Published and Forthcoming Works
forthcoming (nd) (With Jane Lawrence) "What's The Risk? Bilateral Investment Treaties, Political Risk and Fixed Capital Accumulation" British Journal of Political Science
2012 (with Holli Semetko and Margaret Scammell) “Leaders on the Campaign Trail: The Impact of Television News on Perceptions of Party Leaders in British General Elections” in Sage Handbook of Political Communication, Holli Semetko and Margaret Scammell, eds.. Sage Publications Ltd
2010 (w/ Jeffrey Kucik). “The International and Domestic Determinants of Insider Trading Laws”(with Jeffrey Kucik). International Studies Quarterly 54, 657–682
2010 “Wpływ polityki inwestycyjnej OFE na ład korporacyjny w Polsce” (The impact of OFE investment policies on the politics of Polish corporate governance) (w/ Eric Reinhardt) Better Government Programme, Ernst and Young Poland
2009 “Why Should I Believe You: The Costs and Consequences of Bilateral Investment Treaties”International Studies Quarterly. 53(1) 73-102.
Selected Working Papers and Projects
The Ownership Society: Political Implications of Pension Reform (Book Project)
"Mobile Capital and Policy Convergence: Evidence From CalPERS' Permissible Equities Market Policy" (Revise and Resubmit at Journal of Politics) Wilshire Reports
Draft most recently presented at MPSA. Chicago, Ill April 2011
Abstract: Does the need to attract foreign capital lead to corporate governance policy convergence? I argue that policy convergence towards foreign investors’ preferences should be expected when a lack of domestic capital heightens domestic firm’s reliance on foreign capital. I test this theory by analyzing the effects of CalPERS’ Permissible Equities Markets Policy (PEMP). From 2002-2007, CalPERS used ratings of policies and financial market performance in 27 emerging markets to guide its investment decisions and withheld capital from markets whose ratings were below a predetermined threshold. The data generating process was such that CalPERS' demands for policy change were explicit, observable and exogenously assigned for country-year observations clustered around the investability threshold. I find that countries falling below CalPERS investability threshold were significantly more likely to adjust their policies towards CalPERS’ preferences, but only when those countries lacked abundant pools of domestic capital.
Draft most recently presented at EPSA. Berlin, Germany June 2012
Abstract: Capital owners are typically thought to support policies and politicians that promote the value of capital. Accordingly, capital-friendly governments have often sought to expand capital ownership as a means of bolstering their support within the electorate. While attempts to engineer an "ownership society" are well documented, little is known about whether government-initiated expansions of capital ownership are an effective way to influence political behavior. This paper explores this question in the context of Latin American pension reforms that have expanded stock ownership. I find that expanding shareholding through the pension system dramatically heightens the relationship between recent stock market movements and incumbent vote shares. At high levels of share ownership through the pension system, the influence of movements in the stock market surpasses the influence of movements in real GDP per capita. This suggests that an ownership society of some consequence has been created.
Calling the Shot: The Political Economy of Inflation Targeting (w/ Alton Worthington)
Draft most recently presented at MPSA. Chicago, Ill April 2011
Abstract: Inflation targeting – the use an explicit, forward looking inflation rate as the target for monetary policy – has become very popular among central bankers as a mechanism for alleviating self-fulfilling inflationary expectations in the private sector. Despite this, the jury is still out with respect to inflation targeting’s effectiveness. At its core, inflation targeting is an observable promise to conduct monetary policy in a way that is not necessarily politically expedient. Inflation targeting's success is tightly bound to the credibility of that promise. We propose that inflation targeting will only be successful when the monetary authority is sufficiently independent from the government, and when this independence is made verifiable by democratic institutions. While the importance of pairing inflation targeting with independent and transparent monetary institutions is well established, it remains untested in the extant literature and, indeed, cannot be tested with commonly used identifiers of inflation targeting regimes. We test our hypothesis using an alternative identifier of inflation targeting regimes and cross-national survey data on inflationary expectations in the private sector. We find that inflation targeting is only effective in democracies with independent central banks.
The Wages of Sin: Foreign Debt Load , Inflation Credibility and Institutional Efficacy
Abstract: Excessive foreign currency debt liabilities are usually thought of as a bad
thing, not least of which because the need to preserve public and private balance sheets prevents monetary authorities from managing output through the exchange rate. I argue that there is an upside to this: in the presence of an open capital account, foreign currency debt liabilities act as a clear and credible signal that monetary authorities will not pursue inflation for electoral gain, easing private sector inflationary expectations in the process. By making inflation less attractive, the presence of foreign currency debt also has implications for when we should expect fixed exchange rates, inflation targets and central bank independence to have an effect on private sector inflationary expectations. These institutions work by raising the costs of running inflation that would otherwise be attractive to governments. They should be less relevant to inflationary expectations when inflation is known to be unattractive. I test these hypotheses empirically by extending Broz and Plouffe's (2010) model of inflationary expectations. My results suggest that the combination of an open capital account and foreign currency debt 1) lowers inflationary expectations, and 2) significantly diminishes the effect that exchange rate fixes or inflation targets have on inflationary expectations.
Change We Can Believe In: Pension Reform And FDI Flows in Latin America
Abstract: Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is a critical, but often elusive, development goal for many emerging market governments. FDI is relatively immobile ex post, which forces foreign direct investors to consider not only the current legal environment, but also the likelihood that this environment will deteriorate (or improve) in the future. Governments therefore need to credibly signal to potential foreign direct investors that future governments will maintain an environment that is conducive to corporate profits. I argue that pension reforms that expand the scope of domestic shareholding can be a vehicle for governments to credibly signal a long-term commitment to a pro-business legal environment by reducing the political incentive to make changes to the business environment that erodes corporate profits. My empirical contribution is to examine patterns of FDI flows into Latin America from 1975 through 2008. I find evidence that is consistent with the hypothesis that more and more broadly diffused ownership of shares engendered by domestic pension reforms catalyzes FDI.
What We Talk About When We Talk About FDI
Abstract: Political science theories that relate to MNC activities do so in a wide variety of ways. Some theories consider MNC's effects on local wages, some consider MNC investment as an indicator of political risk, some consider MNC investment as a means of altering existing capital/labor ratios, and so on. These are distinct theories that relate best to distinct empirical phenomena associated with FDI. Despite this variety, the literature has settled on one operationalization of MNC activity above all others – foreign direct investment (FDI) – and one measure of FDI - balance of payment (BOP) based data, usually provided by the IMF, UNCTAD or the OECD. This, I argue, is a big problem. In many applications, BOP FDI data is, at best, only glancingly related to the phenomena that we have theories about and is likely to produce biased estimates of the relationships between politics and MNC behavior. This paper discusses different ways to measure FDI and the ways those measures relate to theories about FDI in the political science literature. The empirical contribution is to re-examine democracy's impact on FDI using more appropriate measures of FDI.