From the candy bar to the cigarette, records to roller coasters, a technological revolution during the last quarter of the nineteenth century precipitated a colossal shift in human consumption and sensual experience. Food, drink, and many other consumer goods came to be mass-produced, bottled, canned, condensed, and distilled, unleashing new and intensified surges of pleasure, delight, thrill—and addiction.
In Packaged Pleasures, Gary S. Cross and Robert N. Proctor delve into an uncharted chapter of American history, shedding new light on the origins of modern consumer culture and how technologies have transformed human sensory experience. In the space of only a few decades, junk foods, cigarettes, movies, recorded sound, and thrill rides brought about a revolution in what it means to taste, smell, see, hear, and touch. New techniques of boxing, labeling, and tubing gave consumers virtually unlimited access to pleasures they could simply unwrap and enjoy. Manufacturers generated a seemingly endless stream of sugar-filled, high-fat foods that were delicious but detrimental to health. Mechanically rolled cigarettes entered the market and quickly addicted millions. And many other packaged pleasures dulled or displaced natural and social delights. Yet many of these same new technologies also offered convenient and effective medicines, unprecedented opportunities to enjoy music and the visual arts, and more hygienic, varied, and nutritious food and drink. For better or for worse, sensation became mechanized, commercialized, and, to a large extent, democratized by being made cheap and accessible. Cross and Proctor have delivered an ingeniously constructed history of consumerism and consumer technology that will make us all rethink some of our favorite things.
Panic in Paradise is a comprehensive study of bank loan failures during the Florida land boom of the mid-1920s, during the years preceding the stock market crash of 1929. Florida and Georgia experienced a banking panic in 1926 when, in a ten-day period in July, after uncontrollable depositor runs, 117 banks closed in the two states. Uninsured depositors lost millions, and several suicides followed the financial havoc. This volume makes use of banking records that were legally sealed for almost 70 years and provides a shocking story of professional corruption and conspiracy.
"An extraordinary and unusual book that makes an important contribution to our understanding of banking history and the general economic history oof the 1920s. The banking collapse in the Southeast is virtually unknown, even to specialists in banking and financial history. No one who is interested in the banking history of the United States will want to miss this book." -- Eugene N. White, Rutgers University
"An exhaustively researched pioneering study; brilliant investigative reporting." -- Jack Blicksilver, Georgia State University
The Panic of 1819 tells the story of the first nationwide economic collapse to strike the United States. Much more than a banking crisis or real estate bubble, the Panic was the culmination of an economic wave that rolled through the United States, forming before the War of 1812, cresting with the land and cotton boom of 1818, and crashing just as the nation confronted the crisis over slavery in Missouri.
The Panic introduced Americans to the new phenomenon of boom and bust, changed the country's attitudes towards wealth and poverty, spurred the political movement that became Jacksonian Democracy, and helped create the sectional divide that would lead to the Civil War. Although it stands as one of the turning points of American history, few Americans today have heard of the Panic of 1819, with the result that we continue to ignore its lessons—and repeat its mistakes.
What determines whether children grow up to be rich or poor? Arguing that parental actions are some of the most important sources of wealth inequality, Casey B. Mulligan investigates the transmission of economic status from one generation to the next by constructing an economic model of parental preferences.
In Mulligan's model, parents determine the degree of their altruistic concern for their children and spend time with and resources on them accordingly—just as they might make choices about how they spend money. Mulligan tests his model against both old and new evidence on the intergenerational transmission of consumption, earnings, and wealth, including models that emphasize "financial constraints." One major prediction of Mulligan's model confirmed by the evidence is that children of wealthy parents typically spend more than they earn.
Mulligan's innovative approach can also help explain other important behavior, such as charitable giving and "corporate loyalty," and will appeal to a wide range of quantitatively oriented social scientists and sociobiologists.
The Park Chung Hee Era
Byung-Kook Kim Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS922.35.P336 2011 | Dewey Decimal 951.95043092
In 1959 South Korea was mired in poverty. By 1979, it had a powerful industrial economy and a vibrant civil society that led to democracy eight years later. This volume examines the transformation as a study in the politics of modernization, contextualizing many historical ambiguities in South Korea’s trajectory toward sustainable economic growth.
Using the experience of the Parks in Peril program -- a wide-ranging project instituted by The Nature Conservancy and its partner organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean to foster better park management -- this book presents a broad analysis of current trends in park management and the implications for biodiversity conservation. It examines the context of current park management and challenges many commonly held views from social, political, and ecological perspectives. The book argues that: biodiversity conservation is inherently political sustainable use has limitations as a primary tool for biodiversity conservation effective park protection requires understanding the social context at varying scales of analysis actions to protect parks need a level of conceptual rigor that has been absent from recent programs built around slogans and stereotypesNine case studies highlight the interaction of ecosystems, local peoples, and policy in park management, and describe the context of field-based conservation from the perspective of those actually implementing the programs. Parks in Peril builds from the case studies and specific park-level concerns to a synthesis of findings from the sites. The editors draw on the case studies to challenge popular conceptions about parks and describe future directions that can ensure long-term biodiversity conservation.Throughout, contributors argue that protected areas are extremely important for the protection of biodiversity, yet such areas cannot be expected to serve as the sole means of biodiversity conservation. Requiring them to carry the entire burden of conservation is a recipe for ecological and social disaster.
For much of the twentieth century, unions played a vital role in shaping political regimes and economic development strategies, particularly in Latin America and Europe. However, their influence has waned as political parties with close ties to unions have adopted neoliberal reforms harmful to the interests of workers.
What do unions do when confronted with this “loyalty dilemma”? Katrina Burgess compares events in three countries to determine the reasons for widely divergent responses on the part of labor leaders to remarkably similar challenges. She argues that the key to understanding why some labor leaders protest and some acquiesce lies essentially in two domains: the relative power of the party and the workers to punish them, and the party's capacity to act autonomously from its own government.
The steady expansion of college enrollment rates over the last generation has been heralded as a major step toward reducing chronic economic disparities. But many of the policies that broadened access to higher education—including affirmative action, open admissions, and need-based financial aid—have come under attack in recent years by critics alleging that schools are admitting unqualified students who are unlikely to benefit from a college education. In Passing the Torch, Paul Attewell, David Lavin, Thurston Domina, and Tania Levey follow students admitted under the City University of New York’s “open admissions” policy, tracking its effects on them and their children, to find out whether widening college access can accelerate social mobility across generations.
Unlike previous research into the benefits of higher education, Passing the Torch follows the educational achievements of three generations over thirty years. The book focuses on a cohort of women who entered CUNY between 1970 and 1972, when the university began accepting all graduates of New York City high schools and increasing its representation of poor and minority students. The authors survey these women in order to identify how the opportunity to pursue higher education affected not only their long-term educational attainments and family well-being, but also how it affected their children’s educational achievements. Comparing the record of the CUNY alumnae to peers nationwide, the authors find that when women from underprivileged backgrounds go to college, their children are more likely to succeed in school and earn college degrees themselves. Mothers with a college degree are more likely to expect their children to go to college, to have extensive discussions with their children, and to be involved in their children’s schools. All of these parenting behaviors appear to foster higher test scores and college enrollment rates among their children. In addition, college-educated women are more likely to raise their children in stable two-parent households and to earn higher incomes; both factors have been demonstrated to increase children’s educational success.
The evidence marshaled in this important book reaffirms the American ideal of upward mobility through education. As the first study to indicate that increasing access to college among today’s disadvantaged students can reduce educational gaps in the next generation, Passing the Torch makes a powerful argument in favor of college for all.
Public-service executives, both elected and appointed within the public and nonprofit sectors, are retiring at record levels, and the number of Americans reaching age sixty-five annually will continue to rise over the next decade and is expected to surpass four million in 2020. Finding qualified, motivated leaders to fill vital public-service positions will challenge the public and nonprofit sectors.
Unfortunately, recent studies show that few proactive steps are being taken by public-service organizations to plan for the next generation. Passing the Torch: Planning for the Next Generation of Public-Service Leaders provides an outline for those who will be facing and managing these looming changes.
In this valuable guide, the factors that influence selection of a career in public service are explored through the authors’ years of experience as leaders in public-service organizations and through interviews with other public-service professionals. Passing the Torch will be essential for leaders of nonprofit organizations, university faculty, researchers in the field of nonprofit management, and students in nonprofit management courses.
Patent law is crucial to encourage technological innovation. But as the patent system currently stands, diverse industries from pharmaceuticals to software to semiconductors are all governed by the same rules even though they innovate very differently. The result is a crisis in the patent system, where patents calibrated to the needs of prescription drugs wreak havoc on information technologies and vice versa. According to Dan L. Burk and Mark A. Lemley in The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It, courts should use the tools the patent system already gives them to treat patents in different industries differently. Industry tailoring is the only way to provide an appropriate level of incentive for each industry.
Burk and Lemley illustrate the barriers to innovation created by the catch-all standards in the current system. Legal tools already present in the patent statute, they contend, offer a solution—courts can tailor patent law, through interpretations and applications, to suit the needs of various types of businesses. The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the nexus of economics, business, and law in the twenty-first century.
Paternalistic Capitalism was first published in 1972. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The distinguished economist and Greek political leader presents here a powerful critique of American capitalism and its relationship to government and foreign policy. Dr. Papandreou first examines the orthodox view of the contemporary capitalist economy and the "myth of market capitalism" which it has engendered. He then considers the Neo-Marxist view that the economy can best be understood as monopoly capitalism, and the technocratic interpretation of society proposed by J. K. Galbraith. Dr. Papandreou accepts and rejects various aspects of these two interpretations, and moves to define the salient features of what he calls paternalistic capitalism, wherein privatized decentralized planning increasingly is carried out by the corporate managerial elite, in the interest not of the consumer, but of the "system." The paternalism is that of the autocratic big brother.
The author then explores the relationship between the managerial elite and the instrumentalities of the State, and claims that next to the managerial elite stand the national security managers—not by accident, for paternalistic capitalism is aggressively expansionist, as is reflected in the foreign policy of the capitalist metropolis, the United States. The global aspect of paternalistic capitalism is further delineated in Dr. Papandreou's discussion of the "new mercantilism" and of the institutional device of the multinational corporation. Finally, he considers briefly two alternatives—the Soviet experiment, which he rejects as paternalistic socialism, and a vision of a regionally decentralized society, in which man will control rather than be at the mercy of his social environment.
Wenkai He shows why England and Japan, facing crises in public finance, developed the tools and institutions of a modern fiscal state, while China, facing similar circumstances, did not. He’s explanation for China’s failure at a critical moment illuminates one of the most important but least understood transformations of the modern world.
If you are a young person, and you work hard enough, you can get a college degree and set yourself on the path to a good life, right?
Not necessarily, says Sara Goldrick-Rab, and with Paying the Price, she shows in damning detail exactly why. Quite simply, college is far too expensive for many people today, and the confusing mix of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid leaves countless students without the resources they need to pay for it.
Drawing on an unprecedented study of 3,000 young adults who entered public colleges and universities in Wisconsin in 2008 with the support of federal aid and Pell Grants, Goldrick-Rab reveals the devastating effect of these shortfalls. Half the students in the study left college without a degree, while less than 20 percent finished within five years. The cause of their problems, time and again, was lack of money. Unable to afford tuition, books, and living expenses, they worked too many hours at outside jobs, dropped classes, took time off to save money, and even went without adequate food or housing. In many heartbreaking cases, they simply left school—not with a degree, but with crippling debt. Goldrick-Rab combines that shocking data with devastating stories of six individual students, whose struggles make clear the horrifying human and financial costs of our convoluted financial aid policies.
America can fix this problem. In the final section of the book, Goldrick-Rab offers a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public sector–focused “first degree free” program. What’s not an option, this powerful book shows, is doing nothing, and continuing to crush the college dreams of a generation of young people.
From this experience, Lawrence J. Ouellet has the advantage of a rare perspective and a profound understanding of the two fundamental questions he asks in this book: Why do truck drivers work so hard even when it doesn't result in more money or other material gains? and How do truckers make sense of their behavior to themselves and to the outside world?
A vivid ethnography of trucking culture, Pedal to the Metal documents and analyzes truckers' lives and work ethic, exploring the range of identities truckers create for themselves—the renegade cowboy, the company man, the voyeur, the lone king of the road. To explain truckers' motivations, Ouellet examines the meaning of work and the motivation for excelling despite long, unsupervised hours on the road. He finds that their occupational pride results in extraordinary efforts on the job and, subsequently, a positive sense of self. Driving skill allows truckers to improve their hauling times, which they proudly track to the minute, and to increase their productivity and income.
Truckers' knowledge of the industry's structure and the idiosyncrasies of their own company allows them to improve their ability to get and carry out assignments, to maneuver around a traditional concept of rank and seniority, and to recreate to their advantage the pervasive cultural myths that the public expects should dictate a trucker's behavior. Whether capturing the pleasure and enchantment of trucking—driving under moon-lit skies across a snow-covered mountain range—or the miseries of boredom, bad weather, and exhausting schedules, Ouellet exhibits deep appreciation and passion for his subject.
The activities of state governments have always been important in the American federal system. However, recent partisan gridlock in Washington, DC has placed states at the forefront of policymaking as the national government maintains the status quo. Pennsylvania Politics and Policy, Volume 1 is designed to showcase current issues of interest to Pennsylvanians. This reader contains updated chapters from recent issues of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy on education, health care, public finance, tax policy, environmental policy, alcohol policy and more. Each chapter is supplemented by forums with arguments in support of or opposed to contested elements of state policy, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading.
In addition, Pennsylvania Politics and Policy, Volume 1 includes a comprehensive guide to researching state government and policy online. It is designed as a text or supplement for college or advanced high school classes in American government, state and local politics, public policy, and public administration.
Contributors include: David G. Argall, Tom Baldino, Michele Deegan, Michael Dimino, George Hale, Rachel L. Hampton , Paula Duda Holoviak Jon Hopcraft, Vera Krekanova, Maureen W. McClure, Barry G. Rabe, Marguerite Roza, Lanethea Mathews Shultz, Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Amanda Warco, and the editors.
Designed to showcase current issues of interest, Pennsylvania Politics and Policy, Volume 2 isthe second reader consisting of updated chapters from recent issues of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy. The editors and contributors to this volume focus on government institutions, election laws, the judiciary, government finance and budgeting, the opioid crisis, childcare, property taxes, environmental policy, demographics, and more. Each chapter is supplemented by discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and forums with arguments in support of or opposed to contested elements of state policy.
In addition, Pennsylvania Politics and Policy, Volume 2 includes a detailed guide to researching state government and policy online, as well as a comprehensive chapter on the structure of Pennsylvania government. It is designed as a text or supplement for college or advanced high school classes in American government, state and local politics, public policy, and public administration.
Contributors include: John Arway, Jenna Becker Kane, Jeffrey Carroll, Bob Dick, Ashley Harden, Stefanie I. Kasparek, Vera Krekanova, Maureen W. McClure, John F. McDonald, Josh Shapiro, Marc Stier, Jennie Sweet-Cushman, James Vike, and the editors.
In this provocative book, Richard A. Ippolito explores the relationship between employees' preferences for certain types of pension plans and their productivity. Ippolito begins by reviewing how pensions influence workers' behavior on the job, helping employers reduce early quit rates and increase early retirement rates. In a novel contribution, Ippolito then shows how pensions can assist employers in attracting and retaining workers who have personal attributes valued by the firm.
Challenging the accepted view of defined contribution plans, such as the 401k, as merely convenient tax-deferred savings plans, Ippolito argues that these plans can help firms select and pay their best workers without expending monitoring resources. Building on his proposals for managing private pension plans, Ippolito concludes with a blueprint for fixing the social security system that would promote incentives to work and save while at the same time improving the system's financial condition.
The rancorous debate over the future of Social Security reached a fever pitch in 2005 when President Bush unsuccessfully proposed a plan for private retirement accounts. Although efforts to reform Social Security seem to have reached an impasse, the long-term problem—the projected Social Security deficit—remains. In Pension Puzzles, sociologists Melissa Hardy and Lawrence Hazelrigg explain for a general audience the fiscal challenges facing Social Security and explore the larger political context of the Social Security debate. Pension Puzzles cuts through the sloganeering of politicians in both parties, presenting Social Security's technical problems evenhandedly and showing how the Social Security debate is one piece of a larger political struggle. Hardy and Hazelrigg strip away the ideological baggage to explicate the basic terms and concepts needed to understand the predicament of Social Security. They compare the cases for privatizing Social Security and for preserving the program in its current form with adjustments to taxes and benefits, and they examine the different economic projections assumed by proponents of each approach. In pursuit of its privatization agenda, Hardy and Hazelrigg argue, the Bush administration has misled the public on an issue that was already widely misunderstood. The authors show how privatization proponents have relied on dubious assumptions about future rates of return to stock market investments and about the average citizen's ability to make informed investment decisions. In addition, the administration has painted the real but manageable shortfalls in Social Security revenue as a fiscal crisis. Projections of Social Security revenues and benefits by the Social Security Administration have treated revenues as fixed, when in fact they are determined by choices made by Congress. Ultimately, as Hardy and Hazelrigg point out, the clash over Social Security is about more than technical fiscal issues: it is part of the larger culture wars and the ideological struggle over what kind of social responsibilities and rights American citizens should have. This rancorous partisan wrangling, the alarmist talk about a "crisis" in Social Security, and the outright deception employed in this debate have all undermined the trust between citizens and government that is needed to restore the solvency of Social Security for future generations of retirees. Drawing together economic analyses, public opinion data, and historical narratives, Pension Puzzles is a lucid and engaging guide to the major proposals for Social Security reform. It is also an insightful exploration of what that debate reveals about American political culture in the twenty-first century. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology
Pensions in the American Economy
Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Daniel E. Smith University of Chicago Press, 1984 Library of Congress HD7105.35.U6K67 1983 | Dewey Decimal 331.2520973
For anyone with an interest in pensions—workers and employers, personnel directors, accountants, actuaries, lawyers, insurance agents, financial analysts, government officials, and social scientists—this book is required reading. Now, without the aid of a pension specialist, anyone can determine how their particular pension plan stacks up against the average. Using virtually all available government sources (including computerized data unavailable in print) and their own extensive surveys, the authors present a comprehensive description of the structural features and financial conditions of U.S. private, state, city, and municipal pension plans. The introductions to the hundreds of tables explain and highlight the information.
The picture that emerges of the "typical" plan and its significant variations is crucial to all those with a financial stake in pensions. The reader can compare pension vesting, retirement, and benefit provisions by plan type, plan size, industry, union status, and many more characteristics. With this information, workers can evaluate just how generous their employer is; job applicants can compare fringe benefits of prospective employers; personnel directors can judge their competitive edge.
The financial community will find especially interesting the analysis of the unfunded liabilities of private, state, and local pension funds. The investment decisions of private and public pension funds and their return performances are described as well.
Government officials and social scientists will find the analysis of pension coverage, the receipt of pension income by the elderly, cost-of-living adjustments, and disability insurance of special importance in evaluating the proper degree of public intervention in the area of old age income support.
Pensions in the American Economy is comprehensive and easy to use. Every reader, from small-business owners and civil servants to pension fund specialists, will find in it essential information about this increasingly important part of labor compensation and retirement finances.
Pensions in the U.S. Economy
Edited by Zvi Bodie, John B. Shoven, and David A. Wise University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress HD7105.45.U6P46 1988 | Dewey Decimal 331.2520973
Pensions in the U.S. Economy is the fourth in a series on pensions from the National Bureau of Economic Research. For both economists and policymakers, this volume makes a valuable contribution to current research on pensions and the economics of the elderly. The contributors report on retirement saving of individuals and the saving that results from corporate funding of pension plans, and they examine particular aspects of the plans themselves from the employee's point of view.
Steven F. Venti and David A. Wise offer a careful analysis of who contributes to IRAs and why. Benjamin M. Friedman and Mark Warshawsky look at the reasons more retirement saving is not used to purchase annuities. Personal saving through pension contribution is discussed by B. Douglas Bernheim and John B. Shoven in the context of recent government and corporate pension funding changes. Michael J. Boskin and John B. Shoven analyze indicators of the economic well-being of the elderly, addressing the problem of why a large fraction of the elderly remain poor despite a general improvement in the economic status of the group as a whole. The relative merits of defined contribution versus defined benefit plans, with emphasis on the risk aspects of the two types of plans for the individual, are examined by Zvi Bodie, Alan J. Marcus, and Robert C. Merton. In the final paper, pension plans and worker turnover are the focus of the discussion by Edward P. Lazear and Robert L. Moore, who propose pension option value rather than the commonly used accrued pension wealth as a measure of pension value.
In recent years a decline in the labor force participation of older workers has combined with rapid current and projected increases in the number of older Americans, producing major policy debates over looming "crises" in social security and, to a lesser extent, in the private pension system. That private system is playing an increasing role in the support of retired workers and promises to be the subject of increasing scrutiny by economists and policymakers alike.
Previous books on private pensions have largely neglected behavioral implications of the features of pension plans. The papers in this volume, developed from material presented at a recent National Bureau of Economic Research conference, address two aspects of the relation between varieties of labor coverage and participation in the labor force. First, age at retirement may be correlated with kind of pension coverage. The papers, in fact, provide strong evidence that individual decisions about when to retire are directly influenced by pension options. Second, pension plans usually impose a high cost on workers who change jobs, which suggests that pension coverage reduces instances of job change. Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice quantifies these correlations and proposes a conceptual framework within which to view them.
Bernhard Rieger reveals how a car commissioned by Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche became a global commodity on a par with Coca-Cola. The Beetle's success hinged on its uncanny ability to capture the imaginations of executives, engineers, advertisers, car collectors, suburbanites, hippies, and everyday drivers aross nations and cultures.
American cities continue to experience profound fiscal crises. Falling revenues cannot keep pace with the increased costs of vital public services, infrastructure development and improvement, and adequately funded pensions. Chicago presents an especially vivid example of these issues, as the state of Illinois's rocky fiscal condition compounds the city's daunting budget challenges.In The People's Money, Michael A. Pagano curates a group of essays that emerged from discussions at the 2018 UIC Urban Forum. The contributors explore fundamental questions related to measuring the fiscal health of cities, including how cities can raise revenue, the accountability of today's officials for the future financial position of a city, the legal and practical obstacles to pension reform and a balanced budget, and whether political collaboration offers an alternative to the competition that often undermines regional governance.Contributors: Jered B. Carr, Rebecca Hendrick, Martin J. Luby, David Merriman, Michael A. Pagano, David Saustad, Casey Sebetto, Michael D. Siciliano, James E. Spiotto, Gary Strong, Shu Wang, and Yonghong Wu
The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 was said to herald a new mood of opposition to government regulation. But at the same time, large and vocal segments of the population have been demanding that corporations and regulatory agencies address public concerns about technological safety. What do we really know about people's perceptions of technological risk and their judgments about appropriate levels of technological regulation? Perceptions of Technological Risks and Benefits analyzes the results of a unique body of survey data—the only large-scale, representative survey of public attitudes about risk management in such technologies as nuclear power, handguns, auto travel, and industrial chemicals. The findings demonstrate that public judgments are not simply anti-technological or irrational, but rather the product of a complex set of factors that includes an awareness of benefits as well as a sensitivity to the "qualitative" aspects of risk (how catastrophic, dreaded, or poorly understood a hazard seems to be). This volume offers striking evidence that whatever Americans may think about government regulation in general, they are remarkably consistent in desiring stricter regulation of technological safety. These conclusions suggest that the current trend away from regulation of technology reflects a less than perfect reading of public sentiment.
Beginning with Woodrow Wilson and U.S. entry into World War I and closing with the Great Depression, The Perils ofProsperity traces the transformation of America from an agrarian, moralistic, isolationist nation into a liberal, industrialized power involved in foreign affairs in spite of itself.
William E. Leuchtenburg's lively yet balanced account of this hotly debated era in American history has been a standard text for many years. This substantial revision gives greater weight to the roles of women and minorities in the great changes of the era and adds new insights into literature, the arts, and technology in daily life. He has also updated the lists of important dates and resources for further reading.
“This book gives us a rare opportunity to enjoy the matured interpretation of an American Historian who has returned to the story and seen how recent decades have added meaning and vividness to this epoch of our history.”—Daniel J. Boorstin, from the Preface
This book investigates several important issues in the economics of aging, including the accumulation of wealth and the relationship between health and financial prosperity.
Examining the changes in savings behavior and investment priorities in the United States over the past few decades, contributors to the volume point to a dramatic shift from employer-managed, defined benefit pensions to employee-controlled retirement savings plans. Further, the legislative reforms of the 1980s and the booming stock market of the 1990s did their share to influence individual wealth accumulation patterns of Americans.
These studies also explore the relationship between health status and economic status. Considering issues like pension income and health, mortality, and medical care, contributors present evidence from the United States, Britain, South Africa, and Russia. The volume culminates with wide-ranging discussions on a number of key topics in the field including the innovations that have contributed to a decline in mortality rates; the various medical advances that have benefited populations over time; and the determinants of expenditures on health. The findings with regard to cross-sectional differences in health outcomes and health care utilization also pose troubling questions for policymakers seeking to democratize health care across regions and races.
Developing countries typically have wage rates that are a small fraction of those in developed countries. Trade theories traditionally attributed this difference to two factors: the relative abundance of the labor supply in the two countries and the relative value of the goods produced. These factors, however, inadequately explain the full differential in almost every comparison of developed and developing countries since the second World War.
Providing an important and original perspective for understanding both the development process and policies aimed at raising the standard of living in poorer nations, Perspectives on Trade and Development gathers sixteen of Anne O. Krueger's most important essays on international trade and development economics. Her essays discuss the relationships between trade strategies and development; the links between factor endowments, developing countries' policies, and trade strategies in terms of their growth; the role of economic policy in development; and the international economic environment in which development efforts are taking place. Her analyses are extended to trade and development policies generally, and account for a substantial part of the residue unexplained by past theories. This insightful contribution by an influential scholar will be essential reading for all scholars of trade and development.
Thomas Scheetz shows that the Internationaly Monetary Fund’s approach in 1980s Peru did not addresses the roots of debt and financial crisis, but instead has instituted inadequate stopgap policies, which have caused great inequities because of incorrect or biased assumptions. He argues that policies to eliminate “excess demand” in fact harm the poor, and the support the rich.
If you're a woman and you shop for a new car, will you really get the best deal? If you're a man, will you fare better? If you're a black man waiting to receive an organ transplant, will you have to wait longer than a white man?
In Pervasive Prejudice? Ian Ayres confronts these questions and more. In a series of important studies he finds overwhelming evidence that in a variety of markets—retail car sales, bail bonding, kidney transplantation, and FCC licensing—blacks and females are consistently at a disadvantage. For example, when Ayres sent out agents of different races and genders posing as potential buyers to more than 200 car dealerships in Chicago, he found that dealers regularly charged blacks and women more than they charged white men. Other tests revealed that it is commonly more difficult for blacks than whites to receive a kidney transplant because of federal regulations. Moreover, Ayres found that minority male defendants are frequently required to post higher bail bonds than their Caucasian counterparts.
Traditional economic theory predicts that free markets should drive out discrimination, but Ayres's startling findings challenge that position. Along with empirical research, Ayres offers game—theoretic and other economic methodologies to show how prejudice can enter the bargaining process even when participants are supposedly acting as rational economic agents. He also responds to critics of his previously published studies included here. These studies suggest that race and gender discrimination is neither a thing of the past nor merely limited to the handful of markets that have been the traditional focus of civil rights laws.
Much of the global economy depends upon large-scale government intervention in the form of subsidies, both direct and indirect, to support specific industries or economic sectors. Distressingly, many of these subsidies can be characterized as “perverse” -- rather than helping society achieve a desired goal, they work in the opposite direction, causing damage to both our economies and our environments. Worldwide subsidies have long been thought to total $2 trillion per year, but until now, no attempt has been made to determine what proportion of that actually subverts the public interest.In Perverse Subsidies, leading environmental analyst Norman Myers takes a detailed look at the subject, offering a comprehensive view of subsidies worldwide with a particular focus on the extent, causes, and consequences of perverse subsidies. He defines many different kinds of subsidies, from tax incentives to government handouts, and considers their wide-ranging impacts, as he: examines the role of subsidies in policymaking quantifies the direct costs of perverse subsidies examines the major subsidies in agriculture, energy, road transportation, water, fisheries, and forestry considers the environmental effects of those subsidies offers policy advice and specific recommendations for eliminating harmful subsidies .The book provides a valuable framework for evaluation of perverse subsidies, and offers a dramatic illustration of the scale and dimensions of the problem. It will be the standard reference on those subsidies for government reform advocates, policy analysts, and environmentalists, as well as for scholars and students interested in the interactions between policymaking and environmental issues.
Provides a directory of the rapidly expanding philanthropic foundations in Latin America, identifying over 750 foundations and presenting detailed information on 364 of them. In addition, the directory contains an introduction that analyzes historical data on Latin American foundations, a country-by-country summary of legal processes regarding foundations and pertinent tax laws, two essays by North and South American foundation presidents discussing the organization and management of private foundations, and an appendix with models of bylaws and financial statements of Latin American foundations.
This book presents and informing picture of giving in the United States. It glances briefly at the history of philanthropy, including the growth in government services, but its emphasis is on recent changes and the special opportunities of today. It offers estimates of giving, as to amounts, sources, and benefiting agencies, believed to be more comprehensive than are elsewhere available. It includes a discussion of legal and tax aspects of philanthropy.
Attempts to study corporation philanthropy inevitably prove frustrating, for it is a subject surrounded by rhetoric and almost entirely devoid of hard facts. Marion R. Fremont-Smith's concise appraisal of corporation philanthropy takes a close look at the donative policies of corporations and their methods of giving. Concentrating on the legal and historical setting, as well as corporation philanthropy in practice, the author analyzes recent expansion in the field of traditional philanthropy and the accompanying shift in public attitude toward the responsibility of business corporations. The book shows how this new attitude has brought with it a reappraisal of the philosophical and legal bases for corporate action in the social sphere. In conclusion, Mrs. Fremont-Smith calls for a more imaginative and independent definition of the objectives of corporate philanthropic policies and not merely a continuing series of ill-considered defensive reactions.
Philanthropy is everywhere. In 2013, in the United States alone, some $330 billion was recorded in giving, from large donations by the wealthy all the way down to informal giving circles. We tend to think of philanthropy as unequivocally good, but as the contributors to this book show, philanthropy is also an exercise of power. And like all forms of power, especially in a democratic society, it deserves scrutiny. Yet it rarely has been given serious attention. This book fills that gap, bringing together expert philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, and legal scholars to ask fundamental and pressing questions about philanthropy’s role in democratic societies.
The contributors balance empirical and normative approaches, exploring both the roles philanthropy has actually played in societies and the roles it should play. They ask a multitude of questions: When is philanthropy good or bad for democracy? How does, and should, philanthropic power interact with expectations of equal citizenship and democratic political voice? What makes the exercise of philanthropic power legitimate? What forms of private activity in the public interest should democracy promote, and what forms should it resist? Examining these and many other topics, the contributors offer a vital assessment of philanthropy at a time when its power to affect public outcomes has never been greater.
Initially developed in Japan by Nintendo as a computer game, Pokémon swept the globe in the late 1990s. Based on a narrative in which a group of children capture, train, and do battle with over a hundred imaginary creatures, Pokémon quickly diversified into an array of popular products including comic books, a TV show, movies, trading cards, stickers, toys, and clothing. Pokémon eventually became the top grossing children's product of all time. Yet the phenomenon fizzled as quickly as it had ignited. By 2002, the Pokémon craze was mostly over. Pikachu’s Global Adventure describes the spectacular, complex, and unpredictable rise and fall of Pokémon in countries around the world.
In analyzing the popularity of Pokémon, this innovative volume addresses core debates about the globalization of popular culture and about children’s consumption of mass-produced culture. Topics explored include the origins of Pokémon in Japan’s valorization of cuteness and traditions of insect collecting and anime; the efforts of Japanese producers and American marketers to localize it for foreign markets by muting its sex, violence, moral ambiguity, and general feeling of Japaneseness; debates about children’s vulnerability versus agency as consumers; and the contentious question of Pokémon’s educational value and place in school. The contributors include teachers as well as scholars from the fields of anthropology, media studies, sociology, and education. Tracking the reception of Pokémon in Japan, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Israel, they emphasize its significance as the first Japanese cultural product to enjoy substantial worldwide success and challenge western dominance in the global production and circulation of cultural goods.
Contributors. Anne Allison, Linda-Renée Bloch, Helen Bromley, Gilles Brougere, David Buckingham, Koichi Iwabuchi, Hirofumi Katsuno, Dafna Lemish, Jeffrey Maret, Julian Sefton-Green, Joseph Tobin, Samuel Tobin, Rebekah Willet, Christine Yano
Even after the recent economic crisis, cultural and creative industries are still able to easily draw audience members and consumers, as well as new talent to enrich these fields. Exploring the topic from economic, artistic, and policymaking perspectives, Pioneering Minds Worldwide is an interdisciplinary approach to these trades on a global scale, while making an important distinction between the cultural sector—products that are consumed on the spot, such as concerts or dance performances—and the creative sector, which generates artistic products that we have a protracted interaction with, i.e. design, architecture, and advertising. The authors of these highly informative essays offer new concepts and viewpoints on the entrepreneurial dimension of the cultural and creative industries in sixteen countries and explore how urban area development, new technological innovations, and education all influence these continually expanding industries.
Foreign investment increased from 17 percent of the capital of industrial corporations in Imperial Russia in 1880 to 47 percent in 1914, coinciding with the rapid development of Russian industrialization before World War I. John McKay's study, based largely on intensive research in numerous archives and utilizing many previously unexplored private business records, is the first detailed analysis of the impact of foreign enterprise on Russian industry during this period. His conclusions are significant for historians, economists, and those interested in the development of modern industrial society.
Owning a home has always been central to the American dream. For the more than one million Muslims in the United States, this is no exception. However, the Qur'an forbids the payment of interest, which places conventional home financing out of reach for observant Muslims. To meet the growing Muslim demand for home purchases, a market for home financing that would be halal, or permissible under Islamic law, has emerged. In Pious Property, anthropologist William Maurer profiles the emergence of this new religiously based financial service and explores the ways it reflects the influence of Muslim practices on American economic life and vice versa. Pious Property charts the development of Islamic mortgages in America, starting with Islamic interpretations of the prohibition against riba—literally translated as "increase" but interpreted as "usury" or "interest." Maurer then explores the different practices that have emerged as permissible options for Islamic homebuyers—such as lease-to-own arrangements, profit-loss sharing, and cost-plus contracts—and explains how they have gained acceptance in the Islamic community by relying on payment schemes that avoid standard interest rate payments. Using interviews with Muslim homebuyers and financiers, and in-depth analysis of two companies that provide mortgage alternatives to Muslims, Maurer discovers an interesting paradox: progressive Muslims tend to use financial contracts that seemingly comply better with the prohibition against interest, while traditional Muslims seem more inclined to take on financing very similar to interest-based mortgages. Maurer finds that Muslims make their decisions about using Islamic mortgage alternatives based not only on the views of religious scholars, but also on their conceptions of how business is supposed to be conducted in America. While one form of Islamic financing is seemingly more congruent with the prohibition against riba, the other exhibits more of the qualities of American mortgages—anonymity and standardized forms. The appearance that an Islamic financing instrument is legal and professional leaves many Muslim homebuyers with the impression that it is halal, revealing the influence of American capitalism on Muslim Americans' understanding of their religious rules. The market for halal financial products exists at the intersection of American and Islamic culture and is emblematic of the way that, for centuries, America's newcomers have adapted to and changed the fabric of American life. In Pious Property, William Maurer explores this rapidly growing economic phenomenon with historical perspective and scholarly insight.
Nicholas A. Lambert Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HC260.D4L36 2011 | Dewey Decimal 940.31
Before World War I, the British Admiralty conceived a plan to win rapid victory over Germany—economic warfare on an unprecedented scale. The secret strategy called for the state to exploit Britain's monopolies in banking, communications, and shipping to create an implosion of the world economic system. The plan was never fully implemented.
In this extraordinary rich and subtle work, Arcadius Kahan analyzes a massive collection of documents which revise traditional interpretations of eighteenth-century Russian economic history. Kahan stresses economic rationality in the context of social constraints, offering the fullest and most convincing explanation yet of the economic foundations of Russia's power. He shows that what have been taken as major failings in the Russian economy were in fact resourceful and even ingenious methods of circumventing deeply rooted structural obstacles to change. Kahan also escapes two extremes that have bedeviled Russian historians since the nineteenth century: he avoids depicting the state as an autonomous structure that acted with impunity upon a passive society, and he refutes the notion of the state as a mere instrument for advancing selfish class interests.
As the ruinous Dust Bowl settled in the early 1940s, agronomist Edward Faulkner dropped what Nature magazine termed "an agricultural bombshell" when he blamed the then universally used moldboard plow for disastrous pillage of the soil. Faulkner's assault on the orthodoxy of his day will stimulate today's farmers to seek out fresh solutions to the problems that plague modern American agriculture. Plowman's Folly is bound together here with its companion volume A Second Look.
Despite substantial transformations in American agriculture, farm program spending remains a closely guarded prerogative of United States agricultural policy. Policy Reform in American Agriculture examines both the history of farm subsidies and the contemporary relevance of traditional farm programs to today's agricultural industries.
This work analyzes the mixed performance of past agricultural support programs, reviews the current debate concerning farm policies, and critically assesses the often staunch political resistance to much-needed policy reforms. Casting a keen eye toward the most recent developments on both national and international fronts, the authors consider the ramifications of the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act as well as multilateral efforts to gain agricultural reform during the Uruguay Round of GATT. Their prognosis hinges upon both the continued growth and competitiveness of the world market and, perhaps more importantly, the ongoing commitment of congressional reform advocates.
Since the late 1950s the world's banks have expanded their global operations, with US institutions leading the way. As the recent global economic crisis shows, actions of private bankers can threaten capital markets, weaken national regulatory systems, and strain international cooperation-seriously endangering the world economy and the interests of nation states.
We take for granted today that the assessments, measurements, and forecasts of economists are crucial to the decision-making of governments and businesses alike. But less than a century ago that wasn’t the case—economists simply didn’t have the necessary information or statistical tools to understand the ever more complicated modern economy.
With Political Arithmetic, Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Fogel and his collaborators tell the story of economist Simon Kuznets, the founding of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the creation of the concept of GNP, which for the first time enabled us to measure the performance of entire economies. The book weaves together the many strands of political and economic thought and historical pressures that together created the demand for more detailed economic thinking—Progressive-era hopes for activist government, the production demands of World War I, Herbert Hoover’s interest in business cycles as President Harding’s commerce secretary, and the catastrophic economic failures of the Great Depression—and shows how, through trial and error, measurement and analysis, economists such as Kuznets rose to the occasion and in the process built a discipline whose knowledge could be put to practical use in everyday decision-making.
The product of a lifetime of studying the workings of economies and skillfully employing the tools of economics, Political Arithmetic is simultaneously a history of a key period of economic thought and a testament to the power of applied ideas.
The "political business cycle", according to economist William Nordhaus, creates a situation in which political and bureaucratic incentives create artificial economic booms just before elections, with consequent and deleterious side effects after the ballots are counted. This work examines the issue of whether federal governmental structure inevitably leaves the U.S. economy exposed to unhealthy political influences.
John E ROEMER Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress JF2051.R64 2001 | Dewey Decimal 324.20151
John Roemer presents a unified and rigorous theory of political competition between parties and he models the theory under many specifications, including whether parties are policy oriented or oriented toward winning, whether they are certain or uncertain about voter preferences, and whether the policy space is uni- or multidimensional.
Exploring the political and economic determinants of trade protection, this study provides a wealth of information on key American industries and documents the process of seeking and conferring protection.
Eight analytical histories of the automobile, steel, semiconductor, lumber, wheat, and textile and apparel industries demonstrate that trade barriers rarely have unequivocal benefits and may be counterproductive. They show that criteria for awarding protection do not take into account the interests of consumers or other industries and that political influence and an organized lobby are major sources of protection.
Based on these findings, a final essay suggests that current policy fails to consider adequately economic efficiency, the public good, and indirect negative effects. This volume will interest scholars in economics, business, and public policy who deal with trade issues.
With global demand for energy poised to increase by more than half in the next three decades, the supply of safe, reliable, and reasonably priced gas and oil will continue to be of fundamental importance to modern economies. Central to this supply are the pipelines that transport this energy. And while the fundamental economics of the major pipeline networks are the same, the differences in their ownership, commercial development, and operation can provide insight into the workings of market institutions in various nations.
Drawing on a century of the world’s experience with gas and oil pipelines, this book illustrates the importance of economics in explaining the evolution of pipeline politics in various countries. It demonstrates that institutional differences influence ownership and regulation, while rents and consumer pricing depend on the size and diversity of existing markets, the depth of regulatory institutions, and the historical structure of the pipeline businesses themselves. The history of pipelines is also rife with social conflict, and Makholm explains how and when institutions in a variety of countries have controlled pipeline behavior—either through economic regulation or government ownership—in the public interest.
The Political Economy of Tax Reform
Edited by Takatoshi Ito and Anne O. Krueger University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress HJ2970.5.P65 1992 | Dewey Decimal 336.20095
The rapid emergence of East Asia as an important geopolitical-economic entity has been one of the most visible and striking changes in the international economy in recent years. With that emergence has come an increased need for understanding the problems of interdependence. As a step toward meeting this need, the National Bureau of Economic Research joined with the Korea Development Institute to sponsor this volume, which focuses on the complexities of tax reform in a global economy.
Experts from Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, Japan, and Thailand, as well as the United States, Canada, and Israel examine the major tax programs of the 1980s and their domestic and international economic effects. The analyses reveal similarities between the United States and countries in East Asia in political constraints on policy making, and taken together they show how growing interdependence interacts with domestic economic and political concerns to affect issues as politically vital as tax reform. Economists, policymakers, and members of the business community will benefit from these studies.
This clear, concise summary of the in-depth analyses presented in The Political Economy of American Trade Policy examines the level, form, and evolution of American trade protection.
In case studies of trade barriers imposed during the 1980s to help the steel, semiconductor, automobile, lumber, wheat, and textile and apparel industries, the contributors trace the evolution of efforts to obtain protection, protectionist measures, and their results. A chapter assessing the common themes that emerge from the studies concludes that the focus of current trade law is exclusively on the individual protection-seeking industries, with little regard for indirect effects on using industries or for consumers. Reform could usefully take these effects into account.
This volume will interest policymakers, business executives, and anyone interested in trade policy formulation and practice.
Inequality is the defining issue of our time. But it is not just a problem for the rich world. It is the global 1% that now owns fully half the world’s wealth—the true measure of our age of inequality. In this historical tour de force, Simon Reid-Henry rewrites the usual story of globalization and development as a story of the management of inequality. Reaching back to the eighteenth century and around the globe, The Political Origins of Inequality foregrounds the political turning points and decisions behind the making of today’s uneven societies. As it weaves together insights from the Victorian city to the Cold War, from US economic policy to Europe’s present migration crisis, a true picture emerges of the structure of inequality itself.
The problem of inequality, Reid-Henry argues, is a problem that manifests between places as well as over time. This is one reason why it cannot be resolved by the usual arguments of left versus right, bound as they are to the national scale alone. Most of all, however, it is why the level of inequality that confronts us today is indicative of a more general crisis in political thought. Modern political discourse has no place for public reason or the common good. Equality is yesterday’s dream. Yet the fact that we now accept such a world—a world that values security over freedom, special treatment over universal opportunity, and efficiency over fairness—is ultimately because we have stopped even trying in recent decades to build the political architecture the world actually requires.
Our politics has fallen out of step with the world, then, and at the every moment it is needed more than ever. Yet it is within our power to address this. Doing so involves identifying and then meeting our political responsibilities to others, not just offering them the selective charity of the rich. It means looking beyond issues of economics and outside our national borders. But above all it demands of us that we reinvent the language of equality for a modern, global world: and then institute this. The world is not falling apart. Different worlds, we all can see, are colliding together. It is our capacity to act in concert that is falling apart. It is this that needs restoring most of all.
Prudent, verifiable, and timely corporate accounting is a bedrock of our modern capitalist system. In recent years, however, the rules that govern corporate accounting have been subtly changed in ways that compromise these core principles, to the detriment of the economy at large. These changes have been driven by the private agendas of certain corporate special interests, aided selectively—and sometimes unwittingly—by arguments from business academia
With Political Standards, Karthik Ramanna develops the notion of “thin political markets” to describe a key problem facing technical rule-making in corporate accounting and beyond. When standard-setting boards attempt to regulate the accounting practices of corporations, they must draw on a small pool of qualified experts—but those experts almost always have strong commercial interests in the outcome. Meanwhile, standard setting rarely enjoys much attention from the general public. This absence of accountability, Ramanna argues, allows corporate managers to game the system. In the profit-maximization framework of modern capitalism, the only practicable solution is to reframe managerial norms when participating in thin political markets. Political Standards will be an essential resource for understanding how the rules of the game are set, whom they inevitably favor, and how the process can be changed for a better capitalism.
Some say that public policy can be made without the benefit of theory—that it emerges, instead, through trial-and-error. Others see genuine philosophical issues in public affairs but try to resolve them through fanciful examples. Both, argues Robert E. Goodin, are wrong.
Goodin—a political scientist who is also an associate editor of Ethics—shows that empirical and ethical theory can and should guide policy. To be useful, however, these philosophical discussions of public affairs must draw upon actual policy experiences rather than contrived cases. Further, they must reflect the broader social consequences of policies rather than just the dilemmas of personal conscience.
Effectively integrating the literatures of social science, policy science, and philosophy, Goodin provides a theoretically sophisticated yet empirically well-grounded analysis of public policies, the principles underlying them, the institutions shaping them, and the excuses offered for their failures. This analysis is enhanced by the author's discussion of such specific cases as the disposal of nuclear wastes and the priority accorded national defense—cases that illustrate Goodin's theoretical and methodological framework for approaching policy issues.
Winner of the 2015 American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter Journalism Award
The State of New York is now building one of the world’s longest, widest, and most expensive bridges—the new Tappan Zee Bridge—stretching more than three miles across the Hudson River, approximately thirteen miles north of New York City. In Politics Across the Hudson, urban planner Philip Plotch offers a behind-the-scenes look at three decades of contentious planning and politics centered around this bridge, recently renamed for Governor Mario M. Cuomo, the state's governor from 1983 to 1994. He reveals valuable lessons for those trying to tackle complex public policies while also confirming our worst fears about government dysfunction.
Drawing on his extensive experience planning megaprojects, interviews with more than a hundred key figures—including governors, agency heads, engineers, civic advocates, and business leaders—and extraordinary access to internal government records, Plotch tells a compelling story of high-stakes battles between powerful players in the public, private, and civic sectors. He reveals how state officials abandoned viable options, squandered hundreds of millions of dollars, forfeited more than three billion dollars in federal funds, and missed out on important opportunities. Faced with the public’s unrealistic expectations, no one could identify a practical solution to a vexing problem, a dilemma that led three governors to study various alternatives rather than disappoint key constituencies.
This revised and updated edition includes a new epilogue and more photographs, and continues where Robert Caro’s The Power Broker left off and illuminates the power struggles involved in building New York’s first major new bridge since the Robert Moses era. Plotch describes how one governor, Andrew Cuomo, shrewdly overcame the seemingly insurmountable obstacles of onerous environmental regulations, vehement community opposition, insufficient funding, interagency battles, and overly optimistic expectations...
Is the federal budget deficit a result of congressional deadlocks, gross miscalculation of economic trends, or a Republican strategy to tie the budgetary hands of future Democratic leadership? To what extend does the partisan split between Congress and the executive branch constrain the president's agenda? In this volume, political scientists and economists tackle these and many other contentious issues, offering a variety of analytical perspectives.
Certain to provoke controversy, this interdisciplinary volume brings together policy experts to provide a coherent analysis of the most important economic policy changes of the 1980s. Through a detailed examination of voting patterns, monetary and fiscal policies, welfare spending, tax reform, minimum wage legislation, the savings and loan collapse, and international trade policy, the authors explore how politics can influence the direction of economic policymaking.
After the American Civil War, agricultural reformers in the South called for an end to unrestricted grazing of livestock on unfenced land. They advocated the stock law, which required livestock owners to fence in their animals, arguing that the existing system (in which farmers built protective fences around crops) was outdated and inhibited economic growth. The reformers steadily won their battles, and by the end of the century the range was on the way to being closed.
In this original study, Kantor uses economic analysis to show that, contrary to traditional historical interpretation, this conflict was centered on anticipated benefits from fencing livestock rather than on class, cultural, or ideological differences. Kantor proves that the stock law brought economic benefits; at the same time, he analyzes why the law's adoption was hindered in many areas where it would have increased wealth. This argument illuminates the dynamics of real-world institutional change, where transactions are often costly and where some inefficient institutions persist while others give way to economic growth.
Scholars normally emphasize the contrast between the two great eighteenth-century thinkers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith. Rousseau is seen as a critic of modernity; Smith as an apologist. However, Istvan Hont finds significant commonalities in their work, arguing that both were theorists of commercial society but from different perspectives.
Since its introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has been widely promoted as a digital currency that will revolutionize everything from online commerce to the nation-state. Yet supporters of Bitcoin and its blockchain technology subscribe to a form of cyberlibertarianism that depends to a surprising extent on far-right political thought. The Politics of Bitcoin exposes how much of the economic and political thought on which this cryptocurrency is based emerges from ideas that travel the gamut, from Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises to Federal Reserve conspiracy theorists.
Forerunners: Ideas First is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital publications. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, social media, conference plenaries, journal articles, and the synergy of academic exchange. This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship.
Global in scope, but refusing a familiar totalizing theoretical framework, the essays in The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital demonstrate how localized and resistant social practices—including anticolonial and feminist struggles, peasant revolts, labor organizing, and various cultural movements—challenge contemporary capitalism as a highly differentiated mode of production. Reworking Marxist critique, these essays on Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, and Europe advance a new understanding of "cultural politics" within the context of transnational neocolonial capitalism. This perspective contributes to an overall critique of traditional approaches to modernity, development, and linear liberal narratives of culture, history, and democratic institutions. It also frames a set of alternative social practices that allows for connections to be made between feminist politics among immigrant women in Britain, women of color in the United States, and Muslim women in Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, and Canada; the work of subaltern studies in India, the Philippines, and Mexico; and antiracist social movements in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. These connections displace modes of opposition traditionally defined in relation to the modern state and enable a rethinking of political practice in the era of global capitalism.
Contributors. Tani E. Barlow, Nandi Bhatia, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Chungmoo Choi, Clara Connolly, Angela Davis, Arturo Escobar, Grant Farred, Homa Hoodfar, Reynaldo C. Ileto, George Lipsitz, David Lloyd, Lisa Lowe, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Aihwa Ong, Pragna Patel, José Rabasa, Maria Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Jaqueline Urla
Spearheaded by Harvey Washington Wiley, the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 launched the federal regulation of food and drugs in the United States. Wiley is often lauded as a champion of public interest for bringing about a law that required healthful ingredients and honest labeling. Clayton Coppin and Jack High demonstrate, however, that Wiley was in fact surreptitiously allied with business firms that would benefit from regulation and moreover, that the law would help him build his government agency, the Federal Bureau of Chemistry.
Coppin and High discuss such issues as Wiley's efforts to assign the law's enforcement to his own bureau. They go on to expose the selectivity of Wiley's enforcement of the law, in which he manipulated commercial competition in order to reward firms that supported him and penalize those that opposed him. By examining the history of the law's movement, the authors show that, rather than acting in the public interest, Wiley used the Pure Food and Drugs Act to further his own power and success. Finally, they analyze government regulation itself as the outcome of two distinct competitive processes, one that takes place in the market, the other in the polity.
The book will interest scholars concerned with government regulation, including those in economics, political science, history, and business.
Clayton Coppin is a management consultant and historian, Koch Industries, Wichita. Jack High is Professor of Economics, George Mason University.
The Great Recession not only shook Americans’ economic faith but also prompted powerful critiques of economic institutions. This timely book explores three movements that gathered force after 2008: the rise of the benefit corporation, which requires social responsibility and eschews share price as the best metric for success; the emergence of a new group, Slow Money, that fosters peer-to-peer investing; and the 2011 Wisconsin protests against a bill restricting the union rights of state workers.
Each case shows how the concrete actions of a group of citizens can prompt us to reflect on what is needed for a just and sustainable economic system. In one case, activists raised questions about the responsibilities of business, in the second about the significance of local economies, and in the third about the contributions of the public sector. Through these movements, Jane L. Collins maps a set of cultural conversations about the types of investments and activities that contribute to the health of the economy. Compelling and persuasive, The Politics of Value offers a new framework for viewing economic value, one grounded in thoughtful assessment of the social division of labor and the relationship of the state and the market to civil society.
Toward what end does the U.S. government support science and technology? How do the legacies and institutions of the past constrain current efforts to restructure federal research policy? Not since the end of World War II have these questions been so pressing, as scientists and policymakers debate anew the desirability and purpose of a federal agenda for funding research. Probing the values that have become embodied in the postwar federal research establishment, Politics on the Endless Frontier clarifies the terms of these debates and reveals what is at stake in attempts to reorganize that establishment. Although it ended up as only one among a host of federal research policymaking agencies, the National Science Foundation was originally conceived as central to the federal research policymaking system. Kleinman’s historical examination of the National Science Foundation exposes the sociological and political workings of the system, particularly the way in which a small group of elite scientists shaped the policymaking process and defined the foundation’s structure and future. Beginning with Vannevar Bush’s 1945 manifesto The Endless Frontier, Kleinman explores elite and populist visions for a postwar research policy agency and shows how the structure of the American state led to the establishment of a fragmented and uncoordinated system for federal research policymaking. His book concludes with an analysis of recent efforts to reorient research policy and to remake federal policymaking institutions in light of the current "crisis" of economic competitiveness. A particularly timely study, Politics on the Endless Frontier will be of interest to historians and sociologists of science and technology and to science policy analysts.
Today’s electric power companies compete to provide cleaner electricity. That’s a good thing, but progress has come with costs, especially for communities reliant on the coal industry. Thomas McGarity examines the changes of recent decades and offers ideas for building a more sustainable grid while easing the economic downsides of coal’s demise.
Polycentric Games and Institutions summarizes contributions to the analysis of institutions made by scholars associated with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University.
The readings in this volume illustrate several varieties of institutional analysis. Each reading builds upon the foundation of game theory to address similar sets of questions concerning institutions and self-governance. The chapters in the first section lay out interrelated frameworks for analysis. Section two illustrates the normative component of institutions and their effects on human behavior. Readings in the following two sections detail how these frameworks have been applied to models of specific situations. Section five presents a modeling exercise exploring the functions of monitoring and enforcement, and the sixth section discusses approaches to the problems of complexity that confront individuals playing polycentric games. The final readings provide overviews of experimental research on the behavior of rational individuals.
Contributors include Arun Agrawal, Sue E. S. Crawford, Clark C. Gibson, Roberta Herzberg, Larry L. Kiser, Michael McGinnis, Stuart A. Marks, Elinor Ostrom, Vincent Ostrom, James Walker, Franz J. Weissing, John T. Williams, and Rick Wilson.
Michael McGinnis is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Co-Associate Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University.
How do local communities collectively manage those resources that are most important to their own survival or prosperity? Wherever they are located, all communities face similar dilemmas of collective action: how can common goals be realized despite the presence of individual incentives to over-exploit common resources for private gain? The readings collected in Polycentric Governance and Development show the achievements of scholars associated with the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University in understanding how communities have dealt with dilemmas of collective action. Their analyses also have profound implications for broader issues of development.
The central insight of the research collected in the volume is this: much can be learned by a careful examination of the ways in which local communities have organized themselves to solve collective problems, achieve common aspirations, and resolve conflicts. The first two sections deal with efforts to manage water and other common-pool resources on a relatively small scale. Section three moves to the macro-level of analysis, with particular attention given to examples of constitutional order from Africa, while section four demonstrates that local organizations and informal networks can play essential roles in furthering democratization and development. The concluding section addresses issues at the national level, by linking the practical world of resource management and development policy to the abstract world of the policy analyst. This collection of essays is designed to illustrate how all the pieces fit together and to suggest connections among multiple levels and modes of analysis.
Contributors include Paula C. Baker, William Blomquist, Larry L. Kiser, Ronald J. Oakerson, Elinor Ostrom, Vincent Ostrom, Roger B. Parks, Stephen L. Percy, Charles M. Tiebout, Martha Vandivort, Robert Warren, Gordon P. Whitaker, and Rick Wilson.
Michael McGinnis is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Co-Associate Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University.
The study of metropolitan political economies in the United States has provided much of the intellectual inspiration for the research of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. The readings collected in Polycentricity and Local Public Economies present an overview of the results of this research program on police services and metropolitan governance as well as enduring lessons for institutional analysis and public policy.
Polycentricity and Local Public Economies presents both explorations of broad general concepts and specific empirical analyses. The many interactions between the two modes of analysis provide valuable insights for the reader. Readings in the first section cover basic theoretical concepts and analytical distinctions that apply to the study of institutions generally. The second section includes conceptual pieces specifically addressed to the nature of governance in metropolitan areas, while section three reports on a series of empirical studies of police performance. Section four again broadens the focus to highlight the overall organization of local public economies. The final section discusses conceptual advances that have continuing relevance for research and policy debates.
Contributors include William Blomquist, Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, Roy Gardner, Dele Olowu, Elinor Ostrom, Vincent Ostrom, Amos Sawyer, Edella Schlager, Shui Yan Tang, Wai Fung Lam, and James S. Wunsch.
Michael McGinnis is Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Co-Associate Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University.
"An extremely important book which contains a number of uniformly excellent papers on a variety of topics relating, to various degrees, to the nexus of demographic-economic interrelationships for presently developing countries."—William J. Serow, Southern Economic Journal
"An important landmark in the growing field of economic demography."—Dudley Kirk, Journal of Developing Areas
Television audiences and its industry alike have been confused by the emergence of new ways to watch television. On one hand, the programs seem every bit like the television we’ve long known, while the way we can watch, what we can watch, and the business models supporting them differ significantly.
Portals: A Treatise on Internet-Distributed Television pushes understandings of the business of television to keep pace with the considerable technological change of the last decade. It explains why shows such as Orange is the New Black or Transparent are indeed television despite coming to screens over internet connection and in exchange for a monthly fee. It explores how internet-distributed television is able to do new things – particularly, allow different people to watch different shows chosen from a library of possibilities. This technological ability allows new audience behaviors and new norms in making television.
Portals are the “channels” of internet-distributed television, and Portals identifies how the task of curating a library of shows differs from channels’ task of building a schedule. It explores the business model—subscriber funding—that supports many portals, and identifies the key differences from advertiser or direct purchase. Portals considers what we know about the future of television, even though we remain early in a process of transformative change.
Positive Political Theory I is concerned with the formal theory of preference aggregation for collective choice. The theory is developed as generally as possible, covering classes of aggregation methods that include such well-known examples as majority and unanimity rule and focusing in particular on the extent to which any aggregation method is assured to yield a set of "best" alternatives. The book is intended both as a contribution to the theory of collective choice and a pedagogic tool.
Austen-Smith and Banks have made the exposition both rigorous and accessible to people with some technical background (e.g., a course in multivariate calculus). The intended readership ranges from more technically-oriented graduate students and specialists to those students in economics and political science interested less in the technical aspects of the results than in the depth, scope, and importance of the theoretical advances in positive political theory.
"This is a stunning book. Austen-Smith and Banks have a deep understanding of the material, and their text gives a powerfully unified and coherent perspective on a vast literature. The exposition is clear-eyed and efficient but never humdrum. Even those familiar with the subject will find trenchant remarks and fresh insights every few pages. Anyone with an interest in contemporary liberal democratic theory will want this book on the shelf." --Christopher Achen, University of Michigan
David Austen-Smith is Professor of Political Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Management and Strategy, Northwestern University. Jeffrey S. Banks is Professor of Political Science, California Institute of Technology.
“ A major piece of work . . . a classic. There is no
other book like it.”
— Norman Schofield, Washington University
“ The authors succeed brilliantly in tackling a large
number of important questions concerning the
interaction among voters and elected representatives
in the political arena, using a common, rigorous
— Antonio Merlo, University of Pennsylvania
Positive Political Theory II: Strategy and Structure
is the second volume in Jeffrey Banks and David
Austen-Smith’ s monumental study of the links
between individual preferences and collective choice.
The book focuses on representative systems, including
both elections and legislative decision-making
processes, clearly connecting individual preferences to
collective outcomes. This book is not a survey. Rather,
it is the coherent, cumulative result of the authors’
brilliant efforts to indirectly connect preferences to
collective choice through strategic behaviors such as
agenda-selection and voting.
The book will be an invaluable reference and teaching
tool for economists and political scientists, and an
essential companion to any scholar interested in the
latest theoretical advances in positive political theory.
In addressing the internationalization of economics after 1945, these essays are concerned with aspects of economic education, the economist’s role in policymaking, and the sociology and professionalization of the discipline. These matters have rarely been considered in international terms. While discussing organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Community, and presenting studies that are primarily concerned with the effect of these developments in particular countries, this volume focuses on the situation of Latin America. Arguably, the post-1945 internationalization of economics has proceeded further, more dramatically, and with greater effect in that continent than in any other region of comparable size.
Contributors. S. Ambirajan, William Ascher, William J. Barber, Young Back Choi, A. W. Coats, Barend de Vries, Margaret Garrison de Vries, Peter Groenewegen, Arnold Harberger, Aiko Ikeo, Maria Rita Loureiro, Ivo Maes, Veronica Montecinos, Jacques J. Polak, Pier Luigi Porta, Bo Sandelin, Ann Veiderpass, John Williamson
A Postcapitalist Politics
J. K. Gibson-Graham University of Minnesota Press, 2006 Library of Congress HD87.G52 2006 | Dewey Decimal 338.9
Is there life after capitalism? In this creatively argued follow-up to their book The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It), J. K. Gibson-Graham offer already existing alternatives to a global capitalist order and outline strategies for building alternative economies.
A Postcapitalist Politics reveals a prolific landscape of economic diversity—one that is not exclusively or predominantly capitalist—and examines the challenges and successes of alternative economic interventions. Gibson-Graham bring together political economy, feminist poststructuralism, and economic activism to foreground the ethical decisions, as opposed to structural imperatives, that construct economic “development” pathways. Marshalling empirical evidence from local economic projects and action research in the United States, Australia, and Asia, they produce a distinctive political imaginary with three intersecting moments: a politics of language, of the subject, and of collective action. In the face of an almost universal sense of surrender to capitalist globalization, this book demonstrates that postcapitalist subjects, economies, and communities can be fostered. The authors describe a politics of possibility that can build different economies in place and over space. They urge us to confront the forces that stand in the way of economic experimentation and to explore different ways of moving from theory to action.
J. K. Gibson-Graham is the pen name of Katherine Gibson and Julie Graham, feminist economic geographers who work, respectively, at the Australian National University in Canberra and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
With the end of the Cold War, the search for a new international and economic order has begun. In this comprehensive account, Sylvia Ostry provides a critical analysis of an international trade system in the throes of rapid and far-reaching change.
With keen historical awareness, Ostry examines the role of key economic power brokers, particularly the United States, in the reconstruction and reconfiguration of an international economy after World War II. She argues that U.S. policy efforts were so successful that they led to an unprecedented renewal of economic growth, living standards, and education levels in postwar Europe and Japan. Ironically, those same policy successes unintentionally fostered the relative decline of U.S. dominance on the world trade scene as the reduction of trade and investment barriers prompted friction and conflict between different kinds of capitalist systems.
Identifying the historical and legal issues key to postwar trade policy, Ostry has commandingly charted our economic course through the last half of this century and, perhaps, into the next.
"Sylvia Ostry knows this subject as few others do, both as a scholar of international trade issues and a major player in the ongoing negotiations that have created the rules of the trade game. The Post-Cold War Trading System is a fine summary of where we've been and where we ought to be going."—Peter Passell, economic scene columnist for The New York Times
A great deal of reactionary political fire in the Mountain West has been aimed at environmental protection measures that are perceived to have destroyed or diminished the livelihoods of long-time residents. Conventional wisdom sees the economic woes afflicting the region -- declining pay, growing inequality, persistent poverty -- as a direct result of increasingly strict environmental regulations that have crippled natural resource industries such as mining and logging.In Post-Cowboy Economics, economists Thomas Michael Power and Richard Barrett provide a new interpretation of the economy of the Mountain West. Based on evidence from a wide variety of sources, including data on individual employment and income histories of more than 300,000 residents, they clearly demonstrate that the region's economic misfortunes are not the result of changes in regional industrial structure but rather are local manifestations of pervasive national and international trends. The authors: discuss and critique entrenched conventional wisdom and its policy implications present an empirical analysis of changes in the region offer a new interpretation of events affecting the regional economy set forth public policies that will work to protect and enhance the economic well-being of its residents and communitiesThe authors' analysis and interpretation make a compelling case that despite incomes that are low compared to the rest of the country, the region is not suffering from general impoverishment, and that environmental protection, rather than threatening economic well-being, enhances welfare and protects the very source of the economic vitality that the Mountain West enjoys. Throughout, they argue that fearful, crisis driven environmental and economic development policies are unnecessary and inappropriate, and often counterproductive.Post-Cowboy Economics is an important work for professionals and scholars involved with environmental policy, economic development, and resource management, as well as anyone interested in the future of the American West."
U.S. Air Force (USAF) global posture—its overseas forces, facilities, and arrangements with partner nations—faces a variety of fiscal, political, and military challenges. This report seeks to identify why the USAF needs a global posture, where it needs basing and access, the types of security partnerships that minimize peacetime access risk, and the amount of forward presence that the USAF requires.
What is it about free-market ideas that gives them staying power in the face of such failures as persistent unemployment, widening inequality, and financial crises? The Power of Market Fundamentalism extends economist Karl Polanyi's work to explain why these dangerous utopian ideas have become the dominant economic ideology of our time.
The disparity between rich and poor countries is the most serious, intractable problem facing the world today. The chronic poverty of many nations affects more than the citizens and economies of those nations; it threatens global stability as the pressures of immigration become unsustainable and rogue nations seek power and influence through extreme political and terrorist acts. To address this tenacious poverty, a vast array of international institutions has pumped billions of dollars into these nations in recent decades, yet despite this infusion of capital and attention, roughly five billion of the world's six billion people continue to live in poor countries. What isn't working? And how can we fix it?
The Power of Productivity provides powerful and controversial answers to these questions. William W. Lewis, the director emeritus of the McKinsey Global Institute, here draws on extensive microeconomic studies of thirteen nations over twelve years—conducted by the Institute itself—to counter virtually all prevailing wisdom about how best to ameliorate economic disparity. Lewis's research, which included studying everything from state-of-the-art auto makers to black-market street vendors and mom-and-pop stores, conclusively demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, providing more capital to poor nations is not the best way to help them. Nor is improving levels of education, exchange-rate flexibility, or government solvency enough. Rather, the key to improving economic conditions in poor countries, argues Lewis, is increasing productivity through intense, fair competition and protecting consumer rights.
As The Power of Productivity explains, this sweeping solution affects the economies of poor nations at all levels—from the viability of major industries to how the average consumer thinks about his or her purchases. Policies must be enacted in developing nations that reflect a consumer rather than a producer mindset and an attendant sense of consumer rights. Only one force, Lewis claims, can stand up to producer special privileges—consumer interests.
The Institute's unprecedented research method and Lewis's years of experience with economic policy combine to make The Power of Productivity the most authoritative and compelling view of the global economy today, one that will inform political and economic debate throughout the world for years to come.
David Wootton guides us through four centuries of Western thought to show how new ideas about politics, ethics, and economics stepped into a gap opened up by religious conflict and the Scientific Revolution. As ideas about godliness and Aristotelian virtue faded, theories about the rational pursuit of power, pleasure, and profit moved to the fore.
Mintz and Schwartz offer a fascinating tour of the corporate world. Through an intensive study of interlocking corporate directorates, they show that for the first time in American history the loan making and stock purchasing and selling powers are concentrated in the same hands: the leadership of major financial firms. Their detailed descriptions of corporate case histories include the forced ouster of Howard Hughes from TWA in the late fifties as a result of lenders' pressure; the collapse of Chrysler in the late seventies owing to banks' refusal to provide further capital infusions; and the very different "rescues" of Pan American Airlines and Braniff Airlines by bank intervention in the seventies.
Power Struggles: Hydro Development and First Nations in Manitoba and Quebec examines the evolution of new agreements between First Nations and Inuit and the hydro corporations in Quebec and Manitoba, including the Wuskwatim Dam Project, Paix des Braves, and the Great Whale Project. In the 1970s, both provinces signed so-called “modern treaties” with First Nations for the development of large hydro projects in Aboriginal territories. In recent times, however, the two provinces have diverged in their implementation, and public opinion of these agreements has ranged from celebratory to outrage.Power Struggles brings together perspectives on these issues from both scholars and activists. In debating the relative merits and limits of these agreements, they raise a crucial question: Is Canada on the eve of a new relationship with First Nations, or do the same colonial attitudes that have long characterized Canadian-Aboriginal relations still prevail?
In the late 1990s, while Enron was flying high, a smaller power company flew under the radar. AES was founded in 1981 according to a different set of principles—fiscally conservative investment strategies paired with the belief that business can be both fun and socially responsible.
When Roger Sant arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1974, industry and government were focused on securing ever more oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy, not on efficiency. Sant, who left a teaching position at Stanford’s business school to become assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, was committed to changing the focus. With his colleague Dennis Bakke and a handful of investors, Sant founded AES, an upstart energy service company that would ultimately help transform the industry. The company was built on Sant and Bakke’s ideals: a healthy work environment, a healthy natural environment, and efficient electricity generation and delivery at an affordable price. AES seized the opportunities created by deregulation of the electricity industry, breaking free of an energy infrastructure dating back to Thomas Edison’s day. While Enron and many others stumbled, AES proved itself able to survive and often to thrive. Rapid growth would become the company’s greatest challenge, yet through exhilarating highs and disappointing lows, AES has maintained its founders’ original vision of electricity generation that sustains workers, consumers, and the environment.
Power to People is the story of electricity privatization, expanding global markets, and the transformation of an industry. It is also proof of the electrifying combination of innovation and good citizenship.
The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world. But that wealth hasn't translated to a higher life expectancy, an area where the United States still ranks thirty-eighth—behind Cuba, Chile, Costa Rica, and Greece, among many others. Some fault the absence of universal health care or the persistence of social inequalities. Others blame unhealthy lifestyles. But these emphases on present-day behaviors and policies miss a much more fundamental determinant of societal health: the state.
Werner Troesken looks at the history of the United States with a focus on three diseases—smallpox, typhoid fever, and yellow fever—to show how constitutional rules and provisions that promoted individual liberty and economic prosperity also influenced, for good and for bad, the country’s ability to eradicate infectious disease. Ranging from federalism under the Commerce Clause to the Contract Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, Troesken argues persuasively that many institutions intended to promote desirable political or economic outcomes also hindered the provision of public health. We are unhealthy, in other words, at least in part because our political and legal institutions function well. Offering a compelling new perspective, The Pox of Liberty challenges many traditional claims that infectious diseases are inexorable forces in human history, beyond the control of individual actors or the state, revealing them instead to be the result of public and private choices.
Seldom considered is whether markets do an adequate job of shaping our tastes. David George argues that they do not, and that the standard economic definition of efficiency can be used to demonstrate that the market ignores people's desires about their desires. He concludes that markets perform poorly with respect to second-order preferences, thus worsening the problem of undesired desires. The book further investigates changes in perceptions and public policy toward such activities as gambling, credit, entertainment, and sexual behavior.
David George is Chair and Professor Economics, LaSalle University.
In January 1964, in his first State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson announced a declaration of “unconditional war” on poverty. By the end of the year the Economic Opportunity Act became law.
The War on Poverty illustrates the interweaving of rhetorical and historical forces in shaping public policy. Zarefsky suggest that an important problem in the War on Poverty lay in its discourse. He assumes that language plays a central role in the formulation of social policy by shaping the context within which people view the social world. By terming the anti-poverty effort a war, President Johnson imparted significant symbolism to the effort: it called for total victory and gave confidence that the “war” was winnable. It influenced the definition of the enemy as an intergenerational cycle of poverty, rather than the shortcomings of the individual; and it led to the choice of community action, manpower programs, and prudent management as weapons and tactics. Each of these implications involves a choice of language and symbols, a decision about how to characterize and discuss the world. Zarefsky contends that each of these rhetorical choices was helpful to the Johnson administration in obtaining passage of the Economic Opportunity Ac of 1964, but that each choice invited redefinition or reinterpretation of a symbol in a way that threatened the program.
In Pretend We’re Dead, Annalee Newitz argues that the slimy zombies and gore-soaked murderers who have stormed through American film and literature over the past century embody the violent contradictions of capitalism. Ravaged by overwork, alienated by corporate conformity, and mutilated by the unfettered lust for profit, fictional monsters act out the problems with an economic system that seems designed to eat people whole.
Newitz looks at representations of serial killers, mad doctors, the undead, cyborgs, and unfortunates mutated by their involvement with the mass media industry. Whether considering the serial killer who turns murder into a kind of labor by mass producing dead bodies, or the hack writers and bloodthirsty actresses trapped inside Hollywood’s profit-mad storytelling machine, she reveals that each creature has its own tale to tell about how a freewheeling market economy turns human beings into monstrosities.
Newitz tracks the monsters spawned by capitalism through b movies, Hollywood blockbusters, pulp fiction, and American literary classics, looking at their manifestations in works such as Norman Mailer’s “true life novel” The Executioner’s Song; the short stories of Isaac Asimov and H. P. Lovecraft; the cyberpunk novels of William Gibson and Marge Piercy; true-crime books about the serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer; and movies including Modern Times (1936), Donovan’s Brain (1953), Night of the Living Dead (1968), RoboCop (1987), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001). Newitz shows that as literature and film tell it, the story of American capitalism since the late nineteenth century is a tale of body-mangling, soul-crushing horror.
Economists and policymakers are still trying to understand the lessons recent financial crises in Asia and other emerging market countries hold for the future of the global financial system. In this timely and important volume, distinguished academics, officials in multilateral organizations, and public and private sector economists explore the causes of and effective policy responses to international currency crises.
Topics covered include exchange rate regimes, contagion (transmission of currency crises across countries), the current account of the balance of payments, the role of private sector investors and of speculators, the reaction of the official sector (including the multilaterals), capital controls, bank supervision and weaknesses, and the roles of cronyism, corruption, and large players (including hedge funds).
Ably balancing detailed case studies, cross-country comparisons, and theoretical concerns, this book will make a major contribution to ongoing efforts to understand and prevent international currency crises.
Price Index Concepts and Measurement
Edited by W. Erwin Diewert, John Greenlees, and Charles R. Hulten University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress HC106.3.C714 2009 | Dewey Decimal 338.528
Although inflation is much feared for its negative effects on the economy, how to measure it is a matter of considerable debate that has important implications for interest rates, monetary supply, and investment and spending decisions. Underlying many of these issues is the concept of the Cost-of-Living Index (COLI) and its controversial role as the methodological foundation for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Price Index Concepts and Measurements brings together leading experts to address the many questions involved in conceptualizing and measuring inflation. They evaluate the accuracy of COLI, a Cost-of-Goods Index, and a variety of other methodological frameworks as the bases for consumer price construction.
Price Measurements and Their Uses
Edited by Murray F. Foss, Marilyn E. Manser, and Allan H. Young University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress HC106.3.C714 vol. 57 | Dewey Decimal 330
In an economy characterized by frequent change in technology, in the types of goods and services purchased, and in the forms of business organization, keeping track of price change continues to pose many difficulties. Price change affects the way we perceive changes in such basic measures as real output, productivity, and living standards. This volume, which brings together academic economists with those responsible for official price indexes, presents outstanding new research on price measurement.
Half of the papers focus on prices for mainframe and personal computers, semiconductors, and other high-tech products, using mainly hedonic techniques. The volume includes a panel discussion by distinguished economists about the theoretical and practical considerations of how best to measure price change of capital goods whose quality is changing rapidly. The authors also present new research on more conventional but still unsettled problems in the price field affecting both the consumer and producer price indexes of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Debates over foreign aid can seem strangely innocent of history. Economists argue about effectiveness and measurement—how to make aid work. Meanwhile, critics in donor countries bemoan what they see as money wasted on corrupt tycoons or unworthy recipients. What most ignore is the essentially political character of foreign aid. Looking back to the origins and evolution of foreign aid during the Cold War, David C. Engerman invites us to recognize the strategic thinking at the heart of development assistance—as well as the political costs.
In The Price of Aid, Engerman argues that superpowers turned to foreign aid as a tool of the Cold War. India, the largest of the ex-colonies, stood at the center of American and Soviet aid competition. Officials of both superpowers saw development aid as an instrument for pursuing geopolitics through economic means. But Indian officials had different ideas, seeking superpower aid to advance their own economic visions, thus bringing external resources into domestic debates about India’s economic future. Drawing on an expansive set of documents, many recently declassified, from seven countries, Engerman reconstructs a story of Indian leaders using Cold War competition to win battles at home, but in the process eroding the Indian state.
The Indian case provides an instructive model today. As China spends freely in Africa, the political stakes of foreign aid are rising once again.
More and more young men and women today are taking longer and having more difficulty making a successful transition to adulthood. They are staying in school longer, having a harder time finding steady employment at jobs that provide health insurance, and are not marrying and having children until much later in life than their parents did. In The Price of Independence, a roster of distinguished experts diagnose the extent and causes of these trends. Observers of social trends have speculated on the economic changes that may be delaying the transition to adulthood—from worsening job opportunities to mounting student debt and higher housing costs—but few have offered empirical evidence to back up their claims. The Price of Independence represents the first significant analysis of these economic explanations, charting the evolving life circumstances of eighteen to thirty-five year-olds over the last few decades. Lisa Bell, Gary Burtless, Janet Gornick, and Timothy M. Smeeding show that the earnings of young workers in the United States and a number of industrialized countries have declined relative to the cost of supporting a family, which may explain their protracted dependence. In addition, Henry Farber finds that job stability for young male workers has dropped over the last generation. But while economic factors have some influence on young people's transitions to adulthood, The Price of Independence shows that changes in the economic climate can not account for the magnitude of the societal shift in the timing of independent living, marriage, and childbearing. Aaron Yelowitz debunks the myth that steep housing prices are forcing the young to live at home—housing costs actually fell between 1980 and 2000 once lower interest rates and tax subsidies are taken into account. And Ngina Chiteji reveals that average student loan debt is only $3,500 per household. The trend toward starting careers and families later appears to have more to do with changing social norms, as well as policies that have broadened access to higher education, than with changes in the economy. For better or worse, the current generation is redefining the nature and boundaries of what it means to be a young adult. The Price of Independence documents just how dramatically the modern lifecycle has changed and offers evidence as an antidote to much of the conventional wisdom about these social changes.
If wars are costly and risky to both sides, why do they occur? Why engage in an arms race when it’s clear that increasing one’s own defense expenditures will only trigger a similar reaction by the other side, leaving both countries just as insecure—and considerably poorer? Just as people buy expensive things precisely because they are more expensive, because they offer the possibility of improved social status or prestige, so too do countries, argues Lilach Gilady.
In The Price of Prestige, Gilady shows how many seemingly wasteful government expenditures that appear to contradict the laws of demand actually follow the pattern for what are known as Veblen goods, or positional goods for which demand increases alongside price, even when cheaper substitutes are readily available. From flashy space programs to costly weapons systems a country does not need and cannot maintain to foreign aid programs that offer little benefit to recipients, these conspicuous and strategically timed expenditures are intended to instill awe in the observer through their wasteful might. And underestimating the important social role of excess has serious policy implications. Increasing the cost of war, for example, may not always be an effective tool for preventing it, Gilady argues, nor does decreasing the cost of weapons and other technologies of war necessarily increase the potential for conflict, as shown by the case of a cheap fighter plane whose price tag drove consumers away. In today’s changing world, where there are high levels of uncertainty about the distribution of power, Gilady also offers a valuable way to predict which countries are most likely to be concerned about their position and therefore adopt costly, excessive policies.