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Beyond Mechanical Markets Cover

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Beyond Mechanical Markets

Asset Price Swings, Risk, and the Role of the State

Roman Frydman

In the wake of the global financial crisis that began in 2007, faith in the rationality of markets has lost ground to a new faith in their irrationality. The problem, Roman Frydman and Michael Goldberg argue, is that both the rational and behavioral theories of the market rest on the same fatal assumption--that markets act mechanically and economic change is fully predictable. In Beyond Mechanical Markets, Frydman and Goldberg show how the failure to abandon this assumption hinders our understanding of how markets work, why price swings help allocate capital to worthy companies, and what role government can and can't play.

The financial crisis, Frydman and Goldberg argue, was made more likely, if not inevitable, by contemporary economic theory, yet its core tenets remain unchanged today. In response, the authors show how imperfect knowledge economics, an approach they pioneered, provides a better understanding of markets and the financial crisis. Frydman and Goldberg deliver a withering critique of the widely accepted view that the boom in equity prices that ended in 2007 was a bubble fueled by herd psychology. They argue, instead, that price swings are driven by individuals' ever-imperfect interpretations of the significance of economic fundamentals for future prices and risk. Because swings are at the heart of a dynamic economy, reforms should aim only to curb their excesses.

Showing why we are being dangerously led astray by thinking of markets as predictably rational or irrational, Beyond Mechanical Markets presents a powerful challenge to conventional economic wisdom that we can't afford to ignore.

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Beyond Sputnik

U.S. Science Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith, and Jennifer B. McCormick

Science and technology are responsible for almost every advance in our modern quality of life. Yet science isn't just about laboratories, telescopes and particle accelerators. Public policy exerts a huge impact on how the scientific community conducts its work. Beyond Sputnik is a comprehensive survey of the field for use as an introductory textbook in courses and a reference guide for legislators, scientists, journalists, and advocates seeking to understand the science policy-making process. Detailed case studies---on topics from cloning and stem cell research to homeland security and science education---offer readers the opportunity to study real instances of policymaking at work. Authors and experts Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith, and Jennifer B. McCormick propose practical ways to implement sound public policy in science and technology and highlight how these policies will guide the results of scientific discovery for years to come. Homer A. Neal is the Samuel A. Goudsmit Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Interim President Emeritus, and Vice President for Research Emeritus at the University of Michigan, and is a former member of the U.S. National Science Board. Tobin L. Smith is Associate Vice President for Federal Relations at the Association of American Universities. He was formerly Assistant Director of the University of Michigan and MIT Washington, DC, offices. Jennifer B. McCormick is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Ethics in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Mayo College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and is the Associate Director of the Research Ethics Resource, part of the Mayo Clinic's NIH Clinical Translational Science Award research programs. GO BEYOND SPUTNIK ONLINE--Visit www.science-policy.net for the latest news, teaching resources, learning guides, and internship opportunities in the 21st-Century field of science policy. "Beyond Sputnik is a readable, concise, yet remarkably comprehensive introduction to contemporary science policy. It is devoid of 'wonkishness' yet serves the needs of policymakers and students alike. Because science and technology policy is of central importance in the twenty-first century this accessible volume is a godsend." ---Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering and Vice Chair of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering "This highly researched book is a treasure trove for anyone concerned with science policy relating to such challenges as providing energy, preserving the environment, assuring healthcare, creating jobs, and more." ---Norman Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation and recipient of the 2008 Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board "Science policy is a subject of growing importance in the United States, yet there has long been a vacuum among textbooks in the field. Beyond Sputnik fills it splendidly and will be greeted with enthusiasm by students and faculty alike. Even those who have practiced the art for years will learn from it." ---Albert Teich, Director of Science and Policy Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science "Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith, and Jennifer B. McCormick have written a landmark work calling for a national effort to restore our nation's power in the fields of science, energy, and education, as we did in the remarkable year following Sputnik. The next preident should read Beyond Sputnik and accept this call to action as did President Eisenhower." ---Ambassador David M. Abshire, President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency, Cofounder and Vice Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation "At last we have a text that tells the story from where A. Hunter Dupree left off; an excellent core text for courses in science and technology policy, DC policymakers, and anyone who needs to get up to speed in the field . . . The book that we have all been waiting for." ---Christopher T. Hill, Professor of Public Policy and Technology, George Mason University

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Beyond the Big Ditch

Politics, Ecology, and Infrastructure at the Panama Canal

Ashley Carse

In this innovative book, Ashley Carse traces the water that flows into and out from the Panama Canal to explain how global shipping is entangled with Panama's cultural and physical landscapes. By following container ships as they travel downstream along maritime routes and tracing rivers upstream across the populated watershed that feeds the canal, he explores the politics of environmental management around a waterway that links faraway ports and markets to nearby farms, forests, cities, and rural communities. Carse draws on a wide range of ethnographic and archival material to show the social and ecological implications of transportation across Panama. The Canal moves ships over an aquatic staircase of locks that demand an enormous amount of fresh water from the surrounding region. Each passing ship drains 52 million gallons out to sea -- a volume comparable to the daily water use of half a million Panamanians. Infrastructures like the Panama Canal, Carse argues, do not simply conquer nature; they rework ecologies in ways that serve specific political and economic priorities. Interweaving histories that range from the depopulation of the U.S. Canal Zone a century ago to road construction conflicts and water hyacinth invasions in canal waters, the book illuminates the human and nonhuman actors that have come together at the margins of the famous trade route. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. Beyond the Big Ditch calls us to consider how infrastructures are materially embedded in place, producing environments with winners and losers.

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Beyond the Boycott

Labor Rights, Human Rights, and Transnational Activism

As the world economy becomes increasingly integrated, companies can shift production to wherever wages are lowest and unions weakest. How can workers defend their rights in an era of mobile capital? With national governments forced to compete for foreign investment by rolling back legal protections for workers, fair trade advocates are enlisting consumers to put market pressure on companies to treat their workers fairly. In Beyond the Boycott, sociologist Gay Seidman asks whether this non-governmental approach can reverse the “race to the bottom” in global labor standards. Beyond the Boycott examines three campaigns in which activists successfully used the threat of a consumer boycott to pressure companies to accept voluntary codes of conduct and independent monitoring of  work sites. The voluntary Sullivan Code required American corporations operating in apartheid-era South Africa to improve treatment of their workers;  in India, the Rugmark inspection team provides ‘social labels’ for  handknotted carpets made without child labor; and in Guatemala,  COVERCO monitors conditions in factories producing clothing under contract for major American brands. Seidman compares these cases to explore the ingredients of successful campaigns, as well as the inherent limitations facing voluntary monitoring schemes. Despite activists’ emphasis on educating individual consumers to support ethical companies, Seidman finds that, in practice, they have been most successful when they mobilized institutions—such as universities, churches, and shareholder organizations. Moreover, although activists tend to dismiss states’ capabilities, all three cases involved governmental threats of trade sanctions against companies and countries with poor labor records. Finally, Seidman  points to an intractable difficulty of independent workplace monitoring: since consumers rarely distinguish between monitoring schemes and labels, companies can hand pick monitoring organizations, selecting those with the lowest standards for working conditions and the least aggressive inspections. Transnational consumer movements can increase the bargaining power of the global workforce, Seidman argues, but they cannot replace national governments or local campaigns to expand the meaning of citizenship. As trade and capital move across borders in growing volume and with greater speed, civil society and human rights movements are also becoming more global. Highly original and thought-provoking, Beyond the Boycott vividly depicts the contemporary movement to humanize globalization—its present and its possible future.

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Beyond the Resource Curse

Edited by Brenda Shaffer and Taleh Ziyadov

When countries discover that they possess large deposits of oil and natural gas, the news is usually welcome. Yet, paradoxically, if they rely on their wealth of natural resources, they often set down a path of poor economic performance and governance challenges. Only a few resource-rich countries have managed to develop their economies fully and provide a better and sustainable standard of living for large segments of their populations. This phenomenon, known as the resource curse, is a core challenge for energy-exporting states. Beyond the Resource Curse focuses on this relationship between natural wealth and economic security, discussing the particular pitfalls and consistent perils facing oil- and gas-exporting states.

The contributors to this volume look beyond the standard fields of research related to the resource curse. They also shed new light on the specific developmental problems of resource-rich exporting states around the globe, including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cambodia, East Timor, Iran, Norway, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

Policy makers and academics think of energy security solely in terms of the interests of energy importers. Beyond the Resource Curse shows that the constant volatility in energy markets creates energy security challenges for exporters as well.

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Beyond Wolves

The Politics Of Wolf Recovery And Management

Martin A. Nie

Since 1995, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released Canadian gray wolves into Yellowstone National Park as part of its wolf recovery program, reintroduction has been widely challenged in public forums and sensationalized in the media. This conflict has pitted western ranchers and property rights activists against environmental groups, highlighting starkly contrasting political perspectives. In this informed account, Martin A. Nie examines not only the future of wolf recovery but also the issues that will define debates around the politics of wildlife management, animal rights issues, and other flash points. The result is a revelatory look at the way the democratic process works when the subject is an environmental hot-button issue.

Examining the wolf recovery program from a policy-making perspective, Nie looks at programs in Alaska, the Lake Superior region, the Northern Rockies, the Southwest, and New England and upstate New York. He analyzes the social, political, and cultural backdrop in the areas in which wolves have been reintroduced and explores such contentious issues as the role of science in public policy; the struggle between wilderness protection, resource management, and private property; and the use of stakeholders in environmental conflicts.

For Nie, the debate over wolf recovery is above all a value-based political conflict that should take place in a more inclusive, participatory, and representative democratic arena. Wolves, Nie writes, are an important indicator species both biologically and politically, and in Beyond Wolves, he tells an important story of wolves and people, place and politics, that resonates far beyond the fate of America’s most misunderstood inhabitants.


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Big Bets and Black Swans 2014

A Presidential Briefing Book

edited by Ted Piccone, Steven Pifer, and Thomas Wright

President Obama has just three years left in office to define his legacy in world affairs. He's facing a number of critical challenges—the ongoing war in Syria, the Iran nuclear negotiations, an enigmatic North Korea and other significant crises in world affairs. The president's advisors are busy devising policy recommendations aimed at grappling with these thorny issues. From these, the president must decide which priorities to pursue and how to best exercise U.S. power and influence to manage and shape the global order.

This book presents a set of policy analysis and recommendations from The Foreign Policy scholars at the Brookings Institution. Designed to provide the White House with innovative and actionable policy initiatives, the book is constructed as a series of memos to President Obama. This year, the memos are divided into five categories:

• Big Bets are issues where the president should consider investing his power, time and prestige in major efforts that can have a transformational impact on America and the world. • Double Downs are derived from the Big Bets from last year's recommendations that the president should redouble his efforts on.

• Black Swans are those low-probability but high-impact events that can divert the president and his administration's higher purposes, such as dramatic negative events that he will want to take steps in advance to avoid or to mitigate their consequences.

• Nightmares are events that look more likely than a Black Swan and could prove particularly troublesome for U.S. interests and the global order, and for which the administration should prepare.

• Holds are updated policy recommendations to stay the course on approaches suggested last year.

Contents: Big Bets

• Reassert U.S. Leadership of a Liberal Global Order by Robert Kagan and Ted Piccone

• Secure the Future of the Internet by Peter W. Singer and Ian Wallace

• Solidify the U.S.-Afghanistan Alliance by Michael E. O'Hanlon and Gen. John Allen (USMC, Ret.)

• Lift the Ban on U.S. Oil Exports by Tim Boersma and Charles K. Ebinger

• Strengthen Stability in Africa by Michael E. O'Hanlon

Double Downs

• Broaden the Approach to Iran by Suzanne Maloney

• Pursue Regime Change in Syria by Michael Doran

• Return to the Asia Rebalance by Jonathan D. Pollack and Jeffrey A. Bader

• Reach Out to Cuba by Ted Piccone

• Avert Conflict in the South and East China Seas by Richard C. Bush III, Bruce Jones and Jonathan D. Pollack

Black Swans

• Israeli-Palestinian Violence Erupts by Natan B. Sachs

• Putin's Russia Goes rogue by Fiona Hill and Steven Pifer

• Venezuela Breaks Down in Violence by Harold Trinkunas

Nightmares

• Korean Crisis Prompts Confrontation with China by Jonathan D. Pollack and Richard C. Bush III

• Iran Nuclear Talks Fail by Robert Einhorn and Kenneth Pollack

• Afghanistan's Presidential Election Goes Awry by Vanda Felbab-Brown

• Muslim Brotherhood Radicalizes by Daniel L. Byman and Tamara Cofman Wittes

Holds

• Avoid a U.S.-Saudi Divorce by Bruce Riedel

• Close the Deal on Free Trade by Mireya Solis

• Manage the Impact of Climate Change by Elizabeth Ferris

• Deepen Economic Ties to Turkey by Kemal Kirisci

• Beyond New START by Steven Pifer

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Biology at Work

Rethinking Sexual Equality

Kingsley R. Browne

Does biology help explain why women, on average, earn less money than men? Is there any evolutionary basis for the scarcity of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies? According to Kingsley Browne, the answer may be yes.

Biology at Work brings an evolutionary perspective to bear on issues of women in the workplace: the "glass ceiling," the "gender gap" in pay, sexual harassment, and occupational segregation. While acknowledging the role of discrimination and sexist socialization, Browne suggests that until we factor real biological differences between men and women into the equation, the explanation remains incomplete.

Browne looks at behavioral differences between men and women as products of different evolutionary pressures facing them throughout human history. Womens biological investment in their offspring has led them to be on average more nurturing and risk averse, and to value relationships over competition. Men have been biologically rewarded, over human history, for displays of strength and skill, risk taking, and status acquisition. These behavioral differences have numerous workplace consequences. Not surprisingly, sex differences in the drive for status lead to sex differences in the achievement of status.

Browne argues that decision makers should recognize that policies based on the assumption of a single androgynous human nature are unlikely to be successful. Simply removing barriers to inequality will not achieve equality, as women and men typically value different things in the workplace and will make different workplace choices based on their different preferences.

Rather than simply putting forward the "nature" side of the debate, Browne suggests that dichotomies such as nature/nurture have impeded our understanding of the origins of human behavior. Through evolutionary biology we can understand not only how natural selection has created predispositions toward certain types of behavior but also how the social environment interacts with these predispositions to produce observed behavioral patterns.

 

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Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society

Strengths, Weaknesses, and Strategies for Change

The majority of African American children live in homes without their fathers, but the proportion of African American children living in intact, two-parent families has risen significantly since 1995. Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society looks at father absence from two sides, offering an in-depth analysis of how the absence of African American fathers affects their children, their relationships, and society as a whole, while countering the notion that father absence and family fragmentation within the African American community is inevitable. Editors Obie Clayton, Ronald B. Mincy, and David Blankenhorn lead a diverse group of contributors encompassing a range of disciplines and ideological perspectives who all agree that father absence among black families is one of the most pressing social problems today. In part I, the contributors offer possible explanations for the decline in marriage among African American families. William Julius Wilson believes that many men who live in the inner city no longer consider marriage an option because their limited economic prospects do not enable them to provide for a family. Part II considers marriage from an economic perspective, emphasizing that it is in part a wealth-producing institution. Maggie Gallagher points out that married people earn, invest, and save more than single people, and that when marriage rates are low in a community, it is the children who suffer most. In part III, the contributors discuss policies to reduce absentee fatherhood. Wornie Reed demonstrates how public health interventions, such as personal development workshops and work-related skill-building services, can be used to address the causes of fatherlessness. Wade Horn illustrates the positive results achieved by fatherhood programs, especially when held early in a man's life. In the last chapter, Enola Aird notes that from 1995 to 2000, the proportion of African American children living in two-parent, married couple homes rose from 34.8 to 38.9 percent; a significant increase indicating the possible reversal of the long-term shift toward black family fragmentation. Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society provides an in-depth look at a problem affecting millions of children while offering proof that the trend of father absence is not irrevocable.

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The Black Hole of Public Administration

Ruth Hubbard & Gilles Paquet

Public administration in Canada needs to change. A handful of scholars across Canada have been sounding the alarm for years but to no avail. Talented young bureaucrats have been joining the public service with fresh ideas capable of creating real change, but the black hole consumes all.

In The Black Hole of Public Administration, experienced public servant Ruth Hubbard and public administration iconoclast Gilles Paquet sound a wake-up call to the federal public service. They lament the lack of “serious play” going on in Canada’s public administration today and map some possible escape plans. They look to a more participatory governance model – “open source” governing or “small g” governance – as a way to liberate our public service from antiquated styles and systems of governing.

In their recognizably rebellious style, Hubbard and Paquet demand that public administration scholars and senior level bureaucrats pull their heads out of the sand and confront the problems of the current system and develop a new system that can address the needs of Canada today.

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