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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Journal Articles

Assessing the Quality of Upper-Secondary Vocational Education and Training: Evidence from China

Hongmei Yi, Guirong Li, Liying Li, Prashant Loyalka, Linxiu Zhang, Jiajia Xu, Elena Kardanova, Henry Shi, James Chu
Comparative Education Review, 2018 March 16, 2018
An increasing number of policymakers in developing countries have made the mass expansion of upper-secondary vocational education and training (VET) a top priority. The goal of this study is to examine whether VET fulfills the objectove of building skills and abilities along multiple dimensions and further identify which school-level factors help vocational students build these skills and abilities. To fulfill this goal, we analyzed representative, longitudinal data that we collected on more than 12,000 students from 118 schools in once province of central China. First, descriptive analysis shows approximately 90% of VET students do not make any gains in vocational or general skills. In addition, negative behaviors (misbehavior in the classroom, anti-social behavior, and other risky behaviors) are highly prevalent among VET students. A nontrivial proportion of student internships also fail to meet minimum government requirements for student safety and well-being. Perhaps as a result of these outcomes, more than 60% of students express dissatisfaction with their VET programs, as evidenced by eitehr self-reports or dropping out. Finally, using a multi-level model, we find that school inputs (such as school size, teacher qualifications, and per pupil expenditure) are not correlated with vocational and general skill at the end of the school year, or student dropout in the academic year.
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Books

Reinventing Japan: New Directions in Global Leadership (Book Chapter)

Kenji E. Kushida, Martin Fackler, Yoichi Funabashi, Kenji Kushida, Et al.
2018 March 14, 2018

Highly readable yet deeply researched, this book serves as an essential guide to the many ways in which Japan has risen to become one of the world's most creative and innovative societies.


• Challenges conventional views of Japan as mired in two unproductive "lost decades" by documenting the myriad ways in which the nation has embraced creativity and innovation

• Describes the ways in which Japan has transformed our lives and explains the guiding principles of one of the world's least understood, most vibrantly creative societies

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Working Papers

Abenomics and Japan's Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Is the Third Arrow Pointed in the Right Direction for Global Competition in the Digital Era of Silicon Valley?

Kenji E. Kushida, Kenji Kushida
2018 March 6, 2018

Given that much of the global leadership in value creation over the past couple of decades has been driven by the Silicon Valley model – not only a geographic region but a distinct ecosystem of complementary characteristics – the basic question this paper asks is how far Japan’s Abenomics reforms are pushing Japan towards being able to compete in an era dominated by Silicon Valley firms. 

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Journal Articles

The decline in bank-led corporate restructuring in Japan: 1981-2010

Takeo Hoshi, Takeo Hoshi, Satoshi Koibuchi, Ulrike Schaede
Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 2018 March 1, 2018

Using a unique dataset on all major corporate restructuring events in Japan between 1981 and 2010, we assess changes in the role of the main bank in guiding corporate turarounds, and the economic consequences of these changes for distressed firms. We identify firms in distress among all listed firms based on accounting data, and we separately identify firms undergoing corporate restructuring based on a newspaper search for the Japanese term “saiken”.

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Journal Articles

The Elusive Goal of Global Food Security

Rosamond L. Naylor
2018 February 9, 2018

Ending world hunger is a universal goal, yet progress and social awareness of the issue waxes and wanes in the course of broader political and economic developments. The massive famine in China under Chairman Mao’s 1958–62 Great Leap Forward, a succession of severe droughts and associated famines in India in 1965–66, and the political violence that accompanied regime change in Indonesia in 1964–67 left tens of millions of people starving and drew global attention to the threat of food insecurity.

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Policy Briefs

ASEAN @ 50, Southeast Asia @ Risk: What Should Be Done?

Shiro Armstrong, Niruban Balachandran, John Blaxland, Ja Ian Chong, Daniel Wei Boon Chua, Karl Eikenberry, Ralf Emmers, Donald K. Emmerson, Lori Forman, Bates Gill, James Hartsell, Richard Heydarian, James Hirai, Yoichi Kato, Evan Laksmana, Justin Nankivell, Kerry Lynn Nankivell, Kaewkamol "Karen" Pitakdumrongkit, Greg Poling, Greg Raymond, Tan See Seng, Huong Le Thu, Barbara Weisel, Belinda A. Yeomans
2018 January 22, 2018

In October 2017, twenty-two scholars from eight countries attended a workshop titled “ASEAN @ 50, Southeast Asia @ Risk: What should be done?” The workshop was designed to facilitate a frank and creative discussion of policy recommendations, with the intention of providing the resulting proposals to ASEAN member states and other regional powers.

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Journal Articles

Rural education across China's 40 years of Reform: past successes and future challenges

Ai Yue, Bin Tang, Yaojiang Shi, Jingjing Tang, Guanminjia Shang, Alexis Medina, Scott Rozelle
China Agricultural Economic Review, 2018 January 9, 2018

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the policy and trends in rural education in China over the past 40 years; and also discuss a number of challenges that are faced by China’s rural school system.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors use secondary data on policies and trends over the past 40 years for preschool, primary/junior high school, and high school.

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Journal Articles

Has Abenomics Succeeded in Raising Japan's Inward Foreign Direct Investment?

Takeo Hoshi
Asian Economic Policy Review, 2018 January 1, 2018

Japan is known to have an exceptionally low level of inward foreign direct investment (FDI). The promotion of inward FDI is one of the policy goals of Abenomics structural reforms. This present paper studies the accumulation of Japan's inward FDI stock during the first 3 years of Abenomics (2012–2015), and finds no evidence that Japan's inward FDI stock increased more than the trend before Abenomics started would have predicted.

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Books

Handbook of International Food and Agricultural Policies

Timothy E. Josling, William H. Meyers, Thomas Johnson, Donna H. Roberts, Karl Meilke
World Scientific Publishing, 2017 December 30, 2017
Handbook of International Food and Agricultural Policies is a three-volume set that aims to provide an accessible reference for those interested in the aims and implementation of food and farm policies throughout the world. The treatment is authoritative, comprehensive and forward looking. The three volumes combine scholarship and pragmatism, relating academic writing to real-world issues faced by policy-makers. A companion volume looking at the future resource and climate challenges for global agriculture will be published in the future.
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Journal Articles

Improving environmental practices in agricultural supply chains: The role of company-led standards

Tannis Thorlakson, Jens Hainmueller, Eric Lambin
Global Environmental Change, 2017 December 22, 2017

Food retailers and manufacturers are increasingly committing to address agricultural sustainability issues in their supply chains. In place of using established eco-certifications, many companies define their own supply chain sustainability standards.

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Journal Articles

Passive Parenting and its Association with Early Child Development

Renfu Luo, Fang Jia, Ai Yue, Linxiu Zhang, Qijia Lyu, Yaojiang Shi, Meredith Yang, Alexis Medina, Sarah Kotb, Scott Rozelle
Early Child Development and Care, 2017 November 27, 2017

This study aims to investigate the developmental status of rural Chinese children, the extent of interactive parenting they receive, and the relation between the two. A sample of 448 six to eighteen-month-old children and their caregivers were randomly selected from two rural counties in Hebei and Yunnan provinces. According the third edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 48.7% of sample children exhibited cognitive delays, 40.6% language delays, and 35% social-emotional delays.

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Journal Articles

Oil palm expansion in Cameroon: Insights into sustainability opportunities and challenges in Africa

Elsa Ordway, Rosamond L. Naylor, Raymond N. Nkongho, Eric Lambin
Global Environmental Change, 2017 November 10, 2017

Oil palm production expanded 1.2 million hectares in sub-Saharan Africa since 1990, with expansion accelerating in several heavily forested countries since 2000.

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Journal Articles

The Education Gap of China's Migrant Children and Rural Counterparts

Xiaobing Wang, Renfu Luo, Linxiu Zhang, Scott Rozelle
Journal of Development Studies, 2017 November 7, 2017

Rural residents in China today face at least two key decisions: a) where to live and work; and b) where to send their children to school. In this paper we study the second decision: should a rural parent send their child to a public rural school or have him or her attend a private migrant school in the city. While there is an existing literature on the impact of this decision on student academic performance, one of the main shortcomings of current studies is that the data that are used to analyse this issue are not fully comparable.

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Commentary

Left Behind in the Brexit Capital?

Ian Morris
Stratfor, 2017 October 31, 2017

"Here's what the end of globalization looks like," a headline in Business Insider thundered at the end of 2016 before laying out a doom-and-gloom scenario in the wake of the Trans-Pacific Partnership's demise. The swing away from liberalization and globalization and toward protectionism and nationalism is probably the biggest political earthquake of recent times in wealthy Western countries, and explaining it is probably the biggest intellectual challenge. Until we understand its causes, after all, we cannot address them.

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Journal Articles

Tuberculosis Detection and the Challenges of Integrated Care in Rural China: A Cross-sectional Standardized Patient Study

Sean Sylvia, Hao Xue, Chengchao Zhou, Yaojiang Shi, Hongmei Yi, Huan Zhou, Scott Rozelle, Madhukar Pai, Jishnu Das
PLoS Medicine, 2017 October 17, 2017

Despite recent reductions in prevalence, China still faces a substantial tuberculosis (TB) burden, with future progress dependent on the ability of rural providers to appropriately detect and refer TB patients for further care. This study (a) provides a baseline assessment of the ability of rural providers to correctly manage presumptive TB cases; (b) measures the gap between provider knowledge and practice and; (c) evaluates how ongoing reforms of China’s health system—characterized by a movement toward “integrated care” and promo- tion of initial contact with grassroots providers—will affect the care of TB patients.

 

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Case Studies

'Locked-In' to China: The Colombo Port City Project

Karthik Sivaram
2017 October 2, 2017

This case looks at the predicament of a small nation burdened by Chinese debt, accumulated by infrastructure projects under the aegis of China’s One Belt One Road initiative. By 2016, the government of Sri Lanka owed China $8 billion (almost 10% of GDP) mainly from loans taken to construct a series of infrastructure projects, many of which proved commercially unviable. Most of these were approved by the previous government under President Rajapaksa. The Colombo Port City project was the grandest and most ambitious of them all.

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Journal Articles

Mortality In Rural China Declined As Health Insurance Coverage Increased, But No Evidence The Two Are Linked

Maigeng Zhou, Shiwei Liu, M. Kate Bundorf, Karen Eggleston, Sen Zhou
Health Affairs, 2017 September 6, 2017

Health insurance holds the promise of improving population health and survival and protecting people from catastrophic health spending. Yet evidence from lower- and middle-income countries on the impact of health insurance is limited. We investigated whether insurance expansion reduced adult mortality in rural China, taking advantage of differences across Chinese counties in the timing of the introduction of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS).

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Journal Articles

Effect of Parental Migration on the Academic Performance of Left-behind Middle School Students in Rural China

Lili Li, Lei Wang, Jingchun Nie
China and World Economy, 2017 July 13, 2017

China’s rapid development and urbanization over the past 30 years have caused large numbers of rural residents to migrate to urban areas in search of work. This has created a generation of children who remain behind in rural areas when their parents migrate for work. Previous research has found mixed impacts of parental migration on the educational achievement of left-behind children (LBC), perhaps because of methodological deficiencies and lack of recognition of the heterogeneity of this population of children.

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Commentary

The North Korean Missile Test Pushes Xi and Putin Closer

Daniel C. Sneider
Tokyo Business Today, 2017 July 6, 2017

The most dangerous impact of North Korea’s long-range missile test this past week may not have been the one in the Sea of Japan, felt in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo. It was in Moscow where Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin locked arms in a united front on how to respond to the growing North Korea crisis. The target of this front was not, however, North Korea. It was the United States, who the Sino-Russian axis accused of pursuing a military “buildup” in the region.

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Commentary

Surviving the Trump-Moon Summit

Daniel C. Sneider
Toyo Keizai Online (Tokyo Business Today), 2017 July 5, 2017

In the days leading up to the Washington summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump, the tension in Seoul was hard to escape. Fears of an open clash between the two leaders, of a handshake that went on too long, or of a hostile early morning tweet directed at Moon were widespread. But when a senior national security advisor to Moon met a group of American visitors after the first day of talks, he was visibly relieved. The dinner between Moon and U.S.

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Working Papers

ASEAN's Futures

Donald K. Emmerson
June 2017, 2017 July 5, 2017

The future of ASEAN is necessarily unknown. Its futures, however, can be guessed with less risk of being wrong. My purpose here is not to predict with confidence but to “pandict” with reticence—not to choose one assured future but to scan several that could conceivably occur. Also, what follows is merely a range, not the range.  The five different ASEANs of the future all too briefly sketched below are meant to be suggestive, but they are neither fully exclusive nor jointly exhaustive. Potentiality outruns imagination.

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Books

Renegotiating the World Order: Institutional Change in International Relations

Phillip Lipscy
Cambridge University Press, 2017 June 30, 2017

Rising powers often seek to reshape the world order, triggering confrontations with those who seek to defend the status quo. In recent years, as international institutions have grown in prevalence and influence, they have increasingly become central arenas for international contestation. Phillip Y. Lipscy examines how international institutions evolve as countries seek to renegotiate the international order. He offers a new theory of institutional change and explains why some institutions change flexibly while others successfully resist or fall to the wayside.

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Commentary

Social Media, New Technologies and the Middle East

Russell A. Berman
The Caravan, 2017 June 19, 2017

It is a global story, a new industrial revolution. The spread of the internet and the proliferation of social media have led to dramatic changes with salutary results: greater access to more diverse information, gateways to goods and services that have transformed the retail experience, and opportunities to engage and network with expanded communities, while still staying in touch with friends and family, all thanks to the blessings of these new technologies.

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Case Studies

Building Hydropower Plants in Uganda: Who is the Best Partner?

Lin Le
2017 June 7, 2017

Uganda has long been plagued by chronic power shortages. Determined to boost the country’s economic growth, Ugandan leaders have decided to build two large-scale hydropower plants at Karuma (600MW) and Isimba (183 MW). Irene Muloni, the head of the nation’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development (MEMD), has two options for financing and building the hydropower facilities: either to build the dams as independent power projects (IPPs), or to accept Chinese financing and contract with Chinese construction companies.

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Working Papers

The Economic Costs of Drug-Trafficking Violence in Mexico

Gustavo Robles, Beatriz Magaloni, Gabriela Calderón
2017 June 2, 2017

The levels of violence in Mexico have dramatically increased in the last few years due to structural changes in the drug trafficking business. The increase in the number of drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) fighting over the control of territory and trafficking routes has resulted in a substantial increase in the rates of homicides and other crimes. This study evaluates the economic costs of drug-related violence.

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