Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • Publication
    Celtic phoenix or leprechaun economics? The politics of an FDI led growth model in Europe
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2017-01) ;
    In this paper we argue that Ireland’s post-crisis economic recovery in Europe was driven by foreign direct investment (FDI) from Silicon Valley, and whilst this growth model was made possible by Ireland’s low corporate tax rates, it was also a result of these firms using Ireland to directly access the European labour market. We evidence this contention via sectoral and geographic analyses while simultaneously showing that Irish fiscal policies have not redistributed gains from the recovery to the broader population. As a result, the economic recovery has been most actively felt by those in the FDI sectors, including foreign-national workers from the EU and beyond. We suggest that this experience indicates that Ireland’s FDI-led model of economic development has created clear winners and losers, with significant distributional implications. The FDI growth regime been made possible by inward migration and European integration, but given the unequal distribution of the economic benefits that this generates, it is unlikely to be politically, or electorally, sustainable.
  • Publication
    Canary in the Coal Mine? China, the UNGA and the Changing World Order
    (Cambridge University Press, 2017) ;
    How China assumes its position of superpower is one of the most important questions regarding global order in the 21st century. While considerable and sustained attention has been paid to China’s growing economic and military might, work examining how China is attempting, if at all, to influence the ecosystem of global norms is in its earlier stages. In this article we examine China’s actions in an important venue for the development of global norms, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Using a unique dataset that captures how other countries move into or out of alignment with China on UNGA resolutions that are repeated over time, we find statistical evidence that China used diplomatic and economic means in an attempt to subtly alter international norms. We further illustrate these findings by examining four states that made substantive moves toward China on resolutions concerning national sovereignty, democracy, international order, non-interference, and human rights.
  • 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
    Paradise Lost: The cost of removing tax and trade provisions from the Compact of Free Association
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014-01)
    Upon implementing the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, the US Congress unilaterally stripped tax and trade provisions that would have encouraged investment in the Federated States of Micronesia. I quantify what was lost to the Federated States of Micronesia by arguing that the provisions would have made the Federated States of Micronesia an explicitly sanctioned tax haven through empirical estimates of the impact of tax havens on growth and a comparison of performance of similarly situated entities, the American Samoa and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which did have preferential access to the US market. The estimates suggest that the Federated States of Micronesia lost from $700 million to over $1 billion in gross domestic product from 1986 to 2001.
  • Publication
    From the Great Lakes to the Great Rift Valley: Does Strategic Economic Policy Explain the 2009 Malawi Election?
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2014-02-28) ; ;
    Ethno-regional voting cleavages have featured in a number of sub-Saharan African states during the third wave of democratization following the end of the Cold War.While the causes and consequences of these cleavages are well studied, there have been surprisingly few attempts to understand how strategies of pan-ethnic or pan-regional coalition building based on distributive economic policies could be employed to secure national electoral coalitions. In this paper we examine if in the 2009 Malawian parliamentary elections the newly-formed national party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by the President Binguwa Mutharika used its incumbent position to promote an economic policy based on food security in order to overcome traditional ethno-regional voting patterns and win a nationwide electoral majority. After presenting a formal model of a optimal allocation of an economic resource to overcome ethnic bias and induce vote-switching, we use district-level data in a system of equations to analyze if strategic allocation within the national fertilizer subsidy program contributed to the nation-wide electoral victory of the DPP.
  • Publication
    Democracy or Accountability? Governance and Social Spending in Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2016-01-15) ;
    In recent years, democracy has often served as shorthand for good governance when considering what facilitates development-friendly public expenditure. While recognising the sufficiency of democracy, we argue that it is accountability, achievable outside full democracy, that is the necessary component of governance. However, vague conceptualisations of accountability as 'responsiveness' or 'answerability' have prevented empirical work from exploring the relationship between accountability and public spending. In this paper we develop an understanding of accountability as the interaction between opposition, transparency, and enforcement and test its impact on social spending in Africa in both the presence and absence of electoral institutions.
      386Scopus© Citations 12
  • Publication
    Fertilizer and Votes: Does Strategic Economic Policy Explain the 2009 Malawi Election?
    Ethno-regional voting cleavages have featured in a number of sub-Saharan African states during the third wave of democratization. While these voting patterns are well studied, there have been few attempts to understand if pan-ethno-regional coalition building based on targeted economic policies can be employed to secure national electoral coalitions. We examine the 2009 Malawian parliamentary elections where a newly-formed national party used its incumbent position to promote an economic policy based on food security in order to overcome traditional ethno-regional voting patterns. After presenting a formal model of an optimal allocation of an economic resource to induce vote-switching, we use district-level data in a system of equations approach finding that this strategic allocation did indeed contribute to the nation-wide electoral victory.
      962Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Evidencing Donor Heterogeneity in Aid for Trade
    (Taylor & Francis, 2013)
    This paper is the culmination of a multi-country, multi-method investigation into the export effects of Aid for Trade (AfT). Building on previous single-donor statistical studies of AfT, this paper conducts a statistical study of 19 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) AfT donors and then examines the delivery and implementation of AfT in four recipient countries - Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam - from four donor countries - Germany, Japan, Norway and the US. The paper finds considerable variation in the export effects of the AfT programs, ranging from programs with no impact on recipient country exports to programs that are positively correlated with recipient country exports to the donor country and/or the rest of the world. Taking a closer look at the AfT programs of Germany, Japan, Norway and the US suggests that differences in program design and implementation may account for differences in AfT export effects.
      666Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Aid and governance: Negative returns?
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
    Recent literature has come to little consensus on the impact of aid flows on governance in recipient countries. This article adds to the debate by developing a theoretical and empirical argument to help resolve the contradictory claims. The article suggests that the aid–governance relationship need not be linear, but rather, that aid may simultaneously improve and hinder governance. This relationship might be akin to an aid–governance 'aid dependence' Laffer curve wherein 'too much' aid can lead to counter-productive results. Inserting non-linear aid terms in established techniques for examining aid and governance reveals significant support for the potential of negative returns in aid and governance.
      621Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Rising Powers and Grassroots Image Management: Confucius Institutes and China in the Media
    (Oxford University Press, 2019-12-13) ;
    This article proposes and tests a mechanism of grassroots image management to explain how rising powers craft an international environment more conducive to their interests. The aim is to promote the state's foreign policy goals by influencing the perceptions of ordinary foreign citizens. To test this mechanism, we examine the impact of China's Confucius Institutes (CIs) as an observable instrument of China's grassroots image management strategy. Using data from the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT), we employ a spatial-temporal approach which finds that proximity to an active CI significantly and substantively improves the tone of media reporting about events relevant to China in that locality. The finding is robust to different specifications and estimation strategies, and is qualitatively consistent with results generated using household opinion data from Afrobarometer surveys. Theoretically, our results suggest the importance of systematically examining presentations and perceptions about rising powers at the popular level, in addition to focusing on elite attitudes, to understand discursive change. More directly, our findings reveal that CIs are helping to improve how China is viewed among foreign publics.
      645Scopus© Citations 20