This chapter discusses the potential impacts of the spread of COVID-19, and the restriction policies that it has triggered in many countries, on conflict incidence worldwide. Based on anecdotal evidence and recent research, we argue that imposing nation-wide shutdown policies diminishes conflict incidence on average, but that this conflict reduction may be short-lived and highly heterogeneous across countries. In particular, conflict does not appear to decline in poor, fractionalised countries. Evidence points to two potential ways in which COVID-related restriction policies may increase conflict: losses in income and magnified ethnic and religious tensions leading to scapegoating of minorities.
Many regulations with first-order economic and environmental consequences have to be adopted under significant scientific uncertainty. Examples include tobacco regulations in the second half of the 20th century, climate change regulations and current regulations on pesticides and neonicotinoid insecticides. Firms and industries have proved adept at exploiting such scientific uncertainty to shape and delay regulation. The main strategies documented include: hiring and funding dissenting scientists, producing and publicizing favorable scientific findings, ghostwriting, funding diversion research, conducting large-scale science-denying communication campaigns, and placing experts on advisory and regulatory panels while generally concealing involvement. In many cases, special interests have thus deliberately manufactured doubt and these dishonest tactics have had large welfare consequences.
Largely and unduly neglected by economists, these doubt-manufacturing strategies should now be addressed by the field. Here, we first present a simple theoretical framework providing a useful starting point for considering these issues. The government is benevolent but populist and maximizes social welfare as perceived by citizens. The industry can produce costly reports showing that its activity is not harmful, and citizens are unaware of the industry’s miscommunication. This framework raises important new questions, such as how industry miscommunication and citizens’ beliefs are related to scientific uncertainty. It also sheds new light on old questions, such as the choice of policy instrument to regulate pollution. We subsequently outline a tentative roadmap for future research, highlighting critical issues in need of more investigation.
At the time when Hegel’s political economy is born, there is no other example that a full-fledged economic system may have been built outside the Classical
This chapter considers potential games, where agents play, each period, Nash worthwhile moves in alternation, such that their unilateral motivation to change rather than to stay, other players being supposed to stay, are high enough with respect to their resistance to change rather than to stay. This defines a generalized proximal alternating linearized algorithm, where resistance to change plays a major role, perturbation terms of alternating proximal algorithms being seen as the disutilities of net costs of moving.
This paper concerns applications of variational analysis to some local aspects of behavioral science modeling by developing an effective variational rationality approach to these and related issues. Our main attention is paid to local stationary traps, which reflect such local equilibrium and the like positions in behavioral science models that are not worthwhile to quit. We establish constructive linear optimistic evaluations of local stationary traps by using generalized differential tools of variational analysis that involve subgradients and normals for nonsmooth and nonconvex objects as well as variational and extremal principles.
Religious legitimacy is becoming a central concept in historical economics, in comparative studies of the political economy of preindustrial societies in particular. In this short chapter, we provide some preliminary insights on the emergence of religious legitimacy in the context of the general theory of the evolution of institutions and culture. We show that it is the interaction of institutions and culture that is responsible for the most relevant implications of religious legitimacy in terms of economic growth and prosperity.
The pharmaceutical market is not tailored to cater the needs of patients who are located in the economically disadvantaged Southern countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. International organizations are working in numerous ways to overcome this challenge and to increase the access to medicines at affordable prices in the global South. They recommend and proscribe drugs, shape national policies, assure drug quality, provide funding and technical assistance, manage the supply chain, negotiate prices with manufacturers, decide who can compete and influence the behavior of competitors. Recently, some international organizations like Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) have successfully ventured into new drug development for tropical diseases. This has resulted in the evolution of complex relational dynamics and interdependencies between states, firms and international organizations. The structural power to bargain in such relationships often does not lie with states but rather with international organizations who create conditions under which firms would agree to invest in a particular venture. Thus, international organizations have acquired the role of “market makers” who not only convert the need for medicines into real demand but also shape the institutional environment for market functioning by setting up the rules of exchange for market transactions.
However, this phenomenon is not well studied. In this regard, this study sheds light on the role of international organizations in the creation and functioning of the market for artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for malaria. It explains the role of WHO treatment guidelines in the global acceptance and legitimization of ACTs and WHO prequalification program in assuring quality. It further elaborates on the importance of donor funding, negotiation with manufacturers, the introduction of new ACT formulations to increase competition and stabilization of the supply of raw artemisinin on the reduction of treatment prices. It also explains how business strategies of firms are shaped by the action of
The speculative nature of the stock market in Mainland China has attracted the attention of many observers. However while the degree of integration of the Hong Kong market with its Mainland counterpart has monopolized the interest of researchers, they have neglected the diffusion of bubbles from the latter to the former. We thus propose the first study of such bubble migration. Focusing on the period 2005–2017, we use the Phillips et al. (Int Econ Rev 56:1043–1078, 2015a; Int Econ Rev 52:201–226, 2015b) recursive explosive root test to detect and date speculative episodes in both markets. We then implement the Greenaway-McGrevy and Phillips (NZ Econ Pap 50:88–113, 2016) methodology to detect the presence of migration between the two markets. We detect significant, but dwindling, bubble migration from Shanghai to Hong Kong.