232
222.55
0.96
215

Publication History View all

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growing concerns that contemporary patterns of economic development are unsustainable have given rise to an extensive empirical literature on population growth, consumption increases, and our growing use of nature's products and services. However, far less has been done to reach a theoretical understanding of the socio-ecological processes at work at the population-consumption-environment nexus. In this Research Article, we highlight the ubiquity of externalities (which are the unaccounted for consequences for others, including future people) of decisions made by each of us on reproduction, consumption, and the use of our natural environment. Externalities, of which the "tragedy of the commons" remains the most widely discussed illustration, are a cause of inefficiency in the allocation of resources across space, time, and contingencies; in many situations, externalities accentuate inequity as well. Here, we identify and classify externalities in consumption and reproductive decisions and use of the natural environment so as to construct a unified theoretical framework for the study of data drawn from the nexus. We show that externalities at the nexus are not self-correcting in the marketplace. We also show that fundamental nonlinearities, built into several categories of externalities, amplify the socio-ecological processes operating at the nexus. Eliminating the externalities would, therefore, require urgent collective action at both local and global levels.
    Science 04/2013; 340(6130):324-328.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Netherlands pioneered an early modern ‘Retail Revolution’, facilitating the Consumer Revolution. We analyze 959 Dutch retail ratios using multivariate regressions. Retail density rose with female headship everywhere. Density was high in Holland, but moderate in intermediate provinces and low in Overijssel. Differences in retail density between large and small settlements were trivial in Holland, moderate in intermediate provinces, and prominent in Overijssel. Retail ratios stagnated everywhere across the eighteenth century but rose sharply after 1800. The Dutch Retail Revolution did not unleash ineluctable growth, we conclude, but varied significantly with agrarian structure, the institutional powers of guilds, and female autonomy.
    Explorations in Economic History 01/2013; 51.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social scientists draw important lessons for modern development from the medieval Maghribi traders who, it has been argued, lacked effective legal mechanisms for contract enforcement and instead relied on informal sanctions based on collective ostracism within an exclusive coalition. We show that this claim is untenable. Not a single empirical example adduced as evidence of the putative coalition shows that a coalition actually existed. The Maghribi traders made use of the formal legal system in order to enforce agency agreements in long-distance trade. A subset of the traders did form a web of trusted business associates that contributed to informal contract enforcement, but this was very different from the hypothesized coalition, in neither being exclusive nor having a clearly defined membership. The Maghribi traders combined reputation-based sanctions with legal mechanisms, in ways that resemble the practices of medieval European merchants. We find no evidence that the Maghribi traders had more ‘collectivist’ cultural beliefs than their European counterparts.
    The Economic History Review 04/2012; 65(2):421 - 444.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A time-varying probability density function, or the corresponding cumulative distribution function, may be estimated nonparametrically by using a kernel and weighting the observations using schemes derived from time series modelling. The parameters, including the bandwidth, may be estimated by maximum likelihood or cross-validation. Diagnostic checks may be carried out directly on residuals given by the predictive cumulative distribution function. Since tracking the distribution is only viable if it changes relatively slowly, the technique may need to be combined with a filter for scale and/or location. The methods are applied to data on the NASDAQ index and the Hong Kong and Korean stock market indices.
    International Journal of Forecasting - INT J FORECASTING. 01/2012;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years, diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) has been increasingly used to explore the relationship between white matter structure and cognitive function. This technique uses the passive diffusion of water molecules to infer properties of the surrounding tissue. DW-MRI has been extensively employed to investigate how individual differences in behavior are related to variability in white matter microstructure on a range of different cognitive tasks and also to examine the effect experiential learning might have on brain structural connectivity. Using diffusion tensor tractography, large white matter pathways have been traced in vivo and used to explore patterns of white matter projections between different brain regions. Recent findings suggest that diffusion-weighted imaging might even be used to measure functional differences in water diffusion during task performance. This review describes some research highlights in diffusion-weighted imaging and how this technique can be employed to further our understanding of cognitive function.
    The Neuroscientist 10/2011;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We use direct evidence on credit constraints to study their importance for household consumption growth and for welfare. We distentangle the direct effect on consumption growth of a currently binding credit constraints from the indirect effect of a potentially binding credit constraint which generates consumption risk. Our data is focused on job losers. We find that less than 5% of job losers experi-ence a binding credit constraint, but for those that do, they experience significant welfare losses, and consumption growth is 24% higher than for the rest of the pop-ulation. However, even among those who are currently unconstrained and who are able to borrow if needed, consumption responds to transitory income.
    08/2011;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Concerns over future oil scarcity might not be so worrying but for the high carbon content of substitutes, and the limited capacity of the atmosphere to absorb additional CO(2) from burning fuel. The paper argues that the tools of economics are helpful in understanding some of the key issues in pricing fossil fuels, the extent to which pricing can be left to markets, the need for, and design of, international agreements on corrective carbon pricing, and the potential Prisoners' Dilemma in reaching such agreements, partly mitigated in the case of oil by current taxes and the probable incidence of carbon taxes on the oil price. The 'Green Paradox', in which carbon pricing exacerbates climate change, is theoretically possible, but empirically unlikely.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences 05/2011; 369(1942):1748-61.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The empirical literature on human cooperation contains studies of communitarian institutions that govern the provision of public goods and management of common property resources in poor countries. Scholars studying those institutions have frequently used the Prisoners' Dilemma game as their theoretical tool-kit. But neither the provision of local public goods nor the management of local common property resources involves the Prisoners' Dilemma. That has implications for our reading of communitarian institutions. By applying a fundamental result in the theory of repeated games to a model of local common property resources, it is shown that communitarian institutions can harbour exploitation of fellow members, something that would not be possible in societies where cooperation amounts to overcoming the Prisoners' Dilemma. The conclusion we should draw is that exploitation can masquerade as cooperation.
    Journal of Theoretical Biology 04/2011; 299:180-7.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The medieval Champagne fairs are widely used to draw lessons about the institutional basis for long-distance impersonal exchange. This paper re-examines the causes of the outstanding success of the Champagne fairs in mediating international trade, the timing and causes of the fairs’ decline, and the institutions for securing property rights and enforcing contracts at the fairs. It finds that contract enforcement at the fairs did not take the form of private-order or corporative mechanisms, but was provided by public institutions. More generally, the success and decline of the Champagne fairs depended crucially on the policies adopted by the public authorities.
    04/2011;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Linkages between banks and insurance companies are important when forecasting the fragility of the banking and insurance sectors. We propose a novel empirical framework that allows us to estimate unobserved linkages in panel data sets that contain observed regressors. We find that taking unobserved common factors into account reduces the root mean square forecasts error of firm specific forecasts by up to 9%, of system forecasts by up to 14%, and by up to 39% for systemic forecasts of more distressed firms relative to a model based on observed variables only. Estimates of the factor loadings suggest that the correlation of financial institutions has been relatively stable over the forecast period.
    Journal of Banking & Finance. 04/2011;
Information provided on this web page is aggregated encyclopedic and bibliographical information relating to the named institution. Information provided is not approved by the institution itself. The institution’s logo (and/or other graphical identification, such as a coat of arms) is used only to identify the institution in a nominal way. Under certain jurisdictions it may be property of the institution.