writing, Huntington has noted, "I wrote [Political Order] because I thought political order was a good thing." Moreover, he added, his "purpose was to develop a general social science theory of why, how, and under what circumstances order could and could not be achieved."
This paper addresses the influence of foreign trade and investment on inequality or, more generally, on the distribution of income, with a focus on developing countries. There has been some scholarly debate on the influence on economic growth of economic openness to the rest of the world. Since growth affects the level of poverty and the distribution of income, the trade–growth nexus is also addressed.
"Distribution of income" has several quite different meanings, apart from the issue of the specific measurements that are used to describe it. Economic theory has mainly been concerned with the functional distribution of income, that is, with the returns to different identifiable factors of production and their respective shares in total income of a particular country, such as the share of labor income in national income. Popular and political discourse is more concerned with the size distribution of income, such as the fraction of national income accruing to the top ten percent, or the bottom decile, of residents of the country in question — and in particular on whether inequality has risen or declined. In recent years, concern with the size distribution of income has extended to the global distribution, where observations are on countries, grouped by per capita income, rather than on individuals.
The two concepts of distribution are related by the ownership of the factors of production, especially land in a predominantly agrarian economy, capital in a modern economy. If ownership of land and capital were evenly distributed across a population, even significant changes in the functional distribution of income would have little impact on the size distribution of income.
Cooper, Richard. "Growth and Inequality: The Role of Foreign Trade and Investment." Working Paper 01–07, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, 2001.
The central claim in this paper is that by explicitly introducing costs of international trade (narrowly, transport costs but more broadly, tariffs, nontariff barriers and other trade costs), one can go far toward explaining a great number of the main empirical puzzles that international macroeconomists have struggled with over twenty–five years. Our approach elucidates J. McCallum's home bias in trade puzzle, the Feldstein–Horioka saving–investment puzzle, the French–Poterba equity home bias puzzle, and the Backus–Kehoe– Kydland consumption correlations puzzle. That one simple alteration to an otherwise canonical international macroeconomic model can help substantially to explain such a broad arrange of empirical puzzles, including some that previously seemed intractable, suggests a rich area for future research. We also address a variety of international pricing puzzles, including the purchasing power parity puzzle emphasized by Rogoff, and what we term the exchange–rate disconnect puzzle.' The latter category of riddles includes both the Meese–Rogoff exchange rate forecasting puzzle and the Baxter–Stockman neutrality of exchange rate regime puzzle. Here although many elements need to be added to our extremely simple model, we can still show that trade costs play an essential role.
This paper explores the impact of political economy factors on exchange rate policy in Latin America. It studies the determinants of the choice of exchange rate regime in Latin America, placing special emphasis on political, institutional and interest group explanations. The presumption is that differences in institutional and political settings, as well as differences in economic structure, can have an effect on the choice of regime and, more generally, on exchange rate policy. In addition to these structural elements, the paper examines whether such political events as elections and changes in government affect the pattern of nominal and real exchange rates.
(Revised version of "Politics and Exchange Rates: A Cross-Country Approach for Latin America")
In The Currency Game: Exchange Rate Politics in Latin America, edited by Jeffry Frieden and Ernesto Stein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. Download PDF
A Research Report from the Organizing Religious Work Project, Hartford Institute for Religion Research Hartford Seminary
The well–being of every community depends on harnessing the contributions of its citizens. Sustaining viable communities requires places where people can gather, work together, and learn to trust one another – where we generate what Robert Putnam has called "social capital."1 We depend on the neighborhood associations and political action groups, parent associations and leagues of civil rights activists, as well as the churches, synagogues, and mosques that provide places of concern, belonging and action. This is a report on the work being done by such religious organizations and their community partners in seven representative communities in the U.S..
To what extent has globalization been a factor in Indonesia's economic turmoil? This essay addresses the question by reviewing the experience of the Indonesian economy as it evolved in the decade before the crisis and since the crisis hit. It starts by reviewing the policies adopted by the Indonesian government as it sought to integrate the economy more closely into the global market place and reviews the outcome of this earlier policy shift. The paper then turns to assess the impact of the Asian financial crisis but broadens the scope to include a review of domestic political and social stability. It traces the country's slow and halting movement towards recovery highlighting the major reasons why the economic collapse was so severe and why the recovery process has been slower than in neighboring countries. It also briefly reviews "pro" and "con" globalization arguments, and assesses the role globalization played in Indonesia's economic collapse, before concluding with lessons that can be drawn from the Indonesian experience. The author also looks at the role of the IMF in managing the crisis drawing upon his own role negotiating with the IMF during the critical period in Indonesia's economic and political history.
Is the political support for welfare policy higher or lower in less egalitarian societies? We answer the question using a model of welfare policy as publicly financed insurance that pays benefits in a redistributive manner. When voters have both redistributive and insurance motives for supporting welfare spending, the effect of inequality depends on how benefits are targeted. Greater inequality increases support for welfare expenditures when benefits are targeted to the employed but decreases support when benefits are targeted to those without earnings. With endogenous targeting, support for benefits to those without earnings declines as inequality increases, whereas support for aggregate spending is a V–shaped function of inequality. Statistical analysis of welfare expenditures in advanced industrial societies provides support for key empirical implications of the model.
Markets are so routinely regarded as fundamentally economic institutions that long–standing and quite varied anthropological perspectives on them are often overlooked. Anthropological attention focuses on patterns of individual and small–group exchange relationships within specific markets, on institutional structures that organize markets, and on the social, political, and spatial hierarchies through which markets link social classes, ethnic groups, or regional societies into larger systems. Anthropological studies of markets analyze them as nodes of complex social processes and generators of cultural activity as well as realms for economic exchange. Anthropologists' interests in markets, therefore, are partially distinct from – although certainly overlapping with – the concerns of economists.
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.
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.
This book reports the results of our research on the role of special interest groups in the process of trade policy formation. However, there is little that is unique about this particular type of policy. The methods that interest groups use to affect trade outcomes are the same as the ones they use to influence a myriad of other policy decisions, including both economic issues and issues outside of the economic realm.
This paper develops an explicitly stochastic new open economy macroeconomics' model, which can potentially be used to explore the qualitative and quantitative welfare differences between alternative exchange rate regimes. A crucial feature is that we do not simplify by assuming certainty equivalence for producer price setting behavior. Our framework also provides a sticky–price alternative to Lucas's (1982) exchage rate risk premium model. We show that the level risk premium' in the exchage rate is potentially quite large and may be an important missing fundamental in empirical exchange rate equations. As a byproduct analysis also suggests an intriguing possible explanation of the forward premium puzzle.