Browsing Public Policy Theses and Dissertations by Issue Date
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- ItemTHE IMPACT OF TARGETED HOMEOWNERSHIP TAX CREDIT PROGRAM: EVIDENCE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.(2003-12-05) Tong, Zhong Yi; Reuter, Peter; Rogers, Jacqueline H; Public AffairsThis study provides the first comprehensive empirical evidence on the economic impacts and distributional effects of the District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit program. This program is the only federal program that provides an income tax credit for targeted lower-income households to purchase homes in a central city. Based on IRS data, the findings indicate that the program is very successful and popular, with the participants accounting for 77 percent of all home purchasers in the District each year. Among them, the first-time homeowners represented 67 percent of all purchasers each year, a rate 27 percentage points higher than the national average. The largest cluster of program beneficiaries was those with incomes between $30,000 and $50,000, which corresponds to only about 42 to 69 percent of the area median income. Using a three-stage intervention analysis, this study further finds that the program has significant impact on wealth creation through house price appreciation. The credit could explain most of the amenity-adjusted house price appreciation differentials between the District and its surrounding suburban markets, estimated at 4.9 percent each year. Larger distributional effects are observed in the District’s low/moderate-income and minority neighborhoods as compared to high-income and white neighborhoods and in the townhouse/condo sub-markets as compared to single-family detached units. The intervention was also effective in stabilizing city neighborhoods, increasing local tax revenues, driving up owner housing supply through conversion of rental units, and reducing vacancy. However, it failed to stimulate a supple response in new construction from private sector. It also had some adverse effects on housing affordability since it appeared to have spurred an increase of voluntary displacements of District renters. These results suggest that this targeted homeownership tax credit can serve as a strong incentive for encouraging first-time homeownership and a viable supplement/remedy to the existing tax treatments to homeownership. It represents an innovative approach to reviving central cities and their neighborhoods. The study contributes to the literature through a methodological advance, development of several key benchmarks, and improvements of our understanding of public subsidies.
- ItemENERGY DEMAND RESPONSES TO TEMPERATURE AND IMPLICATIONS OF CLIMATIC CHANGE(2004-04-26) Amato, Anthony Dominic; Ruth, Matthias; Public AffairsClimate is a major determinant of energy demand as well as the structure of the built environment. Climate change may alter energy demand and energy demand patterns. In this dissertation, I investigate the implications of climate change for energy demand by asking if energy demand sensitivities to temperature are place-specific, and if energy demand sensitivities to temperature reflect energy users' adaptations to prevailing climate? To answer these questions, energy demands for electricity, natural gas, and heating oil in seventeen states along the eastern seaboard of the United States are quantitatively analyzed. The states are on a north-south orientation to maximize inter-state climatic differences and presumably the degree of adaptation by energy users to climate. Unique to this dissertation is the use of an impact-adaptation assessment framework to project energy demand responses to climate change scenarios. The net impacts on energy demand are related to both the system's sensitivity and adaptive capacity to changes in climate stimuli. In this study, a temporal analysis is developed and used to quantify the historic sensitivities of energy demands to climatic variability while controlling for energy prices, daylight hours, and other socioeconomic factors. Based on the findings of the temporal analysis, the geographic analysis explores adaptation to current climate and provides for an estimate of the adaptive capacity of energy demand to climatic change. The final step of the assessment projects energy demand responses to climate change scenarios based on the temporal analysis findings as well as on a synthesis of the temporal and geographic analyses findings. The principle findings of this dissertation are (1) that energy demand sensitivities to temperature vary by region, (2) that part of this variation is attributable to adaptations to regional climate conditions, and (3) that projections of energy demand responses to climate change should account for adaptations to changing climate characteristics. In this dissertation, I develop methodological frameworks to assess the sensitivity and adaptive capacity of energy demand, present findings, discuss their implications, propose general recommendations for improving the practice of modeling climate change impacts on energy demand, and offer suggestions for future research.
- ItemMinimum Means of Reprisal: China's Search for Security in the Nuclear Age(2004-09-20) Lewis, Jeffrey; Steinbruner, John D; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Among the 5 states authorized under the NPT to possess nuclear weapons, China has the most restrained pattern of deployment: The People's Republic of China (PRC) operationally deploys about 80 nuclear warheads exclusively for use with land-based ballistic missiles. Its declaratory doctrine rejects the initiation of nuclear war under any circumstance. The PRC does not maintain tactical nuclear forces of any kind, and its strategic forces are kept off alert, with warheads in storage. This posture has been sustained over time and changes in threat perception, suggesting restraint is the result of choice and not expediency. The apparent implication of the sustained pattern of Chinese restraint implies a distinctly different strategic assessment from that developed by Russia and the US to justify and direct their larger and more actively deployed forces. As articulated in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, the United States seeks credible options for the preventive use of strategic forces. Such options will presumably undermine confidence among Chinese leaders that a small strategic force provides adequate deterrence, and that vulnerability to preemption poses a less significant risk than the loss of control over alert forces. There is no evidence yet of a fundamental revision in the traditional deployment pattern of Chinese strategic forces, perhaps because China is likely to preserve a modest capability sufficient for its minimalist conception of deterrence. If China were subjected to a level of preemptive threat that Beijing judged intolerable, Chinese leaders would likely to reject, at least initially, the systematic emulation of US deployment patterns. Although the inner deliberations of China's leadership are only barely perceptible, patterns in Chinese defense investments, strategic force deployments, and arms control behavior suggest China would consider asymmetric responses that targeted the vulnerable command, control and intelligence (C2I) systems essential to preventive operations. This dissertation attempts a systematic examination of Chinese policy statements and diplomatic actions for two purposes: 1. To test the plausibility of China's apparent strategic logic against the conflicting expectations of prevailing US assessments. 2. To provide guidance for shaping both the specific security relationship with China and global security arrangements in general.
- ItemTowards Adequate Analysis and Modeling of Structural Adjustment Programs: An Analytical Framework with Application to Ghana(2004-11-22) Kraev, Egor; Daly, Herman; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)When a country experiences a balance of payments problem, the typical remedy mix proposed by the International Monetary Fund consists of fiscal austerity, tight monetary policies, devaluation, privatization, elimination of subsidies and trade liberalization, combined with low interest rate loans. Throughout the late 1980s, Ghana has been hailed as a success story for that policy mix. However, Ghana's performance has been increasingly disappointing during the 1990s. This thesis explores the reasons for that slowdown, its distributional implications, and the extent to which the behavior of the Ghanaian economy validates commonly used assumptions in economic models of developing countries. We compile a complete consistent yearly dataset of financial stocks, nominal money flows (arranged in Social Accounting Matrices) and real product flows for Ghana in 1990-2001. The real-side data, available yearly, are then examined using fit optimization with alternative functional forms, while nominal time series (Consumer Price Index, the broad money supply and the exchange rate), available on a monthly basis, are analyzed using ARIMA-X regressions. We find that industrial production, as well as investment, has been demand-constrained during our period, while agriculture has hit an aggregate supply constraint around year 1995. The relative price elasticity of substitution between imports and non-traded goods (in volume terms) is around minus one. The government was the only net source of demand during the period. Inflation could be predicted extremely well using only broad money supply, wholesale price of food crops and price of fuel, and formed a weak positive feedback loop with money supply growth. The main channel through which exchange rate depreciation impacted the price level was revaluation of the foreign currency-denominated money supply component. The response of broad money supply to interest rate increases was significant but small. We also formulate a novel matrix formalism for a more compact description and analysis of financial stock dynamics, cleanly separating structural and accounting constraints from behavioral descriptions. We conclude that the major reasons for the economic slowdown of the 1990s were excessive liberalization of commodity imports and strangulation of industry through lack of demand and volatile real interest rates, and of agriculture through withdrawal of government support programs.
- ItemAdaptive Agent Modeling in a Policy Context(2004-12-15) Gulden, Timothy R; Daly, Herman E; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation examines the utility of adaptive agent modeling (also referred to as agent-based modeling or individual based modeling) as a tool in public policy research. It uses the adaptive agent technique to produce useful results in three diverse areas. It demonstrates that the adaptive agent framework can be used to extend traditional models of comparative advantage in international trade, showing that the presence of increasing returns to scale in some industries shifts the basis of comparative advantage arguments, making room for industrial policy and the regulation of trade. Next, the dissertation demonstrates that the size distribution of cities within nations, generally thought to approximate the "Zipf" distribution, can be reproduced using a simple agent-based model. This model produces insights into the evolution of the distribution as well as departures from it especially in France and Russia. This understanding of urban dynamics has implications for easing the structural transition of the Russian economy and for designing policies to reduce the size of megacities in the developing world. The dissertation goes on to examine individual level data from the Guatemalan civil war from an adaptive agent modeling perspective. It finds several novel patterns in the data which may serve as benchmarks for adaptive agent modeling efforts and suggests avenues by which existing conflict models might be brought into closer accord with the data. The dissertation concludes that adaptive agent modeling is useful in a policy context because it allows quantitative work to be done while relaxing some of the unrealistic assumptions which are often required to gain analytical traction using traditional methods. The method is found to be particularly useful in situations where path dependence, heterogeneity of actors, bounded rationality, and imperfect information are significant features of the system under examination. The individual based nature of the method is also found to be well suited to assessing distributional impacts of changes in process or policy.
- ItemCivic Skills and Civic Education: An Empirical Assessment(2005-04-20) Comber, Melissa Kovacs; Foreman, Jr., Christopher; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Participation in public life requires sufficient civic skills. Civic skills include the abilities to communicate with elected officials, organize to influence policy, understand and participate in one's polity, and think critically about civic and political life. One source of civic skill development is civic education coursework, often provided in high school or college. This dissertation tests for a correlation between civic skills (political interpretation skills, news monitoring skills, group discussion skills, communication skills, and English language skills) and civics coursework among fourteen to thirty-year-olds using probit models and propensity score matching methods. Data sources include the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement Civic Education survey (1999), the Civic and Political Health of the Nation: A Generational Portrait survey (2001), the American Citizen Participation Study (1990); and the National Household Education Survey's Civic Involvement study (2001). Political interpretation skills are almost always correlated with the presence of civic education. According to the IEA/CivEd study, studying the Constitution and the Presidency almost always influences civic skill levels, while other civic education topics sometimes influence civic skill levels. Civic education is not always correlated with news monitoring skills. Civic education is sometimes correlated with the presence of group discussion skills and communication skills. No evidence was found of a correlation between civic education and English language skills. Among minorities, females, low-income respondents, non-college respondents, and non-Hispanic whites, differences exist in civic skill levels and the effect of civic education on civic skill presence. This dissertation recommends that all American high school students take at least one semester of civics. This dissertation also recommends schools and communities seek to prioritize teaching civic skills in schools, so as to equalize abilities of political participation. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between the content of civics courses, the classroom climate of civics courses, and civic skill presence.
- ItemThe Paradox of Local Empowerment: Decentralization and Democratic Governance in Mexico(2006-03-14) Selee, Andrew Dan; Crocker, David A; Destler, I M; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation examines whether decentralization to municipal governments in Mexico has improved democratic governance. The research examines the effects of decentralization on democratic governance in three Mexican cities: Tijuana, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, and Chilpancingo and draws on key national indicators. The findings indicate that decentralization has significantly increased the authority and autonomy of Mexican municipalities, but that these changes have not necessarily led to local governments that are responsive and accountable to citizens or allow for citizens' active engagement in public affairs. Further analysis of these findings suggests that municipal political institutions create few incentives for public authorities to be responsive and accountable to citizens. The use of closed party lists, prohibitions on independent candidacies, guaranteed supermajorities for the leading party, and the prohibition on reelection all combine to undermine accountability and responsiveness. In this environment, public authorities tend to be more concerned about party leaders than citizens. As a result, citizens continue to be linked to local governments through political brokers within the principal political parties and there are few real opportunities for citizen engagement outside of these mediated channels despite the nominal existence of elaborate participatory planning processes. Nonetheless, the study also finds marked differences in the way that citizens are linked to the political system in different cities. Where strong social organizations existed prior to decentralization, citizens are more likely to have effective, albeit indirect, channels for voice in public affairs. Where these social organizations are linked closely to the principal political parties, they are even more likely to influence public policy than where these organizations are highly autonomous. Strong social organizations provide a necessary basis for ensuring citizen voice, but their linkages to the political process ultimately determine whether they are effective in influencing policy decisions. In other words, horizontal linkages in civil society--social capital--are a necessary precondition for good democratic governance, but vertical linkages between citizens and political actors are equally important.
- ItemOn Being the Right Size: A Framework for the Analytical Study of Scale, Economy, and Ecosystem(2006-04-12) Malghan, Deepak Vaman; Daly, Herman E; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)If the economy is conceived as an open subsystem of the larger ecosystem, the physical size of the economy relative to the ecosystem that contains and sustains it becomes a salient feature of economic analysis. This key question of scale is therefore one of the central organizing principles of ecological economics. However, scale has mostly been used as a pedagogical device or a heuristic rather than as an empirical tool for environmental policy. The primary bottleneck has been the lack of well-dened theoretical frameworks to empirically measure scale, and to interpret measured values of scale. Our overarching research question is: how can scale be measured at dierent levels of economic-geographic aggregations? The seemingly simple question of `how large is the economy relative to the ecosystem' is fraught with several theoretical diculties. We develop a novel theoretical framework for empirical measurement of scale based on a simple analytical representation of the economy-ecosystem interaction in terms of stock, ows, funds, and uxes. We also develop theoretical frameworks to determine benchmark scale measures" that address the questions: how large can the economy be relative to the ecosystem, and how large should the economy be relative to the ecosystem? For scale measures to be useful as tools for environmental policy, a critical requirement, besides being able to empirically measure scale, is a consistent and objective ordinal ranking of two or more measured values of scale. Given two empirical measurements we need to be able to consistently rank the states of the world represented by the scale metric. We develop an axiomatic framework for consistent ordinal raking of scale measures. The framework developed here helps identify theoretical problems with extant empirical assessments of the biophysical size of economic activity. The biophysical assessments that we review in detail include the Material Flow Analysis methodology, Human Appropriation of the Products of Photosynthesis, and the Ecological Footprint.
- ItemWhy Do We Do Track Two?: Transnational Security Policy Networks and U.S. Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy(2006-04-25) Lennon, Alexander Thomas Jacobson; Steinbruner, John D; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)As globalization has accelerated, unofficial transnational (a.k.a. track-two) dialogues have proliferated. Do these networks matter? This study examines both their effects in the United States and, by focusing on nuclear nonproliferation, their potential to improve cooperative security as well as conflict resolution. Reviews of relevant theory, secondary literature, and primary materials produced by three case studies--the Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), the Northeast Asian Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), and the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (PONARS)--supplemented and guided 67 original interviews to help answer the question: Have transnational security policy networks changed U.S. nuclear nonproliferation policies or the perceptions that shape them? These networks have improved intelligence and private as well as public diplomacy, enhancing the analytical capacity and soft power of their participants and interlocutors. They have strengthened otherwise weak ties across countries, areas of expertise, generations, and professions, particularly from inside government to nongovernmental experts, to provide blunter feedback and improve open-source intelligence analysis. These improvements are three-dimensional--delving deeper into overseas foreign policy elite, integrating across wider issues and regions, over longer periods of time--to help understand the implications of political changes, summits, and crises. Diplomatically, they have provided fora for nongovernmental experts and government officials in their private capacity to better understand and convey interests behind official talking points. Although U.S. policymakers will realistically rarely participate, they benefit from one-page or personal briefings by the most effective networks--those that have diverse members, integrate current or former government officials, and focus on ideas and information exchange. Although pressures exist to prove networks changed near-term policy decisions, the diversity that improves intelligence also impedes consensus on policy recommendations, which can be more effectively made by issue-specific cells derived from the network base. Ultimately, these networks empower their members and interlocutors with ideas and information, which enhances their soft power and builds their capacity to diagnose and agree on the root causes of contemporary threats, understand the political pressures shaping national responses to them, evaluate the merits of potential strategies to respond, and explore prospects for cooperative solutions.
- ItemImpact of Urban Sprawl on U.S. Residential Energy Use(2006-08-03) Rong, Fang; Ruth, Matthias; Public Affairs; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Improving energy efficiency through technological advances has been the focus of U.S. energy policy for decades. However, there is evidence that technology alone will be neither sufficient nor timely enough to solve looming crises associated with fossil fuel dependence and resulting greenhouse gas accumulation. Hence attention is shifting to demand-side measures. While the impact of urban sprawl on transportation energy use has been studied to a degree, the impact of sprawl on non-transport residential energy use represents a new area of inquiry. This dissertation is the first study linking sprawl to residential energy use and provides empirical support for compact land-use developments, which, as a demand-side measure, might play an important role in achieving sustainable residential energy consumption. This dissertation develops an original conceptual framework linking urban sprawl to residential energy use through electricity transmission and distribution losses and two mediators, housing stock and formation of urban heat islands. These two mediators are the focuses of this dissertation. By tapping multiple databases and performing statistical and geographical spatial analyses, this dissertation finds that (1) big houses consume more energy than small ones and single-family detached housing consumes more energy than multi-family or single-family attached housing; (2) residents of sprawling metro areas are more likely to live in single-family detached rather than attached or multifamily housing and are also expected to live in big houses; (3) a compact metro area is expected to have stronger urban heat island effects; (4) nationwide, urban heat island phenomena bring about a small energy reward, due to less energy demand on space heating, while they impose an energy penalty in States with a hot climate like Texas, due to higher energy demand for cooling; and taken all these together, (5) residents of sprawling metro areas are expected to consume more energy at home than residents of compact metro areas. This dissertation concludes with the policy implications that emerged from this study and suggestions for future research as well.
- ItemStructuring Biodefense: Legacies and Current Policy Choices(2007-01-23) Okutani, Stacy M.; Steinbruner, John D; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Policies are usually initiated in response to specific circumstances, but they do not become effective unless they are embedded in operating institutions. Understanding the historical process through which policies evolve is essential for assessing their character and their consequence. This study is a detailed history of the US bioweapons program from its inception to the present. It is an original analysis based on archival documents and scientific reports. The issue is, does the application of national security measures such as the classification of scientific programs improve biodefense? Initial organization of the US bioweapons program as a secret, military program that performed threat assessment work (1941-1969) led to the development and stockpiling of biological weapons for deterrence, but few medical defenses. A strategic review in 1969 concluded that bioweapons were not useful for legitimate military missions and did not enhance US deterrence. It also concluded that proliferation threatened the US. To reduce proliferation, the US destroyed its bioweapons arsenal and enforced the norm against bioweapons acquisition by signing the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1972. Subsequent organization of the US biodefense program was as an unclassified military medical research program. This work at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) improved medical countermeasures without a concomitant classified, offensive program. However, in response to the terrorist attacks of 2001, the US is again imposing secrecy over important aspects of its biodefense work, including its threat assessment work. Based on the analysis here, current policy will increase the risk to US security by both enlarging the threat space and reducing defensive options.
- ItemParticipation and Devolution in Zimbabwe's CAMPFIRE Program: Findings from Local Projects in Mahenye and Nyaminyami(2007-03-14) Mashinya, Judith; Nelson, Robert H; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Participation and devolution are central components of CAMPFIRE, Zimbabwe's community-based natural resource management program. Here I report the results of case studies of two important CAMPFIRE projects, one in Mahenye ward and the other in Nyaminyami district. These two influential projects were both studied repeatedly up through 2000. Since 2000, however, research on CAMPFIRE has been limited by two powerful external shocks: the end of international donor funding for CAMPFIRE and the beginning of Zimbabwe's severe national political and economic crisis. In my research, conducted in 2004 and 2006, I compared current conditions in the two sites with results reported in pre-2000 studies. Through this comparison, I examined the impact of the two external shocks on project performance. In my fieldwork, I focused on the quality of community participation and the level of devolution of authority for wildlife management. Key findings from the case studies include: (1) the extent and quality of community participation has declined sharply in both sites; (2) capture of benefits by local elites has contributed significantly to these declines; (3) lack of full devolution to the communities, which is frequently cited as a critical weakness in CAMPFIRE, played a relatively minor role in shaping outcomes; (4) the loss of NGO support that followed the end of donor funding had severe negative effects on outcomes; and (5) the national political and economic crisis, while detrimental, had less of an impact than expected. After discussing these findings, I offer recommendations for addressing problems of participation and devolution in CAMPFIRE.
- ItemEffects of Social Policy Reforms and the Economy on Welfare Participation and Employment Among Single Mothers(2007-04-05) Herbst, Christopher M.; Galston, William A.; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Child care subsidies and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are vital government tools for increasing employment and reducing poverty among low-income families. This dissertation, therefore, explores many features of these policies, including their evolution, correlates of participation, and impacts on employment. Chapter 1 provides an overview of child care subsidies and the EITC, focusing on recent policy developments, labor supply incentives, and a critical review of the empirical employment literature. Chapter 2 explores why, despite substantial growth in funding, participation in child care subsidy programs remains comparatively low. Results suggest that although 30 percent of households with children are eligible for child care subsidies, take-up is 14 percent. The low take-up rate is driven by several factors: eligible non-recipients differ from recipients in ways that make subsidies unnecessary or undesirable; the practice by states to trade-off generosity in eligibility for additional generosity in benefits; and the practice by states to ration benefits according to specific household characteristics. Chapter 3 examines the effects of child care costs and net-of-taxes wages on the employment of single mothers. Although a substantial literature estimates separately the impact of prices and taxes, no study has created a modeling framework that accounts for both factors simultaneously. Merging empirical techniques from previous child care and EITC studies yields employment elasticities of -0.174 and 0.711, respectively. An implication of this finding is that price-effects are considerably smaller than those reported elsewhere, while tax-effects accord with previous estimates. Results also suggest that single mothers became less responsive to prices and more responsive to taxes throughout the 1990s, especially after expansions to subsidy programs and the EITC. Chapter 4 investigates heterogeneous employment effects of social policy reforms across varying economic conditions. Allowing the effects of policy reforms on single mothers to vary with the economy leads to several interesting results. Policy "carrots" are more likely to reveal heterogeneous effects at low intensity work margins, while policy "sticks" show significant variation at increasingly demanding margins. However, all policies produce the largest employment effects in favorable economic conditions, implying that a strong economy reinforces the incentives created by social policy reforms.
- ItemThe American Banker as International Investor: Have the new banking powers in the U.S. increased the volatility of lending into emerging economies?(2007-04-24) Cho, Hyun Koo; Destler, Irving McArthur; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Using U.S. cross-border bank exposure data, this study establishes a line of arguments and findings, which together constitute the following observation: "Deregulation of U.S. banks, via consolidation and a volatile earnings stream, increased volatility in bank lending to emerging economies, and, in due course, worsened the financial crises in emerging economies." The volatility of U.S. bank lending to emerging economies has increased during the past twenty years. To explain the across-the-board, increasing volatility of U.S. bank emerging market claims, this study turns to the supply side of the equation: the deregulation in the U.S. banking sector that imparted this commonality to their banks' investment patterns to emerging economies. In so doing, it unveils the linkages through which U.S. banking deregulation ratcheted up the volatility of U.S. bank lending into emerging economies. It starts with the detection of a particular feature of U.S. bank emerging market lending that warrants further attention -- increasing volatility over time. Unlike bank lending from Europe or Japan, U.S. bank lending exhibited the unique feature of increasing volatility over time, regardless of its destination. By looking into domestic push factors that could have contributed to this characteristic, this study identified a temporal association between important deregulation initiatives in the U.S. banking industry and the volatility of emerging market lending by U.S. banks during the same period. This association was then explained by the linkages between the major outcomes of deregulation -- consolidation of the banking industry and diversification of banking activities -- and the increased volatility of lending into emerging economies. Together, it argues that the U.S. banking deregulation had the unintended and unanticipated side effect of increasing the volatility of U.S. bank lending into emerging economies.
- ItemLeadership and Safety Climate in High-Risk Military Organizations(2007-04-25) Adamshick, Mark Henry; Gansler, Jacques S; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Preventable accidents and mishaps continue to degrade the readiness of U.S. military forces. In 2006, the National Safety Council reported an annual rate of over 30 accidental fatalities per 100,000 Department of Defense members and estimated that preventable injuries and illnesses cost the department approximately $21 billion per year. Reducing these occurrences was the policy mandate of the Secretary of Defense in 2003. He challenged the military service secretaries to reduce their mishap rates by 50 percent over a two-year period ending September 30, 2005. While each of the military services formulated its own compliance strategy, none of them met the reduction goal. In some cases, the mishap rate actually increased. The purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate the Department of the Navy's (DON) policy compliance strategy and to assess its shortcomings and areas for future improvements. The Navy focused their efforts on leadership-intervention best practices designed to elevate the safety climate in their high-risk units, primarily their aviation components. These units contribute almost 90 percent of the annual mishap cost due to preventable accidents. DON policy-makers theorized that certain leadership interventions would improve safety climate thereby reducing the likelihood that unit members would engage in unsafe behavior both on and off the job. This dissertation evaluates the validity of that general theory, and the appropriateness of the specific leadership interventions chosen, in two distinct data collection and analysis phases. In the first phase, statistical analysis is conducted on a safety-climate survey database maintained by the Naval Post-Graduate School containing 20,000 Navy and Marine Corps military survey respondents assigned to F/A-18 aircraft squadrons completed over the past 5 years. In Phase 2, Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet authorized climate research in four Navy F/A-18 squadrons located at Oceana Naval Air Station. Upon analysis, the intervention methods implemented in the Navy's mishap reduction strategy showed little correlation with safety climate improvement. Phase 2 analysis identified several organizational programs and specific leadership qualities that correlate with elevated safety climate and revealed a preliminary causal relationship between safety climate and safety performance.
- ItemThe effect of life-cycle cost disclosure on consumer behavior(2007-04-25) Deutsch, Matthias; Ruth, Matthias; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)For more than 20 years, analysts have reported on the so-called "energy paradox" or the "energy efficiency gap", referring to the fact that economic agents could in principle lower their total cost at current prices by using more energy-efficient technology but, nevertheless, often decide not to do so. Theory suggests that providing information in a simplified way could potentially reduce this "efficiency gap". Such simplification may be achieved by providing the estimated monetary operating cost and life-cycle cost (LCC) of a given appliance--which has been a recurring theme within the energy policy and efficiency labeling community. Yet, little is known so far about the causal effects of LCC disclosure on consumer action because of the gap between the acquisition of efficiency information and consumer purchasing behavior in the real marketplace. This dissertation bridges the gap by experimentally integrating LCC disclosure into two major German commercial websites--a price comparison engine for cooling appliances, and an online shop for washing machines. Internet users arriving on these websites were randomly assigned to two experimental groups, and the groups were exposed to different visual stimuli. The control group received regular product price information, whereas the treatment group was, in addition, offered information about operating cost and total LCC. Click-stream data of consumers' shopping behavior was evaluated with multiple regression analysis by controlling for several product characteristics. This dissertation finds that LCC disclosure reduces the mean energy use of chosen cooling appliances by 2.5% (p<0.01), and the energy use of chosen washing machines by 0.8% (p<0.001). For the latter, it also reduces the mean water use by 0.7% (p<0.05). These effects suggest a potential role for public policy in promoting LCC disclosure. While I do not attempt to estimate the costs of such a policy, a simple quantification shows that the benefits amount to 100 to 200 thousand Euros per year for Germany, given current predictions regarding the price of tradable permits for CO2, and not counting other potential benefits. Future research should strive for increasing external validity, using better instruments, and evaluating the effectiveness of different information formats for LCC disclosure.
- ItemHealth Care Disparities in Maryland in the "Contract with America" Era(2007-04-30) Siegel, Sari; Sprinkle, Robert; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In the early 1990s, the Medicaid budget expanded dramatically. In response, federal and state policymakers implemented changes to curb patient demand. Taken together, these policies may have impeded low-income health care access in Maryland more effectively and less equitably than anticipated. Research question: Did access-affecting policy changes in the mid-1990s alter Maryland's low-income health care market differently for different racial and ethnic groups? Following extensive document and literature reviews, semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders and experts in Maryland's low-income health care market. A content analysis of interview transcripts was performed. HCUP SID hospital discharge data from Maryland and New Jersey was then used to test for treatment delay. A quasi-temporal measure was devised using patient-level racial/ethnic differences in incidences of appendicitis, appendiceal perforation, and prolongation of hospital stay following appendicitis with and without perforation. Qualitative analysis indicated that implementation of policy changes initially widened gaps in Maryland's health care safety net. This continued to hamper access to care disproportionately for homeless persons and immigrants. HCUP data indicated that Maryland's black appendicitis patients in 1996 were more likely (by 6 percentage points, p<0.05) than their white counterparts to suffer appendiceal perforation. In 2003, black patients no longer showed higher incidence; similar trends emerged for Hispanics and other groups. However, hospitalizations for black appendicitis patients increased from 0.58 days longer than their white counterparts (p<0.01) in 1996 to 0.65 days longer (p<0.01) in 2003. Most notably, insurance status disparities revealed that, in 1996, Maryland's uninsured were more likely than the privately-insured to experience perforation (by 2.3 percentage points). By 2003, Maryland's uninsured were 6.7 percentage points (p<.01) more likely than the privately-insured to suffer perforation. Hospitalizations for uninsured appendicitis patients were accordingly longer than for privately-insured patients, although length of stay data failed to achieve statistical significance in both years. This research suggests demand was decreased largely by impeding access, disproportionately to the disadvantage of racial/ethnic minorities, the homeless, and immigrants. Data confirm that access declined for the uninsured. As this population continues to grow, insufficient access to care for the uninsured will remain an urgent problem.
- ItemReading the Public: How Memebers of Congress Develop Their Impressions of Public Opinion on National Security(2007-07-31) Rosner, Jeremy David; Destler, I. M.; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)To "represent" literally means to present again. For members of Congress, that means presenting again the views their constituents have presented to them. But how do members of Congress determine what those views are? How does a member of Congress read the public, in particular, on questions of national security, where the stakes are particularly high, but where average citizens may be silent, inattentive, or deferential to policy makers? The current study examines this question - how members of Congress develop their impressions of public opinion on national security issues - through a process of inter-views and participant observation with members of Congress and their staff. It exam-ines the information-gathering methods of eight members - six representatives and two senators - as well as their chiefs of staff, focusing in particular on three case studies: the Iraq war, especially congressional votes during 2005-2007; the sale of six American port operations to the Dubai Ports World company in early 2006; and U.S. relations with China. The study concludes that members rely on more sources of information about public opinion on national security than the literature has suggested. For example, members do not only look at intentional and issue-linear communications they receive from the public. They tend to be hunter-gatherers for information, and they seek out clues the public did not know it was transmitting. Members also look at public opinion in a highly anticipatory manner - reading the public's preferences not only in the here-and-now, but also as they may evolve. And whereas the literature tends to equate public opinion with public opinion polls, which weight every individual's opinion equally, members appear to view opinion in "lumpy" terms, assigning very different weights to the opinions of different kinds of people. All this helps to explain why there are sometimes divergences between the polls and members' perceptions of pub-lic opinion. Ultimately, it also suggests the need for a broader understanding of pub-lic opinion, which takes into account not only quantitative polling data, but also the qualitative perceptions of practitioners such as members of Congress, whose job it is to assess the contours of public attitudes.
- ItemOSCE Principles in Practice: Testing Their Effect on Security Through the Work of the High Commissioner on National Minorities 1993-2001(2007-07-31) Yamamoto, Marianna Merrick; Steinbruner, John D.; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This study extracted from official OSCE documents a set of basic principles designed to regulate the security relationships among the participating States, including their behavior toward their own populations. The study then assessed the practical effects on security of the implementation of the principles by tracing their detailed application to highly contentious situations in Ukraine, Estonia, and Macedonia by Max van der Stoel, the organization's first High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM). The study identified and articulated twenty Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) security principles that addressed international security through principles guiding the relations between participating States; security within States through principles guiding how governments would fulfill their responsibility to establish and maintain the conditions in which all members of the State could exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms; and the processes by which the States would apply the principles to specific circumstances, review and measure their implementation, and develop them further. The principles addressed State sovereignty; a comprehensive, cooperative, and common security concept; conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of issues; the State's responsibility to protect and promote the individual rights and freedoms of State members through the use of democracy, the rule of law, and the market economy; minority rights and responsibilities; the development of shared values; and processes. From 1993 to 2001, the HCNM directly applied the OSCE principles in fourteen intervention cases. In the three cases analyzed, the implementation of the principles had a significant effect on security by reducing national and international tensions involving minority issues. This effect was seen within each State, between States, and in the region, and reduced the potential for conflict within and between OSCE States. The results were particularly significant in view of the instability, conflicts, and tensions of the post-Cold War period; the OSCE's ongoing institutionalization; and the limited resources and tools available to the OSCE and HCNM. The OSCE principles, the Helsinki process, and the HCNM's methods merit further examination, development, and application to national security policy and practice.
- ItemAn evaluation of Active Labor Market Policies in Developing Economies: The Mexican Case(2007-08-03) Cruz Aguayo, Yyannú; Reuter, Peter; Smith, Jeffrey; Public Policy; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)One of the major problems in developing countries is that of unemployment and underemployment. Thus the use of active labor market policies constitutes a very significant part of the policy debate. This dissertation analyzes the training component of one such policies in Mexico: PROBECAT-SICAT (P/S). First, we provide an overview of some of the institutional elements that are likely to have a bearing in the design, functioning and effects of P/S - in particular those related to the decentralized operation and funding of the program. We find that there is some room for a more explicit definition of the mechanisms that establish the checks and controls to reduce misuse of resources. We suggest the inclusion of indicators of job quality as a concrete objective of the program. In the second part of the dissertation, using semi-parametric techniques, we obtain the average treatment effect of the program on its participants. We use a set of variables that capture characteristics of job formality, and find evidence that male and female trainees do increase their probabilities of employment and of employment with health benefits. In addition, we find that, on average, female trainees tend to find employment in more informal jobs than their male counterparts. The last part of the dissertation consists of an impact evaluation of P/S by training type. We find evidence that participating in mixed training in medium increases the trainees' probability of employment per se and employment with desirable 'formal' characteristics, such as health and housing benefits, a written contract, etc., with respect to any other training type. Secondly, the mixed training in micro and small enterprises is superior to the training for self-employment and in-classroom training. Moreover, we find evidence that female participants increase their chances of obtaining jobs with informal characteristics if they choose to participate in training for self-employment with respect to participation in-classroom training. We conclude that even with institutional shortcomings, the program seems to have positive effects that justify its original creation and permanency.