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Insights / Research BriefAug 16, 2022

The Real State: Inside the Congo’s Traffic Police Agency

Economists typically presuppose that the absence of state capacities to raise official revenue to finance public service is a key factor in the persistence of so-called weak states. However, so-called “weak states” often have a strong “real” capacity to raise revenue and organize public service—albeit not along official lines.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Research BriefMay 21, 2021

A Glimpse of Freedom: Allied Occupation and Political Resistance in East Germany

Luis Martínez, Jonas Jessen, Guo Xu
Why do people in countries with less freedom decide to rebel? On the other side of the coin, why do some people seem to willingly live under repressive regimes for years, even generations? Further, what is the impact of even minimal contact with a more open style of government on regions that eventually succumb to authoritarian rule? These are not idle academic questions but are rather dynamic inquiries into nation-building that are playing out today.
Insights / Research BriefMay 12, 2020

Political Scandal: A Theory

Imagine a scenario where Politician A is reported to have said something politically damaging in a closed-door meeting. However, the news of this indiscretion is reported by members of the opposition party, with the members of Politician A’s party vehemently denying the accusation. Who would you believe? Would you lose faith in the politician, or would you blame extreme polarization for the political theater that you just witnessed?
Insights / Research BriefMay 14, 2019

Rebel Capacity and Combat Tactics

In 2010, following the coalition surge in Afghanistan, a small and highly mobile rebel squad of Taliban fighters was able to monitor and assess weaknesses at one of the coalition’s forward bases in Uruzgan province. These insurgents, who were armed with an arsenal of rockets, strategically attacked the base at particular times of the day when it was more vulnerable.
Insights / Video

Spotlight: Working Papers from the 2018 Economics of Media and Communication Conference

Leonardo Bursztyn
Understanding the changing media environment and its impact on our society and political climate is...