America's Children offers a valuable overview of the dramatic transformations in American childhood over the past fifty years, a period of historic shifts that reduced the human and material resources available to our children. Alarmingly, one fifth of all U.S. children now grow up in poverty, many are without health insurance, and about 30 percent never graduate from high school. Despite such conditions, economic, family, and educational programs for children earn low national priority and must depend on inconsistent state and local management. Drawing upon both historical and recent data, including census information from 1940 to 1980, Donald J. Hernandez provides a vivid portrait of children in America and puts forth a forceful case for overhauling our national child welfare policies. Hernandez shows how important revolutions in household composition and income, parental education and employment, childcare, and levels of poverty have affected children's well-being. As working wives and single mothers increasingly replace the traditional homemaker, children spend greater portions of time in educational and daycare facilities outside the home, and those with single mothers stand the greatest chance of being welfare dependent. Wider changes in society have created even greater stress for children in certain groups as they age: out-of-wedlock births are on the rise for white teenagers, half of all Hispanic youths never graduate high school, and violence accounts for nearly 90 per cent of all black teenage deaths. America's Children explores the interaction of many trends in children's lives and the fundamental social, demographic, and economic processes that lie at their core. The book concludes with a thoughtful analysis of the ability of families and government to provide for a new age of children, with emphasis on reducing racial inequities and providing greater public support for families, comparable to the family policies of other developed countries. As the traditional "Ozzie and Harriet" family recedes into collective memory, the importance of creating strong national policies for children is amplified, particularly in the areas of financial assistance, health insurance, education, and daycare. America's Children provides a compelling guide for reassessing the forces that shape our children and the resources available to safeguard their future. "In this conceptually creative, methodologically rigorous, and empirically rich book, Hernandez uses census and survey data to describe several quite profound changes that have characterized the life courses of America's children and their families over the last 50 to 150 years....this erudite book is destined to be a classic." —Richard M. Lerner, Contemporary Psychology "America's Children goes a long way toward informing the debate on the causes of increasing poverty, and it challenges some widely held misperceptions....its study of resources available to children (and their families) lays a valuable foundation for surveying trends in family structure, education, and income sources....Anyone interested in the changing lives of children should read it; anyone interested in understanding the causes and patterns of poverty, and in designing a better welfare system, must read it." —Ellen B. Magenheim, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
Pope Francis, generally speaking, has thus far chosen to concentrate his papacy on social justice issues, as opposed to doctrinal or liturgical issues. This has led to Francis being hailed as a hero to many on the left, while it has made some conservative supporters of St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI disappointed and uncomfortable, even as they love and appreciate his person and gestures of mercy and compassion. Some find his teachings difficult to embrace, especially those concerning business and the economy. Pope Francis has spoken of building bridges as part of what it is to be Christian, but aspects of his message seem to be just constructing walls between the Holy Father and groups of the faithful.
The Business Francis Means aims to break through these walls, showing that Pope Francis has something to say to all Christians. His message, taken as a whole, keeps us from dividing the “seamless garment” of Christ: he reminds the conservatives of the problems of inequality and poverty, and the liberals that social justice is not enough – the Church is the bride of Christ, not a social institution or an NGO.
Monsignor Martin Schlag summarizes and explains the message of Pope Francis on business and the economy in this compact volume. The Business Francis Means will be of great interest to the Catholic layperson, especially one involved in political or economic life.
Capitalism, Not Globalism shows that, while much has been made of recent changes in the international economy, the mechanisms by which politicians control the economy have not changed throughout the postwar period. Challenging both traditional and revisionist globalization theorists, William Roberts Clark argues that increased financial integration has led to neither a widening nor a narrowing of partisan differences in macroeconomic polices or outcomes. Rather, he shows that the absence of partisan differences in macroeconomic policy is a long-standing feature of democratic capitalist societies that can be traced to politicians' attempts to use the economy to help them survive in office.
Changes in the structural landscape such as increased capital mobility and central bank independence do not necessarily diminish the ability of politicians to control the economy, but they do shape the strategies they use to do so. In a world of highly mobile capital, politicians manipulate monetary policy to create macroeconomic expansions prior to elections only if the exchange rate is flexible and the central bank is subservient. But they use fiscal policy to induce political business cycles when the exchange rate is fixed or the central bank is independent.
William Roberts Clark is Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, New York University.
The colonias of the U.S.–Mexico border form a loose network of more than 2,500 settlements, ranging in size from villages to cities, that are home to over a million people. While varying in size, all share common features: wrenching poverty, substandard housing, and public health issues approaching crisis levels. This book brings together scholars, professionals, and activists from a wide range of disciplines to examine the pressing issues of economic development, housing and community development, and public and environmental health in colonias of the four U.S.–Mexico border states.
The Colonias Reader is the first book to present such a broad overview of these communities, offering a glimpse into life in the colonias and the circumstances that allow them to continue to exist—and even grow—in persistent poverty. The contributors document the depth of existing problems in each state and describe how government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and community activists have mobilized resources to overcome obstacles to progress.
More than reporting problems and documenting programs, the book provides conceptual frameworks that tie poverty to institutional and class-based conflicts, and even challenges the very basis of colonia designations. Most of these contributions move beyond portraying border residents as hapless victims of discrimination and racism, showing instead their devotion to improving their own living conditions through grassroots organizing and community leadership.
These contributions show that, despite varying degrees of success, all colonia residents aspire to a livable wage, safe and decent housing, and basic health care. The Colonias Reader showcases many situations in which these people have organized to fulfill these ambitions and provides new insight into life along the border.
Fashion Week in Paris and London, the Venice Biennale, and the nineteenth-century Viennese scientific community may seem wildly disparate, but each represent the cultural possibilities of an international metropolis. Creative Urban Milieus is an interdisciplinary examination of the historical relationship between culture and the economy in such cities as Berlin, New York, Helsinki, London, Venice, and many others. This groundbreaking work investigates the contributions of the creative class to the urban renaissance, contextualized by historical examples from the eighteenth century to the present day.
Skeptical of the current euphoria surrounding the commercialization of culture, a distinguished group of contributors apply a comparative and historical perspective to probe how creative works have affected the global economy. Drawing on lessons from urban planning, art history, and cultural spectacles alike, Creative Urban Milieus will change the way we think about the symbiotic relationship between cities and innovation.
In recent years, most of the economies of Eastern Asia have been absorbed into global capitalism. Capitalism has transformed these economies, but the process has not been one-way. The cultures of Eastern Asia have in turn shaped how capitalism organizes labor, capital, and markets in ways that could not have been anticipated even ten years ago.
On the basis of rich empirical analyses of East and Southeast Asia, and with theoretical insights from different approaches in the social sciences, Culture and Economy addresses these issues in both macroscopic and microscopic terms. Specific topics discussed range from the use and reinvention of Confucian and Islamic legacies in South Korea and Malaysia to promote a particular vision of the economy, to the role of family- and network-structured firms and the reliance on trust-based personal networks in Southeast Asia, to the cultures of labor and management in Chinese village enterprises and Vietnamese ceramics firms, as well as in South Korean export processing zones and the current Chinese labor market.
These careful case studies suggest that it is inevitable that Eastern Asia will shape, even remake, capitalism into a system of production and consumption beyond its original definition.
Timothy Brook is Professor of History, Stanford University. Hy V. Luong is Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto.
Demography and the Economy
Edited by John B. Shoven University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress HB849.41.D456 2011 | Dewey Decimal 330
Demographics is a vital field of study for understanding social and economic change and it has attracted attention in recent years as concerns have grown over the aging populations of developed nations. Demographic studies help make sense of key aspects of the economy, offering insight into trends in fertility, mortality, immigration, and labor force participation, as well as age, gender, and race specific trends in health and disability.
Demography and the Economy explores the connections between demography and economics, paying special attention to what demographic trends can reveal about the sustainability of traditional social security programs and the larger implications for economic growth. The volume brings together some of the leading scholars working at the border between the two disciplines, and it provides an eclectic overview of both fields. Contributors also offer deeper analysis of a variety of issues such as the impact of greater wealth on choices about marriage and childbearing and the effects of aging populations on housing prices, Social Security, and Medicare.
"What about the twenty-first century? Will we finally accept our responsibilities as guardians of planet Earth, the biological living trust, for the beneficiaries, the children of today, tomorrow, and beyond? Or, will it too be a century of lethal, economic struggle among the polarized positions of the supremely dysfunctional among us? Are they—once again—to be allowed to determine the legacy we, as a society, as a nation, bequeath those who follow us? The choice is ours, the adults of the world. How shall we choose?"
So writes Chris Maser in this compelling study of three interactive spheres of the ecosystem: atmosphere (air), litho-hydrosphere (rock that comprises the restless continents and the water that surrounds them), and biosphere (all life sandwiched in between).
Rich in detail and insightful analogies, Earth in Our Care addresses key issues including land-use policies, ecological restoration, forest management, local living, and sustainability thinking. Exploring our interconnectedness with the Earth, Maser examines today's problems and, more importantly, provides solutions for the future.
Current patterns of land use and development are at once socially, economically, and environmentally destructive. Sprawling low-density development literally devours natural landscapes while breeding a pervasive sense of social isolation and exacerbating a vast array of economic problems. As more and more counties begin to look more and more the same, hope for a different future may seem to be fading. But alternatives do exist.
The Ecology of Place, Timothy Beatley and Kristy Manning describe a world in which land is consumed sparingly, cities and towns are vibrant and green, local economies thrive, and citizens work together to create places of eduring value. They present a holistic and compelling approach to repairing and enhancing communities, introducing a vision of "sustainable places" that extends beyond traditional architecture and urban design to consider not just the physical layout of a development but the broad set of ways in which communities are organized and operate. Chapters examine:
the history and context of current land use problems, along with the concept of "sustainable places"
the ecology of place and ecological policies and actions
local and regional economic development
links between land-use and community planning and civic involvement
specific recommendations to help move toward sustainability
The authors address a variety of policy and development issues that affect a community -- from its economic base to its transit options to the ways in which its streets and public spaces are managed -- and examine the wide range of programs, policies, and creative ideas that can be used to turn the vision of sustainable places into reality.
The Ecology of Place is a timely resource for planners, economic development specialists, students, and citizen activists working toward establishing healthier and more sustainable patterns of growth and development.
In this extraordinary and definitive study of the Russian economy from 1600-1725, Richard Hellie offers a glimpse of the material life of the people of Muscovy during that tumultuous period—how they lived, what they ate, how they were taxed, what their wages allowed them to enjoy. Making these determinations required more than a decade of work and analysis of over 107,000 records. The resulting book devotes chapters to each category of consumer goods, in which transactions involving the product are summarized. Hellie further provides notes and commentary on the transactions to locate their place in the full Russian economy.
Impressive in scope and data analysis, Economy and Material Culture of Russia, 1600-1725 will be an invaluable resource and reference work for all readers interested in economic history and the history of material culture. Since there is no comparable one-volume work for any other society at any other time in history, Hellie's is a truly unique and profound achievement.
Keith Tribe’s new translation presents Economy and Society as it stood when Max Weber died. One of the world’s leading experts on Weber’s thought, Tribe has produced a clear and faithful translation that will become the definitive English edition of one of the few indisputably great intellectual works of the past 150 years.
Economy and Society in Baroque Portugal, 1668–1703 was first published in 1981. 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 late seventeenth century in Portugal was a period of apparent calm, and few historians have given it much attention. Portugal's Golden Age of worldwide expansion had made sixteenth-century Lisbon a great commercial center, but other European nations with more advanced economies surpassed Portugal's achievement, and during the seventeenth century agricultural, economic, and political problems all contributed to Portugal's decline. In 1668, at the conclusion of a long war with Spain to restore Portuguese sovereignty, Pedro II began a reign of 38 years, first as regent for a feckless brother ad after 1683 as king. The history of Portugal during his reign is the subject of this book.
Carl A. Hanson looks at this relatively unexamined era and finds, behind the facade of baroque calm, subtle but dramatic shifts in the socio-economic foundations of the age. In an effort to cope with economic depression Pedro's government hearkened to enthusiastic reports of Colbert's mercantile policies in France, and tried to encourage the expansion of domestic manufacturing. Linked to these efforts were attempts to curb the inquisitorial persecution of New Christian merchants. Hanson explores the motives of anti-Semitism, greed and class warfare that underlay the persecution and describes the efforts of an eloquent Jesuit, Father Antonio Vieira, to protect the New Christians from the worst excesses of the Inquisition.
The triumph of the Inquisition, and thus of the established social order, and the failure of Portugal's experiment in mercantilism coincided with a new wave of commodity-borne prosperity. After 1690, increased exports of Brazilian gold, tobacco, hides, and sugar, and of Port wine changed Portugal's economic status. With the signing of the Anglo- Portuguese treaty of Methuen in 1703, Portugal entered a gilded—if not golden—age. Yet, as Hanson makes clear, the new prosperity was deceptive, for Portugal was to slip into increasingly dependent relationships with the more advanced economies — especially England's—which absorbed great quantities of Luso-Atlantic commodities in exchange for its own manufactures. And, at home, the victorious social order, no longer threatened by a mercantile class, was to find security under an increasingly absolutist government. The reign of Pedro II is significant, then, as a period of transition when, for the first time, the foundations of the old order were threatened. The baroque facade survived but the edifice itself had begun to crumble.
A monster stalks the earth—a sluggish, craven, dumb beast that takes fright at the slightest noise and starts at the sight of its own shadow. This monster is the market. The shadow it fears is cast by a light that comes from the future: the Keynesian crisis of expectations. It is this same light that causes the world’s leaders to tremble before the beast. They tremble, Jean-Pierre Dupuy says, because they have lost faith in the future. What Dupuy calls Economy has degenerated today into a mad spectacle of unrestrained consumption and speculation. But in its positive form—a truly political economy in which politics, not economics, is predominant—Economy creates not only a sense of trust and confidence but also a belief in the open-endedness of the future without which capitalism cannot function. In this devastating and counterintuitive indictment of the hegemonic pretensions of neoclassical economic theory, Dupuy argues that the immutable and eternal decision of God has been replaced with the unpredictable and capricious judgment of the crowd. The future of mankind will therefore depend on whether it can see through the blindness of orthodox economic thinking.
British West Florida encompassed the panhandle of the modern state of Florida, about half of present-day Alabama, large portion of Mississippi, and some of Louisiana. The British were of diverse opinions regarding the territory. Some British politicians thought the Florida’s full of strategic and economic potential. Others, perhaps without political affiliation, thought it strange that, having conquered developed Spanish possessions of known wealth, such as the Philippines and Cuba, Britain had been persuaded to return them in exchange for Florida, an undeveloped region of unknown worth. That Spain had never been economically successful in its Florida possession was of little concern. The economic self confidence of the British was the outgrowth of a century and a half of establishing initially profitless colonies and making them valued possessions.
The author’s primary goal is to consider how these people achieved or failed to achieve their ambitions, whether the province as a whole was economically viable, and whether the generally held belief that West Florida was an economic failure is a fair judgment. A secondary aim is to analyze key aspect of the subject that have been neglected in older standard works on the economic life of British West Florida, including the maritime life of the province, the institution of slavery, and the potentially great immigration scheme sponsored by the Company of Military Adventures.
At the start of the eighteenth century, talk of literary "characters" referred as much to letters and typefaces as it did to persons in books. Yet by the nineteenth century, characters had become the equals of their readers, friends with whom readers might spend time and empathize.
Although the story of this shift is usually told in terms of the "rise of the individual," Deidre Shauna Lynch proposes an ingenious alternative interpretation. Elaborating a "pragmatics of character," Lynch shows how readers used transactions with characters to accommodate themselves to newly commercialized social relations. Searching for the inner meanings of characters allowed readers both to plumb their own inwardness and to distinguish themselves from others. In a culture of mass consumption, argues Lynch, possessing a belief in the inexpressible interior life of a character rendered one's property truly private.
Ranging from Defoe and Smollett to Burney and Austen, Lynch's account will interest students of the novel, literary historians, and anyone concerned with the inner workings of consumer culture and the history of emotions.
From the outset of Napoleon’s career, the charismatic Corsican was compared to mythic heroes of antiquity like Achilles, and even today he remains the apotheosis of French glory, a value deeply embedded in the country’s history. From this angle, the Napoleonic era can be viewed as the final chapter in the battle of the Ancients and Moderns. In this book, Robert Morrissey presents a literary and cultural history of glory and its development in France and explores the “economy of glory” Napoleon sought to implement in an attempt to heal the divide between the Old Regime and the Revolution.
Examining how Napoleon saw glory as a means of escaping the impasse of Revolutionary ideas of radical egalitarianism, Morrissey illustrates the challenge the leader faced in reconciling the antagonistic values of virtue and self-interest, heroism and equality. He reveals that the economy of glory was both egalitarian, creating the possibility of an aristocracy based on merit rather than wealth, and traditional, being deeply embedded in the history of aristocratic chivalry and the monarchy—making it the heart of Napoleon’s politics of fusion. Going beyond Napoleon, Morrissey considers how figures of French romanticism such as Chateaubriand, Balzac, and Hugo constantly reevaluated this legacy of glory and its consequences for modernity. Available for the first time in English, The Economy of Glory is a sophisticated and beautifully written addition to French history.
In this up-to-date study of the Israeli economy, Assaf Razin and Efraim Sadka cover the entire economic history of the state, focusing on links between Israel's economic growth, its integration into world markets, its tax and welfare systems, and the political conflicts in the Middle East.
The authors present the first detailed economic analysis of the Palestinian uprising, showing how the unrest has led to a fall in Arab employment in Israel and serious economic loss to the occupied territories with some loss to Israel. They also examine how the uprising has affected Israel's financial standing internationally and the inflow of foreign aid.
Razin and Sadka see promise for Israel's economy in the waves of immigration from the former Soviet Union, despite the current difficulties in absorbing the immigrants; in the coexistence of a flourishing and highly competitive private sector with a relatively large public sector, which is undergoing privatization; and in a tax structure that encourages long-term saving and business growth. By examining the interplay between the exchange rate, interest rates, and monetary and anti-inflation policies, the authors investigate the possibilities for renewed growth and conclude that the future of Israel's economy crucially depends on serious efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.
The Economy of Prestige
James F. ENGLISH Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress AS935.E54 2005 | Dewey Decimal 001.44
This is a book about one of the great untold stories of modern cultural life: the remarkable ascendancy of prizes in literature and the arts. James F. English documents the dramatic rise of the awards industry and its complex role within what he describes as an economy of cultural prestige.
In recent years, a number of classical scholars have turned their attention to prostitution in the ancient world. Close examination of the social and legal position of Roman meretrices and Greek hetairai have enriched our understanding of ancient sexual relationships and the status of women in these societies. These studies have focused, however, almost exclusively on the legal and literary evidence.
McGinn approaches the issues from a new direction, by studying the physical venues that existed for the sale of sex, in the context of the Roman economy. Combining textual and material evidence, he provides a detailed study of Roman brothels and other venues of venal sex (from imperial palaces and privates houses to taverns, circuses, and back alleys) focusing on their forms, functions, and urban locations.
The book covers the central period of Roman history, roughly from 200 B.C. to A.D. 250. It will especially interest social and legal historians of the ancient world, and students of gender, sexuality, and the family.
Thomas A. J. McGinn is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Vanderbilt University.
Markets are artifacts of language—so Douglas R. Holmes argues in this deeply researched look at central banks and the people who run them. Working at the intersection of anthropology, linguistics, and economics, he shows how central bankers have been engaging in communicative experiments that predate the financial crisis and continue to be refined amid its unfolding turmoil—experiments that do not merely describe the economy, but actually create its distinctive features.
Holmes examines the New York District Branch of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, and the Bank of England, among others, and shows how officials there have created a new monetary regime that relies on collaboration with the public to achieve the ends of monetary policy. Central bankers, Holmes argues, have shifted the conceptual anchor of monetary affairs away from standards such as gold or fixed exchange rates and toward an evolving relationship with the public, one rooted in sentiments and expectations. Going behind closed doors to reveal the intellectual world of central banks,Economy of Words offers provocative new insights into the way our economic circumstances are conceptualized and ultimately managed.
Effeminism charts the flows of colonial desire in the works of British writers in India. Working on the assumption that desire is intensely political, historically constituted, and materially determined, the book shows how the inscriptions of masculinity in the fictions of Flora Annie Steel, Rudyard Kipling, and E. M. Forster are deeply implicated in the politics of colonial rule and anticolonial resistance. At the same time, the study refrains from representing colonialism as a coherent set of public events, policies, and practices whose social, political, and cultural meanings are self-evident. Instead, by tracing the resistant and unassailable modes of masculine desire in colonial fiction, the study insists on an explosive revolutionary potential that makes desire often intractable. And by restoring the political in the unconscious and the unconscious in the political, the book proposes to understand colonialism in terms of historical failure, ideological inadequacy, and political contention. This book will interest not only scholars of 19th- and 20th-century British literature and colonial and postcolonial literatures, but also those working in the areas of cultural studies, gender studies, and South Asian studies.“Krishnaswamy uses ‘effeminization’ to describe the complicated paths of colonial sexual desire, stereotypes of Indian male passivity, and how ‘colonizing men used womanhood to delegitimize, discredit and disempower colonized men.’ Reading texts by Rudyard Kipling (a ‘culturally hybrid male’), E. M. Forster (a homosexual), and F. A. Steel (a woman), the author shows how these tactics affect the representation not only of colonized men and women but also of the marginalized writers of the colonizing culture. In the process, she makes intriguing analogies between androgyny and biculturalism.”—Choice
Billions of fresh-cut flowers are flown into the United States every year, allowing Americans to choose from a broad array of blooms regardless of the season. Favored Flowers is a lively investigation of the worldwide production and distribution of fresh-cut flowers and their consumption in the New York metropolitan area. In an ethnography filled with roses, orchids, and gerberas, flower auctions, new hybrids, and new logistical systems, Catherine Ziegler unravels the economic and cultural strands of the global flower market. She provides an historical overview of the development of the cut flower industry in New York from the late nineteenth century to 1970, and on to its ultimate transformation from a domestic to a global industry. As she points out, cut flowers serve no utilitarian purpose; rather, they signal consumers’ social and cultural decisions about expressing love, mourning, status, and identity. Ziegler shows how consumer behavior and choices have changed over time and how they are shaped by the media, by the types of available flowers, and by flower retailing.
Ziegler interviewed more than 250 people as she followed flowers along the full length of the commodity chain, from cuttings in Europe and Latin America to vases in and around New York. She examines the daily experiences of flower growers in the Netherlands and Ecuador, two leading exporters of flowers to the United States. Primary focus, though, is on others in the commodity chain: exporters, importers, wholesalers, and retailers. She follows their activities as they respond to changing competition, supply, and consumer behavior in a market characterized by risk, volatility, and imperfect knowledge. By tracing changes in the wholesale and retail systems, she shows the recent development of two complementary commodity chains in New York and the United States generally. One leads to a high-end luxury market served by specialty florists and designers, and the other to a lower-priced mass market served by chain groceries, corner delis, and retail superstores.
In this highly original empirical study, Winifred Barr Rothenberg documents the emergence of a market economy in rural Massachusetts between 1785 and 1800—decades before America's first industrial revolution. Drawing the data from exhaustive research in farm account books, probate documents, and town tax valuations the author makes a significant contribution to the long-standing and vigorous debate about the pace, pattern, and genesis of growth in the early American economy.
Rothenberg forcefully disputes recent historical interpretations of the preindustrial New England village as a so-called moral economy, insulated from the exigencies of the market. She discovers the simultaneous emergence of markets for farm produce, farm labor, and rural capital. Then, linking market integration to labor productivity growth and agricultural improvement, she confirms that market-led growth in Massachusetts agriculture lay at the origins of the American industrial revolution.
In Generosity Unbound, Claire Gaudiani mounts a spirited defense of philanthropic freedom addressed to conservatives, liberals and centrists. She acknowledges the good intentions of those who favor greater regulation of private philanthropy, but powerfully demonstrates the dangers of this approach.
But this book is more than a warning. Gaudiani also uncovers the fascinating history of philanthropy in America, showing how this nation’s distinctive tradition of citizen-to-citizen generosity has been a powerful engine of economic growth, social justice, and upward mobility.
Finally, Gaudiani calls on foundation leaders, legislators, and concerned citizens to take up anew the great challenge set forth by our nation’s Founders in the Declaration of Independence. She proposes an all-out citizen-led effort to deliver on the Declaration’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of us, particularly our poorest citizens. The success of such a ‘Declaration Initiative’ would enable us to justly celebrate the nation’s 250th birthday on July 4th, 2026.
Governing by Design offers a unique perspective on twentieth-century architectural history. It disputes the primacy placed on individuals in the design and planning process and instead looks to the larger influences of politics, culture, economics, and globalization to uncover the roots of how our built environment evolves.
In these chapters, historians offer their analysis on design as a vehicle for power and as a mediator of social currents. Power is defined through a variety of forms: modernization, obsolescence, technology, capital, ergonomics, biopolitics, and others. The chapters explore the diffusion of power through the establishment of norms and networks that frame human conduct, action, identity, and design. They follow design as it functions through the body, in the home, and at the state and international level.
Overall, Aggregate views the intersection of architecture with the human need for what Foucault termed “governmentality”—societal rules, structures, repetition, and protocols—as a way to provide security and tame risk. Here, the conjunction of power and the power of design reinforces governmentality and infuses a sense of social permanence despite the exceedingly fluid nature of societies and the disintegration of cultural memory in the modern era.
This highly readable study addresses a range of fundamental questions about the interaction of politics and economics, from a grassroots perspective in post-transition Argentina. Nancy R. Powers looks at the lives and political views of Argentines of little to modest means to examine systematically how their political interests, and their evaluations of democracy, are formed. Based on the author’s fieldwork in Argentina, the analysis extends to countries of Latin America and Eastern Europe facing similarly difficult political and economic changes.
Powers uses in-depth interviews to examine how (not simply what) ordinary people think about their standard of living, their government, and the democratic regime. She explains why they sometimes do, but more often do not, see their material conditions as political problems, arguing that the type of hardship and the possibilities for coping with it are more politically significant than the degree of hardship. She analyzes alternative ways in which people define democracy and judge its legitimacy.
Not only does Powers demonstrate contradictions and gaps in the existing scholarship on economic voting, social movements, and populism, she also shows how those literatures are addressing similar questions but are failing to “talk” to one another. Powers goes on to build a more comprehensive theory of how people at the grassroots form their political interests. To analyze why people perceive only some of their material hardships as political problems, she brings into the study of politics ideas drawn from Amartya Sen and other scholars of poverty.
Bloody, fiery spectacles—the Challenger disaster, 9/11, JFK’s assassination—have given us moments of catastrophe that make it easy to answer the “where were you when” question and shape our ways of seeing what came before and after. Why are these spectacles so packed with meaning?
In The Iconoclastic Imagination, Ned O’Gorman approaches each of these moments as an image of icon-destruction that give us distinct ways to imagine social existence in American life. He argues that the Cold War gave rise to crises in political, aesthetic, and political-aesthetic representations. Locating all of these crises within a “neoliberal imaginary,” O’Gorman explains that since the Kennedy assassination, the most powerful way to see “America” has been in the destruction of representative American symbols or icons. This, in turn, has profound implications for a neoliberal economy, social philosophy, and public policy. Richly interwoven with philosophical, theological, and rhetorical traditions, the book offers a new foundation for a complex and innovative approach to studying Cold War America, political theory, and visual culture.
They are known as cundinas or tandas in Mexico, and for many people these local savings-and-loan operations play an indispensable role in the struggle to succeed in today’s transborder economy. With this extensively researched book, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez updates and expands upon his major 1983 study of rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), incorporating new data that reflect the explosion of Mexican-origin populations in the United States. Much more than a study of one economic phenomenon though, the book examines the way in which these practices are part of greater transnational economies and how these populations engage in—and suffer through—the twenty-first century global economy.
Central to the ROSCA is the cultural concept of mutual trust, or confianza. This is the cultural glue that holds the reciprocal relationship together. As Vélez-Ibáñez explains, confianza “shapes the expectations for relationships within broad networks of interpersonal links, in which intimacies, favors, goods, services, emotion, power, or information are exchanged.” In a border region where migration, class movement, economic changes, and institutional inaccessibility produce a great deal of uncertainty, Mexican-origin populations rely on confianza and ROSCAs to maintain a sense of security in daily life. How do transborder people adapt these common practices to meet the demands of a global economy? That is precisely what Vélez-Ibáñez investigates.
This book brings together Professor Arthur’s pioneering article and provide a comprehensive presentation of his exciting vision of an economics that incorporates increasing returns. After a decade of resistance from economists, these ideas are now being widely discussed and adopted, as Kenneth Arrow recounts in his foreword. In fundamental ways they are changing our views of the working economy.
There is considerable debate regarding the implications of technological change for economic policy and the appropriate policies and programs regarding research, innovation, and the commercialization of new technology. This debate has intensified as policy makers have focused on new sources of innovation and growth in light of the continuing economic downturn and the associated focus on enhancing employment and growth. Innovation Policy and the Economy provides an ongoing forum for the presentation of research on the interactions among public policy, the innovation process, and the economy. Papers in this volume include a consideration of the complex set of innovation-policy challenges that arise in managing publicly funded research, an examination of the increasingly visible role of philanthropic funding for science, a look at the increasingly contentious issue of public funding of growth-oriented entrepreneurship, and two papers that turn their attention to the evaluation of recent federal policy changes as the result of the America Invents Act and the America Competes Act.
The seventeenth volume of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Innovation Policy and the Economy provides an accessible forum for bringing the work of leading academic researchers to an audience of policymakers and those interested in the interaction between public policy and innovation. In the first chapter, Joel Waldfogel discusses how reduced costs of production have resulted in a “Golden Age of Television,” arguing that this development has gone underappreciated. The second chapter, by Marc Rysman and Scott Schuh, discusses the prospects for innovation in payment systems, including mobile payments, faster payment systems, and digital currencies. In the third chapter, Catherine Tucker and Amalia Miller analyze the consequences of patient data becoming virtually costless to store, share, and individualize, showing how data management and privacy issues have become a key factor in health policy. The fourth chapter, by Michael Luca, examines how online marketplaces have proliferated over the past decade, evolving far beyond the pioneers such as eBay and Amazon. In the fifth chapter, Tim Bresnahan and Pai-Ling Yin characterize information and communication technologies in the workplace, addressing how wages vary with increasing demand for smart managers and professionals, and workers with organizational participation skills.
The eighteenth annual volume of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Innovation Policy and the Economy focuses on research that explores the interplay between new technologies and organizational structures, such as networks and corporations. In the first chapter, Glenn Ellison and Sara Fisher Ellison explore how consumer search in a technology-mediated marketplace can affect the incentives for firms to engage in price obfuscation. In the second chapter, Aaron Chatterji focuses on the role of innovation in American primary and secondary education (K–12), emphasizing recent evidence on the efficacy of classroom technologies. The third chapter, by economic sociologist Olav Sorenson, considers how information, influence, and resources flow through innovation networks. The last two chapters focus on how corporate organizational structures influence innovation and dynamism. In the fourth chapter, Andreas Nilsson and David Robinson develop a synthetic framework for understanding the emergence and choices of social entrepreneurs and socially responsible firms. In the fifth chapter, Steven Kaplan argues that there is little empirical evidence to support the common claim that investor pressure for short-term financial results leads U.S. companies to systematically underinvest in long-term capital expenditures and R&D.
This volume highlights the interaction between public policy and innovation. The first chapter documents the dramatic globalization of R&D and how this development has affected the efforts of U.S. multinationals to operate on the global technology frontier. The next chapter synthesizes research on the impact of trade shocks on innovation and explains how these shocks’ effects depend on the firms, industries, and countries affected. The third chapter examines the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) model of research management—an approach to funding and managing high-risk R&D—and offers a method for diagnosing which research efforts are “ARPA-able.” Next is a study of the Orphan Drug Act and the key changes in the U.S. healthcare landscape and in drug discovery and development since its passage in 1983. The next two chapters focus on artificial intelligence (AI). One describes how AI diffuses through the economy and discusses implications for economic inequality, antitrust, and intellectual property. The other investigates issues surrounding firm competition and labor force participation, such as data portability and a Universal Basic Income, and evaluates ways to address these issues.
Invisible Masters rewrites the familiar narrative of the relation between Puritan religious culture and New England’s economic culture as a history of the primary discourse that connected them: service. The understanding early Puritans had of themselves as God’s servants and earthly masters was shaped by their immersion in an Atlantic culture of service and the worldly pressures and opportunities generated by New England’s particular place in it. Concepts of spiritual service and mastery determined Puritan views of the men, women, and children who were servants and slaves in that world. So, too, did these concepts shape the experience of family, labor, law, and economy for those men, women, and children—the very bedrock of their lives. This strikingly original look at Puritan culture will appeal to a wide range of Americanists and historians.
Since the economic reforms of the 1990s, India’s economy has grown rapidly. To sustain growth and foreign investment over the long run requires a well-developed legal infrastructure for conducting business, including cheap and reliable contract enforcement and secure property rights. But it’s widely acknowledged that India’s legal infrastructure is in urgent need of reform, plagued by problems, including slow enforcement of contracts and land laws that differ from state to state. How has this situation arisen, and what can boost business confidence and encourage long-run economic growth?
Tirthankar Roy and Anand V. Swamy trace the beginnings of the current Indian legal system to the years of British colonial rule. They show how India inherited an elaborate legal system from the British colonial administration, which incorporated elements from both British Common Law and indigenous institutions. In the case of property law, especially as it applied to agricultural land, indigenous laws and local political expediency were more influential in law-making than concepts borrowed from European legal theory. Conversely, with commercial law, there was considerable borrowing from Europe. In all cases, the British struggled with limited capacity to enforce their laws and an insufficient knowledge of the enormous diversity and differentiation within Indian society. A disorderly body of laws, not conducive to production and trade, evolved over time. Roy and Swamy’s careful analysis not only sheds new light on the development of legal institutions in India, but also offers insights for India and other emerging countries through a look at what fosters the types of institutions that are key to economic growth.
Following on the groundbreaking contributions of Deborah Brandt’s Literacy in American Lives—a literacy ethnography exploring how ordinary Americans have been affected by changes in literacy, public education, and structures of power—Literacy, Economy, and Power expands Brandt’s vision, exploring the relevance of her theoretical framework as it relates to literacy practices in a variety of current and historical contexts, as well as in literacy’s expanding and global future. Bringing together scholars from rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies, the book offers thirteen engrossing essays that extend and challenge Brandt’s commentary on the dynamics between literacy and power.
The essays cover many topics, including the editor of the first Native American newspaper, the role of a native Hawaiian in bringing literacy to his home islands, the influence of convents and academies on nineteenth-century literacy, and the future of globalized digital literacies. Contributors include Julie Nelson Christoph, Ellen Cushman, Kim Donehower, Anne Ruggles Gere, Eli Goldblatt, Harvey J. Graff, Gail E. Hawisher, Bruce Horner, David A. Jolliffe, Rhea Estelle Lathan, Min-Zhan Lu, Robyn Lyons-Robinson, Carol Mattingly, Beverly J. Moss, Paul Prior, Cynthia L. Selfe, Michael W. Smith, and Morris Young. Literacy, Economy, and Power also features an introduction exploring the scholarly impact of Brandt’s work, written by editors John Duffy, Julie Nelson Christoph, Eli Goldblatt, Nelson Graff, Rebecca Nowacek, and Bryan Trabold. An invaluable tool for literacy studies at the graduate or professional level, Literacy, Economy, and Power provides readers with a wide-ranging view of the work being done in literacy studies today and points to ways researchers might approach the study of literacy in the future.
Through theoretical, philosophical, cultural, political, and historical analysis, Horacio Legras views the myriad factors that have both formed and stifled the integration of peripheral experiences into Latin American literature. Despite these barriers, Legras reveals a handful of contemporary authors who have attempted in earnest to present marginalized voices to the Western world. His deep and insightful analysis of key works by novelists Juan José Saer (The Witness), Nellie Campobello (Cartucho), Roa Bastos (Son of Man), and Jose María Arguedas (The Fox from Up Above and the Fox from Down Below), among others, provides a theoretical basis for understanding the plight of the author, the peripheral voice and the confines of the literary medium. What emerges is an intricate discussion of the clash and subjugation of cultures and the tragedy of a lost worldview.
Robin Veder’s The Living Line is a radical reconceptualization of the development of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American modernism. The author illuminates connections among the histories of modern art, body cultures, and physiological aesthetics in early-twentieth-century American culture, fundamentally altering our perceptions about art and the physical, and the degree of cross-pollination in the arts. The Living Line shows that American producers and consumers of modernist visual art repeatedly characterized their aesthetic experience in terms of kinesthesia, the sense of bodily movement. They explored abstraction with kinesthetic sensibilities and used abstraction to achieve kinesthetic goals. In fact, the formalist approach to art was galvanized by theories of bodily response derived from experimental physiological psychology and facilitated by contemporary body cultures such as modern dance, rhythmic gymnastics, physical education, and physical therapy. Situating these complementary ideas and exercises in relation to enduring fears of neurasthenia, Veder contends that aesthetic modernism shared industrial modernity’s objective of efficiently managing neuromuscular energy. In a series of finely grained and interconnected case studies, Veder demonstrates that diverse modernists associated with the Armory Show, the Société Anonyme, the Stieglitz circle (especially O’Keeffe), and the Barnes Foundation participated in these discourses and practices and that “kin-aesthetic modernism” greatly influenced the formation of modern art in America and beyond. This daring and completely original work will appeal to a broad audience of art historians, historians of the body, and American culture in general.
Mining a wealth of archival sources in France and Vietnam, Pierre Brocheux constructs a fascinating picture of how French capital and technology transformed the Mekong Delta. By draining the swamps and encouraging a particular pattern of Vietnamese settlement, the French cultivated a volatile society, bound together by lines of credit and poised at the brink of social revolution. From the cutting of the first canals in the 1880s to the eruption of the Viet Cong’s insurgency in the 1950s, this book illuminates the subtle interactions between ecology and social change in a tropical delta. The Mekong Delta is valuable for students of the Vietnamese Revolution and for scholars of peasant movements around the globe. It fills a major gap in our knowledge of the social change that swept the great deltas of Southeast Asia.
Nachituti’s Gift challenges conventional theories of economic development with a compelling comparative case study of inland fisheries in Zambia and Congo from pre- to postcolonial times. Neoclassical development models conjure a simple, abstract progression from wealth held in people to money or commodities; instead, Gordon argues, primary social networks and oral charters like “Nachituti’s Gift” remained decisive long after the rise of intensive trade and market activities. Interweaving oral traditions, songs, and interviews as well as extensive archival research, Gordon’s lively tale is at once a subtle analysis of economic and social transformations, an insightful exercise in environmental history, and a revealing study of comparative politics.
Honorable Mention, Melville J. Herskovits Award, African Studies Association
“A powerful portrayal of the complexity, fluidity, and subtlety of Lake Mweru fishers’ production strategies . . . . Natchituti’s Gift adds nuance and evidence to some of the most important and sophisticated conversations going on in African studies today.”—Kirk Arden Hoppe, International Journal of African Historical Studies
“A lively and intelligent book, which offers a solid contribution to ongoing debates about the interplay of the politics of environment, history and economy.”—Joost Fontein, Africa
“Well researched and referenced . . . . [Natchituti’s Gift] will be of interest to those in a wide variety of disciplines including anthropology, African Studies, history, geography, and environmental studies.”—Heidi G. Frontani, H-SAfrica
The 1965 Immigration Act altered the lives and outlook of Chinese Americans in fundamental ways. The New Chinese America explores the historical, economic, and social foundations of the Chinese American community, in order to reveal the emergence of a new social hierarchy after 1965.
In this detailed and comprehensive study of contemporary Chinese America, Xiaojian Zhao uses class analysis to illuminate the difficulties of everyday survival for poor and undocumented immigrants and analyzes the process through which social mobility occurs. Through ethnic ties, Chinese Americans have built an economy of their own in which entrepreneurs can maintain a competitive edge given their access to low-cost labor; workers who are shut out of the mainstream job market can find work and make a living; and consumers can enjoy high quality services at a great bargain. While the growth of the ethnic economy enhances ethnic bonds by increasing mutual dependencies among different groups of Chinese Americans, it also determines the limits of possibility for various individuals depending on their socioeconomic and immigration status.
Ohio Canal Era, a rich analysis of state policies and their impact in directing economic change, is a classic on the subject of the pre–Civil War transportation revolution. This edition contains a new foreword by scholar Lawrence M. Friedman and a bibliographic note by the author.
Professor Scheiber explores how Ohio—as a “public enterprise state,” creating state agencies and mobilizing public resources for transport innovation and control—led in the process of economic change before the Civil War. No other historical account of the period provides so full and insightful a portrayal of “law in action.” Scheiber reveals the important roles of American nineteenth- century government in economic policy-making, finance, administration, and entrepreneurial activities in support of economic development.
His study is equally important as an economic history. Scheiber provides a full account of waves of technological innovation and of the transformation of Ohio’s commerce, agriculture, and industrialization in an era of hectic economic change. And he tells the intriguing story of how the earliest railroads of the Old Northwest were built and financed, finally confronting the state- owned canal system with a devastating competitive challenge.
Amid the current debate surrounding “privatization,” “deregulation,” and the appropriate use of “industrial policy” by government to shape and channel the economy. Scheiber’s landmark study gives vital historical context to issues of privatization and deregulation that we confront in new forms today.
Life is short. This indisputable fact of existence has driven human ingenuity since antiquity, whether through efforts to lengthen our lives with medicine or shorten the amount of time we spend on work using technology. Alongside this struggle to manage the pressure of life’s ultimate deadline, human perception of the passage and effects of time has also changed. In On Borrowed Time, Harald Weinrich examines an extraordinary range of materials—from Hippocrates to Run Lola Run—to put forth a new conception of time and its limits that, unlike older models, is firmly grounded in human experience.
Weinrich’s analysis of the roots of the word time connects it to the temples of the skull, demonstrating that humans first experienced time in the beating of their pulses. Tracing this corporeal perception of time across literary, religious, and philosophical works, Weinrich concludes that time functions as a kind of sixth sense—the crucial sense that enables the other five.
Written with Weinrich’s customary narrative elegance, On Borrowed Time is an absorbing—and, fittingly, succinct—meditation on life’s inexorable brevity.
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.
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.
Politics, Economy, and Society in Bourbon Central America, 1759-1821 examines how the Spanish policies known broadly as the Bourbon Reforms affected Central American social, economic, and political institutions. Although historians have devoted significant attention to the purpose and impact of these reforms in Spain and some of Spain's other New World colonies, this book is the first to explore their impact on Central America.
These reforms profoundly changed aspects of Central America's politics and society; however, these essays reveal that changes in the region were shaped both internally and externally and that they weakened the region's ties to metropolitan Spain as often as they reinforced them. Contributors focus on specific policy changes and their consequences as well as transformations throughout the region for which no direct Bourbon inspiration appears to be responsible. Together they demonstrate that whether or not the Crown achieved its primary goals of centralization and control, its policies nevertheless provided opportunities for evident, often subtle, and occasionally unintentional shifts in the colonial government's relationship to its constituent populations. Contributors include Christophe Belaubre, Michel Bertrand, Jordana Dym, Jorge H. González, Timothy Hawkins, Sajid Alfredo Herrera, Gustavo Palma, Eugenia Rodriguez, Doug Tompson, and Stephen Webre.
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.
Several stark premises have long prevailed in our approach to Russian history. It was commonly assumed that Russia had always labored under a highly centralized and autocratic imperial state. The responsibility for this lamentable state of affairs was ultimately assigned to the profoundly agrarian character of Russian society. The countryside, home to the overwhelming majority of the nation’s population, was considered a harsh world of cruel landowners and ignorant peasants, and a strong hand was required for such a crude society.
A number of significant conclusions flowed from this understanding. Deep and abiding social divisions obstructed the evolution of modernity, as experienced “naturally” in other parts of Europe, so there was no Renaissance or Reformation; merely a derivative Enlightenment; and only a distorted capitalism. And since only despotism could contain these volatile social forces, it followed that the 1917 Revolution was an inevitable explosion resulting from these intolerable contradictions—and so too were the blood-soaked realities of the Soviet regime that came after. In short, the sheer immensity of its provincial backwardness could explain almost everything negative about the course of Russian history.
This book undermines these preconceptions. Through her close study of the province of Nizhnii Novgorod in the nineteenth century, Catherine Evtuhov demonstrates how nearly everything we thought we knew about the dynamics of Russian
society was wrong. Instead of peasants ground down by poverty and ignorance, we find skilled farmers, talented artisans and craftsmen, and enterprising tradespeople. Instead of an exclusively centrally administered state, we discover effective and participatory local government. Instead of pervasive ignorance, we are shown a lively cultural scene and an active middle class. Instead of a defining Russian exceptionalism, we find a world recognizable to any historian of nineteenth-century Europe.
Drawing on a wide range of Russian social, environmental, economic, cultural, and intellectual history, and synthesizing it with deep archival research of the Nizhnii Novgorod province, Evtuhov overturns a simplistic view of the Russian past. Rooted in, but going well beyond, provincial affairs, her book challenges us with an entirely new perspective on Russia’s historical trajectory.
Rational self-interest is often seen as being at the heart of liberal economic theory. In The Power at the End of the Economy Brian Massumi provides an alternative explanation, arguing that neoliberalism is grounded in complex interactions between the rational and the emotional. Offering a new theory of political economy that refuses the liberal prioritization of individual choice, Massumi emphasizes the means through which an individual’s affective tendencies resonate with those of others on infra-individual and transindividual levels. This nonconscious dimension of social and political events plays out in ways that defy the traditional equation between affect and the irrational. Massumi uses the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement as examples to show how transformative action that exceeds self-interest takes place. Drawing from David Hume, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Niklas Luhmann and the field of nonconsciousness studies, Massumi urges a rethinking of the relationship between rational choice and affect, arguing for a reassessment of the role of sympathy in political and economic affairs.
From the vantage point of a nearby pond in Newton, Massachusetts, Diana Muir reconstructs an intriguing interpretation of New England's natural history and the people who have lived there since pre-Columbian times. Taking a radically new way to illustrate for general readers the vast interrelationships between natural ecology and human economics, Muir weaves together an imaginative and dramatic account of the changes, massive and subtle, that successive generations of humankind and such animals as sheep and beavers have worked on the land. Her compelling narrative takes us to a New England populated by individuals struggling to make a living from a land not generously endowed by nature. Yankee history, she argues, was a string of ecological crises from which the only escape lay in creating radical new solutions to apparently insurmountable problems. Young men and women coming of age in the 1790s faced a bleak future. In a time when farming was virtually the only occupation, a burgeoning population meant that there was not enough land to go around. Worse, such land as there was had been worn out by generations of careless use. With no prospects and no options, young men like Eli Whitney and Thomas Blanchard might have resigned themselves to a life of poverty. Instead, they started an industrial revolution, the power of which astonished the world. Reflections in Bullough's Pond is history on a grand scale. Drawing on scholarship in fields ranging from archaeology to zoology, Muir offers an exhilarating tour of Paleolithic megafauna, the population crisis faced by New England natives in the pre-Columbian period, the introduction of indoor plumbing, and the invention of the shoe-peg. At the end, we understand ourselves and our world a little better.
Rural Wales in the Twenty-First Century explores the ever-changing geographies in rural Wales today. Written by experts in human geography and sociology, the essays analyze the ways in which the contemporary geographies of rural Wales are bound up with rather complex connections between society, culture, economy, and environment. Among the numerous topics discussed are rural demographics, the cultural impacts of immigration, labor markets, food and farming, and environmental sustainability. The book uses these accounts to provide a broader critique of rural geography and rural studies in the United Kingdom and other developed countries.
An in-depth exploration of digital culture and its dissemination, Sharing offers a counterpoint to the dominant view that file sharing is piracy. Instead, Philippe Aigrain looks at the benefits of file sharing, which allows unknown writers and artists to be appreciated more easily. Concentrating not only on the cultural enrichment caused by widely shared digital media, Sharing also discusses new financing models that would allow works to be shared freely by individuals without aim at profit. Aigrain carefully balances the needs to support and reward creative activity with a suitable respect for the cultural common good and proposes a new interpretation of the digital landscape.
Society and Economy
Mark Granovetter Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress HM548.G73 2016 | Dewey Decimal 306
A work of exceptional ambition by the founder of modern economic sociology, this first full account of Mark Granovetter’s ideas stresses that the economy is not a sphere separate from other human activities but is deeply embedded in social relations and subject to the same emotions, ideas, and constraints as religion, science, politics, or law.
The new economic sociology is based on the theory that patterns of economic behavior are shaped by social factors. The Sociology of the Economy brings together a dozen path-breaking empirical studies that explore how social forces—such as shifts in political power, the influence of social networks, or the spread of new economic ideas—shape real-world economic behavior. The contributors—all leading economic sociologists—show these social forces at work in a diverse range of international settings and historical circumstances. Examining why so many American banks followed industry leaders into foreign markets in the 1970s, only to pull back within a few years, Mark Mizruchi and Gerald Davis suggest that social emulation rather than rational calculation led banks to expand globally before there was any evidence that foreign offices paid off. William Schneper and Mauro Guillé show that despite the international diffusion of the hostile takeover during the last twenty years, the practice became widespread only in countries with political institutions conducive to buying and selling entire companies. Thus during the 1990s, the United States and United Kingdom. saw hundreds of hostile takeover bids, while Germany had only a handful, and Japan just one. Deborah Davis explores resistance to the globalization of Western ideas about real-estate ownership—particularly in China where the government has had little success in instituting a market system in place of traditional, family-based real-estate inheritance. And Richard Scott examines the controversial rise of managed care in the American healthcare system, as the quest for market efficiency collided with the ideal of equity in access to health care. Together, these studies provide compelling evidence that economic behavior is not ruled by immutable laws, and is but one realm of social behavior, with its own conventions, roles, and social structures. The Sociology of the Economy demonstrates the vitality of empirical research in the field of economic sociology and the power of sociological models in explaining how markets operate.
Although possessing a common physical heritage, the Sonoran Desert has taken on highly contrasting forms in its American and Mexican portions. This work does not, therefore, attempt a regional study in the usual sense of the term, but is rather an examination of disparate economic development, much influenced by contrasting technological achievements as well as the accidents of history.
Although the significance of geographic regionalism is implicit throughout this study, no attempt is made to show any overriding unity at work, geographical or otherwise, welding together a "desert region." Instead the desert acts as a stage for social drama in which drought and extreme heat provide the essential backcloth. The scarcity of water and man's inability to grow crops without irrigation have not, indeed, changed with time, and only constant reference to this immutable factor can give meaning to the evolution of human activities within the desert.
Poland in the 1980s was filled with shuttered restaurants and shops that bore such imaginative names as “bread,” “shoes,” and “milk products,” from which lines could stretch for days on the mere rumor there was something worth buying. But you’d be hard-pressed to recognize the same squares—buzzing with bars and cafés—today. In the years since the collapse of communism, Poland’s GDP has almost tripled, making it the eighth-largest economy in the European Union, with a wealth of well-educated and highly skilled workers and a buoyant private sector that competes in international markets. Many consider it one of the only European countries to have truly weathered the financial crisis.
As the Warsaw bureau chief for the Financial Times, Jan Cienski spent more than a decade talking with the people who did something that had never been done before: recreating a market economy out of a socialist one. Poland had always lagged behind wealthier Western Europe, but in the 1980s the gap had grown to its widest in centuries. But the corrupt Polish version of communism also created the conditions for its eventual revitalization, bringing forth a remarkably resilient and entrepreneurial people prepared to brave red tape and limited access to capital. In the 1990s, more than a million Polish people opened their own businesses, selling everything from bicycles to leather jackets, Japanese VCRs, and romance novels. The most business-savvy turned those primitive operations into complex corporations that now have global reach.
Well researched and accessibly and entertainingly written, Start-Up Poland tells the story of the opening bell in the East, painting lively portraits of the men and women who built successful businesses there, what their lives were like, and what they did to catapult their ideas to incredible success. At a time when Poland’s new right-wing government plays on past grievances and forms part of the populist and nationalist revolution sweeping the Western world, Cienski’s book also serves as a reminder that the past century has been the most successful in Poland’s history.
Tax Policy and the Economy publishes current academic research findings on taxation and government spending that have both immediate bearing on policy debates and longer-term interest. Volume 22 includes issues related to savings through tax-deferred retirement programs, consumer choice on high-deductible health plans, financial aid applications and the tax filing process, and recent developments in corporate income tax reform in the European Union and possible implications for the United States.
Tax Policy and the Economy publishes current academic research findings on taxation and government spending that have both immediate bearing on policy debates and longer-term interest. The articles in Volume 23 address a range of topics, including Social Security, understanding corporate tax losses, the influence of globalization on the design of a tax system, and the question of whether federal provision of goods and services crowds out their provision by lower levels of government or the private sector.
Tax Policy and the Economy publishes current academic research findings on taxation and government spending that have both immediate bearing on policy debates and longer-term interest. The papers in this volume range from topics as broad as the relative efficacy of tax cuts versus spending increases as a form of economic stimulus to a targeted analysis of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Also included are two papers at that examine different aspects of policies designed to provide fiscal stimulus, as well as an examination of the effects of recent reforms in the Earned Income Tax Credit.
In light of the very public debate on the federal budget this year between Democrats and Republicans, the economic ramifications of tax policy are now more than ever a focus of national attention. Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 25 is thus an invaluable tool, publishing current academic research findings on taxation and government spending, which informs important policy debates with rigorous economic analysis. The papers in Volume 25 include a review of current fuel economy taxation; research on implicit taxes on work from Social Security and Medicare; an analysis on how future increases in aggregate health care expenditures will impact future tax rates required to support Medicare and Medicaid; and two papers that analyze the implications of large and sustained budget deficits on the economy.
There is no question that the US is facing significant fiscal challenges. Tax Policy and the Economy research papers make valuable contributions to our understanding of the economic effects of alternative approaches. The papers collected in Volume 26 include a study of an important determinant of the labor supply effects of Social Security; an examination of the budgetary and economic impact of changing how employer health insurance is treated in the tax code; an analysis of how US investment in Europe might be impacted by proposed corporate tax reform in the European Union; a look at the term “tax expenditures,” often used to describe governmental policies that show as reduction in taxes rather than as an increase in spending. The final paper in the volume shows how uncertainty about the restoration of US fiscal balance imposes additional efficiency costs on the economy in consumption, saving, labor supply and portfolio decisions, and how it reduces individual welfare.
Taxation policy was a central part of the policy debates over the “fiscal cliff.” Given the importance of fiscal issues, it is vital for rigorous empirical research to inform the policy dialogue. In keeping with the NBER’s tradition of carrying out rigorous but policy-relevant research, Volume 27 of Tax Policy and the Economy offers insights on a number of key tax policy questions. This year's volume features six papers by leading scholars who examine the tax treatment of tuition at private K-12 schools, the potential streamlining of the federal rules for post-secondary financial aid and the use of tax return information in this process, the effect of tax and benefit programs on incentives to work, the macroeconomic effects of fiscal adjustments, and the set of factors that contributed to the weakening US fiscal outlook in the last decade.
The papers in Volume 28 of Tax Policy and the Economy illustrate the depth and breadth of the research by NBER research associates who study taxation and government spending programs. The first paper explores whether closely held firms are used as tax shelters. The second examines the taxation of multinational corporations. The third discusses the taxation of housing, focusing on the ways in which current income tax rules may affect location and consumption decisions and lead to economic inefficiencies. The fourth paper offers an historical perspective on the political economy of gasoline taxes, with a particular focus on the response to the oil shocks of the early 1970s. The fifth and final paper uses the tools of financial economics to estimate the unfunded liabilities of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
The papers in Volume 29 of Tax Policy and the Economy illustrate the depth and breadth of the taxation-related research by NBER research associates, both in terms of methodological approach and in terms of topics. In the first paper, former NBER President Martin Feldstein estimates how much revenue the federal government could raise by limiting tax expenditures in various ways, such as capping deductions and exclusions. The second paper, by George Bulman and Caroline Hoxby, makes use of a substantial expansion in the availability of education tax credits in 2009 to study whether tax credits have a significant causal effect on college attendance and related outcomes. In the third paper, Casey Mulligan discusses how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduces or expands taxes on income and on full-time employment. In the fourth paper, Bradley Heim, Ithai Lurie, and Kosali Simon focus on the “young adult” provision of the ACA that allows young adults to be covered by their parents’ insurance policies. They find no meaningful effects of this provision on labor market outcomes. The fifth paper, by Louis Kaplow, identifies some of the key conceptual challenges to analyzing social insurance policies, such as Social Security, in a context where shortsighted individuals fail to save adequately for their retirement.
The research papers in Volume 30 of Tax Policy and the Economy make significant contributions to the academic literature in public finance and provide important conceptual and empirical input to policy design. In the first paper, Gerald Carlino and Robert Inman consider whether state-level fiscal policies create spillovers for neighboring states and how federal stimulus can internalize these externalities. The second paper, by Nathan Hendren, presents a new framework for evaluating the welfare consequences of tax policy changes and explains how the key parameters needed to implement this framework can be estimated. The third paper, a collaborative effort by several academic and US Treasury economists, documents the dramatic increase in pass-through businesses, including partnerships and S-corporations, over the last thirty years. It notes that these entities now generate more than half of all US business income. The fourth paper examines property tax compliance using a pseudo-randomized experiment in Philadelphia, in which those who owed taxes received supplemental letters regarding their tax delinquency. The research explores what types of communication lead to higher rates of tax payment. In the fifth paper, Jeffrey Clemens discusses cross-program budgetary spillovers of minimum wage regulations. Severin Borenstein and Lucas Davis, the authors of the sixth paper, study the distributional effects of income tax credits for clean energy.
The papers in Tax Policy and the Economy Volume 31 are all directly related to important and often long-standing issues, often including how transfer programs affect tax rates and behavior. In the first paper, Alan Auerbach, Laurence Kotlikoff, Darryl Koehler, and Manni Yu take a lifetime perspective on the marginal tax rates facing older individuals and families arising from a comprehensive set of sources. In the second, Gizem Kosar and Robert A. Moffitt provide new estimates of the cumulative marginal tax rates facing low-income families over the period 1997-2007. In the third paper, Emmanuel Saez presents evidence on the elasticity of taxable income with respect to tax rates, drawing on data from the 2013 federal income tax reform. In the fourth, Conor Clarke and Wojciech Kopczuk survey the treatment of business income taxation in the United States since the 1950s, providing new data on how business income and its taxation have evolved over time. In the fifth paper, Louis Kaplow argues that the reduction in statutory tax rates from base-broadening may not reduce effective marginal tax rates on households.
The six research studies in Volume 32 of Tax Policy and the Economy analyze the U.S. tax and transfer system, in particular its effects on revenues, expenditures, and economic behavior. First, James Andreoni examines donor advised funds, which are financial vehicles offered by investment houses to provide savings accounts for tax-free charitable giving, and weighs their effects on donations against their tax cost. Second, Caroline Hoxby analyzes the use of tax credits by students enrolled in online post-secondary education. Third, Alex Rees-Jones and Dmitry Taubinsky explore taxpayers’ psychological biases that lead to incorrect perceptions and understanding of tax incentives. Fourth, Jeffrey Clemens and Benedic Ippolito investigate the implications of block grant reforms of Medicaid for receipt of federal support by different states. Fifth, Andrew Samwick examines means-testing of Medicare and federal health benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Sixth, Bruce Meyer and Wallace Mok study the incidence and effects of disability among U.S. women from 1968 to 2015, examining the impacts of disability on income, consumption, and public transfers.
This volume presents five new studies on taxation and government transfer programs. Alexander Blocker, Laurence Kotlikoff, Stephen Ross, and Sergio Villar Vallenas show how asset pricing can be used to value implicit fiscal debts, which are currently rarely measured or adjusted for risk, while accounting for risk properties. They apply their methodology to study Social Security. Michelle Hanson, Jeffrey Hoopes, and Joel Slemrod examine the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on corporation behavior and on firms’ statements about their behavior. They focus on for four outcomes: bonuses, investment, share repurchases, and dividends. Scott Baker, Lorenz Kueng, Leslie McGranahan, and Brian Melzer explore whether “unconventional” fiscal policy in the form of pre-announced consumption tax changes can shift durables purchases intertemporally, how it such shifts are affected by consumer credit. Alan Auerbach discusses “tax equivalences,” disparate sets of policies that have the same economic effects, and also illustrates when these equivalences break down. Jeffrey Liebman and Daniel Ramsey use data from NBER’s TAXSIM model to investigate the equity implications of a switch from joint to independent taxation that could occur in conjunction with adoption of return-free tax filing.
Two tropical commodities—coffee and sugar—dominated Latin American export economies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. When Sugar Ruled: Economy and Society in Northwestern Argentina, Tucumán, 1876–1916 presents a distinctive case that does not quite fit into the pattern of many Latin American sugar economies.
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the province of Tucumán emerged as Argentina’s main sugar producer, its industry catering almost exclusively to the needs of the national market and financed mostly by domestic capital. The expansion of the sugar industry provoked profound changes in Tucumán’s economy as sugar specialization replaced the province’s diversified productive structure. Since ingenios relied on outside growers for the supply of a large share of the sugarcane, sugar production did not produce massive land dispossession and resulted in the emergence of a heterogeneous planter group. The arrival of thousands of workers from neighboring provinces during the harvest season transformed rural society dramatically. As the most dynamic sector in Tucumán’s economy, revenues from sugar enabled the provincial government to participate in the modernizing movement sweeping turn-of-the-century Argentina.
Patricia Juarez-Dappe uncovers the unique features that characterized sugar production in Tucumán as well as the changes experienced by the province’s economy and society between 1876 and 1916, the period of most dramatic sugar expansion. When Sugar Ruled is an important addition to the literature on sugar economies in Latin America and Argentina.