International Development

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International Development

Experts in health, education, governance, energy and social justice collaborate to learn how different levers of action can impact communities.

Research Spotlight

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Causes of Indonesia’s Forest Fires

New research features a 30,000-village case study of the 2015 fire season on Sumatra and Kalimantan and asks which villages, for a given level of spatial fire risk, are more likely to have fire.
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Fateful Decisions: Choices That Will Shape China's Future

Experts provide a cutting-edge analytic framework for understanding the decisions that will determine China's trajectory.
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Do Immigrants Assimilate More Slowly Today Than in the Past?

Using millions of historical census records and modern birth certificates, new research documents that immigrants assimilated into U.S. society at similar rates in the past and present.

Featured Scholars

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Lisa Blaydes

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Lisa Blaydes

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Associate Professor of Political Science
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Ertharin Cousin

Visiting Scholar at the Center on Food Security and the Environment
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Ertharin Cousin

Visiting Scholar at the Center on Food Security and the Environment
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Alberto Díaz-Cayeros

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Alberto Díaz-Cayeros

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Affiliated faculty, Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law
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Prashant Loyalka

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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Prashant Loyalka

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education

Upcoming Events

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Publications

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Working Papers

Discussant comments on “Food systems and human health and nutrition: An economic policy perspective with a focus on Africa”

Eran Bendavid
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University, 2012 October 11, 2012

Eran Bendavid, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University provides commentary on nutrition and food policy expert Per Pinstrup-Andersen's presentation and paper on "Food systems and human health and nutrition". The symposium and paper are part of the Center on Food Security and the Environment's Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium series.

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Journal Articles

The nature and causes of the global water crisis: Syndromes from a meta-analysis of coupled human-water studies

V. Srinivasan, Eric Lambin, S.M. Gorelick, Barton H. Thompson, Scott Rozelle
Water Resources Research, 2012 October 5, 2012

Freshwater scarcity has been cited as the major crisis of the 21st century, but it is surprisingly hard to describe the nature of the global water crisis. We conducted a meta- analysis of 22 coupled humanwater system case studies, using qualitative comparison analysis (QCA) to identify water resource system outcomes and the factors that drive them.

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Journal Articles

Land institutions and supply chain configurations as determinants of soybean planted area and yields in Brazil

Rachael Garrett, Eric Lambin, Rosamond Naylor
Land Use Policy, 2012 October 1, 2012

Soybean production has become a significant force for economic development in Brazil. It has also received considerable attention from environmental and social non-governmental organizations as a driver of deforestation and land consolidation. While many researchers have examined the impacts of soybean production on human and environmental landscapes, there has been little investigation into the economic and institutional context of Brazilian soybean production or the relationship between soy yields and planted area.

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Journal Articles

Searching for Solutions in Aquaculture: Charting a sustainable course

Dane Klinger, Rosamond L. Naylor
Annual Reviews Environment and Resources, 2012 October 1, 2012

Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing animal food production sector and will soon supply more than half of the world’s seafood for human consumption. Continued growth in aquaculture production is likely to come from intensification of fish, shellfish, and algae production. Intensification is often accompanied by a range of resource and environmental problems. We review several potential solutions to these problems, including novel culture systems, alternative feed strategies, and species choices.

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Journal Articles

Field Notes from an Iowa Farm

Walter Falcon
Farming Magazine, 2012 October 1, 2012

The American Midwest is suffering through the driest summer in decades, and Stanford economist Walter Falcon is watching the corn wither in his fields. He writes how the drought is affecting crops, prices and the livelihoods of his fellow farmers in Iowa. 

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Journal Articles

Making China's Nuclear War Plan

John W. Lewis, Xue Litai
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2012 September 1, 2012
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Journal Articles

Towards a Theory of Policy Timing

Klaus Mittenzwei, David S. Bullock, Klaus Salhofer
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2012 September 1, 2012

The paper presents a theory of policy timing that relies on uncertainty and transaction costs to explain the optimal timing and duration of policy reforms. Delaying reforms resolves some uncertainty by gaining valuable information and saves transaction costs. Implementing reforms without waiting increases welfare by adjusting domestic policies to changed market parameters. Optimal policy timing is found by balancing the trade-off between delaying reforms and implementing reforms without waiting.

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Working Papers

Defying Gravity: How Long Will Japanese Government Bond Prices Remain High?

Takeo Hoshi, Takatoshi Ito
The National Bureau of Economic Research, 2012 August 1, 2012

Recent academic papers have shown that the Japanese sovereign debt situation is not sustainable. The puzzle is that the bond rate has remained low and stable. Some suggest that the low yield can be explained by domestic residents’ willingness to hold Japanese government bonds (JGBs) despite its low return, and that as long as domestic residents remain home-biased, the JGBs are sustainable. About 95% of JGBs are currently owned by domestic residents.

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Journal Articles

Green Revolution: Impacts, limits, and the path ahead

Prabhu Pingali
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012 July 31, 2012

Reprinted with full permission from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Journal Articles

Effectiveness of provider incentives for anemia reduction in rural China: a cluster randomised trial

Grant Miller, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Sean Sylvia, Yaojiang Shi, Patricia Foo, Qiran Zhao, Reynaldo Martorell, Alexis Medina, Scott Rozelle
BMJ, 2012 July 27, 2012

Background: To study how misaligned supply-side incentives impede health programs in developing countries, we tested the impact of performance pay for anemia reduction in rural China. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to evaluate performance pay for actual health improvement.

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Policy Briefs

A History of KEDO 1994-2006

Robert Carlin, Joel Wit, Charles Kartman
Center for International Security and Cooperation, 2012 July 18, 2012
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Journal Articles

Exposure to violence in relation to depressive symptoms among male and female adolescent students in Cambodia

Siyan Yi, Krishna C. Poundel, Junko Yasuoka, Songky Yi, Paula H. Palmer, Masamine Jimba
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2012 July 9, 2012

Purpose: In spite of the apparent increases in family and community violence, research into its effects on adolescent mental health has received limited attention in Cambodia. This study examines the association between exposure to violence and depressive symptoms among adolescents controlling for the effects of several factors in family and school domains.

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Working Papers

Quechua Oqrakashqa: The Effects of Mining Consortia and Globalization on Local Quechua Communities in the Peruvian Andes

Karen Sue Rolph, Marco Felipe Obregon Lazaro
, 2012 July 1, 2012

Mining consortia play an important part in improving Peru’s world role in the export of precious and base metals and minerals. But as with all extractive operations, these industries frequently overlook the cultural effect mining production has on traditional communities. One of the most debilitating socioeconomic factors affecting recipient communities of global mining operations is language use which imparts meaning to project successes from the standpoint of a host nation, international investors, and on-the-ground actors.

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Books

Ends of Enlightenment

John Bender
Stanford University Press, 2012 July 1, 2012

Ends of Enlightenment is a collection of essays that explore three realms of eighteenth-century European innovation that remain active in the twenty-first century: the realist novel, philosophical thought, and the physical sciences, especially human anatomy.  "The understanding of Enlightenment that emerges from these essays—and from the cross-currents generated by their being published together—provides that historical moment with an unprecedented purchase on the present," says Clifford Siskin, Professor of English and American Lit

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Books

Adapt, Fragment, Transform: Corporate Restructuring and System Reform in South Korea

Byung-Kook Kim, Eun Mee Kim, Jean Oi
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, 2012 July 1, 2012

South Korea remains a puzzle for political economists. The country has experienced phenomenal economic growth since the 1960s, but its upward trajectory has been repeatedly diverted by serious systemic crises, followed by spectacular recoveries. The recoveries are often the result of vigorous structural reforms that nonetheless retain many of South Korea's traditional economic institutions. How, then, can South Korea suffer from persistent systemic instability and yet prove so resilient? What remains the same and what changes?

The contributors to this volume consider the South Korean economy in its larger political context. Moving beyond the easy dichotomies—equilibrium vs. disequilibrium and stability vs. instability—they describe a complex and surprisingly robust economic and political system. Further, they argue that neither systemic challenges nor political pressures alone determine South Korea's stability and capacity for change. Instead, it is distinct patterns of interaction that shape this system's characteristics, development, and evolution.

Examination copies: Shorenstein APARC books are distributed by the Brookings Institution Press. You can obtain information on obtaining an examination copy at their website.

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Journal Articles

Neuroeconomy: An Emerging Field of Theory and Practice

James Giordano, PhD, Roland Benedikter, Nadia Flores
The European Business Review London, 2012 July 1, 2012

This article gives a short, introductory overview of basic aspects of the emerging field of neuroeconomics, as a contemporary approach to economic theory and practice. In many ways, neuroeconomics can be regarded as a new, multi- and inter-disciplinary orientation to economic thinking that interweaves the current international renewal of the economic sciences, in particular the “new experimentalism”, and the most recent technological advances in brain research, ecology and environmentalism.

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Journal Articles

Nutrition and Educational Performance in Rural China's Elementary Schools: Results of a Randomized Control Trial in Shaanxi Province

Renfu Luo, Yaojiang Shi, Linxiu Zhang, Chengfang Liu, Scott Rozelle, Brian Sharbono, Ai Yue, Qiran Zhao, Reynaldo Martorell
Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2012 July 1, 2012

Background. Despite growing wealth and a strengthening commitment from the government to provide quality education, a significant share of students across rural China still have inadequate access to micronutrient-rich regular diets. Such poor diets can lead to nutritional problems, such as iron-deficiency anemia, that can adversely affect attention and learning in school.

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Books

Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy

Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 June 26, 2012

This book originated in a conference on "Liberation Technology in Authoritarian Regimes" held at Stanford University in Oct. 2010. 

The revolutions sweeping the Middle East provide dramatic evidence of the role that technology plays in mobilizing citizen protest and upending seemingly invulnerable authoritarian regimes. A grainy cell phone video of a Tunisian street vendor’s self-immolation helped spark the massive protests that toppled longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and Egypt’s "Facebook revolution" forced the ruling regime out of power and into exile.

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Commentary

Congress Could Deal Death Blow to American Scientific Exceptionalism

Robert Forrest
The Huffington Post, 2012 June 18, 2012

Next year's proposed cuts in federal funding for scientific research and development could be as high as 8 percent, seriously impacting research in agriculture, energy and medicine. CISAC Postdoctoral Fellow Robert Forrest outlines how cuts would "profoundly inhibit innovation and deal an astonishing blow to American exceptionalism."

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Commentary

Ask the Experts: Preventing Sexual Violence

Dara K. Cohen, Elisabeth Jean Wood,
Council on Foreign Relations, 2012 June 11, 2012

Former CISAC fellow Dara Cohen, currently an assistant professor at Harvard University, wrote a co-authored blog post for the Council on Foreign Relations, discussing how to prevent sexual violence through research and policymaking. They dispel misconceptions about sexual violence in conflict areas and encourage policymakers to listen to those affected by wartime rape. 

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Working Papers

The New Demographic Transition: Most Gains in Life Expectancy Now Realized Late in Life

Karen Eggleston, Victor R. Fuchs
Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 29, 2012 June 11, 2012

The share of increases in life expectancy realized after age 65 was only about 20 percent at the beginning of the 20th century for the United States and 16 other countries at comparable stages of development; but that share was close to 80 percent by the dawn of the 21st century, and is almost certainly approaching 100 percent asymptotically. This new demographic transition portends a diminished survival effect on working life. For high-income countries at the forefront of the longevity transition, expected lifetime labor force participation as a percent of life expectancy is declining.

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