WORKSHOP IN POLITICAL THEORY
AND POLICY ANALYSIS
Spring 2009 Colloquia
http://www.indiana.edu/~workshop/colloquia/materials/spring2009_all_workshopcolloquia.html

 

Colloquia during Spring 2009

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Monday, January 26, 2009

 

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

 

Presented by Professor Peter Grossman, Clarence Efroymson Professor of Economics, College of Business Administration, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN

 

Abstract: Over the past 35, the U.S. government has undertaken large-scale programs to develop and commercialize new energy technologies that would provide alternatives to fossil fuels and the conventional technologies they power. These efforts all have failed costing taxpayers billions of dollars and often, ironically, setting back the development of the very technologies the programs were intended to promote. Given the nature of technological development and the process of commercialization, these failures were probably inevitable. But then, why were such programs undertaken in the first place? The first paper argues that they have all been based on a faulty underlying premise: that energy markets have been beset by market failures that only government could correct. But the evidence suggests otherwise; whether or not market failures may have existed, government failures have been more clearly evident and always costly. The second paper considers the question of why legislators not only vote for such programs but do so repeatedly. The paper suggests that the best strategy for a legislator is to back alternative energy commercialization programs even if she knows that no commercially viable product will ever be attained. It is argued that a wondrous new technology offers the only way to reconcile the contradictory demands of the electorate.

 

BIO: Peter Z. Grossman is currently the Clarence Efroymson Professor of Economics at Butler University, Indianapolis, IN. He has held that position since 1994.

Dr. Grossman received his AB in philosophy from Columbia University (New York) and his MA and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Washington University (St. Louis). At Washington University, he was a student of Nobel Laureate Douglass C. North, and since, he has specialized in the fields of law and economics, industrial organization, energy economics and economic history.

Dr. Grossman has published six books and many articles. His scholarly articles have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Legal Studies, Economic Inquiry, and The Wisconsin Law Review. He is the author of an acclaimed history of the American Express Company (reprint edition 2006) and co-author of a book on energy and public policy (Cambridge, 2nd Edition 1998). Also, he is co-editor and principal author of, The End of a Natural Monopoly: Deregulation and Competition in the Electric Power Industry, (Taylor & Francis) and editor of How Cartels Endure and How They Fail: Studies of Industrial Collusion (Edward Elgar Press). He is co-author of Principles of Law & Economics (Prentice Hall), a textbook that was published in August 2004.

For seven years, Dr. Grossman was a regular columnist on economic issues for The Indianapolis Star, and he has contributed commentary to many magazines and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor. Including pieces intended for general as well as scholarly readers, Dr. Grossman has published more than 150 works.

Paper in PDF: Alternative Energy Development Programs and the Presumption of Market Failure

Paper in PDF: The Political Logic of Failed Energy Programs

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

 

BEYOND THE CONVENTIONAL THEORY OF COLLECTIVE ACTION AND THE COMMONS

 

Presented by Elinor Ostrom, Co-Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University


Professor Ostrom will be discussing a draft chapter (Chapter 10) from the book Multiple Methods in Practice: Collective Action and the Commons that she is coauthoring with Amy R. Poteete, Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Marco A. Janssen, Assistant Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Arizona State University, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Tempe

Abstract: In this chapter, we synthesize how the theory of collective action and the commons has evolved through the use of multiple research methods to go beyond the conventional theory laid out in chapter 2. Research based on field studies, laboratory experiments, and agent-based models has conclusively demonstrated that it is possible for individuals to act collectively to manage shared natural resources on a sustainable basis. Numerous field studies have illustrated the possibility of robust collective action that endures over generations. In response to these findings, theory related to collective action and the commons has evolved considerably. For example, field research informed conceptual clarifications related to types of goods and property rights and other institutions. Experiments established the importance of communication and trust in initiating and sustaining collective action. Agent-based models provide alternative formalizations that can explain observed levels of self-organization for specific assumptions.

 

BIO: Elinor Ostrom is Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science; Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy, the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science. Her books include Governing the Commons (1990); Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources (1994, with Roy Gardner and James Walker); Local Commons and Global Interdependence: Heterogeneity and Cooperation in Two Domains (1995, with Robert Keohane); Trust and Reciprocity: Interdisciplinary Lessons from Experimental Research (2003, with James Walker); The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptations (2003, with Nives Dolšak); The Samaritan’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid (2005, with Clark Gibson, Krister Andersson, and Sujai Shivakumar); Understanding Institutional Diversity (2005); and Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice (2007, with Charlotte Hess).

Draft Chapter 10 in PDF

Monday, February 2, 2009

 

RESEARCH ON SUSTAINABLE DEMOCRACY: AN INTERACTIVE SEMINAR

 

Presented by Professor William Bianco, Department of Political Science, and Co-Chair of the Working Group on the Political Economy of Democratic Sustainability, IUB; and James Granato, Director, University of Houston Center for Public Policy and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Houston  

 

Abstract: The colloquia will focus on developing the lessons learned during the conference on "Building Sustainable Democracies," to be held at IU on January 29-31, 2009. Both conference attendees and the wider Workshop community are encouraged to attend. The colloquia will begin with short presentations by conference co-organizer William Bianco and by former NSF Political Science Program Director and University of Houston faculty member James Granato, followed by an open discussion.


The Conference: The Conference on Building Sustainable Democracies will revisit a crucial set of democratic institutions, as they interact with social, economic, demographic, geographic, and cultural factors that can influence the outcomes of group decisions, from legislatures to local community groups. Building on the enormous research accomplishments of the Workshop’s co-founders, Lin and Vincent Ostrom, we are committed to a conference and a larger research program that is fundamentally interdisciplinary, focused on explaining real-world outcomes using a combination of theory, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and fieldwork. About 18 social scientists (spanning Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Law, Political Science, and Sociology) from outside IU will be attending. The conference is funded through the generous support of the National Science Foundation, the Bureau of Social Science Research at Indiana University, the IU College of Arts and Sciences, and the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.

The conference is also designed as the first step in the development of a new interdisciplinary research and training program at IU aimed at linking the analysis of a wide range of democratic systems – newly-established democracies, established systems, and self-governance situations. Our goal is to develop an undergraduate and graduate training program that is truly interdisciplinary, that builds on IU’s strength in social science and in areas studies to address important questions of democratic sustainability in new ways. The Workshop provides a natural venue and framework for this collaboration. We intend to build on this foundation by attracting a wide range of research interests and methodologies into the project from throughout IU.

 

BIOS

William Bianco is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University and Co-Chair of the Working Group on the Political Economy of Democratic Sustainability. His research focuses on legislative politics, democracy, and research methods. He is the author of Trust: Representatives and Constituents, American Politics: Strategy and Choice, editor of Congress on Display, Congress at Work and author or coauthor of numerous journal articles. He is an Affiliated Faculty at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, and a member of the Workshop’s Advisory Committee. He also serves or has served as a reviewer for numerous academic journals and presses, a member of various professional committees and editorial boards, and as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Political Science Advisory Committee.

James Granato is Director, University of Houston Center for Public Policy and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Houston. He has also held appointments at the University of Texas (2005-2006) and in the department of political science at Michigan State University (1991-2001). His teaching and research interests include American politics, political economy (focusing primarily on monetary policy issues), public policy, econometrics, and the unification of formal and empirical analysis (empirical implications of theoretical models or EITM). His professional experience also includes service as the political science program director and visiting scientist at the National Science Foundation (NSF). His recently published book, The Role of Policymakers in Business Cycle Fluctuations (Cambridge University Press), focuses on how monetary policy can stabilize business cycles.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

 

Two-part presentation: February 4 and February 11

 

GOVERNANCE REFORM AS A COLLABORATIVE INITIATIVE

 

Presented by Professor Amos Sawyer, Research Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: The first presentation titled, Governance Reform as a Collaborative Initiative, will be an update on the work of the Governance Commission of Liberia. In that presentation Sawyer will discuss governance reform in Liberia as a tenuous collaboration among a range of international, national and local actors and will identify some of the critical issues, opportunities and challenges of this collaboration. His focus will be mainly on the work of the Governance Commission in the areas of security sector reform, legal reform and decentralization.

 

Background: In 2003, the Peace Agreement that ended 14 years of civil war in Liberia identified structural flaws in Liberia’s system of governance as one of the causes of a quarter-century of intermittent  violent conflicts and a civil war called for the establishment of a governance reform commission to recommend ways of addressing Liberia’s governance challenges.  Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was appointed chair the governance reform commission and upon her election as President of Liberia in 2006, Amos Sawyer was asked to serve in that position. Since late spring 2006, Sawyer has been shuttling between Bloomington and Liberia trying to put Workshop ideas and theories of governance into practice.  Supported by the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Sawyer’s work is part of a larger engagement of Indiana University with post-conflict institution and capacity building initiatives in Liberia.   Other IU programs currently engaged with institutional reform and capacity building in Liberia are the School of Law and the Liberia Collections Project of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

 

BIO: Amos Sawyer is research scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and was co- director of the Workshop from 2005 to 2007. He holds a Ph D in political Science from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and served in various academic positions at the University of Liberia including dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Dr. Sawyer combines his scholarship with experience as a practitioner, having served as chair of the constitution commission of Liberia in 1983 and head of the interim government of Liberia from 1990 to 1994. As a governance expert, he has participated in the governance performance review of South Africa and has been a member of the Board of Advisors of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council. He has also participated in elections preparation and observation missions in a number of African countries, most recently in Ghana. Sawyer has written extensively on conflict transformation, democratization and governance challenges in Africa.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, February 9, 2009

 

CAN DEVELOPMENT AID CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL COHESION AFTER CIVIL WAR? EVIDENCE FROM A FIELD EXPERIMENT IN POST-CONFLICT LIBERIA

 

Presented by Professor James Fearon, Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Chair, Department of Political Science, Stanford University, CA

 

Abstract: In November 2006 we randomly assigned a post-conflict development program run by a major international NGO to 43 of 82 communities in northern Liberia. The type of program, known as "community driven reconstruction" (CDR), aims to improve community level governance and to increase the ability of communities to coordinate to provide local public goods. This is a very common aid programming model in both post-conflict and regular development settings, but little is known about whether it works as intended. We ran a baseline survey in April 2006 and again after the projects were finished in April 2008 to assess whether CDR caused attitudinal change and material welfare improvements in the treated communities. In the summer of 2008 we also ran public goods games in all 83 communities in an attempt to measure whether CDR actually improved the willingness of individuals in treatment communities to contribute to local public goods. We find a positive main treatment effect, and supporting evidence of treatment effects from the attitudinal data.

 

BIO: James D. Fearon is Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. His research has focused on democracy and international disputes, explanations for interstate wars, and the causes of civil and especially ethnic violence. Recent publications include “Iraq’s Civil War” (Foreign Affairs, March/April 2007), “Neotrusteeship and the Problem of Weak States” (International Security, Spring 2004), and “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War,” (APSR, February 2003).

Fearon won the 1999 Karl Deutsch Award, which is “presented annually to a scholar under the age of forty, or within ten years of the acquisition of his or her Doctoral Degree, who is judged to have made, through a body publications, the most significant contribution to the study of International Relations and Peace Research.” Fearon was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences in 2002.

Paper in PDF

Co-sponsored by Middle East Conflict & Reform (MECR)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

 

Two-part presentation: February 4 and February 11

 

POVERTY REDUCTION AND GOVERNANCE REFORM

 

Presented by Professor David Williams, John S. Hastings Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies, Maurer School of Law, IUB; and Professor Amos Sawyer, Research Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: A major post-conflict reconstruction challenge of fragile states with respect to capacity building has to do with how to strike a balance between putting in place mechanisms to address emergencies on the one hand and building capacity for longer term governance. Collaboration between the Law School of Indiana University and the legal and judicial system of Liberia provides an example that can be considered among “best practices” in addressing immediate challenges while building for the future.

 

Background: In 2003, the Peace Agreement that ended 14 years of civil war in Liberia identified structural flaws in Liberia’s system of governance as one of the causes of a quarter-century of intermittent violent conflicts and a civil war called for the establishment of a governance reform commission to recommend ways of addressing Liberia’s governance challenges. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was appointed chair the governance reform commission and upon her election as President of Liberia in 2006, Amos Sawyer was asked to serve in that position. Since late spring 2006, Sawyer has been shuttling between Bloomington and Liberia trying to put Workshop ideas and theories of governance into practice. Supported by the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Sawyer’s work is part of a larger engagement of Indiana University with post-conflict institution and capacity building initiatives in Liberia. Other IU programs currently engaged with institutional reform and capacity building in Liberia are the School of Law and the Liberia Collections Project of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.

 

BIOS

David Williams is John S. Hastings Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies at Indiana University. Williams graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Harvard Law Review. He teaches constitutional law and Native American Law and has written widely in these areas. Since 2006, Williams has led a team of Indiana University constitutional law scholars in working with Liberian institutions to address post-conflict legal and judicial reform challenges in that country. His team is also engaged with Burmese scholars and others who are working for constitutional reform in Burma.

Amos Sawyer is research scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and was co- director of the Workshop from 2005 to 2007. He holds a Ph D in political Science from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and served in various academic positions at the University of Liberia including dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Dr. Sawyer combines his scholarship with experience as a practitioner, having served as chair of the constitution commission of Liberia in 1983 and head of the interim government of Liberia from 1990 to 1994. As a governance expert, he has participated in the governance performance review of South Africa and has been a member of the Board of Advisors of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council. He has also participated in elections preparation and observation missions in a number of African countries, most recently in Ghana. Sawyer has written extensively on conflict transformation, democratization and governance challenges in Africa.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, February 16, 2009

 

ARE PREFERENCES STABLE ACROSS DOMAINS? AN EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF SOCIAL PREFERENCES IN THE FIELD

 

Presented by Angela C. M. de Oliveira, PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas

 

Abstract: Our research investigates whether social preferences are stable across contexts in the field. We build a unique data set by recruiting participants from a low-income urban neighborhood to participate in a series of laboratory experiments. Their decisions are used to demonstrate the stability of cooperative actions across multiple decision contexts. We show that choices in a laboratory VCM predict giving in donation experiments, as well as self-reported donations and volunteering outside the lab. These results have important implications for modeling a general preference for cooperation, measurable in the lab and in the field, and for public policy regarding the voluntary provision of public goods.

 

BIO: Angela de Oliveira is a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is interested in how information and preferences interact to impact individual economic decision making. Her research interests include public economics and policy, experimental economics, and behavioral economics.

Her current research focuses on how social preferences (things like altruism and reciprocity) and information (available about one's group members/society) interact to impact cooperation in a public goods environment.

Paper in PDF

Monday, February 16, 2009 (Special Session, Series on Institutions in Fragile Democracies in the 21st Century)

 

INFORMAL INSTITUTIONS OF SOCIAL RECIPROCITY AND CITIZENSHIP IN RURAL GHANA AND COTE D'IVOIRE

 

Presented by Dr. Lauren Morris MacLean, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, and Affiliated Faculty, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: This paper seeks to explain puzzling differences in indigenous notions of citizenship and political participation in very similar regions of neighboring Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Based on original survey research and in-depth interviews at the village level, I show how the boundaries of political community are contested and redrawn at the local level in different ways in the two cases. In the Ghanaian region, village residents described a more community-oriented notion of reciprocity with the local government, while in the Ivoirian region, respondents expressed a more individually-oriented sense of entitlements from the central state. I argue that this variation in the nature of citizenship and the everyday practice of politics is shaped not only directly by the formal institutions of the state over time, but also indirectly through the changing informal institutions of reciprocity. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these regional differences for the long-term sustainability of democracy at the national-level in both countries. In Ghana, local politics are more salient, and conflict is resolved at the grassroots whereas in Côte d’Ivoire, political claims are exercised through a more vertical and national clientelist system, projecting conflict upward to the national capital. Overall, the paper emphasizes the importance of informal institutions in the study of sustainable democracy.

 

BIO: Lauren Morris MacLean’s research interests focus on the politics of state formation, social welfare and citizenship in Africa and the U.S. She earned her Ph.D. in 2002 from the Department of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. After completing a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan (2002-2004), she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University at Bloomington. She has received research support from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, IU’s Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IU’s Center on Philanthropy, the Lilly Foundation, and UC-Berkeley’s African Studies Center. Her work has been published thus far in Comparative Studies in Society and History, the International Journal of Public Administration, the Journal of Modern African Studies and Studies in Comparative International Development. She is currently revising a book manuscript entitled Transformations of Reciprocity: State Legacies, the Informal Institutions of Social Support, and Citizenship in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

Paper in PDF

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

 

LINKING SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS TO SUSTAIN CORAL REEF FISHERIES

 

Presented by Joshua Cinner, Senior Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia

 

Abstract: The ecosystem goods and services provided by coral reefs are critical to the social and economic welfare of hundreds of millions of people, overwhelmingly in developing countries. Dr. Cinner will describe recent breakthroughs that address important linkages between social and ecological systems in coral reef fisheries throughout the western Indian Ocean.

Contrary to many recent studies, which emphasize human population as the principal driver of overfishing, Dr. Cinner will examine how levels of socio-economic development have the strongest influence on the condition of reef fisheries. Interestingly, the highest levels of overfishing occur in sites part-way up the development ladder. Dr Cinner will examine how several key social and ecological feedback mechanisms associated with moderate levels of socioeconomic development drive reef fisheries toward a social-ecological trap with low levels of resilience. Dr Cinner will then review progress from around the world that has been made toward avoiding or climbing out of these social-ecological traps.

 

BIO: Dr Cinner's research explores how socioeconomic factors influence the ways in which people use, perceive, and govern natural resources, with a specific focus on coral reef social-ecological systems. He often works on interdisciplinary research topics such as defining the socioeconomic factors that drive successful conservation, understanding resilience and thresholds in coral reef social-ecological systems, examining and operationalizing vulnerability to environmental change, and examining the applicability of Western conservation models in developing countries. Dr. Cinner began working on human dimensions of marine conservation while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica in the mid 1990s. He has since completed a Master's degree from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD from James Cook University. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, Australia. He has worked on human dimensions of marine conservation in Australia, Jamaica, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Indonesia, and the USA.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, February 23, 2009 (Special Session, Series on Institutions in Fragile Democracies in the 21st Century)

 

LAND REFORM AND LAND CONFLICT IN GHANA AND KENYA

 

Presented by Professor Catherine Boone, Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin

 

Abstract: Land law reform is high on the agenda of "second generation" structural adjustment in many, perhaps most, African countries. This turns out to be far more than a matter of simply "getting the institutions right." Discussions of land law reform are occurring against the backdrop of on-going debates over land law in many African countries. This paper shows that these debates can engage a complex bundle of political and constitutional issues that complicate efforts to promote the individualization and formalization of land rights in many rural zones, including some of zones of extensively commercialized agriculture. In many African countries, questions of land rights are entangled in debates over the nature of citizenship, local-level political authority, and indeed, over the future of the market and of the liberal nation-state itself. The practical salience of the issues is illustrated through reference to land politics in Ghana and Kenya.

 

BIO: Catherine Boone is Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Merchant Capital and the Roots of State Power in Senegal, 1930-1985 (Cambridge, 1992), Political Topographies of the African State: Territorial Authority and Institutional Choice (Cambridge, 2003), and articles and book chapters. She has been a member of the Executive Council of the American Political Science Association and is past president of the West African Research Association. Her current projects focus on land-related conflict in Africa.

Paper in PDF

Monday, March 2, 2009

 

VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN COMMON PROPERTY RESOURCES USE: THE ROLE OF ECOLABELLING IN TOURISM

 

Presented by Esther Blanco, PhD Candidate, Applied Economics Department, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain, and Visiting Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: This paper develops a dynamic evolutionary model to consider the effects of creating an ecolabel in tourism settings where there is scope for unilateral environmental commitments. An initial version of the model considers two strategies of behavior. These strategies are just meeting environmental regulations or unilaterally implementing larger abatement efforts. We carry out a complete analysis of existence and stability conditions for steady states and for dynamics when out of equilibrium both for endogenous and exogenous natural capital dynamics.

The model shows that, contrary to results of closely related literature, environmental initiatives can arise even in the absence of non-monetary motivational factors or punishments. A second version of the model considers a third available strategy, adhering to an ecolabel. This strategy entails higher costs related to greater abatement requirements (and other possible sources), but produces positive reputation effects for ecolabel members. A complete analysis of existence and stability conditions for long run equilibria is again performed for endogenous and exogenous natural capital.

We do not explicitly model the process of ecolabel creation. Rather, we use the analysis of dynamics when out of equilibrium to explore the effects of an exogenous implementation of the ecolabel. It turns out that the initial proportion of firms that adhere to an ecolabel (the promoters), the composition of this promoters set, the degree of unilateral initiative implementation prior to the ecolabel, and the quality of the natural CPR all play a role in determining the success or failure of the ecolabel. The viability of the ecolabel also depends on the initiative’s institutional design and the regulatory environment. This is shown through sensitivity analyses that reveal several bifurcation values of selected parameters in the model.

 

BIO: Esther Blanco is a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain. Her PhD research adopts an economic and institutional approach to analyze uses of natural common-pool resources by the tourism industry. By means of analytical modeling, she examines the strategic incentives behind stability of voluntary environmental initiatives by the tourism industry (focusing on unilateral commitments and ecolabels). Her research objectives while at the Workshop are twofold: First, to extend the analytical models developed during her PhD research. Secondly, to develop and pretest an experimental design aimed to analyze tourists’ strategic use of natural common pool resources from an empirical perspective.

Paper in PDF

Monday, March 9, 2009

 

COMMONS, ANTICOMMONS, SEMICOMMONS

 

Presented by Professor Lee Anne Fennell, University of Chicago Law School

 

Abstract: In recent years, theorists interested in the commons have increasingly broadened their gaze to take in two new entries in the property lexicon: the anticommons and the semicommons. Notwithstanding some excellent work comparing and contrasting these templates and their associated tragedies, the literature lacks a cohesive account of how they relate to each other and to larger questions of incentive misalignment. This chapter offers a brief introduction to the commons, anticommons, and semicommons models and shows how the three fit together in a unified theoretical framework. I suggest that each is best understood as a lens for apprehending a single core, challenging fact about resource systems—their need to accommodate multiple uses that are most efficiently pursued at different scales, whether simultaneously or over time.

 

BIO: Lee Fennell received her J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990. She came to the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law in 1999, after practicing at Pettit & Martin, the State and Local Legal Center, and the Virginia School Boards Association. In 2001, she became an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Law, and in 2004, an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. She was promoted to professor at Illinois in 2006 and returned to the Chicago faculty as a professor in 2007. She has held visiting positions at Yale Law School (fall 2005), NYU School of Law (spring 2006), and the University of Virginia School of Law (fall 2006).

Her teaching and research interests include property, torts, land use, housing, social welfare law, state and local government law, and public finance.

Paper: Social Science Research Network

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

 

VOLUNTEERING: HISTORY, RULES AND EMERGENCE OF SELF-GOVERNING ORGANIZATIONS IN KOREA (A PROPOSAL)

 

Presented by Dr. Minchang Lee, Vice Professor, Division of Public Administration and Welfare, Chosun University, Gwanju, South Korea, and Visiting Scholar, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUB

 

Abstract: In this presentation, I’ll suggest an idea of explaining in the emergence of volunteering activities. I assume that some informal institutional constraints affected the development and the emergence of volunteering sectors in Korea. From the brief review, I draw some historical contexts or institutional backgrounds of volunteering activities. How informal constraints such as Chaemyon and Nunchi are working in the society and are influencing on the voluntary actions will be examined on the basis of subjective reasoning. Using informal institutional factors, I am probing the possibility of designing simulation model to test the emergence of some self-governing volunteering organizations in a complex institutional setting.

 

BIO: Vice Professor, Division of Public Administration and Welfare Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea, and Visiting Scholar, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUB

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Monday, March 23, 2009

 

COMMON PROPERTY FORESTRY: IMPLICATIONS OF COLLECTIVE CHOICE RULES

 

Presented by Dr. Camille Antinori, Visiting Economist, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley (coauthor: Professor Gordon Rausser, Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at UC-Berkeley)

 

Abstract: The Mexican National Community Forestry Project seeks to extend our understanding of common property forestry institutions and management with a newly created database on forestry in the Mexican agrarian sector. Despite the Mexican social forestry sector’s size, a dearth of information on its institutional characteristics with which communities manage and in some cases commercialize forest resources remains a serious obstacle to research and policy formation. Estimates place communal forest land as 50-80% of Mexico’s forests. Cases studies and empirical analyses reveal a full range of governance approaches and impacts on deforestation, economic development and social dynamics. This presentation reports on the initial findings from Phase 2 of the project, in which we surveyed 41 randomly selected communities in Durango and Michoacan from 2005-2007. This phase of the project frames Mexican community forestry management as a mode of governance distinct from the private firm or public bureau but sharing characteristics of many production organizations and collective choice institutions. The presentation departs from the summary report provided by delving more fully into governance characteristics of this forestry sector and outlining modeling approaches to link institutional features with performance outcomes. The principal agency paradigm and the constitutional choice literature supply basic conceptual guidelines. We examine what institutional characteristics mean in terms of who makes decisions, monitoring and social accountability mechanisms in the present context and the scope of risk bearing for decisions made. We discuss how these institutional functions reflect on the performance indicators of concern, namely long-term reinvestments in forestry, local public goods and resource sustainability.

The paper to be provided is a draft version of a full summary report of Phase 2 of this project.

 

BIO: Dr. Camille Antinori is a visiting economist at the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at University of California, Berkeley. Since 2002, she has worked on a collaborative project among US and Mexican scholars to identify the extent of common property forestry in Mexico and analyze the institutional characteristics affecting forestry management and local economic development. Her goal is to relate when and how common property governance affects poverty alleviation, represents democratization of resource access, and operates as an alternative system of resource management within broader market and political settings. This work continues research developed in her PhD dissertation on common property forestry activity in Mexico, which included original survey research from 42 Oaxacan communities. She received her PhD from UCB in 2000.

Background Paper in PDF: Mexican Common Property Forestry Institutions: Summary Report of a Natonal Survey Project [The presentation will include new material that draws on the information in this paper.]

Monday, March 30, 2009

 

COMMUNICATION AMONG VOTERS

 

Presented by Dr. T. K. Ahn, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, Korea University, Seoul, and Affiliated Faculty, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: Informational asymmetries occur frequently and systematically within political communication networks, and this paper focuses on the implications for the quality of political judgments, as well as for political influence among citizens. Political information often comes at a cost to individual citizens, and this cost is likely to vary quite dramatically across individuals. As a consequence, some individuals become politically expert, while others demonstrate persistently low levels of political knowledge and awareness. Among those citizens for whom information is prohibitively costly, an attractive lower cost alternative is to rely upon the political advice of other individuals who are experts. A problem arises with respect to the utility of such expert opinion, particularly in situations where the respective preferences of the informant and recipient are divergent. Within this context, we employ an experimental platform to undertake an analysis of cost conscious, goal oriented subjects who must obtain information on political candidates to realize their goals. The experimental design provides an opportunity to address a range of questions. How important is individually purchased information to the subjects' assessments of the candidates? Is more information better than less information? How does the utility of this information compare to the utility of information obtained from other subjects? What are the criteria imposed by subjects in their search for other subjects who will be useful information providers?

 

BIO: T.K. Ahn is Associate Professor of Public Administration at Korea University. He received his PhD in Political Science in 2001 from Indiana University, Bloomington. He taught in the Political Science Department of Florida State University from 2003 to 2006. His recent research focuses on experimental studies of communication and cooperation in social dilemmas (with Elinor Ostrom and James M. Walker), network formation in social dilemmas (with John T. Scholz and Justin Esary), endogenous group formation and inter-group competition (with Mark Isaac and Tim Salmon), communication among voters (with Robert Huckfeldt and John B. Ryan). His scholarly articles have been published in various journals including Journal of Politics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Theoretical Politics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Public Choice, and Ecological Economics.

Background Paper in PDF: Political Expertise, Shared Biases, and Patterns of Political Communication

Background Paper in PDF: Communication, Influence, and Informational Asymmetries among Voters

 

Monday, April 6, 2009

 

DESIGNING JUSTICE: LEGAL INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER SYSTEMS FOR MANAGING CONFLICT

 

Presented by Professor Lisa Bingham, Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IUB

 

Abstract: A conflict, issue, dispute, or case submitted to any institution for managing conflict, including one labeled alternative or appropriate dispute resolution (ADR), exists in the context of a system of rules, processes, steps, and forums. In the field of ADR, this is called dispute system design (DSD). In its initial usage, DSD was applied to systems for managing ripe conflicts; such as grievances that ordinarily would be submitted to the quasi-judicial forum of labor arbitration. However, the concept has grown in scope. For example, the civil and criminal justice systems represent DSDs created by a government within a constitutional framework. In the context of a single national government, DSD in ADR exists in the shadow of these traditional justice systems. DSD encompasses the creation of systems for processing many similar claims in court, as in mass torts, or systems within administrative agencies for handling both their own internal conflict and for carrying out their public mission to create, implement, and enforce public policy.

The fields of institutional design and dispute system design both encompass the human activity of creating new rules, organizations, institutions, and forums to serve various goals related to public policy. However, through these systems, we are also designing justice. The question is, which kind of justice? This paper briefly introduces the field of institutional analysis and design in social science, describes the field of DSD and applies elements of institutional analysis to that field, and then surveys varieties of justice in relation to legal institutions and other systems for managing conflict. I conclude that we need to (1) use institutional analysis and design to build shared meaning in the field of dispute system design; (2) be more transparent in the variety of justice a system seeks to provide; (3) measure the outcomes of systems; and (4) adapt law school curricula to teach law students about designing justice.

 

BIO: Lisa Blomgren Bingham is the Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Bloomington. A graduate of Smith College (A.B. 1976 magna cum laude with high honors in Ancient Greek) and the University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D. 1979 with high honors), she joined the IU faculty in 1989 after practicing labor and employment law as a partner in the firm of Shipman & Goodwin. She has co-edited three books and authored over seventy articles, monographs, and book chapters on dispute resolution and collaborative governance. Recipient of five teaching awards at Indiana University, Bingham received the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Abner Award in 2002 for excellence in research, the Section of Environmental and Natural Resource Administration of the American Society of Public Administration’s Best Book award for The Promise and Performance of Environmental Conflict Resolution in 2005, and the Rubin Theory-to-Practice Award from IACM and Harvard Project on Negotiation for research that makes a significant impact on practice in 2006. She is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Her current research examines dispute system design and the legal infrastructure for collaboration, dispute resolution, and public participation in governance.

The paper can be found on several sites: Social Science Research Network; Berkeley Electronic Press; UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

 

COMPLEXITY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

 

Presented by Elinor Ostrom, Co-Director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University

 

Abstract: A core challenge facing scientists who want to understand why some SESs are sustainable over time and others collapse is how to dissect complex systems into composite holons at different spatial and temporal scales. Dissecting a complex whole requires knowledge about how subsystems are related (Levin 1992). Disciplines that study relevant parts of an SES, however, use different frameworks, languages, and theories to analyze their parts of the complex whole. Development of a common framework and language to solve this “Tower of Babel” problem is an essential, long-term effort toward developing better understanding of complex SESs.

 

BIO: Elinor Ostrom is Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science; Co-Director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington; and Founding Director, Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy, the Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science. Her books include Governing the Commons (1990); Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources (1994, with Roy Gardner and James Walker); Local Commons and Global Interdependence: Heterogeneity and Cooperation in Two Domains (1995, with Robert Keohane); Trust and Reciprocity: Interdisciplinary Lessons from Experimental Research (2003, with James Walker); The Commons in the New Millennium: Challenges and Adaptations (2003, with Nives Dolšak); The Samaritan’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid (2005, with Clark Gibson, Krister Andersson, and Sujai Shivakumar); Understanding Institutional Diversity (2005); and Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice (2007, with Charlotte Hess).

Paper in PDF

Monday, April 13, 2009

 

ONTOLOGICAL AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS FOR COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF NETWORK AND INSTITUTIONS

 

Presented by Dr. Armando Razo, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, and Affiliated Faculty, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: Comparativists have long recognized the existence (and sometimes predominance) of so-called "informal" institutions, which permeate the politics of developing countries. Informal institutions do not fit neatly into more well-developed institutional theories, which tend to focus on both formal and macro-level rules. Many recognized “informal” institutions such as clientelism, corruption, and social capital, among others, have an explicit relational component, which has not been explored in any systematic way. To that effect, the talk will present ongoing work on the development of an ontological framework to better understand the nature and use of the concept of “Network” in comparative politics. In addition, the speaker will present work in progress on a theoretical framework that goes beyond the formal-informal dichotomy common in comparative politics. This theoretical framework entails a richer set of institutional-relational configurations to better characterize the institutional environment of developing countries.

 

BIO: Professor Razo is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science who has been affiliated with the Workshop since he arrived to IU from Stanford University in fall 2004. Professor Razo's research interests lie in the field of comparative politics, with a concentration on the political economy of development. His research and teaching center around two major themes: (1) how political institutions in developing countries affect economic performance; and (2) the study of institutions and organizations in nondemocratic settings. He teaches a variety of courses in comparative politics, research methods, and institutional analysis. His books include Social Foundations of Limited Dictatorship (2008) on networks and economic policy in dictatorships, and The Politics of Property Rights (2003) on political instability and economic performance, co-authored with Stephen Haber and Noel Maurer. In addition, he has published articles in World Politics, the Journal of Economic History, and the Journal of Latin American Studies.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

 

THE VALUE OF STATISTICAL LIFE: PURSUING THE DEADLIEST CATCH

 

Presented by Dr. William C. Horrace, Associate Professor of Economics, The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, New York

 

Abstract: Observed tradeoffs between monetary returns and fatality risk identify estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL), which inform public policy and quantify preferences for environmental quality, health and safety. To date, few investigations have estimated the VSL associated with tradeoffs between returns from natural resource extraction activities and the fatality risks they involve. Understanding these tradeoffs (and the VSL that they imply) may be used to inform resource management policy and safety regulations, as well as our general understanding of the value of life. By modeling a commercial fishing captain's choice to fish or not, conditional on the observed risk, this research investigates these topics from data on the Alaskan red king crab fishery. Using weather conditions and policy variables as instruments, our estimates of the VSL range from $4.6M to $4.9M (depending on the modeling assumption) and are robust to the incorporation of heterogeneous preferences.

Keywords: value of statistical life (VSL), discrete choice, Alaskan crab fisheries.

BIO: Professor of Economics and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University. Formerly Research Economist at NBER and Associate Editor of The Southern Economic Journal. Interests include econometrics, multivariate inference, production, resource economics, and demand systems.

Paper in PDF

Co-sponsored by Department of Economics


Monday, April 20, 2009

 

GOVERNANCE REFORM IN LIBERIA: COLLABORATION IN CAPACITY BUILDING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

Presented by Dr. Verlon Stone, Project Coordinator, Liberian Collections Project, Archives of Traditional Music, and Research Associate, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, and Professor Amos Sawyer, Research Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IUB

 

Abstract: This presentation will be in two parts. The first part will discuss collaboration between Indiana University and Liberia in preserving government and personal documents that are an important part of Liberia’s heritage. Dr. Verlon Stone, Coordinator of the Liberia Collections Project at Indiana University, will discuss the role of the Liberia Collections Project as a partner in capacity building with the Center for National Documents and Records Agency (CNDRA) in preserving and making accessible documents that are essential to governmental transparency, to understanding critical aspects of Liberia’s past, and to restoring its heritage.

In the second part, Amos Sawyer will outline important approaches to employment generation and economic development in post-conflict Liberia. Sawyer will discuss a range of undertakings from micro-financing schemes to multinational concession reviews.

 

BIOS

Since 2002, Verlon Stone has led the IU Liberian Collections Project, which holds the world’s largest publically accessible collection of Liberian materials. The Liberian Collections have grown from the core Holsoe and d’Azevedo collections to include the papers of distinguished Liberian government officials such as President W.V.S. Tubman and Minister of Culture Bai T Moore as well as many scholars of Liberia. The LCP’s primary funding comes from multiple grants from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme and the Africana Librarians Council.

Based on research on color perception and interpretation of filmed sequences in Liberia, Stone earned his PhD in 1979 at Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology with minors in anthropology and African Studies. He worked in various publishing companies and was employed fourteen years by Saudi Aramco in medical media and then information technology planning. He also teaches workshops on using video and audio recording and photography in field research, especially of music and dance performance.

Amos Sawyer is research scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis and was co- director of the Workshop from 2005 to 2007. He holds a PhD in political Science from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and served in various academic positions at the University of Liberia, including dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Dr. Sawyer combines his scholarship with experience as a practitioner, having served as chair of the constitution commission of Liberia in 1983 and head of the interim government of Liberia from 1990 to 1994. As a governance expert, he has participated in the governance performance review of South Africa and has been a member of the Board of Advisors of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council. He has also participated in elections preparation and observation missions in a number of African countries, most recently in Ghana. Sawyer has written extensively on conflict transformation, democratization and governance challenges in Africa.

There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

 

COMMODITY CHAIN ANALYSIS AS A POLICY TOOL: THE POVERTY OF FORESTRY POLICY EASTERN IN SENEGAL

 

Presented by Dr. Jesse Ribot, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, School of Earth Society and Environment, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

 

Abstract: In 1996, Senegal decentralized numerous sectoral functions to elected Rural Councils (the most local level of rural local government). This transfer included natural resource management. Subsequently, the Forest Service had to revise its code to conform to the decentralization law. The new 1998 forestry code transfers significant discretionary powers over forests and their valuable resources to the Rural Councils. But, the forest service and wealthy urban-based merchants creatively circumvented the new laws, leaving Rural Councils destitute and allowing urban merchants to continue amassing extraordinary profits from forest exploitation. Like the colonial and ‘participatory’ forestry codes before it, Senegal’s new ‘decentralized’ forestry laws are translated into new forms of accumulation for a few powerful actors and marginalization for the many. In this talk I explore the distributional effects of Senegal’s forestry policies—quotas, permits, licenses, contracts, representation, and management requirements. Using commodity chain analysis, I show distributional outcomes and then explain how progressive new policies are used to exclude forest-based populations from control over surrounding forests while continuing to lock up the markets in the hands of a few powerful merchants. In effect the policies along with coercive practices enable merchants to own the markets while leaving the forest villagers and their elected councils with nothing. The talk is based on field research in the forested zone of Eastern Senegal in 1986-7 and 2002-9, and explores how forestry policy produces wealth and destitution along Senegal’s charcoal commodity chain.

 

BIO: Jesse Ribot is an associate Professor in the Geography Department and director of the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy Initiative of the School of Earth, Society and Environment at the University of Illinois. He recently moved to Illinois from the World Resources Institute where he was a Senior Associate in the Institutions and Governance program (since 1999). Ribot has been a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Fellow, a MacArthur Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and a fellow at the Yale Program in Agrarian Studies. From 1990 to 1994 he lectured on environment and development policy and planning in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. His research is on popular representation within local government; distributional equity in natural resource commodity chains; the structure of access to natural resources; and household vulnerability in the face of climate and environmental change. He has conducted his own field research in the West African Sahel—with a focus on Senegal—and has lead a number of global comparative research programs on these topics. He holds a doctorate from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.

There will not be a formal paper for this session. However, there are two background papers:

Theorizing Access: Forest Profits along Senegal's Charcoal Commodity Chain, Development and Change 29 (1998): 307-341
The Poverty of Forestry Policy: Double Standards on an Uneven Playing Field, Sustainability Science 2(2) (October 2007):189–204

Monday, April 27, 2009

 

THE AMERICAN MASS PUBLIC AND THE LIMITS OF NEW DEAL LIBERALISM: REVISITING PUBLIC OPINION IN THE 1930s AND 1940s

 

Presented by Professor Eric Schickler, Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

 

Abstract: Studies of mass political attitudes and behavior before the 1950s have been limited by the lack of high-quality, individual-level data. Fortunately, public opinion polls from the late New Deal and WWII period are available, although the many difficulties in working with these data have left them largely untouched for over 60 years. We have compiled and produced readily usable computer files for roughly 450 public opinion polls undertaken from 1935 to 1945 by the four major survey organizations active during that period. We have also developed a series of weights that partly correct for the problems introduced by the quota sampling procedures employed at the time. In this paper, we briefly discuss the data and the weighting procedures and present selected time series that we have put together using questions that were repeated on ten or more surveys. The time series provide considerable leverage for understanding the dynamics of public opinion in one of the most volatile – and pivotal – eras in American history. The rise of the conservative coalition in Congress in the late 1930s left in place many of the liberal policy gains enacted in 1933-35, but it stalled proposals for a more expansive, socially democratic welfare state. Prior work has explored the south’s potentially pivotal role in limiting New Deal liberalism (see, e.g., Katznelson and Farhang) and the internal dynamics of the conservative coalition within Congress, but the interplay between mass politics and the conservative coalition has received much less attention. Yet the ability of Republicans to compete successfully in the north after 1938 is a major reason why northern liberals were so dependent on southern support for their initiatives. This paper will provide a first cut tracing the dynamics of public opinion concerning the liberal policy agenda in Congress in this period, with particular focus on the interplay between the mass public and congressional politics on such issues as labor policy, executive-led planning, relief spending, taxes, social security, and health care.

 

BIO: Eric Schickler is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Disjointed Pluralism: Institutional Innovation and the Development of the U.S. Congress (Princeton University Press, 2001), which received APSA’s Richard F. Fenno Award. His second book, Partisan Hearts and Minds (co-authored with Donald Green and Bradley Palmquist), was published in 2002 (Yale University Press). Most recently, he is co-author of Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the U.S. Senate (co-authored with Gregory Wawro; Princeton University Press, 2006). He has authored or co-authored articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Polity, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Studies in American Political Development.


There will not be a formal paper for this session.

Co-sponsored by Center on American Politics.

Monday, April 29, 2009

 

NETWORKS AND COOPERATION

 

Presented by Professor John Scholz, Eppes Professor, Department of Political Science, Florida State University

 

Abstract: Network analysis provides valuable conceptual and analytic tools to clearly specify and test hypotheses that sometimes remain ambiguous in the general discussion of social capital. To set the context of the talk, I briefly note the series of studies of collaboration in watershed policy arenas that highlighted the problem of ambiguity in hypotheses about networks and cooperation. The talk will focus on three related studies based on network analysis that explore specific aspects of relationship between network structure and cooperation.

The first study, “Learning to Cooperate: Learning Networks and the Problem of Altruism” (AJPS July 2009) uses agent-based modeling to explore the impact of alternative network structures on the evolution of cooperation. It finds that cooperation evolves most rapidly with increases (to a point) in the size, degree, and clustering of the learning network—the first two accelerate the spread of nice, retaliatory strategies when they have an evolutionary advantage, and the last one defends against nasty invaders once cooperative dominance is established.

The other two studies are laboratory experiments based on the repeated prisoner’s dilemma game. The second study suggests (at this point in the analysis) that the closed structure associated with bonding social capital and the open structure associated with bridging capital have relatively weak impacts on levels of cooperation—subjects assigned to either condition cooperated just marginally better in the closed structure. However, this condition interacts with the subject’s level of trust (measured before the experiment), leading more trusting individuals to cooperate at significantly higher levels in the closed condition compared with the open. At least for the short time periods represented in experiments, behaviors reflect complex interactions between beliefs and structures.

The final experiment is a continuation of T.K. Ahn’s discussion from last week. In this experiment the exchange dilemma is voluntary, so subjects can decide both who to exchange with and whether to cooperate or not. The exchange represents a “market for lemons” in which a low-value good (defection) can drive out exchanges in the high-value good (cooperation). We find that cooperators form natural clusters in which most of the high-value exchange takes place, leaving defectors isolated in a “Nashville” of continued defection. But the clustering is more a product of cooperators finding each other than of cooperation imposed on those who are in the cluster, which provides a variation on the normal explanation linking clustering and cooperation. This discussion will highlight a few network tools we are utilizing to help both illustrate and explain the results.

 

BIO: John Scholz is Frances Eppes Professor of Political Science at Florida State University. (Ph. D., University of California/Berkeley, 1978) His earlier research has analyzed government regulatory policies from the federal to the local level involving issues of occupational safety and health, water pollution, and taxation, focusing in particular on enforcement and compliance issues. His current research analyzes the problems of developing and maintaining cooperative solutions to collective action problems, emphasizing the role of policy networks, private partnerships, and collaborative government programs in resolving collective problems involved in resource management. Related publications include:

Self-Organizing Federalism: Collaborative Mechanisms to Mitigate Institutional Collective Action Dilemmas (edited with Richard Feiock) Cambridge Press, 2009.

“Learning to Cooperate: Learning Networks and the Problem of Altruism” (with Cheng-Lung Wang), American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming, July 2009.

“Reputation and Cooperation in Voluntary Exchanges: Comparing Central and Local Mechanisms” (with T.K. Ahn and Justin Esarey). Journal of Politics, forthcoming, April 2009.

“Do Networks Solve Collective Action Problems? Credibility, Search, and Collaboration” (with Ramiro Berardo and Brad Kile) Journal of Politics, 70(2):393-406, 2008.

“Cooptation or Transformation? Local Policy Networks and Federal Regulatory Enforcement” (with Cheng-Lung Wang) American Journal of Political Science, 50(1): 81-97, 2006.

The paper is no longer available on this site.


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