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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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The UCLA International Institute is the principal agency at the University of California, Los Angeles, for the organization of global and area studies research and academic exchanges. The Institute administers its own program of Global Fellows and directly funds a number of Global Impact Research programs. It administers some 15 topical and area centers and programs, on Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Near East, and Asia, as well as 8 topical and area studies degree programs. It is also the home for UCLA's Education Abroad Program and Language Resource Center. It conducts extensive outreach to K-12 and community college teachers as part of its mission to educate global citizens.

UCLA International Institute

There are 1589 publications in this collection, published between 1970 and 2019.
Global Fellows Working Papers (2)

A Theory of Natural Addiction

Economic theories of rational addiction aim to describe consumer behavior in the presence of habit-forming goods. We provide a biological foundation for this body of work by formally specifying conditions under which it is optimal to form a habit. We demonstrate the empirical validity of our thesis with an in-depth review and synthesis of the biomedical literature concerning the action of opiates in the mammalian brain and their effects on behavior. Our results lend credence to many of the unconventional behavioral assumptions employed by theories of rational addiction, including adjacent complementarity and the importance of cues, attention, and self-control in determining the behavior of addicts. Our approach suggests, however, that addiction is “harmful” only when the addict fails to implement the optimal solution. We offer evidence for the special case of the opiates that harmful addiction is the manifestation of a mismatch between behavioral algorithms encoded in the human genome and the expanded menu of choices--generated for example, by advances in drug delivery technology--faced by consumers in the modern world.

Institutional Determinants of IMF Agreements

Do domestic institutions influence decisions to participate in IMF programs? I argue that executives facing more veto players are more likely to turn to the IMF, but the IMF is more likely to conclude agreements when there are fewer veto players. Reform-minded executives often use the IMF’s leverage to push through unpopular policies. The more actors in a political system with the veto power to prevent policy change, the more likely an executive will find the IMF useful. Even with the added pressure of the IMF, however, the presence of additional veto players may limit policy change. Such limits are not preferred by the IMF. Thus, as the number of veto players increases, executives are more likely to enter into IMF agreements; the IMF is less likely. To test these arguments, I use a dynamic version of bivariate probit with partial observability.

Program on International Migration (86)

Connection without Engagement: The Paradoxes of North American Armenian Return Migration

Return migration from the diaspora to the ancestral homeland has emerged as an important sub-field within migration studies. The scholarship has introduced new ways of understanding migratory trajectories by exploring the roles of migrants’ ethnicity and imagination and has identified novel ways of unpacking migratory patterns whose motivations are not centered on economic mobility. But the scholarship has begged the question by documenting the ethnic and sentimental motivations that make migration incomprehensible and the unexpected difficulties returnees encounter once they have settled in their perceived homelands. The current research project investigates the experiences of North American Armenians who have “returned” to Armenia. It seeks to extend the existing theoretical framework by demonstrating how ancestral returnees sustain a powerful feeling of connection to a country while simultaneously harboring a sense of disengagement from local practices.

A National Study of Access to Counsel in Immigration Court.

Although immigrants have a right to be represented by counsel in immigration court, it has long been the case that the government has no obligation to provide an attorney for those who are unable to afford one. Recently, however, a broad coalition of public figures, scholars, advocates, courts, and philanthropic foundations have begun to push for the establishment of a public defender system for poor immigrants facing deportation. Yet the national debate about appointing defense counsel for immigrants has proceeded with limited information regarding how many immigrants currently obtain attorneys and the efficacy and efficiency of such representation.This Article presents the results of the first national study of access to counsel in United States immigration courts. Drawing on data from over 1.2 million deportation cases decided between 2007 and 2012, we find that only 37% of all immigrants, and a mere 14% of detained immigrants, secured representation. Only 2% of immigrants obtained pro bono representation from nonprofit organizations, law school clinics, or large law firm volunteer programs. Barriers to representation were particularly severe in immigration courts located in rural areas and small cities, where almost one-third of detained cases were adjudicated. Moreover, we find that immigrants with attorneys fared far better: among similarly situated removal respondents, the odds were fifteen times greater that immigrants with representation, as compared to those without, sought relief, and five-and-a-half times greater that they obtained relief from removal. In addition, we show that involvement of counsel was associated with certain gains in court efficiency: represented respondents brought fewer unmeritorious claims, were more likely to be released from custody, and, once released, were more likely to appear at their future deportation hearings. This research provides an essential data-driven understanding of immigration representation that should inform discussions of expanding access to counsel.

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Occasional Paper Series (3)

The Politics of WTO Dispute Settlement

The institutionalization of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) of the World Trade Organization in 1995 has been widely hailed as a triumph of impartial law over national power. The authors argue that the reality of the power of the WTO's Appellate Body falls short of the legalistic model in three essential respects: complainant nations often refrain from bringing cases where the violator is likely to refuse to abide by a negative decision by the Appellate Body; the Appellate Body itself commonly bends the rules of the WTO when confronting powerful defendants; and losing defendants often procrastinate beyond set time limits for compliance, entering into a post-DSU bargaining process with the complainant outside the mechanism of the World Trade Organizaton.

Electoral Systems and Real Prices: Panel Evidence for the OECD Countries, 1970-2000

The classic Stigler-Peltzman model, if extended to consider the effects of electoral systems, suggests (a) that majoritarian electoral systems should advantage consumers over producers and (b) that this effect will manifest itself in lower real prices. In an earlier paper, Rogowski and Kayser (AJPS, July 2002) demonstrated that, controlling for all other factors standardly adduced in the extensive “Law of One Price” literature, and for country size, the strongest form of majoritarianism, single member districts (SMD), predicted a ten percent drop in the real 1990 prices of the average OECD country. This cross-national effect survived a plethora of robustness checks and was not driven by any single case, including the United States.

We now extend that empirical analysis to panel data for twenty-three OECD countries over the period 1970-2000, taking advantage also of the numerous changes in electoral systems during that period (France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand). In a country fixed-effects specification (sustained by a joint test of significance on the country dummies), and particularly when missing data are addressed by multiple imputation, the electoral-system price effect is again confirmed as statistically and substantively significant. We suggest (a) that real price differences can serve as an important indicator of policy effects of various institutions and (b) that, given these results, any change in a country’s electoral system will have strong and predictable effects on the balance of consumer-producer power.

The International Monetary Fund and the Global Spread of Privatization

Well over a trillion dollars worth of state-owned firms have been privatized by governments all around the world since 1980. Economists argue that privatization increases efficiency by placing decisions in the hands of markets rather than public officials. The IMF is sufficiently enamored of privatization that it has included for more than a decade stipulations about the sale of state-owned assets as condition for the receipt of its loans. The evidence that privatization directly increases efficiency, however, is not nearly so clear as most economists would have us believe.