39 results for Fielding, David, Working or discussion paper

  • Understanding the Etiology of Electoral Violence: The Case of Zimbabwe

    Fielding, David (2015-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Recent theoretical and empirical work indicates that incumbent governments are likely to attempt to influence election outcomes by violent means (rather than by bribery and fraud) when their level of popular support is relatively low. However, evidence also suggests that in some countries electoral violence can be quite easy to thwart through peaceful means. This may seem surprising when the incumbent has control over an extensive and well-equipped state security apparatus. The analysis of Zimbabwean data in this paper suggests an explanation: the incumbent prefers to avoid the direct involvement of the state security apparatus when intimidating voters (perhaps because such involvement would undermine the incumbent’s legitimacy abroad), and relies instead on informal groups with very limited organizational capacity. One consequence in Zimbabwe is that the intimidation is heavily focused in places where the incumbent is relatively popular, ceteris paribus.

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  • Information, Institutions and Banking Sector Development in West Africa

    Demetriades, Panicos; Fielding, David (2009-01-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Using a new panel dataset for banks in eight West African countries, we explore the factors that exacerbate or alleviate excess liquidity, and the factors that promote or retard the rate of growth of banks’ assets. Loan default rates in the region are high, and variations in the rate impact on liquidity and asset growth. However, the size of this effect is very sensitive to bank age. Some types of improvement in the quality of governance reduce excess liquidity and promote asset growth. However, the impact of other types of improvement, particularly with regard to corruption, is ambiguous. We uncover evidence that provides an explanation for this ambiguity.

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  • The volatility of aid

    Fielding, David; Mavrotas, George (2005-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Issues related to the volatility of aid flows are now becoming crucial in view of their relevance to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The paper examines aid volatility using data for 66 aid recipients over the period 1973-2002. We improve upon earlier work in this important area by disaggregating total aid inflows into sector and programme aid. In this way we avoid focussing on a single aggregate, unlike most previous studies on aid volatility. We also adopt a different methodology to capture aid volatility. The institutional quality of the aid recipient affects the stability of sector aid but not that of programme assistance. Moreover, more open economies, which tend to be smaller and richer, ceteris paribus, are associated with more volatile sector aid flows.

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  • Asymmetries in the effects of monetary policy: the case of South Africa

    Fielding, David; Shields, Kalvinder (2005-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    PPP is unlikely to hold instantaneously for all commodities across the different regions of a monetary area. It is therefore possible that monetary expansions or contractions will have different effects in different regions, if there are regional asymmetries in the monetary transmission mechanism. We estimate the size of such asymmetries across the nine provinces of South Africa over the period 1997-2005. There are large and statistically significant differences in the response of prices to monetary expansions and contractions.

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  • "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." A study of political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt

    Fielding, David; Shortland, Anja (2005-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper analyses a newly collected time-series database measuring the dimensions of violent political conflict in Egypt. Attention is focused on the interaction between politically motivated attacks by Islamists and the counter-insurgency measures used by the Egyptian government. The intensity of security force activities responds immediately to all kinds of Islamist violence, regardless of the target of the attack. However, there are significant asymmetries in the way that the different forms of Islamist violence respond to the different security force activities.

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  • Health, wealth, fertility, education and inequality

    Fielding, David; Torres, Sebastian (2005-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper uses a new cross-country dataset to estimate the strength of the links between different dimensions of social and economic development, including indicators of health, fertility and education as well as material wellbeing. The paper differs from previous studies in employing data for different income groups in each country in order to provide direct evidence on factors driving inequality, and in using a unique measure of material wellbeing that does not rely on PPP comparisons.

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  • Mapping Medieval and Modern Chauvinism in England

    Fielding, David (2014-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There is evidence for the long-run persistence of geographical variation in tolerance towards other ethnicities. However, existing studies of tolerance use data from countries with long-standing patterns of ethnic diversity, so it is unclear whether the inter-generational transmission is in attitudes towards specific ethnic groups or in an underlying cultural trait of which such attitudes are just one expression. This paper presents evidence for the latter, identifying geographical variation in the intensity of anti-immigrant sentiment in England that has persisted over eight centuries, spans the arrival and departure of different immigrant groups, and is correlated with authoritarianism.

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  • Does Aid Work for the Poor?

    McGillivray, Mark; Fielding, David; Torres, Sebastian; Knowles, Stephen (2011-12-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper econometrically examines the impact of aid on the well-being of population sub-groups within 48 developing countries. This is a radical departure from previous empirical research of aid effectiveness at the country level, which has looked mainly at the relationship between aid and national aggregates, per capita GDP growth in particular. A specific concern of the paper is the impact of aid on the wealth, education and health of the poorest. Results indicate that while aid improves the well-being of the poorest groups, it is the richer groups that benefit the most.

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  • Regional asymmetries in the impact of monetary policy shocks on prices: Evidence from US cities

    Fielding, David; Shields, Kalvinder (2007-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    JEL Classification: E31, E52, R19

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  • What Explains Changes in the Level of Abuse Against Civilians during the Peruvian Civil War?

    Fielding, David; Shortland, Anja (2010-05-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Using a new monthly time-series data set, we explore the factors associated with variations in the number of civilians killed or wounded by participants in the civil war in Peru during the 1980s and 1990s. We find that an increase in the level of abuse by one side is strongly associated with subsequent increases in the level of abuse by the other. Certain types of foreign intervention have a large and statistically significant impact on the level of abuse; some types of intervention raise the level of violence, but others reduce it.

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  • Aid and Dutch Disease in the South Pacific

    Fielding, David (2007-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The impact of aid inflows on relative prices and output is ambiguous. Aid inflows that increase domestic expenditure are likely to cause real exchange rate appreciation, ceteris paribus. However, if this expenditure raises the capital stock in the traded goods sector, then output in this sector might not contract, at least in the steady state. Moreover, if investment in the nontraded goods sector is relatively high and/or productive, then there is not necessarily any real exchange rate appreciation in the steady state. We use time-series data to examine the impact of aid inflows on output and real exchange rates in ten South Pacific island states, and find aid inflows to produce a variety of outcomes in economies of different kinds.

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  • Credit Booms, Financial Fragility and Banking Crises

    Fielding, David; Rewilak, Johan (2015-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Recent evidence indicates that surges in capital inflows and credit booms can increase the probability of a subsequent banking crisis. Using a new country-level panel database on financial fragility, we take this analysis further by exploring the interaction of surges, booms and fragility. We find that booms and fragility are both important, but booms increase the probability of a crisis only in financial systems with a relatively high level of fragility. Booms appear not to be dangerous in countries with a robust banking system.

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  • How Much Does Women’s Empowerment Influence their Wellbeing? Evidence from Africa

    Fielding, David (2013-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    One of the eight Millennium Development Goals is to ‘promote gender equality and empower women.’ However, only 1% of official foreign aid is currently spent on gender equality and human rights. Using individual-level survey data from 39 villages in northern Senegal, we model the effects that freedom within the home have on married women’s subjective wellbeing. We find the direct effects on wellbeing to be of a similar magnitude to the direct effects of consumption, education and morbidity. These results suggest the need for a review of aid allocation priorities.

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  • What causes changes in opinion about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?

    Fielding, David; Penny, Madeline (2006-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In this paper we present a statistical analysis of the factors that drive monthly variations in the aggregate level of support among Israeli Jews for the Oslo Peace Process. Attitudes depend on both the state of the Israeli economy and the intensity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the onset of the Intifada. Moreover, different dimensions of the conflict have very different effects on Jewish public opinion. In particular, there is substantial heterogeneity in the response of attitudes to conflict events on either side of the Green Line.

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  • Monopoly Power in the Eighteenth Century British Book Trade

    Fielding, David; Rogers, Shef (2014-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In conventional wisdom, the reform of British copyright law during the eighteenth century brought an end to the monopoly on the sale of books held by the Stationers’ Company, and the resulting competition was one of the driving forces behind the expansion of British book production during the Enlightenment. In this paper, we analyze a new dataset on eighteenth century book prices and author payments, showing that the legal reform brought about only a temporary increase in competition. The data suggest that by the end of the century, informal collusion between publishers had replaced the legal monopoly powers in place at the beginning of the century. The monopoly power of retailers is not so easily undermined.

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  • Health Aid and Governance in Developing Countries

    Fielding, David (2008-11-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Despite anecdotal evidence that the quality of governance in recipient countries affects the allocation of international health aid, there is no quantitative evidence on the magnitude of this effect, or on which dimensions of governance influence donor decisions. We measure health aid flows over 2001-2005 for 87 aid recipients, matching aid data with measures of different dimensions of governance and a range of country-specific economic and health characteristics. Both corruption and political rights, but not civil rights, have a significant impact on aid. The sensitivity of aid to corruption might be explained by a perception that poor institutions make health aid inefficient. However, even when we allow for variations in the level of corruption, political rights still have a significant impact on aid allocation. This suggests that health aid is sometimes used as an incentive to reward political reforms, even though (as we find) such aid is not fungibile.

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  • Ethnic Fractionalization, Governance and Loan Defaults in Africa

    Adrianova, Svetlana; Baltagi, Badi H.; Demetriades, Panicos; Fielding, David (2014-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We present a theoretical model of moral hazard and adverse selection in an imperfectly competitive loans market that is suitable for application to Africa. The model allows for variation in both the level of contract enforcement (depending on the quality of governance) and the degree of market segmentation (depending on the level of ethnic fractionalization). The model predicts a specific form of non-linearity in the effects of these variables on the loan default rate. Empirical analysis using African panel data for 111 individual banks in 29 countries over 2000-2008 provides strong evidence for these predictions. Our results have important implications for the conditions under which policy reform will enhance financial development.

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  • Does trust extend beyond the village? Experimental trust and social distance in Cameroon

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2009-07-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In this paper we use experimental data collected in rural Cameroon to quantify the effect of social distance on trust and altruism. Our measure of social distance is one that is relevant to everyday economic interactions: subjects in a Trust Game play with fellow villagers or with someone from a different village. We find that Senders in a Trust Game pass significantly more money to Recipients from their own village than to Recipients from a different village. To test for the possibility that Senders are motivated by unconditional kindness, they also play a Triple Dictator Game. We find that Senders pass significantly more money on average in the Trust Game than in the Triple Dictator Game, confirming that transfers in the Trust Game are partly motivated by Trust. However, there is also a social distance effect in the Triple Dictator Game, and around one third of the social distance effect in the Trust Game is due to greater unconditional kindness to fellow villagers. Results from a Risk Game suggest that Trust Game transfers are uncorrelated with attitudes to risk.

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  • Survey Trust, Experimental Trust and ROSCA Membership in Rural Cameroon

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2007-11-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Broadly speaking, economic experiments and surveys have found trust to be much lower in Africa than in industrialized countries. We analyze new experimental and survey results from rural Cameroon, where the average level of trust appears to be much higher than is typical of Africa. A substantial part of this difference can be explained by the prevalence of Rotating Saving and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) in the area: membership of a common ROSCA is one of the most important factors determining experimental behavior. Correspondingly, responses to the survey questions indicate that villagers have a high degree of trust in people with whom they interact regularly, though not in people in general. There is a significant correlation between the degree of trust exhibited in the game and the degree of trust declared in response to survey questions. However, survey responses do not capture all of the systematic variation in experimental behavior, and understate the importance of ROSCA membership in predicting someone’s propensity to trust others.

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  • Giving to Africa and Perceptions of Poverty

    Etang, Alvin; Fielding, David; Knowles, Stephen (2010-08-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We conduct a simple experiment in which student participants are invited to give some of the money that they have earned to an international development charity. In different treatments, participants are given different information about the country in which the donation will be spent. The information on the country includes the country’s income per capita and, in some treatments, different possible reasons as to why the country is poor. We find that experimental behaviour depends largely on the characteristics of the participant rather than on the treatment. The most important characteristics are the participant’s intended major subject, level of happiness and the frequency of religious activity.

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