Thursday, June 23, 2005

Does China contradict the liberal paradigm?

The constant in U.S. policy towards a rising China for the past three administrations is encapsulated in the current National Security Strategy:

China has begun to take the road to political openness, permitting many personal freedoms and conducting village-level elections, yet remains strongly committed to national one-party rule by the Communist Party. To make that nation truly accountable to its citizen’s needs and aspirations, however, much work remains to be done. Only by allowing the Chinese people to think, assemble, and worship freely can China reach its full potential....

The power of market principles and the WTO’s requirements for transparency and accountability will advance openness and the rule of law in China to help establish basic protections for commerce and for citizens. (emphasis added)

In other words, by trading with China, and by encouraging them to embrace the information revolution, the Chinese will inevitably morph into an ever-more-open society that will therefore become more benign in world politics.

There are valid reasons to doubt the second part of that logic, but I'm more concerned about the first part for now: is U.S. trade with China making the country more free?

I ask because of this Philip P. Pan front-pager in the Washington Post from last week on how Chinese President Hu Jintao is consolidating his power:

More than two years after taking office amid uncertainty about his political views, Chinese President Hu Jintao is emerging as an unyielding leader determined to preserve the Communist Party's monopoly on power and willing to impose new limits on speech and other civil liberties to do it, according to party officials, journalists and analysts.

Some say Hu has cast himself as a hard-liner to consolidate his position after a delicate leadership transition and could still lead the party in a more open direction. There is a growing consensus inside and outside the government, however, that the 62-year-old former engineer believes the party should strengthen its rule by improving its traditional mechanisms of governance, not by introducing democratic reforms.

Hu has placed particular emphasis on tightening the party's control over public opinion, presiding over a crackdown to restore discipline to state media and intimidate dissident intellectuals. He has also gone further than his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, by adopting new measures to regulate discussions on university Internet sites and the activities of nongovernmental organizations.

Meanwhile, Paul Mooney reports similar information about the Chinese academy in the Chronicle of Higher Education (sorry, subscription only):

Shortly before a new, younger generation of Chinese leaders took office in 2002, intellectuals in Beijing were hoping that Hu Jintao, who is now the country's president, would be a force for reform.

Since taking the reins of power, however, the new regime has launched a bitter attack on freedom of expression. Newspapers have been shut down, books banned, journalists and dissidents imprisoned, and scholars brought under increased pressure to toe the official line. The political situation is the worst it has been in years, many scholars say.

"I'm very pessimistic," says Xu Youyu, a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "I'm sure that these harsh policies are not just for a short time."

As for the power of the Internet to make China more free, Rebecca MacKinnon has tirelessly covered the Chinese government's recent efforts to expand its monitoring and filtering capacities -- click here for one example.

This would all seem to suggest that our open trade policy with China ain't generating a lot of political openness on their side. By the Freedom House measures, China has been rated as "not free" for the entire history of our expanded trade relationship with them. Within that category there are some subtler trends -- in the eighties both the poliitical rights and civil liberties measures improved slightly. Both went back down after Tiannamen, and then since 1998 the civil liberties score has improved marginally.

So does China vitiate the underlying premise that an open economic relationship leads to political openness?

Well consider that even the Freedom House data and the Chronicle story suggests that economic openness can have an effect on civil liberties -- it's just that the effect is very small and trumped by Hu Jintao. See this section of the Chronicle story:

Free speech was given a big boost in China in recent years by the commercialization of the news media and the advent of the Internet, two channels that gave scholars unprecedented ways to disseminate their opinions. Newspapers and magazines once controlled by the government are now scrambling to attract readers. The Beijing News, which has won a large readership with its bold reporting, devotes an entire page each day to articles written by prominent intellectuals.

However, nothing has been as important as the Internet. "It's almost revolutionary," says Jiang Wenran, associate professor of political science at the University of Alberta, in Canada, and a native of China. "Without the Internet, how could they speak out?"

Anything important that has been written can be found online, and that, says Mr. Jiang, "gives intellectuals confidence that they have a voice and can use it to express their opinions."

Academics have also set up numerous Web sites, though they have had to exercise caution. Some sites voluntarily shut down every year before the anniversary of the May 4th Movement, marking the 1919 student demonstrations on that day in Beijing against the Treaty of Versailles, and the 1989 crackdown that grew out of the student protests in Tiananmen Square. If they did not take that self-imposed break, China's vigilant Internet police -- said to number in the tens of thousands -- might take more drastic action, forcing them to shut down permanently.

Second, remember that China is a special case because of its market size. China can get Microsoft to do what it wants, but smaller countries cannot.

Third, when questioning the utility of a certain policy, one always needs to compre it to the alternative set of options. There is no other option that would cause China to democratize any faster that a policy of openness.

Fourth, as I argued earlier this year, the effect of the information revolution on authoritarian states is not a continuous one. It is possible that repressive regimes can succeed in maintaining control for long periods of time -- but then crumble quickly. One reason for Hu's recent decision to crack down is his acute recognition of this fact.

So maybe current U.S. policy will work in the long run. The thing is, none of those points makes me feel any more sanguine about current U.S. policy in the short run.

UPDATE: David Shambaugh has an interesting piece in The Washington Quarterly on the complex triangle between the U.S., China, and Europe.

posted by Dan at 06:11 PM | Comments (26) | Trackbacks (7)

So how is moderate Islam doing?

Two years ago, then-Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammed gave a controversial talk at the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The gist of it was, "We Muslims must embrace modernization -- so we can crush the Jews."

Two years later, current Malaysian PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is preaching the first, less offensive part of that message. The New York Times' Wayne Arnold explains:

In the Malaysian capital, the government is using the 30th meeting of the OIC's Islamic Development Bank to push an agenda that would give the organization a more direct role in economic integration and development.

"It is economic strength which can give the OIC greater clout and secure for itself a more influential voice in international affairs," Abdullah told delegates to a two-day OIC trade forum.

Among Malaysia's proposals are the creation of an $11 billion infrastructure fund, a master plan for developing financial services in the Muslim world and the creation of a pan-Islamic trading bloc. If approved, Malaysia's initiatives could mark an important juncture in the life of the OIC, whose members, ranging from oil-rich Qatar to war-devastated Sierra Leone, have little in common but religious faith.

In some ways, Malaysia appears to want the OIC to make the same transition that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations made a generation ago, shifting from an organization based on shared diplomatic interests into an agent for promoting development through trade and investment....

Abdullah has the kind of credentials to sell such a progressive message in the Islamic world, analysts and observers say. His father and grandfather were religious leaders, and Abdullah holds a degree in Islamic studies. Just as important, analysts say, Abdullah wants to sell a more pro-development version of Islam in the West.

"He's very strong about communicating Islam to the West in a way that is understood, because it is really being misunderstood at the moment," said Jumaatun Azmi, managing director of Kasehdia, which publishes The Halal Journal, a trade publication for companies selling products that adhere to Islamic strictures.

Whether Abdullah is a Nixon going to China or a Mahathir in sheep's clothing is a question I will leave to the comments.... once they've digested those inelegant metaphors.

posted by Dan at 05:41 AM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Need something more to worry about?

Foreign Affairs has a special section in their July/August 2005 issue devoted to "coping with the next pandemic." After reading Laurie Garrett's excellent introduction to the section (subscription only) about the emergence of the H5N1 avian influenza, I feel both better informed and freaked out.

Garrett also identifies the economic reasons why there isn't a booming market for flu vaccines:

The total number of companies willing to produce influenza vaccines has plummeted in recent years, from more than two dozen in 1980 to just a handful in 2004. There are many reasons for the decline in vaccine producers. A spate of corporate mergers in the 1990s, for example, reduced the number of major international pharmaceutical companies. The financial risk of investing in vaccines is also a key factor. In 2003, the entire market for all vaccines -- from polio to measles to hepatitis to influenza -- amounted to just $5.4 billion. Although that sum may seem considerable, it is less than two percent of the global pharmaceutical market of $337.3 billion. Unlike chemical compounds, vaccines and most other biological products are difficult to make and can easily become contaminated. There is also a large and litigious antivaccine constituency -- some people believe that vaccines cause harmful side effects such as Alzheimer's disease and autism -- adding considerable liability costs to manufacturers' bottom lines.

The production of influenza vaccines holds particular drawbacks for companies. Flu vaccines must be made rapidly, increasing the risk of contamination or other errors. Because of the seasonal nature of the flu, a new batch of influenza vaccines must be produced each year. Should sales in a given year prove disappointing, flu vaccines cannot be stockpiled for sale in a subsequent season because by then the viruses will have evolved. In addition, the manufacturing process of flu vaccines is uniquely complex: pharmaceutical companies must grow viral samples on live chicken eggs, which must be reared under rigorous hygienic conditions. Research is under way on reverse genetics and cellular-level production techniques that might prove cheaper, faster, and less contamination-prone than using eggs, but for the foreseeable future manufacturers are stuck with the current laborious method. After cultivation, samples of the viruses must be harvested, the H and N characteristics must be shown to produce antibodies in test animals and human volunteers, and tests must prove that the vaccine is not contaminated. Only then can mass production commence.

The H5N1 strain of avian flu poses an additional problem: the virus is 100 percent lethal to chickens -- and that includes chicken eggs. It took researchers five years of hard work to devise a way to grow the 1997 version of the H5N1 virus on eggs without killing them; although there have been technological improvements since then, there is no guarantee that an emerging pandemic strain could be cultivated fast enough.

Garrett also makes a very solid case for why, even in an open global economy, the U.S. government should ensure there is a domestic industry for these vaccines:

Were the United States to falter, it would probably not be able to rely on Canadian or European generosity, as it did just last year. When the United Kingdom suspended the license for the Chiron Corporation's U.K. production facility for flu vaccine due to contamination problems, Canada and Germany bailed the United States out, supplying additional doses until the French company Sanofi Pasteur could manufacture more. Even with this assistance, however, the United States' vaccine needs were not fully met until February 2005 -- the tail end of the flu season....

In the event of a deadly influenza pandemic, it is doubtful that any of the world's wealthy nations would be able to meet the needs of their own citizenry -- much less those of other countries....

There would thus be a global scramble for vaccine. Some governments might well block foreign access to supplies produced on their soil and bar vaccine export. Since little vaccine is actually made in the United States, this could prove a problem for Americans in particular.

Click here to read a brief Q&A with Garrett on the problem.

And click here to read Michael Osteholm's assessment of the damage that a new pandemic would wreak on the global economy.

The arrival of a pandemic influenza would trigger a reaction that would change the world overnight. A vaccine would not be available for a number of months after the pandemic started, and there are very limited stockpiles of antiviral drugs. Plus, only a few privileged areas of the world have access to vaccine-production facilities. Foreign trade and travel would be reduced or even ended in an attempt to stop the virus from entering new countries -- even though such efforts would probably fail given the infectiousness of influenza and the volume of illegal crossings that occur at most borders. It is likely that transportation would also be significantly curtailed domestically, as smaller communities sought to keep the disease contained. The world relies on the speedy distribution of products such as food and replacement parts for equipment. Global, regional, and national economies would come to an abrupt halt -- something that has never happened due to HIV, malaria, or TB despite their dramatic impact on the developing world....

SARS provided a taste of the impact a killer influenza pandemic would have on the global economy. Jong-Wha Lee, of Korea University, and Warwick McKibbin, of the Australian National University, estimated the economic impact of the six-month SARS epidemic on the Asia-Pacific region at about $40 billion. In Canada, 438 people were infected and 43 died after an infected person traveled from Hong Kong to Toronto, and the Canadian Tourism Commission estimated that the epidemic cost the nation's economy $419 million. The Ontario health minister estimated that SARS cost the province's health-care system about $763 million, money that was spent, in part, on special SARS clinics and supplies to protect health-care workers. The SARS outbreak also had a substantial impact on the global airline industry. After the disease hit in 2003, flights in the Asia-Pacific area decreased by 45 percent from the year before. During the outbreak, the number of flights between Hong Kong and the United States fell 69 percent. And this impact would pale in comparison to that of a 12- to 36-month worldwide influenza pandemic.

Kudos to Jim Hoge and Gideon Rose at Foreign Affairs for putting together this special section and scaring the bejeezus out of me.

posted by Dan at 09:33 AM | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (1)

Roger Cohen dreams of Eumerica

Since I'm supposed to be advancing transatlantic understanding, here's one relevant link -- in his Globalist column for the International Herald Tribune, Roger Cohen dreams of a world where the best of Europe and America are combined. I'm pretty sure both Americans and Europeans would find something to object to in his section on politics and economics, but this section might actually appeal to all:

Needless to say, the coffee in Eumerica would be Italian, the (absence of) speed limits and the cars German, the steaks and the refrigerators and the air-conditioning and the can-do outlook American, the fresh cream and the rock bands and the tolerance for eccentricity British, the herring Scandinavian, the climate Spanish, the college fees European, the duration of a college education (and most of the professors) American, the vodka Polish, the roads (and landscaping) French, the beer Czech, the chocolates Belgian and the national sports soccer and baseball.

posted by Dan at 09:14 AM | Comments (22) | Trackbacks (1)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What's causing the trade deficit?

Gosh darn it, if part of being a transatlantic fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States means going to northern Italy for the rest of this mid-June week to try and promote greater transatlantic understanding, then I have no choice but to do my duty. Blogging could be erratic over the next few days.

Talk amongst yourselves. Here's a topic -- is the a massive current account deficit a function of the sizeable budget deficit, the low U.S. savings rate, currency manipulation, or a global savings glut?

The global savings glut argument has been advanced by Ben Bernanke, who is likely to be the next Fed chairman. A quick precis of his argument: I will take issue with the common view that the recent deterioration in the U.S. current account primarily reflects economic policies and other economic developments within the United States itself. Although domestic developments have certainly played a role, I will argue that a satisfying explanation of the recent upward climb of the U.S. current account deficit requires a global perspective that more fully takes into account events outside the United States. To be more specific, I will argue that over the past decade a combination of diverse forces has created a significant increase in the global supply of saving--a global saving glut--which helps to explain both the increase in the U.S. current account deficit and the relatively low level of long-term real interest rates in the world today....

[S]pecific trade-related factors cannot explain either the magnitude of the U.S. current account imbalance or its recent sharp rise. Rather, the U.S. trade balance is the tail of the dog; for the most part, it has been passively determined by foreign and domestic incomes, asset prices, interest rates, and exchange rates, which are themselves in turn the products of more fundamental driving forces. Instead, an alternative perspective on the current account appears likely to be more useful for explaining recent developments. This second perspective focuses on international financial flows and the basic fact that a country's saving and investment need not be equal in each period....

That inadequate U.S. national saving is the source of the current account deficit must be true at some level; indeed, the statement is almost a tautology. However, linking current-account developments to the decline in saving begs the question of why U.S. saving has declined. In particular, although the decline in U.S. saving may reflect changes in household behavior or economic policy in the United States, it may also be in some part a reaction to events external to the United States--a hypothesis that I will propose and defend momentarily.

One popular argument for the "made in the U.S.A." explanation of declining national saving and the rising current account deficit focuses on the burgeoning U.S. federal budget deficit, which in 2004 drained more than $400 billion from the national saving pool. I will discuss the link between the budget deficit and the current account deficit in more detail later. Here I simply note that the so-called twin-deficits hypothesis, that government budget deficits cause current account deficits, does not account for the fact that the U.S. external deficit expanded by about $300 billion between 1996 and 2000, a period during which the federal budget was in surplus and projected to remain so. Nor, for that matter, does the twin-deficits hypothesis shed any light on why a number of major countries, including Germany and Japan, continue to run large current account surpluses despite government budget deficits that are similar in size (as a share of GDP) to that of the United States. It seems unlikely, therefore, that changes in the U.S. government budget position can entirely explain the behavior of the U.S. current account over the past decade....

The weakening of new capital investment after the drop in equity prices did not much change the net effect of the global saving glut on the U.S. current account. The transmission mechanism changed, however, as low real interest rates rather than high stock prices became a principal cause of lower U.S. saving. In particular, during the past few years, the key asset-price effects of the global saving glut appear to have occurred in the market for residential investment, as low mortgage rates have supported record levels of home construction and strong gains in housing prices.... The expansion of U.S. housing wealth, much of it easily accessible to households through cash-out refinancing and home equity lines of credit, has kept the U.S. national saving rate low--and indeed, together with the significant worsening of the federal budget outlook, helped to drive it lower. As U.S. business investment has recently begun a cyclical recovery while residential investment has remained strong, the domestic saving shortfall has continued to widen, implying a rise in the current account deficit and increasing dependence of the United States on capital inflows.

According to the story I have sketched thus far, events outside U.S. borders--such as the financial crises that induced emerging-market countries to switch from being international borrowers to international lenders--have played an important role in the evolution of the U.S. current account deficit, with transmission occurring primarily through endogenous changes in equity values, house prices, real interest rates, and the exchange value of the dollar.

Is Bernanke correct? This argument does jibe with recent research suggesting that reducing the budget deficit doesn't have a large impact on the trade deficit. However, for critiques of this argument, see Daniel Gross' link-rich essay in Slate, as well as cogent posts by Brad Setser and this post by Brad DeLong.

My take -- this isn't an either-or question. Bernanke identifies a cause that has been underplayed by administration critics, but Bernanke himself makes it clear that he thinks domestic factors also play a role.

Much more disconcerting is this section of Bernanke's speech:

Because investment by businesses in equipment and structures has been relatively low in recent years (for cyclical and other reasons) and because the tax and financial systems in the United States and many other countries are designed to promote homeownership, much of the recent capital inflow into the developed world has shown up in higher rates of home construction and in higher home prices. Higher home prices in turn have encouraged households to increase their consumption. Of course, increased rates of homeownership and household consumption are both good things. However, in the long run, productivity gains are more likely to be driven by nonresidential investment, such as business purchases of new machines. The greater the extent to which capital inflows act to augment residential construction and especially current consumption spending, the greater the future economic burden of repaying the foreign debt is likely to be.

A third concern with the pattern of capital flows arises from the indirect effects of those flows on the sectoral composition of the economies that receive them. In the United States, for example, the growth in export-oriented sectors such as manufacturing has been restrained by the U.S. trade imbalance (although the recent decline in the dollar has alleviated that pressure somewhat), while sectors producing nontraded goods and services, such as home construction, have grown rapidly. To repay foreign creditors, as it must someday, the United States will need large and healthy export industries. The relative shrinkage in those industries in the presence of current account deficits--a shrinkage that may well have to be reversed in the future--imposes real costs of adjustment on firms and workers in those industries.

There is another danger -- the encouragement of speculative investment in housing in the U.S. and elsewhere. See the New York Times' David Leonhardt and Motoko Rich, as well as the Economist, for more on this.

posted by Dan at 12:46 PM | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (1)

Open Downing Street Memo thread

A few commenters have asked me to post something on the Downing Street Memo(s). Truth be told, I missed this story while putting together the tenure file, and I've found with stories like this that it's tough to jump in in mid-wave. The memos already have their own Wikipedia entry, their own web site, and their own blog, so I'm not sure what I can add except my own initial reaction and a place for people to vent.

[And how is that different from every other blog entry of yours?--ed. As opposed to the half-assed thoughts that make up your average blog posts, I'm only using a third of my ass on this one.]

The big bad graf that everyone is harping on is this one from the :

C [ Secret Intelligence Service Sir Richard Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

According to

The contents of the memos are shocking. The July 23, 2002 minutes detail how our government did not believe Iraq was a greater threat than other nations; how intelligence was packaged to sell the case for war to both Congress and the American public; and how the Bush Administration’s public assurances of "war as a last resort" were at odds with their privately stated intentions.

My quick reaction:

1) First, a defense of Blair: there's been a lot of chatter about how the memo demonstrates the minimal influence the Brits had on Bush. Actually, I'd argue that they did have significant influence on the thing Blair cared about the most: going to the UN. The memo says "NSC had no patience with the UN route," and yet Bush wound up going to the UN twice at the behest of Blair (tag-teamed with Colin Powell).

2) Others have made much of the sentence that "There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action." While this has been a subject of serious venting on this blog, I'm not sure that this sentence is as devastating as people think. This took place in mid-2002, six months before anyone thought military action would take place. Some serious discussions should have been started around then, but blasting the administration for not having completely thought out the matter six months in advance seems a bit much. [What about not having thought out the matter even after the invasion?--ed. That's fair game, but it's also extraneous to these memos.]

3) As I said back in late 2002, the fact that other countries were more active on the nuclear proliferation front does not mean that the use of force in Iraq was misplaced:

Why, then, is the U.S. going after Iraq while “consulting” on North Korea? It’s not because pre-emption can’t apply to both countries; it’s because the power politics of the Middle East are radically different from those of the Far East. Invade Iraq, and no other great power’s sphere of influence is dramatically affected; the Middle East will remain an American bailiwick for quite some time. North Korea borders China and Russia; a pre-emptive attack against Pyongyang understandably ruffles more feathers.

North Korea can be temporarily handed off to others -- Iraq can't. No other great power can influence Iraqi behavior, so it’s up to the United States to do what only the United States can do; threaten and use force. Geopolitics raises the costs of a pre-emptive U.S. attack on North Korea, but those same geopolitics also renders North Korea more vulnerable to multilateral pressure. On the Korean peninsula, Russia and especially China have incentives similar to ours; get the DPRK to give up its WMD capabilities. These countries value stability in the region and trade with South Korea. Chinese and Russian coercive pressure has forced North Korea into making concessions in the past. Coercion in the present won’t permanently solve the problem, but it will -- temporarily -- arrest North Korea’s nuclear program.

This is how foreign policy works. Neoconservatives and Wilsonians expecting consistency will cry foul, but in a world where even American resources are finite, no foreign policy doctrine will ever emerge unsullied by foreign policy practice.

4) The biggest charge is that the president shaped the intelligence to gin up an excuse for the war. On this point, Fred Kaplan's essay in Slate does a nice job of encapsulating what I think:

The memos do not show, for instance, that Bush simply invented the notion that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or that Saddam posed a threat to the region. In fact, the memos reveal quite clearly that the top leaders in the U.S. and British governments genuinely believed their claims....

The implicit point of these passages is this: These top officials genuinely believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction—and that they constituted a threat. They believed that the international community had to be sold on the matter. But not all sales pitches are consciously deceptive. The salesmen in this case turned out to be wrong; their goods were bunk. But they seemed to believe in their product at the time.

The administration was clearly wrong about the WMD threat -- but I think they thought they were right. They deserve any criticism they get about being wrong -- but they don't deserve the meme that they consciously misled the American people.

So those are my thoughts. Feel free to contribute yours.

UPDATE: Check out Tim Cavanaugh's take as well.

posted by Dan at 01:00 AM | Comments (78) | Trackbacks (3)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Whither grade inflation?

Both Alex Tabarrok and Kevin Drum flag Mark Thoma's recent research on grade inflation. The key paragraphs from Thoma's preliminary findings:

There are two episodes that account for most grade inflation. The first is from the 1960s through the early 1970s. This is usually explained by the draft rules for the Vietnam War. The second episode begins around 1990 and is harder to explain. High school GPAs rise during the same time period (entering students at the UO had a high school GPA of 3.30 in 1992, 3.31 in 1996, 3.37 in 2000, and 3.47 in 2004 while SAT scores remained relatively flat, though they did increase modestly in math).

My study finds an interesting correlation in the data. During the time grades were increasing, budgets were also tightening inducing a substitution towards younger and less permanent faculty. I broke down grade inflation by instructor rank and found it is much higher among assistant professors, adjuncts, TAs, instructors, etc. than for associate or full professors. These are instructors who are usually hired year-to-year or need to demonstrate teaching effectiveness for the job market, so they have an incentive to inflate evaluations as much as possible, and high grades are one means of manipulating student course evaluations.

If Thoma's finding hold up, it would appear to be a classic case of economic incentives outweighing social norms.

[Why?--ed. If asked to predict the pattern of grade inflation, I would have predicted the opposite trend. In my own experience, graduate students tend to be the harshest critics of undergraduate work, folloed by junior faculty (tenure track or not), followed by senior faculty. Mostly this is because, in my field, graduate students are first trained to be critics before they have to create their own work. One way this critical edge usually plays itself out is in grading others. However, Thoma's findings would suggest that this social effect is completely swamped by straight-forward material incentives. One question I would have, however, is whether this result holds at top tier research universities.]

posted by Dan at 11:43 AM | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (1)