23,429 research outputs found

    Non-Tariff Barriers as a Test of Political Economy Theories

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    This paper provides a rough test of a broad and prominent class of political economy of trade models and finds them wanting. The class features governments with weighted social welfare functions, including the prominent model of Grossman and Helpman. Whether the government is the single domestic player or there are other players involved (as with the lobbies in the Grossman-Helpman case) the government ultimately acts as a unitary player in international dealings. Recent work has shown that such unitary actors care exclusively about terms of trade in international negotiations. This paper pursues the implication that governments' choice of trade instruments may offer a better test of the unitary government framework than existing empirical work. We use the structure of United States protection to argue that governments consistently choose instruments that sacrifice terms of trade, thus casting doubt on the unitary approach. We offer a discussion of alternative theories of political economy that could accommodate this stylized fact.Trade policy, Lobbying, Tariffs, Political Economy

    Sanctions on South Africa: What Did They Do

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    This paper considers the economic sanctions that were applied in the mid-1980s to pressure the South African government to end apartheid. It asks what role those sanctions played in the eventual demise of the apartheid regime and concludes that the role was probably very small. An alternative explanation for the regime change is offered: the communist bloc combined to bring about the change. If one is to argue for the efficacy of sanctions, two key obstacles are their limited economic impact and the substantial lag between the imposition of sanctions and the political change. Since sanctions preceded the change of government, it is impossible to rule them out as a determinant. However, their principal effect was probably psychological. The implication is that the South African case should not serve as the lone major instance of effective sanctions.Keywords: Sanctions, South Africa, Political Economy, Trade

    Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador

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    In this paper we explore the substitutability of formal and informal property rights. We analyze new survey data from Ecuador, where households have both formal and informal claims to urban residential property. The latter come from a variety of sources, including the activity of a local boss, or organizer. We first develop a theory of the ability to sell or rent land in which a distinction is drawn between transferable property rights (e.g., title) and non-transferable claims (e.g., length of residence). We use this theory of transactions to show that the increase in price that follows the granting of title may be an overestimate of the households' utility gain. In our empirical work we find that the unconditional effect of granting title is to raise properties' value by 23.5%. However, we also find that informal property rights can substitute effectively for formal property rights, so the marginal effect of titling on the ability to transact and on prices can vary widely among communities and among households within a community. For example, the value of property owned by a newly established household with no adult males can increase by 46% with the acquisition of title. These findings suggest that titling programs should be targeted at young disorganized communities if they are to have much effect.

    A Conversation with Monroe Sirken

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    Born January 11, 1921 in New York City, Monroe Sirken grew up in a suburb of Pasadena, California. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in sociology at UCLA in 1946 and 1947, and a Ph.D. in 1950 in sociology with a minor in mathematics at the University of Washington in 1950 where Professor Z. W. Birnbaum was his mentor and thesis advisor. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Social Science Research Council, Monroe spent 1950--1951 at the Statistics Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley and the Office of the Assistant Director for Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census in Suitland, Maryland. Monroe visited the Census Bureau at a time of great change in the use of sampling and survey methods, and decided to remain. He began his government career there in 1951 as a mathematical statistician, and moved to the National Office of Vital Statistics (NOVS) in 1953 where he was an actuarial mathematician and a mathematical statistician. He has held a variety of research and administrative positions at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and he was the Associate Director, Research and Methodology and the Director, Office of Research and Methodology until 1996 when he became a senior research scientist, the title he currently holds. Aside from administrative responsibilities, Monroe's major professional interests have been conducting and fostering survey and statistical research responsive to the needs of federal statistics. His interest in the design of rare and sensitive population surveys led to the development of network sampling which improves precision by linking multiple selection units to the same observation units. His interest in fostering research on the cognitive aspects of survey methods led to the establishment of permanent questionnaire design research laboratories, first at NCHS and later at other federal statistical agencies here and abroad.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/07-STS245 the Statistical Science (http://www.imstat.org/sts/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Vibration and stress analysis of soft-bonded shuttle insulation tiles. Modal analysis with compact widely space stringers

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    An efficient iterative procedure is described for the vibration and modal stress analysis of reusable surface insulation (RSI) of multi-tiled space shuttle panels. The method, which is quite general, is rapidly convergent and highly useful for this application. A user-oriented computer program based upon this procedure and titled RESIST (REusable Surface Insulation Stresses) has been prepared for the analysis of compact, widely spaced, stringer-stiffened panels. RESIST, which uses finite element methods, obtains three dimensional tile stresses in the isolator, arrestor (if any) and RSI materials. Two dimensional stresses are obtained in the tile coating and the stringer-stiffened primary structure plate. A special feature of the program is that all the usual detailed finite element grid data is generated internally from a minimum of input data. The program can accommodate tile idealizations with up to 850 nodes (2550 degrees-of-freedom) and primary structure idealizations with a maximum of 10,000 degrees-of-freedom. The primary structure vibration capability is achieved through the development of a new rapid eigenvalue program named ALARM (Automatic LArge Reduction of Matrices to tridiagonal form)

    Factorizations of finite groups by conjugate subgroups which are solvable or nilpotent

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    We consider factorizations of a finite group GG into conjugate subgroups, G=Ax1AxkG=A^{x_{1}}\cdots A^{x_{k}} for AGA\leq G and x1,,xkGx_{1},\ldots ,x_{k}\in G, where AA is nilpotent or solvable. First we exploit the split BNBN-pair structure of finite simple groups of Lie type to give a unified self-contained proof that every such group is a product of four or three unipotent Sylow subgroups. Then we derive an upper bound on the minimal length of a solvable conjugate factorization of a general finite group. Finally, using conjugate factorizations of a general finite solvable group by any of its Carter subgroups, we obtain an upper bound on the minimal length of a nilpotent conjugate factorization of a general finite group

    Thermal stress analysis of reusable surface insulation for shuttle

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    An iterative procedure for accurately determining tile stresses associated with static mechanical and thermally induced internal loads is presented. The necessary conditions for convergence of the method are derived. An user-oriented computer program based upon the present method of analysis was developed. The program is capable of analyzing multi-tiled panels and determining the associated stresses. Typical numerical results from this computer program are presented
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