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Anthony E. Boardman, Diane Forbes
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Volume 2, pp 1-27; https://doi.org/10.2202/2152-2812.1050

Abstract:
The design of new hospital inpatient rooms is moving towards private (single occupancy) rooms. These rooms are generally preferred by patients and they may improve patient care, but they are more expensive to build and to staff than semi-private rooms. The question of their societal worth is important because hospitals are expensive, long-term investments and, once built, are prohibitively expensive to change. This paper presents a benefit-cost analysis of private rooms versus semi-private rooms in a proposed new hospital. We estimate that the net social benefit of a bed in a private room is about $70,000 more than a bed in a semi-private room.
James K. Hammitt,
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Volume 2, pp 1-29; https://doi.org/10.2202/2152-2812.1009

Abstract:
The income elasticity of the value per statistical life (VSL) is an important parameter for policy analysis. Mortality risk reductions often dominate the quantified benefits of environmental and other policies, and estimates of their value are frequently transferred across countries with significantly different income levels. U.S. regulatory agencies typically assume that a 1.0 percent change in real income over time will lead to a 0.4 to 0.6 percent change in the VSL. While elasticities within this range are supported by substantial research, they appear nonsensical if applied to populations with significantly smaller incomes. When transferring values between high and lower income countries, analysts often instead assume an elasticity of 1.0, but the resulting VSL estimates appear large in comparison to income. Elasticities greater than 1.0 are supported by research on the relationship between long-term economic growth and the VSL, by cross-country comparisons, and by new research that estimates the VSL by income quantile. Caution is needed when applying these higher elasticities, however, because the resulting VSLs appear smaller than expected future earnings or consumption in some cases, contrary to theory. In addition to indicating the need for more research, this comparison suggests that, in the interim, VSL estimates should be bounded below by estimates of future income or consumption.
Robert S. Raucher, Scott J. Rubin, Douglas Crawford-Brown, Megan M. Lawson
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Volume 2, pp 1-24; https://doi.org/10.2202/2152-2812.1004

Abstract:
The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996, enables benefit-cost analysis (BCA) to be used in setting federal drinking water standards, known as MCLs. While BCAs are typically conceived of as a tool to inform efficiency considerations by helping to identify MCL options that maximize net social benefits, in this paper we also illustrate how important equity and affordability considerations can be brought to light by suitably applying BCAs to drinking water regulations, especially in the context of communities served by relatively small water systems. We examine the applicability and relevance of health-health analysis (HHA), and provide an empirical evaluation of the risk tradeoffs that may be associated with the MCL established for arsenic. We find that the cost-associated risks may offset a nontrivial portion of the cancer risk reduction benefits attributed to the MCL (e.g., the additional adverse health impacts from the costs may be roughly half as large as the number of cancer cases avoided). This reveals the relevance of using the HHA approach for examining net benefits of MCLs in small drinking water utilities, and raises issues related to whether and how these cost-associated health risks should be considered in BCAs for drinking water standards.
John B. Loomis
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Volume 2, pp 1-24; https://doi.org/10.2202/2152-2812.1044

Abstract:
This article reviews the rationale for and various approaches used by economists to incorporate distributional consequences of projects or policies into benefit-cost analyses. Approaches reviewed include distributional weights and metrics based on the Lorenz curve. Analysis of distributional issues in partial equilibrium and general equilibrium settings are briefly reviewed. We present an empirical demonstration of how the contingent valuation method (CVM) and hedonic property methods (HPM) can be used to quantify how non-market environmental benefits are distributed by income and ethnicity. Using CVM, the distribution of non-market benefits can be cross-tabbed with respondent demographics, so that a variety of “distributions” of benefits by relevant demographic groups can be calculated. Using the HPM, the analyst can statistically test to see if the implicit price gradient varies with differences in income and ethnicity. In our empirical example, we find that ethnicity and income interaction terms on the implicit price gradient are statistically significant suggesting differential effects of National Forest fire suppression policies on Hispanics and low income households.
Ginés De Rus
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Volume 2, pp 1-28; https://doi.org/10.2202/2152-2812.1058

Abstract:
This paper deals with public investment in High-Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure and tries to understand the economic rationale for allocating public money to the construction of new HSR lines. The examination of data on costs and demand shows that the case for investing in HSR requires several conditions to be met: an ex ante high volume of traffic in the corridor where the new lines are built, significant time savings, high average willingness of potential users to pay, the release of capacity in the conventional rail network and airports. On the contrary, net environmental benefits seem to be insignificant in influencing the social desirability of HSR investment. This paper discusses, within a cost-benefit analysis framework, under which conditions the expected benefits could justify the investment in HSR projects.
Doris Fuchs, Agni Kalfagianni
Business and Politics, Volume 12, pp 1-34; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1319

Abstract:
This paper investigates the creation and consequences of private regulation in global food governance. It points to the power to govern and the authority to govern as the two crucial conditions for the emergence and diffusion of private food regulation. More specifically, the paper argues that the power to govern is a function of the structural power of agrifood corporations, particularly retail food corporations in our case. The authority to govern is a function of the perceived legitimacy of retail food corporations as political actors. By linking power and authority to the material and ideational structures existing in the global political economy of food, this paper analyses the processes that serve to create, maintain and reproduce private regulation in food governance. With its analysis, the paper aims to contribute to the theoretical and empirical debates on private authority, private regulation and the challenges for sustainability in the global food system.
Thomas David, Stéphanie Ginalski, André Mach, Frédéric Rebmann
Business and Politics, Volume 11, pp 1-38; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1269

Abstract:
Until the 1990's, Switzerland could be classified as either a corporatist, cooperative or coordinated market economy where non-market mechanisms of coordination among economic and political actors were very important. In this respect, Business Interest Associations (BIAs) played a key role. The aim of this paper is to look at the historical evolution of the five main peak Swiss BIAs through network analysis for five assorted dates during the 20th century (1910, 1937, 1957, 1980 and 2000) while relying on a database that includes more than 12,000 people. First, we examine the logic of membership in these associations, which allows us to analyze their position and function within the network of the Swiss economic elite. Until the 1980's, BIAs took part in the emergence and consolidation of a closely meshed national network, which declined during the two last decades of the 20th century. Second, we investigate the logic of influence of these associations by looking at the links they maintained with the political and administrative worlds through their links to the political parties and Parliament, and to the administration via the extra-parliamentary commissions (corporatist bodies). In both cases, the recent dynamic of globalization called into question the traditional role of BIAs.
Vinod Aggarwal
Business and Politics, Volume 11, pp 1-21; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1257

Abstract:
The U.S. is no longer providing leadership in trade policy. In recent years, we have seen a sharp turn toward a rapid proliferation of bilateral preferential trade agreements, accords that are likely to undermine the World Trade Organization (WTO). By pursuing a strategy of ‘competitive liberalization’ both on a sectoral basis under the Bill Clinton administration, and then a policy of seeking bilateral arrangements under the George W. Bush administration, this article argues that American administrations have undermined the coalition for free trade in the United States. Consequently, protectionist industries including textiles, steel, and agriculture have made further liberalization more difficult and thus the prospects for promoting continued trade liberalization have grown dimmer.
John A. Gould, Yaroslav Hetman
Business and Politics, Volume 10, pp 1-33; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1236

Abstract:
This paper examines the political economy of the Orange Revolution in an effort to understand routes by which less democratic postcommunist countries might break with an illiberal status quo. The fusion of Ukraine's rent-seeking economic interests and illiberal political regime produced an unstable equilibrium that is poorly explained by two leading theoretical frameworks: ‘market reform’ and ‘political competition’ theory. Only by combining key insights from each do we get a full explanation of the pressures that generated Ukraine's challenge to illiberalism in 2004. We examine this story with a particular focus on the crisis-prone nature of ‘competitive authoritarian regimes’ and the related strategic calculations of business elites.
Andrew Tucker
Business and Politics, Volume 10, pp 1-26; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1218

Abstract:
Scholars have started to focus on the ways in which firms manage their reputations through collective action. Collective reputation management is most often carried out through trade associations (TAs). But what do these TAs actually do? How do they further their members' interests with stakeholders like regulators, industry financial analysts, employees, suppliers, and the media? Informed by a rich set of 43 qualitative interviews with the trade associations (TAs) representing the UK's 24 largest business sectors, the paper builds a model of the reputational incentives that drives the dynamic relationship between trade associations, firms and multiple stakeholder groups. The paper's preliminary empirical research coupled with the conceptual model provides five directions for future research.
Hans-Jürgen Bieling
Business and Politics, Volume 9, pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1187

Abstract:
The concluding article to the special issue critically reflects on arguments and analysis presented in the preceding articles. It argues that globalisation, new forms of private authority and the increased power of transnational business have not generally weakened the state, but rather advanced a business-oriented transformation of statehood. To understand this transformation the article first provides a very short overview of the state-globalisation debate. Subsequently, it deals more explicitly with the state theoretical debate. In particular, it brings together neo-Marxist and post-Weberian conceptualisations in order to address both the social nature of the state and the particular forms and processes by which it is interactively embedded in the economy and society. After an outline of the transformation of statehood and the strategic options for non-state actors, the article concludes with some critical remarks on the future of democratic politics.
Charles Robert Hankla
Business and Politics, Volume 8, pp 1-29; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1162

Abstract:
We know from observation that some democracies intervene deeply in their domestic economies while others adopt a more laissez faire approach. Can we explain these differences solely with ideology, or are other political influences also at work? I argue in this paper that elected leaders sometimes opt for hefty economic regulation purely to generate sources of patronage that can be used to maintain their political positions. Leaders are most tempted to take this approach, I contend, when their political parties are not stably linked to sources of electoral support. Unstably linked governing parties will tend to have very short time horizons, focusing on the immediate objective of avoiding massive vote losses in the next election. As a result, they will be less concerned with the potential future damage that a patronage-based policy may inflict on the national economy. I find support for this argument with a close examination of Indian economic policy under Indira Gandhi. Prime Minister Gandhi, I contend, increased the Indian state's control over trade, industrial production, and credit allocation just as the Congress Party's linkages to the electorate were destabilizing.
, Steven M. McGuire
Business and Politics, Volume 7, pp 1-23; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1097

Abstract:
Rulings made by the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement body have, since the organization's creation in 1995, significantly advanced global economic liberalization. The response of business has been varied and far from uniformly supportive of the WTO agenda. The reason stems from the fact that adjusting to liberalization measures is easier in some industries than in others. The response is premised on the strategic alternatives available within an industry. Through examining antidumping (AD) elements of the European Union (EU) trade policy regime in the context of two European industries - chemicals and textiles - we find that both are under severe competitive pressure, due to WTO-induced market liberalization. However, the responses taken by companies within the respective industries are very different. We suggest that while WTO activity catalyzes industry evolution, the form of that adjustment is highly industry specific. In the case of textiles, the disaggregation of the industry value chain allows for a variety of product and locational adjustment strategies. In contrast, the chemicals industry is nationally based, reliant on intellectual property for competitive advantage and structurally limited in its ability to adopt a wide range of adjustment strategies. Therefore, in the absence of alternative strategy options, EU chemical companies lobby for rule harmonization in the WTO.
Oksan Bayulgen
Business and Politics, Volume 7, pp 1-37; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1099

Abstract:
The rentier-state literature pays little attention to the initial political conditions that shape the way an oil-rich country develops its resources. One of the key causal mechanisms linking oil wealth and regime type is the relationship between foreign investors and host governments. Especially in the developing countries that depend on international financing and expertise, the role of foreign capital in fashioning the balance of power in the political system and thereby the distribution of oil wealth becomes ever more important. As the experiences of Azerbaijan and Russia in the 1990s demonstrate, among oil-rich states in the developing world, those with authoritarian regimes tend to fare better in terms of attracting FDI in the oil sector than states with democratizing (or hybrid regimes). The durability of some authoritarian regimes in the developing world is partly a function of this external legitimation from foreign investors.
John Wright
Business and Politics, Volume 6, pp 1-26; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1066

Abstract:
This paper analyzes congressional voting on tobacco issues over two decades. Contrary to existing claims, the analysis shows that the tobacco industry's legislative success is more a function of representatives' regulatory and pro-business ideologies than of tobacco PAC money or a geographically-based tobacco voting bloc. In most cases, the tobacco voting bloc—representatives and senators from major tobacco producing districts and states—is not strong enough to protect and sustain the tobacco price support system, let alone affect the outcome of commercial issues such as cigarette taxes and regulation. The industry's campaign contributions also have sporadic and limited impact on commercial issues affecting tobacco. Only on agricultural issues do tobacco PAC contributions exhibit any influence.
Magali Delmas, Alfred Marcus
Business and Politics, Volume 6, pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1073

Abstract:
This paper compares the economic efficiency of firm-agency governance structures for pollution reduction using transaction costs economics. Two governance structures are analyzed with the transaction costs approach: command and control regulation (CCR) and negotiated agreements (NAs). We propose that the choice of governance structure depends on the strategies firms pursue given the attributes of their transactions and their market opportunities. The application of transaction cost economics analysis leads to different choices of regulatory instruments. Firms in more mature, stable industries are likely to choose command and control, while firms in new, dynamic sectors are more likely to opt for negotiated agreements. Frequency of transactions is a key factor in firm choice.
David L. Levy, Aseem Prakash
Business and Politics, Volume 5, pp 131-150; https://doi.org/10.2202/1469-3569.1051

Abstract:
This paper outlines an approach for understanding the role of multinational corporations (MNCs) in global governance. We develop a typology of regime types with two dimensions, the goal of the regime, which can be market enabling or regulatory, and the location of authority, which can be national, regional, or international, with public and private elements. MNCs tend to support the creation of market enabling regimes at the international level, and prefer to keep social or environmental regulation under national or private authority. However, these are only generalizations and MNCs develop preferences based on their relative influence in various arenas, the costs of political participation, and competitive considerations. We argue that institutions of global governance represent the outcome of a series of negotiations among corporations, states, and non-state actors. The preferences and power of MNCs vary across issues and sectors, and from one negotiating forum to another, accounting for the uneven and fragmented nature of the resulting system. Our approach differs from the traditional FDI bargaining framework in that it recognizes the multi-party nature of negotiations and multiple sources of power. Moreover, the complexity and dynamic nature of the process results in a somewhat indeterminate process.
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