Public Policy Research Works

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    An Econometric Analysis of Sea Surface Temperatures, Sea Ice Concentrations and Ocean Surface Current Velocities
    (MDPI, 2022-12-01) Bhargava, Alok; Echenique, Juan A.
    This paper analyzed quarterly longitudinal data for 64,800 1 × 1 degree grids during 2000–2019 on sea surface temperatures, sea ice concentrations, and ocean surface current zonal and meridional velocities in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The methodological framework addressed the processing of remote sensing signals, interdependence between sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations, and combining zonal and meridional velocities as the eddy kinetic energy. Dynamic and static random effects models were estimated by maximum likelihood and stepwise methods, respectively, taking into account the unobserved heterogeneity across grids. The main findings were that quarterly sea surface temperatures increased steadily in the Northern hemisphere, whereas cyclical patterns were apparent in Southern hemisphere; sea ice concentrations declined in both hemispheres. Second, sea surface temperatures were estimated with large negative coefficients in the models for sea ice concentrations for the hemispheres; previous sea ice concentrations were negatively associated with sea surface temperatures, indicating feedback loops. Third, sea surface temperatures were positively and significantly associated with eddy kinetic energy in Northern hemisphere. Overall, the results indicated the importance of reducing sea surface temperatures via reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and the dumping of pollutants into oceans for maintaining sea ice concentrations and enhancing global sustainability.
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    Do Conditional Cash Transfers Reduce Fertility? Nationwide Evidence from Mexico
    (Wiley, 2023-07-05) Parker, Susan W.; Ryu, Soomin
    Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs, which link transfers to investment in human capital in poor families, have spread around the world over the past two decades. This paper studies the medium-term effects of Progresa, the pioneering Mexican CCT program, on fertility using nationwide vital statistics combined with administrative data on program receipt. The effects of CCTs are likely to vary by age of the woman, and we study impacts by five-year age intervals. We test and account for possible underreporting of births using indirect methods. We find that Progresa led to an important and statistically significant decline in teenage fertility and smaller, but still significant, effects on reducing the fertility of older women.
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    The policy response to global value chain disruption
    (Wiley, 2023-05-05) Dadush, Uri
    This article considers how policymakers should react to the disruption of Global Value Chains, which became dramatically evident during the pandemic. It argues that repeated shocks to GVCs, as seen in recent years, are not purely random and disjointed events. They are the result of fundamental shifts in the geopolitical environment, global economy, and climate. Firms have concluded that international supply chains have become endemically riskier, and this is changing their risk/efficiency calculus. But there is no reason and – so far – little evidence to suggest that GVCs will stage a large-scale retreat. Powerful economic forces are at work that will prompt increased reliance on GVCs and improve their operability in the future. Governments tend to overreact when faced with supply shocks, and unnecessarily impede GVCs; more nuanced and coordinated responses are needed. The WTO can play an important role, promoting the resilience of GVCs.
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    Can gender-responsive budgeting change how governments budget?: Lessons from the case of Ecuador.
    (Wiley, 2023-04-01) Martínez Guzmán, Juan Pablo
    Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) has been introduced in over 80 countries to mitigate gender inequities. We evaluate if these reforms can influence policy making and enhance gender-oriented accountability. Our analysis follows the process-tracing methodology and includes over 20 in-depth interviews. Our findings show significant public administration obstacles to GRB, but success is possible in institutions with proper leadership, human, and technological resources. This study advances our understanding of the operational limits of GRB, highlights areas for future research on equity-oriented reforms, and sheds light on issues that practitioners need to account for as they strive to further gender equity.
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    Decree or democracy? State takeovers and local government financial outcomes
    (Wiley, 2023-02-05) Singla, Akheil; Spreen, Thomas Luke; Shumberger, Jason
    Many states possess the authority to intervene in local fiscal emergencies, in some cases curtailing decision-making powers of local officials through the appointment of an emergency financial manager. Previous research has recognized that these managers can push through unpopular reforms that may improve financial health but come at the expense of local control and democratic accountability. We assess the financial outcomes after eight recent state takeovers relative to a matched counterfactual comprised of similarly distressed general purpose local governments. The staggered difference-in-differences analysis shows emergency managers improve budgetary solvency and increase fiscal reserves. These enhancements are achieved through significant reduction of general fund expenditures. Several long-term indicators show deterioration in financial health after state intervention reflecting a significant decline in long-term assets. Overall, municipalities subjected to a state takeover did not realize significant long-run improvements in financial health indicators relative to counterfactual governments.