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Updated: 17 min 23 sec ago

Foreign Aid and Corruption

7 hours 6 min ago
Foreign Aid and Corruption Lim, Jihyuk John Foreign aid and corruption have received a lot of scholarly attention in the recent decades, but there have only been a few papers empirically examining the causal relationship between the two. This paper uses a unique, large-scale panel dataset and an instrumental variable methodology to show that total foreign aid has a positive impact on the recipient country’s level of corruption, while the effects of the different subcategories of assistance are mixed. Additional specifications of the model also lead to varied results.

I Know Where The Good Grain Grows: Famine, Information, and Institutions in Ancient Empires

7 hours 8 min ago
I Know Where The Good Grain Grows: Famine, Information, and Institutions in Ancient Empires Fischer, Michael

Value of a Green Card: Determinants of Immigrant Wage Increases Following Adjustment to U.S. Permanent Residence Status

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 09:16
Value of a Green Card: Determinants of Immigrant Wage Increases Following Adjustment to U.S. Permanent Residence Status Chen, Yanning In this paper, I estimate the magnitudes of wage gain to immigrants following adjustment to U.S. permanent residence status. With data from the New Immigrant Survey Pilot (1996), I find that possessing a green card removes job market frictions that limited labor mobility, access and employer trust. More importantly, results show that there is wild variation in wage increase among recent green card holders. Employer-sponsored green card holders with high education level, English skill, pre-immigration experience, developed country origin, and white-collar, high skill job enjoy greater wage increases following adjustment to U.S. permanent residence status.

Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:59
Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran Multiple Authors The Iranian Revolution was one of the most important events to take place in the Middle East within the past fifty years. The revolution completely transformed one of the region’s largest and most influential countries, and had far-reaching implications for both Iran’s neighbors as well as the world at large. From its earliest post-revolutionary years, scholars and analysts have regularly puzzled over the Islamic Republic, its consequences for Iranian society and history, and its direction and evolution. Today, more than thirty years of the revolution, the resilience of the Islamic Republic has been clearly demonstrated. The thirtieth anniversary has also highlighted the fact that there is a critical need for a more nuanced understanding of the regime’s endurance, and for in-depth scrutiny of the multi-faceted nature of contemporary Iranian society. Over the course of the past thirty years there have been significant and meaningful social, economic, and political transformations across the spectrum of the state and its society. It is these changes which need to be carefully studied if one is looking for a comprehensive understanding of contemporary Iran. Much scholarly attention has been devoted to Iranian foreign and regional policies, its geopolitical and geostrategic significance, its security and defense strategies, and to its ideological intransience. Much current analytic focus is given to Iran’s ruling clerical establishment, its controversial nuclear program, and its supposed ambition to assert regional hegemony over its neighbors. Iranian foreign policy behavior is consistently presented as a de facto threat to its neighbors and to the world at large. Against this backdrop of heightened global interest in Iran’s international relations, embedded within myopic invective and a security-driven discourse, explorations of Iran’s domestic or internal functioning are often relegated to secondary status.Academic efforts examining domestic conditions in Iran have often focused particularly on the issues of political succession, the rivalry amongst competing political stake-holders and factions, the role of different state actors, the success or failure of various state policies, and the potential for reform. With the contested 2009 elections and the protest movements that followed, international attention was once again drawn to studying domestic political developments in Iran, for the most part to assess the extent of sociopolitical fissures within the state, and the potential for the regime to be severely threatened through public dissent. Despite the ongoing fascination with Iran in both policy and academic circles, there are few in-depth studies of social and cultural developments within the country.A few recent efforts have been undertaken by scholars to engage in in-depth research on domestic development within Iran. In line with this body of nascent scholarship, CIRS is launching a new, empirically grounded research initiative aimed at studying the variety of changes and developments currently underway in Iranian society. Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran will critically examine some of the most important topics within contemporary Iran, focusing on its social, cultural, economic, and political domains. Through this multi-disciplinary, empirically-based research initiative, our goal is to present a comprehensive study of contemporary Iranian society. This Summary Report details the CIRS research initiative on "Social Change in Post-Khomeini Iran" and critically examines some of the most important topics within contemporary Iran, focusing on its social, cultural, economic, and political domains. A few recent efforts have been undertaken by scholars to engage in in-depth research on domestic development within Iran. In line with this body of nascent scholarship, CIRS launched an empirically grounded research initiative aimed at studying the variety of changes and developments currently underway in Iranian society. Through this multi-disciplinary, empirically-based research initiative, our goal is to present a comprehensive study of contemporary Iranian society.

CIRS Newsletter 15

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 09:03
CIRS Newsletter 15 Center for International and Regional Studies Newsletter 15, Fall 2013, contains information about all CIRS news, activities, publications, and research initiative efforts over the Fall 2013-2014 semester. On the cover story, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, and one of the most important and foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious, and Comparative Studies in the world today, gives an interview on the relationship between religion and the environmental.

CIRS Annual Report 2012-2013

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 08:58
CIRS Annual Report 2012-2013 Center for International and Regional Studies The 2012-2013 CIRS Annual Report contains information about all the activities, research initiatives, publications, lectures, and events that CIRS organized throughout the year. Highlights include the publication of a new CIRS book, as well as the initiation of new research initiatives and grant awards.

Iran’s Northern Exposure: Foreign Policy Challenges in Eurasia

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 08:29
Iran’s Northern Exposure: Foreign Policy Challenges in Eurasia Dorraj, Manochehr; Entessar, Nader This paper analyzes Iran’s evolving interest and geopolitical challenges to its foreign policy in Central Eurasia. Historically, Iran, Turkey,and Russia have wielded the greatest influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. Therefore, it is not surprising that these three countries reemerged as principal actors in the region during the first decade of the post-Soviet era. Since the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, Iran performed a balancing act. That is, it aspired to develop closer relations with a region with which it shared significant historical and cultural ties. At the same time, Russia regards Central Eurasia as its sphere of influence and would like to keep the “intruders” at bay. Hence, the United States’ expanding presence in the region has added a new twist to Iran’s geopolitical calculations in how to define its policy toward the region. Turkish-Iranian cooperation and competition in the region is yet another piece in the strategic triangle that molds Iranian regional political posture. The looming impact of these three countries aside, as an emerging regional power with its own political agenda, perception, and calculus of its interests, Iran uses identity politics and shared cultural and religious values, where appropriate, to forge closer relations with Central Eurasian countries. Beyond this motif in Iran’s foreign policy, this paper concentrates on political, economic, and strategic variables affecting Iran’s foreign policy decisions in Central Eurasia. Islamic factors are treated as variables within the broader context of sociocultural factors that have played a role in shaping Iran’s foreign policy in the region.

Legal Structures and the Informal Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 13:54
Legal Structures and the Informal Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa Mac Dougall, Sarah Building on previously existing literature relating to the impact of legal structure on a country’s economy, this paper looks at how the distinction of common versus civil law tradition impacts informal economies of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Specifically, it considers how legal tradition correlates to the (1) overall size and (2) size as a proportion of certain sectors of SSA countries’ economies. Using both direct and modeling data on informality and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), multivariate, and truncated regression analysis, this paper finds significant and positive correlation between civil law and agricultural informality (significant and negative for common law), fitting with the model’s predictions based on historical colonial legacies. The relationship between nonagricultural informality and civil law is found to be less significant, but still positive (negative for common law), while the relationship between legal tradition and the size of SSA countries’ informal economies overall seems to be negligible and insignificant.

Individual decision-making

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:33
Individual decision-making Carlson, Kurt; Russo, J. Edward

Improving Preference Assessment through Pre-exposure to Attribute Levels

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:07
Improving Preference Assessment through Pre-exposure to Attribute Levels Carlson, Kurt; Bond, Samuel D. This paper introduces a technique for improving preference assessment by reducing the influence of context on preferential choices. We propose that a decision maker who is exposed to relevant attribute leveis wili form spontaneous valuations, which will then insulate the decision maker from the effects of context during subsequent preference assessment. Results from three studies supported this hypothesis, Pre-exposure to product attribute levels undermined the impact of attribute priming, decision framing, and asymmetric dominance on preferential choices, A fourth study demonstrated that similar results can be obtained by allowing decision makers to pregenerate lists of attribute levels on their own.

Leader-Driven Primacy: How Attribute Order Can Affect Consumer Choice

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:56
Leader-Driven Primacy: How Attribute Order Can Affect Consumer Choice Carlson, Kurt; Meloy, Margaret G.; Russo, J. Edward Leader-driven primacy uses initiai product information to instaii a targeted brand as the eariy leader in a choice between two brands. Biased evaiuation of subsequent attributes builds support for the targeted brand, causing the choice itself to be biased. Study 1 finds evidence of this effect in choices between two equaily attractive brands. Study 2 extends the finding to a situation where one brand is inferior and to conditions where participants do not explicitly identify their leader. Study 3 shows how leader-driven primacy can be reduced by encouraging brandbased processing.

Generating Objectives: Can Decision Makers Articulate What They Want?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:47
Generating Objectives: Can Decision Makers Articulate What They Want? Carlson, Kurt; Bond, Samuel D.; Keeney, Ralph L. Objectives have long been considered a basis for sound decision making. This research examines the ability of decision makers to generate self-relevant objectives for consequential decisions. In three empirical studies, participants consistently omitted nearly half of the objectives that they later identified as personally relevant. More surprisingly, omitted objectives were perceived to be almost as important as those generated by participants on their own. These empirical results were replicated in a real-world case study of strategic decision making at a high-tech firm. Overall, our research suggests that decision makers are considerably deficient in utilizing personal knowledge and values to form objectives for the decisions they face.

Benefits Leader Reversion: How a Once Preferred Product Recaptures Its Standing

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:41
Benefits Leader Reversion: How a Once Preferred Product Recaptures Its Standing Carlson, Kurt; Meloy, Margaret G.; Lieb, Daniel In general, consumers establish a preference for one product early in a decision process.When this preference does not include consideration of product prices, the currently preferred product is called the “benefits leader.” This article proposes that consumers who switch to a cheaper product after learning prices retain a trace of preference for the benefits leader. Retention of the benefits leader is evidenced by the distortion of new information to favor the benefits leader and by greater-thannormative reversion to it. The authors also find that reversion does not occur when the initially leading product (that consumers switch from) is based on a cost savings. This suggests that though consumers retain cognitive elements associated with benefits leaders, they do not retain similar elements associated with leaders based on cost savings.

Implications of the 2011-13 Syrian Uprising for the Middle Eastern Regional Security Complex

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:35
Implications of the 2011-13 Syrian Uprising for the Middle Eastern Regional Security Complex Lawson, Fred By the autumn of 2013, the Middle Eastern regional security complex(RSC) had taken on a new configuration, which was substantially different from—and much more explosive than—the one that existed prior to the large-scale popular uprisings that broke out across the Arab world in the winter of 2010-11. Foreign policies adopted between 2000 and 2010 by the Ba‘thi regime in Damascus, the leaderships of Hizbullah and HAMAS, and the Israeli government to parry overlapping internal and external threats created an unprecedented patchwork of strategic rivalries and alignments. Large-scale popular unrest in Iraq and Egypt in early 2011, along with the outbreak of full-scale civil war in Syria later that same year, generated an even more intricate web of interstate security dynamics. The reconfigured RSC that emerged out of the “Winter of Arab Discontent” is only beginning to be explicated, and can best be addressed by tracing the connection between domestic political conflicts and shifts in external belligerence and alignment across the region.

Improving the Generation of Decision Objectives

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 17:16
Improving the Generation of Decision Objectives Carlson, Kurt; Bond, Samuel D.; Keeney, Ralph L.

Trace Theory and Twice-Moved NPs

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 16:50
Trace Theory and Twice-Moved NPs Lightfoot, David

A Restructuring Rule

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 16:47
A Restructuring Rule Lightfoot, David

Rule Classes and Syntactic Change

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 16:46
Rule Classes and Syntactic Change Lightfoot, David

Review of G. Sampson Making Sense

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 16:44
Review of G. Sampson Making Sense Lightfoot, David

A Brief Response

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 16:43
A Brief Response Lightfoot, David

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