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Browse FSI scholarship on geopolitics, global health, energy, cybersecurity and more.

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Journal Article

Contribution of historical precipitation change to US flood damages

Marshall Burke, Noah Diffenbaugh
PNAS , 2021

Precipitation extremes have increased in many regions of the United States, suggesting that climate change may be exacerbating the cost of flooding. However, the impact of historical precipitation change on the cost of US flood damages remains poorly quantified. Applying empirical analysis to historical precipitation and flood damages, we estimate that approximately one-third (36%) of the cost of flood damages over 1988 to 2017 is a result of historical precipitation changes.

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Book

Negotiating the New START Treaty

Rose Gottemoeller
2021
Rose Gottemoeller, the US chief negotiator of the New START treaty—and the first woman to lead a major nuclear arms negotiation—delivers in this book an invaluable insider’s account of the negotiations between the US and Russian delegations in Geneva in 2009 and 2010.
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Journal Article

The changing risk and burden of wildfire in the United States

Marshall Burke, Anne Driscoll, Sam Heft-Neal, Jiani Xue
PNAS , 2021

Recent dramatic and deadly increases in global wildfire activity have increased attention on the causes of wildfires, their consequences, and how risk from wildfire might be mitigated. Here we bring together data on the changing risk and societal burden of wildfire in the United States. We estimate that nearly 50 million homes are currently in the wildland–urban interface in the United States, a number increasing by 1 million houses every 3 y.

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Journal Article

Rural Minimum Living Standard Guarantee (Rural Dibao) Program Boosts Children's Education Outcomes in Rural China

Zixuan He, Xiangming Fang, Nathan Rose, Xiaodong Zheng, Scott Rozelle
China Agricultural Economic Review , 2021

Purpose: To combat poverty in China's rural areas, Chinese government has established an unconditional cash transfer program known as the Rural Minimum Living Standard Guarantee (Rural Dibao) Program. Interestingly, despite the importance of education in breaking cycles of poverty, little is known about Rural Dibao's impact on rural children's education.

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Journal Article

The Performance of State-Owned Enterprises: New Evidence from the China Employer-Employee Survey

Hong Cheng, Hongbin Li, Tang Li
Economic Development and Cultural Change , 2021
Drawing on data from a random sample of manufacturing firms collected in 2016 for the China Employer-Employee Survey (CEES), we examine differences in measures of productivity and financial returns between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and private firms in China. The summary statistics show that labor productivity and total factor productivity are generally higher at SOEs than at private firms, but the productivity advantage of SOEs can mostly be explained by the higher levels of human capital of their workers, greater market power, and better management. Furthermore, SOEs’ advantage in productivity exists only in industries with higher SOE concentrations. In contrast, measures of financial returns—return on assets and return on equity—are lower for SOEs than for private firms. We believe that these results may reflect the fact that SOEs generally have easier access to capital, human capital, and markets than other types of firms in China.
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Book

The Cambridge Companion to Medieval British Manuscripts

Edited by Orietta Da Rold, Elaine Traharne
2020
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White Paper

Stoking Conflicts by Keystroke: An Operation Run by IRA-Linked Individuals Targeting Libya, Sudan, and Syria

Shelby Grossman, Khadeja Ramali, Renee DiResta, Lucas Beissner, Samantha Bradshaw, William Healzer, Ira Hubert, David Thiel
2020
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Journal Article

Building Strategic Leverage in the Indian Ocean Region

Arzan Tarapore
The Washington Quarterly , 2020
The United States and its likeminded partners, particularly India — if four constraints are more realistically accounted for — and other members of the Quad, can more effectively mitigate the risks of Chinese military expansion by building “strategic leverage” along these four lines of effort in the Indian Ocean region.
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Policy Brief

Preparing for the Age of Deepfakes and Disinformation

Marietje Schaake, Andrew Grotto, Dan Boneh, Patrick McDaniel, Nicolas Papernot
2020
POPULAR CULTURE HAS ENVISIONED SOCIETIES of intelligent machines for generations, with Alan Turing notably foreseeing the need for a test to distinguish machines from humans in 1950. Now, advances in artificial intelligence that promise to make creating convincing fake multimedia content like video, images, or audio relatively easy for many.
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Journal Article

The Impact of Online Computer Assisted Learning at Home for Disadvantaged Children in Taiwan: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Bin Tang, Te-Tien Ting, Chyi-In Wu, Yue Ma, Di Mo, Wei-Ting Hung, Scott Rozelle
Sustainability , 2020
In Taiwan, thousands of students from Yuanzhumin (aboriginal) families lag far behind their Han counterparts in academic achievement. When they fall behind, they often have no way to catch up. There is increased interest among both educators and policymakers in helping underperforming students catch up using computer-assisted learning (CAL). The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of an intervention aimed at raising the academic performance of students using an in-home CAL program. According to intention-to-treat estimates, in-home CAL improved the overall math scores of students in the treatment group relative to the control group by 0.08 to 0.20 standard deviations (depending on whether the treatment was for one or two semesters). Furthermore, Average Treatment Effect on the Treated analysis was used for solving the compliance problem in our experiment, showing that in-home CAL raised academic performance by 0.36 standard deviations among compliers. This study thus presents preliminary evidence that an in-home CAL program has the potential to boost the learning outcomes of disadvantaged students.
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Journal Article

The PLA’s Evolving Role in China’s South China Sea Strategy

Oriana Skylar Mastro, Oriana Skylar Mastro
China Leadership Monitor , 2020

During the past eight months of the global COVID pandemic, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been active in promoting China’s claims in the South China Sea.  This essay evaluates PLA statements, military exercises and operations, and deployment of relevant platforms and weapons in the South China Sea during this period. I leverage Chinese-language sources in addition to my own operational knowledge from over a decade of military experience to provide greater context for these activities.

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Journal Article

Maternal Health Behaviors During Pregnancy in Rural Northwestern China

Yue Ma, Yujuan Gao, Jason Li, Andrew Sun, Baozhu Wang, Jun Zhang, Sarah-Eve Dill, Alexis Medina, Scott Rozelle
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , 2020
Background: Maternal health during pregnancy is a key input in fetal health and child development. This study aims to systematically describe the health behaviors of pregnant women in rural China and identify which subgroups of women are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors during pregnancy.
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Book

Power and Time Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History

Edited by Natasha Wheatley, Stefanos Geroulanos, Dan Edelstein
University of Chicago Press , 2020

Time is the backdrop of historical inquiry, yet it is much more than a featureless setting for events. Different temporalities interact dynamically; sometimes they coexist tensely, sometimes they clash violently. In this innovative volume, editors Dan Edelstein, Stefanos Geroulanos, and Natasha Wheatley challenge how we interpret history by focusing on the nexus of two concepts—“power” and “time”—as they manifest in a wide variety of case studies.

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Journal Article

The Impacts of Highly Resourced Vocational Schools on Student Outcomes in China

Guirong Li, Jiajia Xu, Liying Li, Zhaolei Shi, Hongmei Yi, James Chu, Elena Kardanova, Yanyan Li, Prashant Loyalka, Scott Rozelle
China & World Economy , 2020
Policymakers in developing countries have prioritized the mass expansion of vocational education and training (VET). Evidence suggests, however, that the quality of VET can be poor. One possible reason given by policymakers for this is a lack of resources per student. The goal of this study is to examine whether the quality of VET in developing countries increases by investing greater resources per student. To achieve this goal, we examine the impacts of attending model schools (which have far more resources per student) compared with non-model schools (which have fewer resources) on a range of student cognitive, non-cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Using representative data from a survey of approximately 12,000 VET students from China, multivariate regression and propensity score matching analyses show that there are no significant benefits, in terms of student outcomes, from attending model vocational high schools, despite their substantially greater resources.
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Journal Article

Democratic Source Code for a New U.S.-EU Tech Alliance

Marietje Schaake, Tyson Barker
2020
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Journal Article

The Macroeconomics of Corporate Debt

Markus Brunnermeier, Arvind Krishnamurthy
The Review of Corporate Finance Studies , 2020
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Journal Article

Trade policy under monopolistic competition with firm selection

Kyle Bagwell, Seung Hoon Lee
Journal of International Economics , 2020

We analyze unilateral, efficient and Nash trade policies in a symmetric, two-country version of the Melitz-Ottaviano (2008) model. Starting at global free trade, we show that a country gains from the introduction of (1) a small import tariff; (2) a small export subsidy, if trade costs are low and the dispersion of productivities is high; and (3) an appropriately combined small increase in its import and export tariffs. The welfare of its trading partner, however, falls in each of these three cases.

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Commentary

How to Save Democracy From Technology

Francis Fukuyama, Ashish Goel, Barak Richman
2020

Full article appears in the January/February 2021 issue of Foreign Affairs

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White Paper

Report of the Working Group on Platform Scale

Francis Fukuyama, Barak Richman, Ashish Goel, Marietje Schaake, Roberta R. Katz, Douglas Melamed
2020

The internet economy has produced digital platforms of enormous economic and social significance. These platforms—specifically, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Apple—now play central roles in how millions of Americans obtain information, spend their money, communicate with fellow citizens, and earn their livelihoods. Their reach is also felt globally, extending to many countries around the world. They have amassed the economic, social, and political influence that very few private entities have ever obtained previously.

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