There are different arguments in favor and against nominal and indexed debt which broadly include the incentive to default through inflation versus hedging against unforeseen shocks. We model and calibrate these arguments to assess their quantitative importance. We use a dynamic equilibrium model with tax distortion, government outlays uncertainty, and contingent–debt service, which we take to mean nominal debt. In the model, the benefits of defaulting through inflation are tempered by higher future interest rates. We obtain that calibrated costs from inflation more than offset the benefits from hedging. We further discuss sustainability of nominal debt in developing (volatile) countries.
Are smaller members of the World Trade Organization able to use the WTO?s dispute settlement mechanism on an equal footing with the more powerful members of the organization? This paper examines the relationship between the wealth and power of states and their ability to participate fully within this system of dispute resolution. Two alternative hypotheses are considered. The "power hypothesis" predicts that politically weak countries will refrain from filing complaints against politically powerful states for fear of costly retaliation. The "capacity hypothesis" predicts the opposite – low income states will tend to complain about behavior by high income states because the latter offer a higher expected return. Using the set of all WTO disputes we test these two hypotheses and find considerable support for the capacity hypothesis and no support for the power hypothesis. We conclude that poor states behave differently than their rich counterparts because they lack the financial, human, and institutional capital to participate fully in the dispute resolution system.
In this essay we introduce this special volume on the role of religion in world conflict. We develop a common definition of religion which focuses on five ways religion can influence society an politics: (1) as a basis for identity; (2) as a belief system that influences behavior; (3) through formal religious doctrines; (4) as a source of legitimacy; and (5) through its religious institutions. We discuss why the issue of religion has in the past received little attention from social scientists. Finally, we develop a set of common questions which the other authors in the volume address. These questions are designed to create a better understanding of the role religion plays in world conflict as well as how international relations theory can help us understand this role.
Territorial disputes between governments generate a significant amount of uncertainty for economic actors. Settled boundary agreements produce benefits to economic agents on both sides of the border. These qualities of borders are missed both by realists, who view territorial conflicts in overly zero–sum terms, and globalists, who claim borders are increasingly irrelevant. I argue that settled borders help to secure property rights, signal much greater jurisdictional and policy certainty, and thereby reduce the transactions costs associated with international economic transactions. The plausibility of this claim is examined by showing that territorial disputes involve significant economic opportunity costs in the form of foregone bilateral trade. Theories of territorial politics should take into account the possibility of such joint gains in their models of state dispute behavior.
At the end of the Cold War, semipresidentialism became the modal constitution of the postcommunist world. In Russia and other post–Soviet states, however, this system of government has impeded consolidation. Semipresidentialism combines a popularly elected head of state with a prime minister responsible to the legislature; though this framework seemed to promise the best of all constitutional worlds, when put into practice in many countries during their transitions, the framework began to pose serious design dilemmas and facilitate democratic backsliding rather than consolidation.
The economic and social organization of capitalist societies is one of the most classical of sociological subjects, as the editors of this volume point out. Pioneers of economic sociology such as Weber were fundamentally comparative, but the comparative analysis of the institutions governing capitalism in different cultural contexts has unfortunately received relatively short shrift within the new economic sociology of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century (Swedberg, this volume). Instead, much of this terrain has been implicitly ceded to political economists working in the newly-developed "varieties of capitalism" framework (see discussions in Brinton 2005, and Swedberg this volume). The varieties of capitalism agenda is ambitious. But it leaves many areas of interest to economic sociologists wide open.
This article makes a conceptual and theoretical contribution to the study of diffusion. The authors suggest that the concept of diffusion be reserved for processes (not outcomes)characterized by a certain uncoordinated interdependence. Theoretically, the authors identify the principal sources of clustered policy reforms. They then clarify the characteristics specific to diffusion mechanisms and introduce a categorization of such processes. In particular, they make a distinction between two types of diffusion: adaptation and learning. They argue that this categorization adds conceptual clarity and distinguishes mechanisms with distinct substantive consequences. Keywords: diffusion; clustering; convergence; policy reform; adaptation; learning; cluster decision making.
This article reviews arguments in favour of a formal, written constitution for Europe, and concludes with a better suggestion – a Basic European Law. The article also criticizes the wholehearted embrace of ?popular constitution–making?. It does so by drawing on comparative evidence from constitution–making processes in various his–torical time periods and world regions. It poses three essential questions to organize the debate. First, why a European constitution? Second, what kind of European con–stitution? Third, how a European constitution?
Lightning may never strike twice in the same place, but the same cannot be said of sovereign default. Throughout history, governments have demonstrated that “serial default” is the rule, not the exception. Argentina has famously defaulted on ﬁve occasions since its birth in the 1820’s. However, as shown in Table 1, Argentina’s record is surpassed by many countries in the New World (Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Ecuador) and by almost as many in the Old World (France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey). At the same time, a
smaller and dwindling number of developing countries such as India, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, and Thailand have yet to default, despite being tested by severe turmoil, including the Asian crisis of the late 1990’s. What can explain such striking differences in default performance? State-of-the-art theoretical models of debt crises stress the importance of multiple equilibria where random investor panics can become self-fulﬁlling. The implication is that economists may never be able to precisely explain sovereign defaults, much less
predict them. Nevertheless, the fact that sovereign defaults tend to recur like clockwork in some countries, while being absent in others, suggests that there must be a signiﬁcant explainable component as well.
Many sociologists have considered the intersection of race and gender in the production of social life, but while works on “intersectionality” have offered a useful paradigm for analyzing the experience of individual persons, a model for understanding how structures interact remains unclear. Appropriating Sewell’s (1992) argument that structures consist of cultural schemas applied to resources, this article develops a more nuanced approach to intersectionality. It presents the argument that because the basis of race and gender as social structures is the inscription of cultural schemas on bodies, and because racial reproduction is predicated on the continued creation of these culturally inscribed bodies, race and gender as social structures necessarily intersect at the level of biological reproduction. The study uses this theoretical insight to analyze how physicians and suffragists contested the meaning of, and policy regarding, abortion in nineteenth-century America. While most histories of abortion argue that nineteenth-century abortion politics concerned gender relations, this article argues that what was at stake was Anglo-Saxon control of the state and dominance of society. Abortion politics contested the proper use of a valuable social resource, the reproductive capacity of Anglo-Saxon women.
Co-author Nicola Beisel is a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. Download PDF
Female participation in the Latin American paid labor force is increasing
dramatically. Building upon Fortes and Hoffman's (2003) model, we use occupational
data to measure gendered changes in Latin America's class structure
over the last two decades of economic restructuring and adjustment and to investigate
the causes and consequences of these regional patterns. Our results suggest
two important conclusions. First, economic adjustment and restructuring is
increasing women's parity with men in terms of class position largely as a consequence
of the deterioration of men's once-privileged location in the class structure.
Second, recent economic adjustment and restructuring has altered power
relations between social classes in Latin America in part because it has inspired
both qualitative and quantitative changes in the gendered composition of Latin
American labor. The number of women entering the workforce, and the labor
conditions suffered particularly by women workers, has resulted in both the literal
and figurative "emasculation" of the Formal Froletariat. These preliminary
findings make clear the explanatory benefits of including gender in analyses of
ehanges in the Latin American class structure.
Unlike our historian friends, anthropologists do not have the luxury of drawing a line in the sands of time and declaring a closure date for our research. Ethnography never ends. Even the demise of the original field–worker does not conclude the enterprise, given the inevitability of re–studies (usually conducted by younger scholars eager to overthrow past paradigms). This article is a product of contemporary ethnography; it describes a project that has a beginning but no clear end. At some point during the 1990s, the research took on a life of its own and, if anyone is in charge, it is certainly not the ethnographer. In many respects, therefore, the project parallels the digital revolution: decentered, unpredictable, and "out of control."
My address focuses on the long–term consequences of international migration and the historical dynamics of diaspora formation. The research is longitudinal in the sense that it tracks a single, tightly bound kinship group during thirty–five years of field research. From its inception, this has been what anthropologists refer to as a multisited ethnography, even though that term had not been invented when the research began (see Marcus 1995). The project started in 1969 as a "typical" (for that era) village study, focusing on a Cantonese community of two thousand people.
One of the most important developments over the past three decades has been the spread of liberal economic ideas and policies throughout the world. These policies have affected the lives of millions of people, and yet our most sophisticated political economy models do not adequately capture influences on these policy choices. Evidence suggests that the adoption of liberal economic practices is highly clustered both temporally and spatially. We hypothesize this clustering might be due to processes of policy diffusion. We think of diffusion as resulting from one of two broad sets of forces: one in which mounting adoptions of a policy alter the benefits of adopting for others, and another in which adoptions provide policy relevant information about the benefits of adopting. We develop arguments within these broad classes of mechanisms, construct appropriate measures of the relevant concepts, and test their effects on liberalization and restriction of the current account, the capital account, and the exchange rate regime. Our findings suggest that domestic models of foreign economic policymaking are insufficient. The evidence shows that policy transitions are influenced by international economic competition as well as the policies of a country?s socio–cultural peers. We interpret this latter influence as a form of channeled learning reflecting governments? search for appropriate models for economic policy.