Power/Dependency workshop

 Formal comparative studies of the causes and effects of global inequality

The wobbly pyramid

Institute for Research on World-Systems

University of California-Riverside

Draft 2-14-20

What? This is a workshop on quantitative studies of the causes and effects of global inequalities in the modern world-system.

When?   Saturday February 29, 2020 at University of California-Riverside.

Venue: Center for Ideas and Society. College Building South, College Place, University of California-Riverside

Morning sessions: 9 am: Welcome : Dean Milagros Pena, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

9:30-12 (2 1/2 hours, 150 min) 2 sessions.

Session 1: 9-30- 10:30 (60 minutes) 2 - 20 minute paper presentations and 20 for discussion

Ryan Thombs and Xiaorui Huang, Boston College <thombs@bc.edu, huangxl@bc.edu > zoom presentation  https://zoom.us/j/881828539

 “The Growth Question: What the Past Tells us About the Future and the Possibility of Green Growth”

Michaela Curran<mcurr003@ucr.edu> and Ronald Kwon “Embedded Aid: Do Donor and Recipient Connectedness to Global INGO Networks Matter for Foreign Aid Allocation?”

 

Session 2: 10:45- 11:45 (60 minutes) 2- 20 minute paper presentations and 20 for discussion

Anthony RobertsThe Globalization of Production, Industrial Upgrading, & Collective Labor Rights in the Global South”

David A. SmithGlobal Networks and World-System Power and Dependency: Conceptual and Empirical Explorations”

 

Lunch 11:45- 1 (sandwiches and drinks available in the director’s garden adjacent to college building south. )

Afternoon sessions:

Session 3: 1-2:00  (60 minutes) 2- 20 minute paper presentations and 20 for discussion

Marilyn Grell-Brisk and Chris Chase-Dunn “Mind the gaps!: Clustered Obstacles to Mobility in the Core/Periphery Hierarchy”

Rob Clark and Jeffrey KentorForeign Capital and Economic Growth:

A Global Social Network Analysis, 2001 – 2017

Session 4: 2:15- 3:15 60 minutes) 2- 20 minute paper presentations and 20 for discussion

Matthew MahutgaMacro-Structural Change and Income Polarization in Rich Democracies”

Jeffrey Kentor and Rob Clark “CHARTING GLOBAL INEQUALITIES 1850-PRESENT: A GINI INDEX ANALYSIS”

 

Session 5: 3:30-4:30 60 minutes) 2- 20 minute paper presentations and 20 for discussion

Hiroko Inoue < hiroko.inoue@email.ucr.edu>  (zoom presentation)  “xxxxxxx https://zoom.us/j/881828539

Andrew Jorgenson, Rob Clark, Matthew Mahutga, Chris Chase-Dunn and Jeffrey Kentor “How the effects of global investment dependence have changed since 1950”

 

BBQ at White Horse Ranch  5-8pm;  2007 Mt. Vernon Ave, Riverside, CA 92507

 

Rob Clark and Jeffrey KentorForeign Capital and Economic Growth: A Global Social Network Analysis, 2001-2017”

Foreign direct investment (FDI) holds a substantial and rapidly increasing presence across every region of the world in the 21st century. However, our understanding of how foreign capital impacts economic growth in receiving or sending countries remains in question, despite nearly five decades of research. Our study breaks new ground on this question by (1) introducing social network analysis to the FDI-growth literature (2) utilizing recently available bilateral data from the post-2000 period with a global sample that (3) assesses the impact of both inward and outward foreign capital on economic growth. While conventional measures of FDI typically focus on investment volume, we argue that the network structure of investment relations may be equally – or more – important. We construct a global network of FDI during the 2001 – 2017 period, bringing together two datasets: (1) the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Bilateral FDI Statistics, and (2) the International Monetary Fund’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey. We then construct “coreness” scores based on the structural location of each country in both inward and outward FDI networks. Drawing from a sample of 1,467 observations across 137 countries during the 2001 – 2017 period, we estimate two-way fixed effects models to examine the effects of inward and outward FDI coreness on economic growth. Net of other predictors, we find that both types of coreness are positively – and independently – associated with growth, while more conventional measures of foreign capital volume display weaker and inconsistent effects. Policy implications of these findings are discussed.

 

Ryan Thombs and Xiaorui Huang, Boston College <thombs@bc.edu, huangxl@bc.edu > “The Growth Question: What the Past Tells us About the Future and the Possibility of Green Growth”

Abstract: Economic growth has long been observed to be a driver of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, policymakers and researchers still debate whether “green growth” is possible. Missing from the debate is a “historicization” of the growth-environment relationship. In other words, what has historically driven the relationship, and has it changed over time? We revisit this old question by analyzing data from the U.S. and UK from 1870-2016 and from China from 1950-2016 using a set of time series modeling techniques. Drawing from and testing a range of sociological theories, we show that the relationship between growth and emissions is tied to the development of capitalism over the 20th century. We show that growth’s effect on emissions post-1945 was likely larger than pre-and-early 20th century times. These results raise doubts regarding the possibility of green growth in the current economic system.

Michaela Curran<mcurr003@ucr.edu> and Ronald Kwon “Embedded Aid: Do Donor and Recipient Connectedness to Global INGO Networks Matter for Foreign Aid Allocation?”

Abstract: Foreign aid allocation is fragmented and uneven. Prevailing narratives about aid allocation emphasize material concerns, such as geopolitical strategy. Recent insights from the neo-institutional perspective illustrates the salience of the World Polity in generating foreign aid inequalities. I explore how donor and recipient embeddedness in the World Polity interacts with characteristics of the donor-recipient dyad to shape the contours of foreign aid allocation. I utilize two models, a selection model that accounts for the presence or absence of a tie and an allocation model that analyzes how much aid flows from donor to recipient. I find that World Polity centrality moderates the relationship between imports and the decision to give aid. Results also indicate that imports become an important motive for giving aid if the recipient is more central, while donors’ more central position in the World Polity prescribes a heavier emphasis on recipient need when allocating aid. This research contributes to the sociological understanding of how connectivity to the World Polity network interacts with dyadic traits to fragment the international structure of foreign aid allocations.

 

Marilyn Grell-Brisk and Chris Chase-Dunn “Mind the gaps!: Clustered Obstacles to Mobility in the Core/Periphery Hierarchy”

Abstract: The primary concern of this paper is with global structural inequality, which we address by examining the shape and distributions of global economic and military power from 1960 through 2015. We find that despite several changes in the distributions that occurred in the first decade of the new millennium, there has been a tendency for the convergence of countries into groups or clusters with empirical gaps between the clusters. Both the economic and military distributions are trimodal, displaying a —core-semiperiphery-periphery structure. These findings are consistent with the world-system perspective and the economic clustering confirms what economists have called “convergence clubs”.  Regarding the military distribution we also found, in addition to the trimodal distribution, a military superpower – the United States at the top of the hierarchy.  This is the main difference between the economic and military distributions.  Economic power is more evenly shared among core states than is military power.  We seek to explain why the distributions of economic and military power are lumpy rather than continuous. What is the nature of economic development and military competition in the modern world-system that causes countries to group together in three clusters? What causes these gaps?

 Arguments have been made by scholars in economics, political science and sociology that variables such as economic exploitation, political domination, corruption, illiteracy and average low educational attainment, ethno-linguistic fractionalization and dependence on foreign financing constrain the abilities of countries to move up or down in the global hierarchy.  We extend this research tradition by adding the study of the shape of the distribution of military power and comparing that with the shape of the distribution of economic power.

 

Jeffrey Kentor and Rob Clark “CHARTING GLOBAL INEQUALITIES 1850-PRESENT: A GINI INDEX ANALYSIS”

 The (unequal) distribution of economic resources across countries and over time, generally framed in terms of income inequality and calculated as a Gini Index, has received a great deal of attention over the past four decades (Bornschier and Chase-Dunn 1978; Simpson 1990; Nielsen and Alderson 1997; Kentor 2001; Beer and Boswell 2002; Firebaugh 2003; Milanovic 2007, 2013; Clark 2011; Alderson and Pandian 2018). The global geographic and temporal distribution of coercive/military resources, however, has received considerably less attention, with only a handful of articles addressing this aspect of global inequality. This study begins to redress this glaring omission by quantifying the shifting distribution of coercive/military resources across countries and over time, utilizing the Gini Index methodology. The creation of a standardized Gini Index measure of the distribution of coercive/military resources provides a consistent and well-established empirical framework for exploring this relatively unexplored aspect of global inequality, and offers a more complete picture of the total amount of inequality in the global system. It also enables us to compare global economic and coercive inequalities over time, and begin to explore the causal relationships between these two fundamental resources.

 

Anthony RobertsThe Globalization of Production, Industrial Upgrading, & Collective Labor Rights in the Global South”  (paper available at https://irows.ucr.edu/conferences/powdepwork/papers/roberts.pdf )

Abstract: The impact of global production integration on labor rights in the Global South remains one of the more contested issues in the extant literature. Despite this ongoing debate, very few studies systematically investigate how global production integration affects the enactment and enforcement of collective labor laws through the empowerment of labor with industrial skill upgrading in global production networks. This study addresses this gap in the literature by empirically testing whether global production integration indirectly affects collective labor rights in developing countries through altering the skill composition of industrial labor forces. I test this proposition using unbalanced panel data for a sample of 55 low and middle-income countries from 1985 to 2002 and generalized structural equation modeling for path analysis. The results show the skill composition of the industrial labor force partially mediates the relationship between global production integration and collective labor rights. Specifically, manufacturing exports to high income countries is associated with a decline in the skill composition of the industrial labor force which, in turn, reduces collective labor practices. Additionally, manufacturing exports is directly associated with weaker collective labor practices in developing countries after controlling for institutional conditions, political conditions and economic development. Overall, the study elucidates industrial skill upgrading as an important mechanism linking the integration of Southern firms into global production networks and the enforcement of collective labor rights in developing countries.

 Keywords: Globalization, Collective Labor Rights, Industrial Upgrading, Mediation Analysis

 

David A. SmithGlobal Networks and World-System Power and Dependency: Conceptual and Empirical Explorations”

Abstract: Global network analysis provides a potent tool for examining power and dependency relations in the contemporary world-economy.  Beginning at the conceptual level, the paper will review some formal properties of abstract relational systems that are associated with hierarchy, centrality, power, dependence and peripherality.   Then I will try to relate those ideas to major theoretical arguments from world-system analysis that relate to power and dependency: How well do the network analytic and global political economy notions mesh?  That will lead to a discussion of how a few key examples of empirical research that attempts to gauge global hierarchy and world-system position captures these ideas of power/dependency.  What have we learned and what are the agendas for future research?

 

Matthew MahutgaMacro-Structural Change and Income Polarization in Rich Democracies”

In this talk I will discuss my ongoing research on macro-structural change and income polarization in rich democracies. This project draws from an NSF grant in 15-16 that allowed my colleagues and I to measure different conceptualizations skill with micro data on a broad panel of rich democracies. We measure both older conceptions of occupational based skill, as well as new “task-based” conceptualizations that try to understand the degree to which particular types of job tasks are automatable and offshorable. In the long run, our goal is to synthesize a broad range of social-science theory to explicate the mechanisms by which structural change and institutional context should drive income polarization in rich democracies by exacerbating income penalties and premiums associated with occupations. I will present some empirical evidence that our grant-funded effort to recode country-specific occupational schemes was valid, that “routine-task intensity,” “offshorability” and older conceptualizations of skill are correlated with income dynamics in predictable ways, and that both macro-structural change and institutional context drive income polarization through these occupational characteristics. Preliminarily, we have four emerging findings. First, upper-tail polarization is greater than lower-tail polarization because structural change and institutional context impact income premiums more than income penalties. Second, both skill and workplace authority are important mechanisms through which structural change and institutional context drive income polarization in the labor market, but workplace authority appears more important than skill. Third, the most important mechanism of income polarization is the interaction of structural change and top income premiums. Finally, the three key post-war egalitarian institutions examined here appear limited in their ability to constrain income polarization in the future because of their relatively muted impact on top incomes.

 

Hiroko Inoue (skype presentation)  “xxxxxxxxx

 

Andrew Jorgenson, Rob Clark, Matthew Mahutga, Chris Chase-Dunn and Jeffrey Kentor “How the effects of investment dependence on national development and inequality may have changed since 1950”

This is a project in formation that will involve assembling a data set on several aspects of national dependence on foreign direct investment since 1950 in all countries for which data are available and studying how the short-term and long-term consequences of investment dependence on national development and inequality may have changed from 1950 to the present. We will use several different research designs and will combine fixed effects with the study of change scores of different lags and controls for earlier levels of the dependent variables. We may also examine effects in regional and zonal (core, semiperiphery, periphery) groups of countries.