Når nye numre af fagtidsskrifter på ens område kommer, er der som oftest ikke mere end én artikel, som ser interessant ud. Nogle gange er der ingen, men nogle gange er selvfølgelig undtagelser. Februarnummeret af Kyklos, der er tilgængeligt online nu, er netop en af dem. Ikke blot er min fælles artikel med Andreas Bergh blevet ’lead paper’, men nummeret indeholder flere ganske interessante studier. For at – forhåbentlig – stimulere vores læseres appetit, er her abstracts og nødvendige oplysninger på fire af de artikler, der publiceres i Kyklos i denne omgang. Vi håber, at læserne synes nogle af dem er lige så interessante som vi gør.
Andreas Bergh og Christian Bjørnskov, “Historical Trust Levels Predict the Current Size of the Welfare State”, Side 1-19
Despite the fact that large welfare states are vulnerable to free-riding, the idea that universal welfare states lead to higher trust levels in the population has received some attention and support among political scientists recently. This paper argues that the opposite direction of causality is more plausible, i.e. that populations with higher trust levels are more prone to creating and successfully maintaining universal welfare states with high levels of taxation where publicly financed social insurance schemes.
The hypothesis is tested using instrumental variable techniques to infer variations in trust levels that pre-date current welfare states, and then using the variation in historical trust levels to explain the current size and design of the welfare state, and finally comparing the explanatory power of trust to other potential explanatory factors such as left-right ideology and economic openness.
To infer variation about historical trust levels, we use three instruments, all used previously in the trust literature: the grammatical rule allowing pronoun-drop, average temperature in the coldest month and a dummy for constitutional monarchies. Using cross-sectional data for 77 countries, we show that these instruments are valid and that countries with higher historical trust levels have significantly higher public expenditure as a share of GDP and also have more regulatory freedom. This finding is robust to controlling for several other potential explanations of welfare state size.
Indra de Soysa og Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati, ”Does Being Bound Together Suffocate, or Liberate? The Effects of Economic, Social, and Political Globalization on Human Rights, 1981–2005”, Side 20-53
Liberals argue that globalization, or growing interdependence among states, will transform societies towards more liberal values reflected in better respect for human rights. Skeptics of globalization, among them Marxists, critical theorists, and a large portion of the NGO community, see globalization facilitating the exploitation of the weak by the strong, exclusion of the poor from economic gain and political rights, increased inequality and economic insecurity, all of which results in social disarray—in other words, globalization is a ‘race to the bottom.’ Thus, resistance to globalization by ordinary people, they argue, will be met with greater state repression. Previous studies have examined the issue with single indicators, such as trade openness and the level of FDI. We make use of a unique measure of globalization, which gauges globalization along economic, political, and social dimensions, to assess the propositions. Our findings reveal a strong positive association between overall globalization and its disaggregated components on government respect for physical integrity rights between 1981 and 2005 for a large sample of countries, controlling for a host of relevant factors, including the possibility of endogeneity. The results are robust to sample size, alternative data and methods, and when assessing developing countries only. Contrary to the skeptics, our results show that increased exposure to globalization lowers state violations of basic human rights.
Manfred Gärtner og Florian Jung, “Clothes for the Emperor or Can Research Learn from Undergraduate Macroeconomics?”, Side 75-86
The current crisis is not only one of financial markets, but also of macroeconomics. Leading scholars call for a paradigm shift away from dynamic general equilibrium models, though some argue that the profession’s arsenal already contains the tools and historical lessons needed to deal with such crises. Taking this view to the limit, we demonstrate that the workhorse models of undergraduate macroeconomics not only permit a refined view and classification of financial crises. These models also identify scenarios under which either policymakers would be ill advised to follow conventional prescriptions, or under which full-scale depressions loom that call for a coordination of monetary and fiscal policy.
André Varella Mollick og René Cabral, ”Government Size and Output Growth: the Effects of “Averaging out””, Side 122-137
Panel data studies typically “average out” the error terms to be five calendar years apart such that they are less influenced by business cycle fluctuations. Using dynamic growth equations over the “globalization years” of 1986–2004, we provide an examination of the role of government expenditures to GDP (G/Y) in long-run growth. While the yearly time span is actually not prone to serious serial correlation problems, more powerful implications follow: We do observe strong negative long-run effects of G/Y on output growth in yearly time spans, while the averaged-out 5-year panels suggest the long-run economic impact of G/Y is muted.