Published and Forthcoming Works
forthcoming What We Talk About When We Talk About Foreign Direct Investment. International Studies Quarterly
forthcoming Can Foreign Stock Investors Influence Policymaking? Comparative Political Studies
2014 (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)
Related material most recently presented at Harvard Business School November 2012
The last 30 years has seen a dramatic “financialization” of pension systems. Countries, particularly in Latin America and Eastern Europe, have replaced or complimented their defined benefit pay-as-you-go pension systems with financed, defined contribution alternatives. One of the side-effects of this switch has been a significant increase in the number of citizens whose welfare is directly tied to the movements of financial markets. This book project examines the political implications of this shift and places the recent round of pension reform and its effects in the context of other government initiated expansions of capital ownership, including Thatcher's enterprise society and Eastern European privatization in the early 1990s. The empirical contribution focuses on pension reform's effects on public attitudes towards markets, patterns of economic voting, and policymaking in the shadow of widespread capital ownership.
The Ownership Society: Financial Returns and Popular Support for Markets in Post-Pension Reform Latin America (Under Review)
Draft most recently presented at the University of Texas, 2014
Abstract: Capital owners are typically thought to support market friendly policies and politicians. Accordingly, conservative governments have often sought to expand capital ownership as a means of bolstering popular support for themselves and their policy agenda. While well documented, little is known about whether government-initiated expansions of capital ownership are an effective way to influence political opinion. This paper explores this question in the context of Latin American pension reforms. Using two different sets of survey data I find consistent evidence that Latin American pension reform has not created a more conservative society. Instead, Latin American pension reform has has created a society in which popular attitudes towards the market are increasingly tied to pension returns.
Liberal Mercantilism: Exchange Rate Regimes, Foreign Currency Denominated Debt and Trade Disputes (with Timm Betz) Revise and Resubmit
Draft most recently presented at PEIO. Princeton NJ, 2014
Abstract: The use of trade policy as a means of attracting and maintaining hard currency reserves is typically associated with illiberal trade policies, as in 17th and 18th century mercantilism. We argue that the need to protect access to hard currency can also serve liberal ends when it is used as an impetus to open up export markets abroad by initiating trade disputes. We call this behavior “liberal mercantilism”. We explore the existence and extent of liberal mercantilism by identifying conditions that increase hard currency needs and corresponding these conditions to the timing and frequency of trade disputes. We find that liberal mercantilism is a substantively important driver of dispute initiations. Our findings have several implications. We provide an explanation for differences in dispute participation rates among developing countries, and we suggest a new link between exchange rate regimes and trade policy. The currency denomination of government debt appears as an important determinant of government behavior in the international political economy.
Are Development Statisitics Biased? (w/ Alison Beatty and Morten Jerven)
Most recently presented at IPES October 2013 as "Real Money Fake Data"
This paper asks whether countries are able to "manage" their macroeconomic statisitics in order to keep themselves eligible for concessional loan programs through the World Bank's IDA, which is established by having a GNI per capita below a pre-determined eligibility threshold. We take an over-abundance of observations just below that threshold as prima facie evidence that such manipulation may be occuring. We find evidence of such an over-abundance in the data from aid-dependent countries in GNI per capita data taken from back issues of the World Bank Atlas, though the size and statisitical significance of this clustering pattern is reduced significantly in the revised data that can be downloaded directly from WDI.
Calling the Shot: The Political Economy of Inflation Targeting (w/ Alton Worthington)
Abstract: Inflation targeting – the use an explicit, forward looking inflation rate as the target for monetary policy – has become 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 inflation. I argue that there is an upside to this: foreign currency debt liabilities act as a clear and credible signal that monetary authorities will not pursue inflationary policies 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 already known to be politically 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.