184 research outputs found

    Preferentialism and the conditionality of trade agreements. An application of the gravity model

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    Modern economic growth is driven by international trade, and the preferential trade agreement constitutes the primary fit-for-purpose mechanism of choice for establishing, facilitating, and governing its flows. However, too little attention has been afforded to the differences in content and conditionality associated with different trade agreements. This has led to an under-considered mischaracterisation of the design-flow relationship. Similarly, while the relationship between trade facilitation and trade is clear, the way trade facilitation affects other areas of economic activity, with respect to preferential trade agreements, has received considerably less attention. Particularly, in light of an increasingly globalised and interdependent trading system, the interplay between trade facilitation and foreign direct investment is of particular importance. Accordingly, this thesis explores the bilateral trade and investment effects of specific conditionality sets, as established within Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs). Chapter one utilises recent content condition-indexes for depth, flexibility, and constraints on flexibility, established by Dür et al. (2014) and Baccini et al. (2015), within a gravity framework to estimate the average treatment effect of trade agreement characteristics across bilateral trade relationships in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from 1948-2015. This chapter finds that the composition of a given ASEAN trade agreement’s characteristic set has significantly determined the concomitant bilateral trade flows. Conditions determining the classification of a trade agreements depth are positively associated with an increase to bilateral trade; hereby representing the furthered removal of trade barriers and frictions as facilitated by deeper trade agreements. Flexibility conditions, and constraint on flexibility conditions, are also identified as significant determiners for a given trade agreement’s treatment effect of subsequent bilateral trade flows. Given the political nature of their inclusion (i.e., the appropriate address to short term domestic discontent) this influence is negative as regards trade flows. These results highlight the longer implementation and time frame requirements for trade impediments to be removed in a market with higher domestic uncertainty. Chapter two explores the incorporation of non-trade issue (NTI) conditions in PTAs. Such conditions are increasing both at the intensive and extensive margins. There is a concern from developing nations that this growth of NTI inclusions serves as a way for high-income (HI) nations to dictate the trade agenda, such that developing nations are subject to ‘principled protectionism’. There is evidence that NTI provisions are partly driven by protectionist motives but the effect on trade flows remains largely undiscussed. Utilising the Gravity Model for trade, I test Lechner’s (2016) comprehensive NTI dataset for 202 bilateral country pairs across a 32-year timeframe and find that, on average, NTIs are associated with an increase to bilateral trade. Primarily this boost can be associated with the market access that a PTA utilising NTIs facilitates. In addition, these results are aligned theoretically with the discussions on market harmonisation, shared values, and the erosion of artificial production advantages. Instead of inhibiting trade through burdensome cost, NTIs are acting to support a more stable production and trading environment, motivated by enhanced market access. Employing a novel classification to capture the power supremacy associated with shaping NTIs, this chapter highlights that the positive impact of NTIs is largely driven by the relationship between HI nations and middle-to-low-income (MTLI) counterparts. Chapter Three employs the gravity model, theoretically augmented for foreign direct investment (FDI), to estimate the effects of trade facilitation conditions utilising indexes established by Neufeld (2014) and the bilateral FDI data curated by UNCTAD (2014). The resultant dataset covers 104 countries, covering a period of 12 years (2001–2012), containing 23,640 observations. The results highlight the bilateral-FDI enhancing effects of trade facilitation conditions in the ASEAN context, aligning itself with the theoretical branch of FDI-PTA literature that has outlined how the ratification of a trade agreement results in increased and positive economic prospect between partners (Medvedev, 2012) resulting from the interrelation between trade and investment as set within an improving regulatory environment. The results align with the expectation that an enhanced trade facilitation landscape (one in which such formalities, procedures, information, and expectations around trade facilitation are conditioned for) is expected to incentivise and attract FDI

    The finite temperature QCD using 2+1 flavors of domain wall fermions at N_t = 8

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    We study the region of the QCD phase transition using 2+1 flavors of domain wall fermions (DWF) and a 163×816^3 \times 8 lattice volume with a fifth dimension of Ls=32L_s = 32. The disconnected light quark chiral susceptibility, quark number susceptibility and the Polyakov loop suggest a chiral and deconfining crossover transition lying between 155 and 185 MeV for our choice of quark mass and lattice spacing. In this region the lattice scale deduced from the Sommer parameter r0r_0 is a11.3a^{-1} \approx 1.3 GeV, the pion mass is 300\approx 300 MeV and the kaon mass is approximately physical. The peak in the chiral susceptibility implies a pseudo critical temperature Tc=171(10)(17)T_c = 171(10)(17) MeV where the first error is associated with determining the peak location and the second with our unphysical light quark mass and non-zero lattice spacing. The effects of residual chiral symmetry breaking on the chiral condensate and disconnected chiral susceptibility are studied using several values of the valence LsL_s.Comment: 41 pages, 10 tables, 13 figure

    Migration Tactics Of A Long-Distance Migratory Songbird From Across A Continental Breeding Range

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    Migration strategies in the avian world are often compared at the species level and evaluated relative to general ecology and constraints such as molting and breeding timetables. The advancement of tracking technology provides an opportunity to explore variation in more specific migration tactics within species and their populations as it relates to demographic and environmental factors throughout the annual cycle. We compare migration timing among 4 populations of Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) from across the breeding range using data from light-level geolocators. The date of departure from the breeding grounds and the duration of southbound migration differed among breeding populations, and were more variable for eastern breeding populations compared to western populations farther from the main migration corridor. Despite variation in both timing and distance from the corridor among breeding populations, date of arrival at the major southbound stop in the Llanos of South America remained synchronous, but less so than previously described. Weekly flight distances were highly variable and did not differ among populations. Duration of northbound migration did not differ among populations and was half as long as the southbound migration. Our findings show Bobolink populations breeding near the species’ relatively narrow migration corridor in the southeastern United States were more variable in terms of how they reached the first lengthy stop in the Llanos, suggesting more flexibility in migration tactics. Breeding locations were not associated, however, with the timing or duration of the remainder of their migratory schedule. Our findings support the hypothesis that food resources, both historical and present, drive and also modify the endogenous migration schedule of this flocking species with a split migration

    North American Breeding Bird Survey Underestimates Regional Bird Richness Compared to Breeding Bird Atlases

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    Standardized data on large-scale and long-term patterns of species richness are critical for understanding the consequences of natural and anthropogenic changes in the environment. The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is one of the largest and most widely used sources of such data, but so far, little is known about the degree to which BBS data provide accurate estimates of regional richness. Here, we test this question by comparing estimates of regional richness based on BBS data with spatially and temporally matched estimates based on state Breeding Bird Atlases (BBA). We expected that estimates based on BBA data would provide a more complete (and therefore, more accurate) representation of regional richness due to their larger number of observation units and higher sampling effort within the observation units. Our results were only partially consistent with these predictions: while estimates of regional richness based on BBA data were higher than those based on BBS data, estimates of local richness (number of species per observation unit) were higher in BBS data. The latter result is attributed to higher land-cover heterogeneity in BBS units and higher effectiveness of bird detection (more species are detected per unit time). Interestingly, estimates of regional richness based on BBA blocks were higher than those based on BBS data even when differences in the number of observation units were controlled for. Our analysis indicates that this difference was due to higher compositional turnover between BBA units, probably due to larger differences in habitat conditions between BBA units and a higher likelihood of observing geographically restricted species. Our overall results indicate that estimates of regional richness based on BBS data suffer from incomplete detection of a large number of rare species, and that corrections of these estimates based on standard extrapolation techniques are not sufficient to remove this bias. Future applications of BBS data in ecology and conservation, and in particular, applications in which the representation of rare species is important (e.g., those focusing on biodiversity conservation), should be aware of this bias, and should integrate BBA data whenever possible

    Neurodevelopmental problems in maltreated children referred with indiscriminate friendliness

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    We aimed to explore the extent of neurodevelopmental difficulties in severely maltreated adopted children. We recruited 34 adopted children, referred with symptoms of indiscriminate friendliness and a history of severe maltreatment in their early childhood and 32 typically developing comparison children without such a history, living in biological families. All 66 children, aged 5–12 years, underwent a detailed neuropsychiatric assessment. The overwhelming majority of the adopted/indiscriminately friendly group had a range of psychiatric diagnoses, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and one third exhibited the disorganised pattern of attachment. The mean IQ was 15 points lower than the comparison group and the majority of the adopted group had suspected language disorder and/or delay. Our findings show that school-aged adopted children with a history of severe maltreatment can have very complex and sometimes disabling neuropsychiatric prob

    Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Role of the Amundsen Sea Continental Shelf in Exchanges Between Ocean and Ice Shelves

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    The Amundsen Sea is a key region of Antarctica where ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and ice sheet interact. For much of Antarctica, the relatively warm water of the open Southern Ocean (a few degrees above freezing) does not reach the Antarctic continental shelf in large volumes under current climate conditions. However, in the Amundsen Sea, warm water penetrates onto the continental shelf and provides heat that can melt the underside of the area’s floating ice shelves, thinning them. Here, we discuss how the ocean’s role in melting has come under increased scrutiny, present 2014 observations from the Amundsen Sea, and discuss their implications, highlighting aspects where understanding is still incomplete

    Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages in Europe

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    We generated genome-wide data from 69 Europeans who lived between 8,000-3,000 years ago by enriching ancient DNA libraries for a target set of almost four hundred thousand polymorphisms. Enrichment of these positions decreases the sequencing required for genome-wide ancient DNA analysis by a median of around 250-fold, allowing us to study an order of magnitude more individuals than previous studies and to obtain new insights about the past. We show that the populations of western and far eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000-5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, ~8,000-7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary, and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a ~24,000 year old Siberian6 . By ~6,000-5,000 years ago, a resurgence of hunter-gatherer ancestry had occurred throughout much of Europe, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact ~4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced ~3/4 of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least ~3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for the theory of a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe

    The chiral transition and U(1)_A symmetry restoration from lattice QCD using Domain Wall Fermions

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    We present results on both the restoration of the spontaneously broken chiral symmetry and the effective restoration of the anomalously broken U(1)_A symmetry in finite temperature QCD at zero chemical potential using lattice QCD. We employ domain wall fermions on lattices with fixed temporal extent N_\tau = 8 and spatial extent N_\sigma = 16 in a temperature range of T = 139 - 195 MeV, corresponding to lattice spacings of a \approx 0.12 - 0.18 fm. In these calculations, we include two degenerate light quarks and a strange quark at fixed pion mass m_\pi = 200 MeV. The strange quark mass is set near its physical value. We also present results from a second set of finite temperature gauge configurations at the same volume and temporal extent with slightly heavier pion mass. To study chiral symmetry restoration, we calculate the chiral condensate, the disconnected chiral susceptibility, and susceptibilities in several meson channels of different quantum numbers. To study U(1)_A restoration, we calculate spatial correlators in the scalar and pseudo-scalar channels, as well as the corresponding susceptibilities. Furthermore, we also show results for the eigenvalue spectrum of the Dirac operator as a function of temperature, which can be connected to both U(1)_A and chiral symmetry restoration via Banks-Casher relations.Comment: 80 pages, 14 figures, 4 appendice

    Probability Distribution Characteristics for Surface Air–Sea Turbulent Heat Fluxes over the Global Ocean

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    To analyze the probability density distributions of surface turbulent heat fluxes, the authors apply the twoparametric modified Fisher–Tippett (MFT) distribution to the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes recomputed from 6-hourly NCEP–NCAR reanalysis state variables for the period from 1948 to 2008. They derived the mean climatology and seasonal cycle of the location and scale parameters of the MFT distribution. Analysis of the parameters of probability distributions identified the areas where similar surface turbulent fluxes are determined by the very different shape of probability density functions. Estimated extreme turbulent heat fluxes amount to 1500–2000 W m22 (for the 99th percentile) and can exceed 2000 W m22 for higher percentiles in the subpolar latitudes and western boundary current regions. Analysis of linear trends and interannual variability in the mean and extreme fluxes shows that the strongest trends in extreme fluxes (more than 15 W m22 decade21) in the western boundary current regions are associated with the changes in the shape of distribution. In many regions changes in extreme fluxes may be different from those for the mean fluxes at interannual and decadal time scales. The correlation between interannual variability of themean and extreme fluxes is relatively low in the tropics, the SouthernOcean, and the Kuroshio Extension region.Analysis of probability distributions in turbulent fluxes has also been used in assessing the impact of sampling errors in theVoluntaryObserving Ship (VOS)-based surface flux climatologies, allowed for the estimation of the impact of sampling in extreme fluxes. Although sampling does not have a visible systematic effect onmean fluxes, sampling uncertainties result in the underestimation of extreme flux values exceeding 100 W m22 in poorly sampled regions
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