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Friday, November 9, 2012

Third world

 

World Welfare is Rising: Estimation Using Nonparametric Bounds on Welfare Measures

Maxim Pinkovskiy
Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
I take a new approach to measuring world inequality and welfare over time by constructing robust bounds for these series instead of imposing parametric assumptions to compute point estimates. I derive sharp bounds on the Atkinson inequality index that are valid for any underlying distribution of income conditional on given fractile shares and Gini coefficient. While the bounds are too wide to reject the hypothesis that world inequality may have risen, I show that world welfare rose unambiguously between 1970 and 2006. This conclusion is valid for alternative methods of dealing with countries and years with missing surveys, alternative survey harmonization procedures, alternative GDP series, or if the inequality surveys used systematically underreport the income of the very rich, or suffer from nonresponse bias.

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The Three Horsemen of Riches: Plague, War, and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe

Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
How did Europe escape the "Iron Law of Wages?" We construct a simple Malthusian model with two sectors and multiple steady states, and use it to explain why European per capita incomes and urbanization rates increased during the period 1350-1700. Productivity growth can only explain a small fraction of the rise in output per capita. Population dynamics - changes of the birth and death schedules - were far more important determinants of steady states. We show how a major shock to population can trigger a transition to a new steady state with higher per-capita income. The Black Death was such a shock, raising wages substantially. Because of Engel's Law, demand for urban products increased, and urban centers grew in size. European cities were unhealthy, and rising urbanization pushed up aggregate death rates. This effect was reinforced by diseases spread through war, financed by higher tax revenues. In addition, rising trade also spread diseases. In this way higher wages themselves reduced population pressure. We show in a calibration exercise that our model can account for the sustained rise in European urbanization as well as permanently higher per capita incomes in 1700, without technological change. Wars contributed importantly to the ‘Rise of Europe,' even if they had negative short-run effects. We thus trace Europe's precocious rise to economic riches to interactions of the plague shock with the belligerent political environment and the nature of cities.

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Germs, Social Networks and Growth

Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp
NBER Working Paper, October 2012

Abstract:
Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, how does this effect operate and how big is it? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country's rate of technological progress. The network model also explains why societies with a high prevalence of contagious disease might evolve toward growth-inhibiting social institutions and how small initial differences can produce large divergence in incomes. Empirical work uses differences in the prevalence of diseases spread by human contact and the prevalence of other diseases as an instrument to identify an effect of social structure on technology diffusion.

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The Origin of Democracy in Athens

Bryan McCannon
Review of Law & Economics, October 2012, Pages 531-562

Abstract:
A new explanation of the origin of democracy is presented, motivated by historical observations from ancient Athens. It is argued that volatility in wealth across generations encouraged the elites to extend the franchise to nonelites. While being among the elite allows for the extraction of wealth from the nonelite, if there is a significant probability that one's offspring will fall from the ranks of the elite, then the enfranchised may have the incentive to provide democracy. This proves an insurance for one's offspring. Furthermore, providing this protection allows, in certain environments, an elite to consume more in his life.

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How Did China Take Off?

Yasheng Huang
Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fall 2012, Pages 147-170

Abstract:
There are two prevailing perspectives on how China took off. One emphasizes the role of globalization - foreign trade and investments and special economic zones; the other emphasizes the role of internal reforms, especially rural reforms. Detailed documentary and quantitative evidence provides strong support for the second hypothesis. To understand how China's economy took off requires an accurate and detailed understanding of its rural development, especially rural industry spearheaded by the rise of township and village enterprises. Many China scholars believe that township and village enterprises have a distinct ownership structure - that they are owned and operated by local governments rather than by private entrepreneurs. I will show that township and village enterprises from the inception have been private and that China undertook significant and meaningful financial liberalization at the very start of reforms. Rural private entrepreneurship and financial reforms correlate strongly with some of China's best-known achievements - poverty reduction, fast GDP growth driven by personal consumption (rather than by corporate investments and government spending), and an initial decline of income inequality. The conventional view of China scholars is right about one point - that today's Chinese financial sector is completely state-controlled. This is because China reversed almost all of its financial liberalization sometime around the early to mid 1990s. This financial reversal, despite its monumental effect on the welfare of hundreds of millions of rural Chinese, is almost completely unknown in the West.

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Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Pre-Analysis Plan

Katherine Casey, Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel
Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite their importance, there is limited evidence on how institutions can be strengthened. Evaluating the effects of specific reforms is complicated by the lack of exogenous variation in institutions; the difficulty of measuring institutional performance; and the temptation to "cherry pick" estimates from among the large number of indicators required to capture this multi-faceted subject. We evaluate one attempt to make local institutions more democratic and egalitarian by imposing participation requirements for marginalized groups (including women) and test for learning-by-doing effects. We exploit the random assignment of a governance program in Sierra Leone; develop innovative real-world outcome measures; and use a pre-analysis plan (PAP) to bind our hands against data mining. The intervention studied is a "community driven development" program, which has become a popular strategy for foreign aid donors. We find positive short-run effects on local public goods and economic outcomes, but no evidence for sustained impacts on collective action, decision-making, or the involvement of marginalized groups, suggesting that the intervention did not durably reshape local institutions. We discuss the practical tradeoffs faced in implementing a PAP, and show how in its absence we could have generated two divergent, equally erroneous interpretations of program impacts on institutions.

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Cultural Dimensions, Collective Values and their Importance for Institutions

Mariko Klasing
Journal of Comparative Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper critically assesses the role of culture in determining the quality of institutions. Employing various measures of cultural differences, I find that only differences related to the degree of individualism in society and the extent to which inequality in the distribution of power is tolerated are strong and statistically significant predictors of the observed differences in institutional quality. This finding is robust to the inclusion of various other determinants of institutional differences across countries discussed in the literature and it holds for a variety of measures of institutional quality. Moreover, the strong link between these two cultural dimensions and the quality of institutions is also confirmed in instrumental variables regressions where a novel instruments for culture based on a weighted average of the cultural attitudes present in neighboring countries is employed.

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Can capitalism restrain public perceived corruption? Some evidence

Hugo Faria et al.
Journal of Institutional Economics, December 2012, Pages 511-535

Abstract:
A growing body of evidence documents a vast array of economic and social ill-effects of public perceived corruption. These findings and the scant evidence of recent success in the fight against corruption beg the question: how to abate it? We document the existence of a negative, statistically significant and quantitatively large impact of economic freedom (our proxy for institutions of capitalism, markets and competition) on public corruption. This negative response of corruption to economic freedom holds after allowing for non-linearities interacting economic freedom and political rights, endowments, legal families, ethnicity and for robust determinants of corruption uncovered by Daniel Treisman [‘What Have We Learned About the Causes of Corruption From Ten Years of Cross-National Empirical Research?', Annual Review of Political Science, 10: 211-244], such as income, democracy, freedom of the press and fuel exports. Thus, this paper helps to explain why high-income prosperous countries exhibit low levels of public perceived corruption, and why honesty is a normal good.

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The African Growth Miracle

Alwyn Young
NBER Working Paper, October 2012

Abstract:
Measures of real consumption based upon the ownership of durable goods, the quality of housing, the health and mortality of children, the education of youth and the allocation of female time in the household indicate that sub-Saharan living standards have, for the past two decades, been growing about 3.4 to 3.7 percent per annum, i.e. three and a half to four times the rate indicated in international data sets.

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Urban Density, Law and the Duration of Real Estate Leases

Sheridan Titman & Garry Twite
Journal of Urban Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study explores the relationship between a country's legal system and how its cities develop by examining the considerable variations in commercial real estate lease duration (or term) across both countries and cities. We find that the cross-country variation in lease duration and building construction is related to the content (common versus civil law) and efficiency (integrity and enforceability) of the legal system in the respective countries. First, we find that countries with a common law system and lower levels of corruption tend to have longer leases. Second, we find that in the United States, high-rise Class A office buildings tend to have tenants with longer term leases, suggesting that the advantages associated with being able to write and enforce a long term lease is particularly important for the development of high-rise office buildings. Finally, we find that there are in fact more high-rise office buildings in countries with more efficient legal systems.

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Polity scale shifts in world-systems since the Bronze Age: A comparative inventory of upsweeps and collapses

Hiroko Inoue et al.
International Journal of Comparative Sociology, June 2012, Pages 210-229

Abstract:
In this article we report an inventory of cycles, upward sweeps and collapses of polity sizes in five separate interpolity systems: Mesopotamia, Egypt, South Asia, East Asia and the expanding Central System that eventually became the contemporary global system. Upward sweeps are defined as instances in which the largest sovereign polity in a network of fighting and allying polities significantly increases in size. Collapses are instances in which the size of the largest polity greatly decreases and stays down for a significant period of time (centuries). We use regional interpolity systems rather than single polities as the unit of analysis, following the comparative world-systems framework. We are limited to those regions and time periods for which quantitative estimates of largest polity sizes are available. We compare the frequencies of cycles and sweeps across five interpolity networks, and find more similarities than differences across the five systems. This is somewhat surprising because most studies that compare East Asia with the West stress important differences. We find a total of 22 upsweeps and 19 downsweeps across the five systems, but only three instances of prolonged system-wide collapse. We also find that the frequency of cycles increased over the long run, while the frequencies of upsweeps and downsweeps did not display long-term trends. The lack of a downward trend in downsweeps challenges the supposition that resilience grows with sociocultural complexity and size.

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Long-term Determinants of the Demographic Transition: 1870-2000

Fabrice Murtin
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper analyzes the long-term economic determinants of the demographic transition using a large panel of countries since 1870. A simple theoretical framework accounts for the possibly non-monotonic variations of fertility in the course of economic development. As predicted by Unified Growth Theory, I find that primary schooling, rather than income or health-related variables, is the most robust determinant of the fertility transition. As regards the health transition, both education and income are significant determinants of mortality rates, but education alone accounts for the bulk of their time variation over the XXth century. Thus, education can be viewed as the main long-term determinant of the demographic transition.

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Marital fertility and wealth during the fertility transition: Rural France, 1750-1850

Neil Cummins
Economic History Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
It has been long established that the demographic transition began in eighteenth-century France, yet there is no consensus on exactly why fertility declined. This analysis links fertility life histories to wealth at death data for four rural villages in France, 1750-1850. For the first time, the wealth-fertility relationship during the onset of the French fertility decline can be analysed. Where fertility is declining, wealth is a powerful predictor of smaller family size. This article argues that fertility decline in France was a result of changing levels of economic inequality, associated with the 1789 Revolution. In cross-section, the data support this hypothesis: where fertility is declining, economic inequality is lower than where fertility is high.

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Malthus to Modernity: England's First Fertility Transition, 1760-1800

Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins
University of California Working Paper, August 2012

Abstract:
A key element in developing unified theories of long-run economic growth has been linking the onset of modern growth with the move to modern fertility limitation. A notable puzzle for these theories is that modern growth in England began around 1780, 100 years before there was seemingly any movement to limit fertility. Here we show that the aggregate data on fertility in England before 1890 conceals significant declines in the fertility of the middle and upper classes earlier. These declines coincide exactly with the Industrial Revolution. There is a remaining puzzle, however, as to whether these changes represented a response to changing economic conditions.

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1381 and the Malthus delusion

Gregory Clark
Explorations in Economic History, forthcoming

Abstract:
What were income trends before the Industrial Revolution? Clark (2007b) argued both theoretically and empirically that pre-industrial income fluctuated, but was not trending upwards, a position Gunnar Persson (2008) labeled "the Malthus Delusion." Clark (2010a), in particular, estimated that pre-industrial English income was as high on average as in 1800. In contrast, Broadberry et al. (2011) estimate income tripled between 1270 and 1800. One test of early income estimates is the share employed in farming. This paper, focusing on the Poll Tax returns of 1379-1381, shows that only 56-59 percent of the English population was in farming or fishing. This small share implies incomes in 1381 equivalent to those of 1800.

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Geographic Clustering and Productivity: An Instrumental Variable Approach for Classical Composers

Karol Jan Borowiecki
Journal of Urban Economics, January 2013, Pages 94-110

Abstract:
It is difficult to estimate the impact of geographic clustering on productivity because of endogeneity issues. I use birthplace-cluster distance as an instrumental variable for the incidence of clustering of prominent classical composers born between 1750 and 1899. I find that geographic clustering causally impacts productivity: composers were writing around one additional influential work every three years they spent in a cluster. The best composers and those who migrated to Paris appear to be the greatest beneficiaries of clustering. Placebo tests disclose that the effects are attributable to locating in contemporaneous cluster cities, as opposed to historical cluster locations or large cities in general.

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Rising Income and the Subjective Well-Being of Nations

Ed Diener, Louis Tay & Shigehiro Oishi
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We explored whether rising income in nations is associated with increasing subjective well-being (SWB), with several advances over earlier work. Our methods are improved in that across time, the same well-being questions were asked in the same order, and we employed broad and equivalent representative samples over time from a large number of nations. We also assessed psychosocial factors that might mediate the relation of income and SWB. We found that changes in household income were associated with concomitant changes in life evaluations, positive feelings, and negative feelings. The effects of gross domestic product (GDP) change were weaker and significant only for life evaluations, perhaps because GDP was a less certain index of the standard of living of the average household. The association of income and SWB is more likely to occur when the average person's material welfare accompanies rising income, when people become more satisfied with their finances, and when people become more optimistic about their futures. People did not adapt to the income rises during the period of years we studied, in that income rises produced SWB increases that did not return to earlier levels. It appears that previous researchers failed to come to agreement because of the small sample sizes of the nations, the inconsistent methods across years and surveys, and the lack of measures of potential mediating variables. Analyses of income relative to people in one's nation and between-nation slopes together suggest that income standards are now largely global, with little effect of national social comparison.

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Organized Labor, Democracy, and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-National Analysis

Lauren Keane, Alexander Pacek & Benjamin Radcliff
Labor Studies Journal, September 2012, Pages 253-270

Abstract:
In this paper we attempt to assess how labor unions affect cross-national variation in life satisfaction. We argue that cross-national differences in the extent of labor organization play a significant role in determining why citizens in some nations express greater subjective satisfaction with life than others. We examine this proposition using data on nations that cover the political and economic spectrum. To anticipate our findings, we show that individual union membership has a consistent positive effect on individual well-being. Our main focus, though, is the effects of the national level of union density on the general, overall level of satisfaction within a country, considering both union members and nonmembers. We find that union density is strongly associated with the general level of well-being but that this effect is conditioned, as we expect, by the level of democracy: in democratic countries, union density produces greater levels of life satisfaction, while in highly authoritarian settings, it appears to reduce satisfaction. In each case, these effects obtain for members and nonmembers alike, thus highlighting the importance of labor unions for the general, overall level of quality of life across nations.

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The rights and freedoms gradient of health: Evidence from a cross-national study

Brent Bezo, Stefania Maggi & William Roberts
Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, November 2012

Abstract:
This study examined the combined influences of national levels of socioeconomic status (SES), social capital, and rights and freedoms on population level physical and mental health outcomes. Indicators of mental health were suicide rates, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use. Indicators of physical health included life expectancy, infant mortality rates, and prevalence of HIV. Using pathway analysis on international data from a selected sample of European, North American, South American, and South Caucasus countries, similar models for mental health and physical health were developed. In the first model, the positive effects of SES and social capital on physical health were completely mediated via rights and freedoms. In the second model, the positive effect of SES on mental health was completely mediated, while the impact of social capital was partially mediated through rights and freedoms. We named the models, the "rights and freedoms gradient of health" in recognition of this latter construct's crucial role in determining both physical and mental health.

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Development and Disintegration of Maya Political Systems in Response to Climate Change

Douglas Kennett et al.
Science, 9 November 2012, Pages 788-791

Abstract:
The role of climate change in the development and demise of Classic Maya civilization (300 to 1000 C.E.) remains controversial because of the absence of well-dated climate and archaeological sequences. We present a precisely dated subannual climate record for the past 2000 years from Yok Balum Cave, Belize. From comparison of this record with historical events compiled from well-dated stone monuments, we propose that anomalously high rainfall favored unprecedented population expansion and the proliferation of political centers between 440 and 660 C.E. This was followed by a drying trend between 660 and 1000 C.E. that triggered the balkanization of polities, increased warfare, and the asynchronous disintegration of polities, followed by population collapse in the context of an extended drought between 1020 and 1100 C.E.

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Does Critical Mass Matter? Women's Political Representation and Child Health in Developing Countries

Liam Swiss, Kathleen Fallon & Giovani Burgos
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Studies on developed countries demonstrate that an increase in women legislators leads to a prioritization in health, an increase in social policy spending, and a decrease in poverty. Women representatives could therefore improve development trajectories in developing countries; yet, currently, no cross-national and longitudinal studies explore this possibility. Using random effects panel regression, we examine the influence of women's representation on child health (one development indicator) across 102 developing countries from 1980 to 2005. Compared to countries with no women in parliament, countries meeting a 20-percent threshold experience increased rates of measles immunizations (10 percentage points), DPT immunizations (12 percentage points), infant survival (0.7 percentage points) and child survival (1 percentage point). Incremental increases in women's representation show that child health improves most in socially and economically disadvantaged countries, and in countries less integrated in the world polity. Our findings reveal the importance of increased women's representation, particularly in less developed and less globally embedded countries.

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The Institutional Basis of Intercommunal Order: Evidence from Indonesia's Democratic Transition

Yuhki Tajima
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
When authoritarian regimes break down, why does communal violence spike and why are some locations more prone to violence than others? To understand violence during transitions, it is necessary to understand what sustains order when regimes are stable. While existing theories attribute order to formal or informal security institutions on their own, I argue that intercommunal order obtains when formal and informal security institutions are aligned. During authoritarian breakdowns, the state's coercive grip loosens, exposing mismatches between formal and informal institutions and raising the risk of communal violence. Formal-informal mismatches emerge in communities accustomed to heavy state intervention since they will have developed more state-dependent informal security institutions. I apply an instrumental variables approach on a nationwide dataset of village-level data to show that prior exposure to military intervention, proxied by the distance to security outposts, led to Indonesia's spike in violence during its recent democratic transition.

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Are China and India backward? Evidence from the 19th century U.S. census of manufactures

Nicolas Ziebarth
Review of Economic Dynamics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Hsieh and Klenow (2009) argue that a large fraction of aggregate TFP differences between the U.S. and the developing countries of China and India can be explained by factor misallocation. Their interpretation is that this misallocation is due to institutions and policies in these developing countries that redirect resources from productive to unproductive firms. Using the U.S. Census of Manufactures from the late 19th century, I find that the level of dispersion in these modern, less developed countries is very similar to that in the 19th century U.S. What is similar about the countries is their level of development not the existence of institutions that Hsieh and Klenow (2009) emphasize such as state owned enterprises as in China or entry restrictions as in India. These results suggest that the institutional basis of misallocation potentially goes beyond these overtly distortionary policies. I apply their accounting procedure to the U.S. and find that between 4% and 7% of total manufacturing TFP growth in the 20th century can be attributed to a more efficient intra-industry allocation of resources. I conclude by discussing some other explanations for these results including differences in transportation networks and lack of competitive regulation.

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When did Britain industrialise? The sectoral distribution of the labour force and labour productivity in Britain, 1381-1851

Stephen Broadberry, Bruce Campbell & Bas van Leeuwen
Explorations in Economic History, forthcoming

Abstract:
Britain's labour force industrialised early. The industrial and service sectors already accounted for 40 per cent of the labour force in 1381, and a substantial further shift of labour out of agriculture occurred between 1522 and 1700. From the early seventeenth century rising agricultural labour productivity underpinned steadily increasing employment in industry and services, so that by 1759 agriculture's share of the labour force had shrunk to 37 per cent and industry's grown to 34 per cent. Thereafter, industry's output acceleration during the Industrial Revolution owed more to gains in labour productivity consequent upon mechanisation than the expansion of employment.

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Dynamism, Capital Structure, and Performance in a Sub-Saharan Economy: Extending the Institutional Difference Hypothesis

Joseph Ofori-Dankwa & Scott Julian
Organization Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Extant research examining the capital structure-performance relationship has been undertaken primarily in developed economies. These studies integrate agency theory considerations with the contingency perspective and suggest a positive interaction between sector dynamism, equity, and performance. Our study extends this research stream by examining the capital structure-performance link in a sub-Saharan economy, an underresearched but economically emerging region. Using logic undergirding a substantial stream of institutional theory-based studies that we term the institutional difference hypothesis, we argue that the implications of the capital structure-performance relationship are contingent on the extent of national-level institutional underdevelopment. Taking into account institutional differences between developed economies and those in the sub-Saharan region, we hypothesize a negative interaction between sector dynamism, equity, and firm performance in sub-Sahara. Using longitudinal data from Ghanaian corporations for 1996-1999, we find substantial support for our hypothesis. Contrary to findings from developed economies, sector dynamism negatively moderates the firm equity-performance relationship: a strongly positive effect of equity on performance in stable sectors becomes slightly negative in highly dynamic ones. We unpack the implications of these results for theory and research.

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The Ethnicity-Policy Preference Link in Sub-Saharan Africa

Evan Lieberman & Gwyneth McClendon
Comparative Political Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
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.

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Deadly Cities? Spatial Inequalities in Mortality in sub-Saharan Africa

Isabel Günther & Kenneth Harttgen
Population and Development Review, September 2012, Pages 469-486

Abstract:
We investigate whether sub-Saharan African countries are affected by an "urban mortality penalty" repeating the history of industrialized countries during the nineteenth century. We analyze Demographic and Health Surveys from several sub-Saharan African countries for differences in child and adult mortality between rural and urban areas. For the first decade of the 2000s, our findings indicate that child mortality is higher in rural than in urban areas for all countries. On average, child mortality rates are 13.6 percent in rural areas and 10.8 percent in urban areas. In contrast, average urban adult mortality rates (14.1 percent) have exceeded rural adult mortality rates (12.4 percent). Child mortality rates are on average 65 percent higher in urban slums than in formal settlements. Child mortality rates in slum areas are, however, still lower than or equal to those in rural areas for most countries in our sample.

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Does Combat Experience Foster Organizational Skill? Evidence from Ethnic Cleansing during the Partition of South Asia

Saumitra Jha & Steven Wilkinson
American Political Science Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Can combat experience foster organizational skills that engender political collective action? We use the arbitrary assignment of troops to combat in World War II to identify the effect of combat experience on two channels that change local ethnic composition and future political control: ethnic cleansing and co-ethnic immigration. During the Partition of South Asia, we find that ethnically mixed districts whose veterans were exposed to greater combat exhibited greater co-ethnic immigration and minority ethnic cleansing, with minority out-migration achieved with lower loss-of-life. Further, where ethnic groups had been in complementary economic roles or the minority received greater combat experience, there was less ethnic cleansing. We interpret these results as reflecting the strategic role of ethnic cleansing and co-ethnic immigration by groups seeking political control and the role of combat experience in enhancing organizational skills at credibly threatening violence and engaging in collective action.

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The Politics of Private Foreign Aid: Humanitarian Principles, Economic Development Objectives, and Organizational Interests in NGO Private Aid Allocation

Tim Büthe, Solomon Major & André de Mello e Souza
International Organization, October 2012, Pages 571-607

Abstract:
A large and increasing share of international humanitarian and development aid is raised from nongovernmental sources, allocated by transnational NGOs. We know little about this private foreign aid, not even how it is distributed across recipient countries, much less what explains the allocation. This article presents an original data set, based on detailed financial records from most of the major U.S.-based humanitarian and development NGOs, which allows us for the first time to map and analyze the allocation of U.S. private aid. We find no support for the common claim that aid NGOs systematically prioritize their organizational self-interest when they allocate private aid, and we find only limited support for the hypothesis that expected aid effectiveness drives aid allocation. By contrast, we find strong support for the argument that the deeply rooted humanitarian discourse within and among aid NGOs drives their aid allocation, consistent with a view of aid NGOs as principled actors and constructivist theories of international relations. Recipients' humanitarian need is substantively and statistically the most significant determinant of U.S. private aid allocation (beyond a regional effect in favor of Latin American countries). Materialist concerns do not crowd out ethical norms among these NGOs.

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When Is the Pen Truly Mighty? Regime Type and the Efficacy of Naming and Shaming in Curbing Human Rights Abuses

Cullen Hendrix & Wendy Wong
British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does naming and shaming states affect respect for human rights in those states? This article argues that incentives to change repressive behaviour when facing international condemnation vary across regime types. In democracies and hybrid regimes - which combine democratic and authoritarian elements - opposition parties and relatively free presses paradoxically make rulers less likely to change behaviour when facing international criticism. In contrast, autocracies, which lack these domestic sources of information on abuses, are more sensitive to international shaming. Using data on naming and shaming taken from Western press reports and Amnesty International, the authors demonstrate that naming and shaming is associated with improved human rights outcomes in autocracies, but with either no effect or a worsening of outcomes in democracies and hybrid regimes.

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Social Structure and Personality during the Transformation of Urban China: A Comparison to Transitional Poland and Ukraine

Melvin Kohn, Weidong Wang & Yin Yue
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article compares the relationships of social structure and personality of urban China during "privatization" to those of urban Poland and Ukraine during their transitions from socialism to nascent capitalism. These relationships are similar in pattern and nearly as strong in magnitude for China as for Poland, and stronger than for Ukraine. China differs from Poland and Ukraine, though, in that the job conditions that facilitate or restrict occupational self-direction, particularly the substantive complexity of work, do not explain nearly as large a portion of the relationships of class and stratification with personality for employed Chinese as for employed Poles and Ukrainians. This results from the unique situation of those self-employed rural migrants to urban China who are officially registered as having a rural residence.

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Those dishonest goldsmiths

George Selgin
Financial History Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
London's seventeenth-century goldsmiths are routinely said to have pioneered fractional-reserve banking in England by clandestinely lending coin they were supposed to store - that is, by embezzling their clients. I draw upon both contemporary testimony and contemporary English law to show that the goldsmiths were almost certainly innocent of the crime for which they are so often accused. I then go on to speculate that the myth of the embezzling goldsmith may have its roots in confusion of that crime with (1) crimes other than embezzlement of which goldsmiths were accused by their contemporaries and (2) embezzlement of stored coin not by goldsmiths but by the British crown and by some merchants' servants.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM