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  • 1.
    Yanagizawa, David
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Ahlerup, Pelle
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Olsson, Ola
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Social Capital vs Institutions in the Growth Process2009In: European Journal of Political Economy, ISSN 0176-2680, E-ISSN 1873-5703, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Is social capital a substitute or a complement to formal institutions for achieving economic growth? A number of recent micro studies suggest that interpersonal trust has its greatest impact on economic performance when court institutions are relatively weak. The onventional wisdom from most macro studies, however, is that social capital is unconditionally good for growth. On the basis of the micro evidence, we outline an investment game between a producer and a lender in an incomplete-contracts setting. A key insight is that social capital will have the greatest effect on the total surplus from the game at lower levels of institutional strength and that the effect of social capital vanishes when institutions are very strong. When we bring this prediction to an empirical cross-country growth regression, it is shown that the marginal effect of social capital (in the form of interpersonal trust) decreases with institutional strength. Our results imply that a one standard deviation rise in social capital in weakly institutionalized Nigeria should increase economic growth by 1.8 percentage points, whereas the same increase in social capital only increases growth by 0.3 percentage points in strongly institutionalized Canada.

  • 2.
    Yanagizawa, David
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Nancy, Qian
    Yale University.
    The Strategic Determinants of U.S. Human Rights Reporting: Evidence from the Cold War2009In: Journal of the European Economic Association, ISSN 1542-4766, E-ISSN 1542-4774, Vol. 8, no 2-3, p. 446-457Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper uses a country-level panel data set to test the hypothesis that the United States biases its human rights reports of countries based on the latters' strategic value. We use the difference between the U.S. State Department's and Amnesty International's reports as a measure of U.S. “bias.” For plausibly exogenous variation in strategic value to the U.S., we compare this bias between U.S. Cold War (CW) allies to non-CW allies, before and after the CW ended. The results show that allying with the U.S. during the CW significantly improved reports on a country's human rights situation from the U.S. State Department relative to Amnesty International.

  • 3.
    Yanagizawa, David
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Svensson, Jakob
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Getting Prices Right: The Impact of the Market Information System in Uganda2009In: Journal of the European Economic Association, ISSN 1542-4766, E-ISSN 1542-4774, Vol. 8, no 2-3, p. 434-445Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Market Information Service project in Uganda collected data on prices for the main agricultural commodities in major market centers and disseminated the information through local FMradio stations in various districts. Exploiting the variation across space between households with and without access to a radio, we find evidence suggesting that better-informed farmers managed to bargain for higher farm-gate prices on their surplus production.

  • 4.
    Yanagizawa Drott, David
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    Information, Markets and Conflict: Essays on Development and Political Economics2010Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis consists of four essays.

    The first essay, “The Strategic Determinants of U.S. Human Rights Reporting: Evidence from the Cold War”, uses a country-level panel dataset to test the hypothesis that the United States biases its human rights reports of countries based on the strategic value of these countries. The results show that allying with the U.S. during the Cold War significantly improves reports on a country's human rights situation from the U.S. State Department relative to Amnesty International.

    The second essay, “Watchdog or Lapdog? Media and the U.S. Government during the Cold War”, builds on the first and investigates the extent to which strategic objectives of the U.S. government influenced news coverage during the Cold War. Two relationships are established: 1) strategic objectives of the U.S. government cause the State Department to under-report human rights violations of allies; and 2) these objectives reduce the news coverage of human rights abuses for allies in six U.S. national newspapers.

    The third essay, “Propaganda and Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Rwandan Genocide”, investigates the impact of the infamous "hate radio" station Radio RTLM on participation in the Rwandan Genocide. The results show that Radio RTLM substantially increased participation. Complete radio coverage in a village increased participation by 65 to 77 percent, and a simple counter-factual calculation suggests that approximately 9 percent of the genocide, corresponding to at least 45 000 Tutsi deaths, can be explained by the radio station.

    The fourth essay, “Tuning in the Market Signal: The Impact of Price Information on Market Exchange in Uganda”, estimates the impact of access to market price information on agricultural market outcomes. By exploiting a natural experiment in Uganda, the results show that access to price information causes rural farmers to sell larger shares of their output and receive higher farm-gate prices, while decreasing the market price in urban markets. Together, the results indicate that the price information reduced market failures by alleviating frictions between farmers and traders.

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