Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Welfare Chauvinism? Refugee Flows and Support for Populist-Right Parties in Industrial Democracies, 1990-2014
    Objectives The objective of this article is to examine whether refugee flows are associated with an increase in electoral support for populist‐right parties. The empirical evidence on this so far remains mixed. This article argues that refugee inflows alone are an inaccurate predictor of the success of populist‐right parties. Rather, refugee inflows can lead to a rise in electoral support for populist‐right parties where traditional welfare states are expansive—the so‐called welfare chauvinism argument, wherein natives already dependent on high levels of social welfare are likely to see refugees as interlopers who free‐ride on welfare and thereby threaten the welfare of locals. Methods This article deploys Tobit and OLS fixed effect estimators in panel data covering 27 OECD countries during the period 1990–2014 (25 years). Results There is no evidence to suggest that refugee inflows per se increase electoral support for populist‐right parties. However, a positive effect of refugee inflows on electoral support for populist‐right parties is conditional upon a higher degree of social welfare spending, which supports the propositions of “welfare chauvinism.” Moreover, support for populist‐right parties increases when the degree of labor market regulation and welfare spending is high. These results are robust to alternative data, sample, and estimation techniques. Conclusion The results suggest that societies with higher levels of social protection through high taxes might fuel “welfare chauvinism,” in which the segments of native population fear significant welfare losses from inflow of refugees.
  • Publication
    Aid curse with Chinese characteristics? Chinese development flows and economic reforms
    The emergence of China as a major development partner requires a reassessment of traditional donorrecipient dynamics. In addition to using new rhetoric like ”South-South cooperation” or ”Win-Win”, China has also eschewed classifications and practices of the traditional donors of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Donor Assistance Committee (DAC). Yet this ”new approach” and willful ignorance may not spare China from the same issues confronted by traditional donors. In this paper, we consider the extent to which Chinese development efforts disincentivize difficult economic reforms by providing recipient governments with a budgetry cushion. Using an instrumental variable approach with panel data covering 117 countries during the 2000-2014 period, we find that the presence of Chinese development flows, particularly those over which recipients have a high degree of discretion, inhibit broader economic reform. These findings are robust to a number of alternative specifications, data, instruments and approaches and are suggestive of an institutional aid curse ”with Chinese characteristics” as insidious as that which has plagued some traditional donor-recipient relationships.
  • Publication
    Does Democracy Guarantee (De)Forestation? An Empirical Analysis
    It is a commonly held view that democracy is better at safeguarding environment while autocracy is predatory in nature, and is thus insensitive towards environment. However, others argue that democracy leads to environmental degradation. We revisit this contentious relationship between regime type and environment degradation in the context of deforestation. Using panel data on 139 countries during the 1990–2012 period, we find that democracy is associated with lower levels of forest coverage. Although our results appear counter-intuitive, further analyses reveal the positive effect of democracy on forest area coverage is conditional upon the level of economic development. Roughly, at per capita income of about US$8200, the impact of democracy on forest coverage becomes positive. Our results suggest that a democratic government’s priority to tackle environmental problems depends on its level of economic development. These results also highlight the fundamental reason as to why there is a lack of coordinated effort between developing and developed countries in addressing environmental issues.
  • Publication
    A race to the bottom in labour standards? An empirical investigation
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-11) ;
    Among the many concerns over globalization is that as nations compete for mobile firms, they will relax labour standards as a method of lowering costs and attracting investment. Using spatial estimation on panel data for 148 developing countries over 18 years, we find that the labour standards in one country are positively correlated with the labour standards elsewhere (i.e. a cut in labour standards in other countries reduces labour standards in the country in question). This interdependence is more evident in labour practices (i.e. enforcement) than in labour laws. Further, competition is most fierce in those countries with already low standards.