Spring 04 Colloquia


Colloquia during Spring 2004:


Monday, January 26, 2004



Presented by Dr. Margaret Polski, Executive Fellow, Leonard H. Stern School of Business, New York University, New York, New York, and Sr. Research Fellow, Institute for Development Strategies, Indiana University, Bloomington 


Abstract: The struggle to assign property rights to biological materials and the outcomes of bioprospecting, and to align economic incentives in such a way that biodiversity is conserved presents a number of under-researched analytical issues. This paper uses work in new institutional economics to explore these issues and provide guidance for policymakers who must design appropriate policies and for scholars who are interested in economic organization and regulation. The main findings from the analysis are that biodiversity and biological materials are common pool goods; research on biological materials can but does not necessarily contribute to creating new knowledge and inventions; harvesting biological materials for research and development is a complex contracting situation that involves high risk intertemporal asset transformation and potentially three economically separable goods that have different investment characteristics and contracting requirements; it appears that biodiversity, NHBMs, and bioprospecting are best governed by relationship contracting principals that are designed to fit specific contracting conditions, however empirical analysis of biocontracting experience would improve the reliability and validity of this prediction.


BIO: Margaret Polski is a political economist who specializes in growth and change. She has over twenty years experience leading transformation initiatives in business, government, and civic sectors. Her research interests include innovation, growth, and regulation. She is currently working with Indiana University to develop a Biotechnology Industry Study Center.


Dr. Polski has a Ph.D. from Indiana University, an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.E.S. from the University of Minnesota. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Strategies at the School for Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and an Executive Fellow at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.


Paper in PDF 


Monday, February 2, 2004



An Experimental Investigation of Delegation and Agenda Control


Presented by Professor Michael Ensley, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington (Coauthor: Jennifer Hayes Clark, Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington) 


Abstract: There has been an extensive debate over the role and strength of political parties in the American Congress. While this has illuminated many interesting aspects of legislative politics, the debates remain far from settled. We seek to contribute to the debate by focusing on two important but neglected aspects of legislative politics: the separation of powers and majority rule instability. Previous research on parties in Congress has either assumed that the policy space is one dimensional or that legislative institutions such as the committee system create a structure-induced equilibrium (Shepsle 1979); in other words, scholars have assumed away the problem of instability in social choice under simple majority rule. However, Aldrich (1995) argues that it is precisely the lack of an equilibrium that leads members to form a coalition (i.e. political party). The uncertainty of the outcome surrounding majority rule leads risk-averse members to form a coalition to avoid being in a situation that makes them worse off. Further, following the insights of Sinclair (1992), we note that incentive to organize is greater when there is an ideologically opposed executive.


This paper discusses a set of proposed experiments that investigates whether legislative parties/coalitions emerge when an equilibrium in preferences under simple majority rule does not exist. Specifically, we propose to investigate whether members will form a coalition by one member delegating agenda control to another member when there is instability in social choice. Further, we propose to investigate whether this delegation is more likely when the external veto player has preferences that are divergent from the majority party’s preferences. 


BIO: Professor Michael Ensley (Ph.D. Duke University, 2002) is an assistant professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research focuses on how electoral rules, institutions, and actors affect the quality of American democracy. His current research focuses on the impact of campaign finance laws and practices on the character of Congressional elections. He is also working on research projects about the decision to run for Congressional office and on the development of campaign strategy. He is currently turning his dissertation, "The Good, the Bad, and the Wealthy: Mobilization and Ideological Campaign Contributions in Congressional Elections," into a book manuscript. In addition to these substantive interests, he is interested in the application of statistical and experimental methods to the study of politics.


Paper in PDF


Monday, February 9, 2004



Prefectural Federations and the April 2001 Liberal Democratic Party Presidential Primary


Presented by Professor George Ehrhardt, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio


Abstract: Junichiro Koizumi's election as president of the LDP (and hence Prime Minister) was a exciting time in Japanese politics. In this paper I investigate the intra-party conflict over the presidential succession which made Koizumi's victory possible. In the past, LDP presidents were chosen by a bewildering array of methods, with the selection rules changing each election. The only constant was a constitutional level rule declaring that the party executive retains control over what selection rules would be used. In 2001, however, the LDP's prefectural-level organizations were able to circumvent this fundamental rule of LDP politics by re-interpreting their vestigial operational level control over own votes. Their (ultimately successful) battle with the party executive over whether or not the party would hold a rank-and-file primary created the necessary conditions for Koizumi to turn his reformist image into electoral success.


For observers of Japanese politics, this outcome is surprising, since the LDP prefectural federations are traditionally dismissed as insignificant. The prefectural assemblymen who make up the federations are tied to a faction in the national Diet, and trade their independence for assistance in securing government spending for their districts. These factions have dominated national politics since 1955, and the events of April 2001 are significant because for the first time, actors outside the Diet took control of the LDP succession process. The first section of the paper provides background on LDP presidential selection rules and practices, and on the little-studied prefectural federations. The bulk of the paper is a detailed case study of how the April 2001 selection rules were chosen, in which the prefectural federations become the protagonists. I confirm these findings by checking the timing of prefectural primary announcements with a hazard model, finding little evidence of factional influence over the process.


BIO: The bulk of this research was completed while the author was a Ministry of Education scholar at Kobe University, Japan. His promising career as an election worker was cut short by suspicious campaign staff, who were baffled as to why a strange foreigner would have any interest at all in becoming a campaign volunteer. As a result, he was forced to finish his Ph.D in Japanese foreign policy and return to Indiana University (where he had taken the year-long workshop course) to graduate in 2002. He is currently a visiting assistant professor at Miami University. This May, he will briefly return to Japan for further research on LDP prefectural politicians, but in the meantime he has been publishing articles on Northeast Asian security issues.


Paper in PDF


Monday, February 16, 2004




Presented by Professor Johnny Goldfinger, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI)


Abstract: Among the contributions of social choice theory to political science is the finding that the aggregation of transitive individual preference orderings can produce an intransitive social preference ordering.  This intransitive outcome is commonly called a cyclical majority.  In this paper, I examine the normative consequences of cyclical majorities in theory and practice.  Some critics have dismissed the significance of intransitive social orderings for democratic decision-making.  I contend that intransitive social orderings are normatively problematic for the concept of majority rule and common understandings of democracy.  Other critics have argued that cyclical majorities are a trivial issue because they rarely occur in practice.  I argue that the mere absence of cyclical majorities does not necessarily preclude normative concerns.  Transitive outcomes may be induced by normatively undesirable factors.  To better appreciate the normative consequences of transitive outcomes, I look at how different types of political decisions vary in their susceptibility to cyclical majorities.  I also consider the normative implications of socio-cultural norms, decision-making institutions, and psychological motivations.  This perspective establishes a framework for a more refined understanding of the normative tradeoffs democracies make to secure stable outcomes.


BIO: Johnny Goldfinger is an assistant professor of political science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where he teaches courses in political theory.  He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in August 2003.  His dissertation, “Deliberative Democracy, Preference Change, and Social Choice,” looks at the political theories of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas from the perspective of social choice theory.  Johnny’s recent publications include “The Value of Social Choice Theory for Normative Political Theorists” (The Good Society) and “Thoughts on the Internet as an Ideal Speech Situation” (Politics and Information Systems: Technology and Applications).  His current research projects focus on a variety of issues.  They include a look at the implications of voter rationality for minor party campaign strategies, an examination of the parallels in the political theories of Rawls and Jean Jacque Rousseau, and a reconsideration of intellectual property rights in light of music sampling by hip-hop artists.


Paper in PDF


Monday, February 23, 2004




Presented by Ashok Regmi, Graduate Student of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science Joint Ph.D. Program and Research Assistant at the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University, Bloomington


Abstract: Despite many valuable lessons that have been learnt regarding resource and resource user attributes there are some relationships that have yet to be understood. One such confounding issue has been the impact of heterogeneity among the users of a community-based natural resource. Traditional commons research has mostly assumed the prevalence of homogeneity among resource users, however, it is known that differences (e.g. in socio-economic attributes, natural resource endowments, physical circumstances etc) can be present. It is mostly under assumptions of homogeneity that researchers have been able to collect evidence that shows that groups have been able to successfully self-organize (Ostrom 1990; Ostrom Gardner Walker, 1994; McKean 1992; Bromley 1992). What impact does heterogeneity have on collective action is an issue that is not yet fully understood and is the focus of much contemporary research in the common pool resource area. Similarly, the relationship between the nature of the resource and the ease with which users are able to organize around it is also not straightforward. This paper is an attempt to explore these issues with respect to Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal.


BIO: This paper is based on the dissertation field work that was undertaken in Chitwan, Nepal during 2003. The author is a faculty member at Kathmandu University, School of Management and is currently pursuing Doctoral studies in the Joint PhD Program in Public Policy at Indiana University. His interests are in the areas of governance and management of common pool resources, especially irrigation and forest resources. He is also interested in the design of management systems for small community based organizations.


Paper in PDF


Monday, March 1, 2004



A View from the Village


Presented by Dr. Maria Grosz-Ngaté, Associate Director, African Studies Program, Indiana University, Bloomington


Abstract: A popular uprising and the government’s violent response in March 1991 led to the overthrow of General Moussa Traoré, who had ruled Mali for 23 years, and the creation of a transitional government. A national convention was held in August 1991 and a new constitution adopted in February 1992. The new constitution provided for decentralization through the reorganization of territorial administration and a redefinition of the role of the state. Most importantly, self-governing communes with fiscal authority were to be created across the country. The democratically elected president Alpha Oumar Konaré, who took office in June 1992, moved to implement decentralization in spite of resistance from various administrative units. By May 2001, 703 communes had been created.


After outlining the political context and implementation of decentralization, this presentation focuses on the establishment of a commune in central Mali. It discusses the issues that have arisen, how they played themselves out, and the challenges facing the villagers and their elected officials.


BIO: Maria Grosz-Ngaté is Associate Director of the African Studies Program. She is an anthropologist with long-term research experience in Mali and has published on issues of gender, bridewealth, labor migration, and conversion to Islam. 


There will not be a formal paper for this session.


Monday, March 8, 2004




Four Ph.D. students associated with the Workshop and CIPEC are preparing dissertation designs. They are:


Eduardo Araral

Ginger Elliott

Tanya Hayes

Evelyn Lwanga


For those interested, current working drafts of their dissertation proposals will be on the Workshop website until March 10.


At the session, each candidate will provide a ten minute overview of (1) key theoretical questions they want to address and (2) where they will conduct their study and why this is an appropriate site to study these questions.


Monday, March 22, 2004



The Fiscal Effects of Jurisdictional Overlap


Presented by Dr. Christopher Berry, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Government Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Abstract: This paper discusses the common-pool problems that arise when multiple territorially overlapping governments share the authority to provide services and levy taxes in a common geographic area. Contrary to a traditional Tiebout model in which increasing the number of local governments increases competition and improves efficiency, increasing the number of overlapping governments generates externalities and a “tragedy of the fiscal commons” may result.  The model is tested empirically with data on jurisdictional overlap in U.S. counties.  I find a strong positive relationship between the number of overlapping jurisdictions and the size of the local public sector, after controlling for other relevant variables.  Substantively, the “overlap effect” is on the order of 5 to 10 percent of the total budget.  I explore, and reject, several alternative explanations for these findings.  The fiscal commons approach to the local public sector is particularly timely as overlapping, single-function governments, “special districts,” have become the most numerous and fastest-growing type of local government in the U.S.  This analysis suggests that Tiebout’s economic model falls short by neglecting the importance of the political institutions that shape competition in the local public sector.


BIO: Christopher Berry is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University.  His areas of research include the politics of public finance, education policy, and state and local government.  He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2002.


Paper in PDF


Monday, March 29, 2004



Path Dependency and Swedish Environmental Institutions 1960-1998


Presented by Dr. Andreas Duit, Researcher at the Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (CTM) and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, Sweden, and Visiting Scholar at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington


Abstract: Contemporary institutional theory has neglected to develop a comprehensive account of institutional change. It has also neglected to produce the analytical tools for differentiating between institutional change and stability. This paper suggests an analytical model for analyzing institutional change by amending the IAD framework with features designed to detect path dependent trajectories. The analytical model is then put to work in a case study of the evolution of governmental institutions for environmental control in Sweden. The analysis not only reveals the existence of a highly path dependent institutional development, powerful enough to withstand a wide-ranging institutional reform implemented in the late 1990s, but also provides  insight into how the apparent weakness of the institution might explain its successful performance. 


BIO: Andreas Duit works in the field of environmental politics, with special focus on large-scale collective dilemmas, institutional theory, and methodological questions. Duit wrote his dissertation on the evolution of Swedish institutions of environmental protection, and after dissertating in 2002, Duit worked with research on natural resource management within the Millennium Assessment Project at the Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (CTM), Stockholm University. On behalf of governmental evaluation committees, Duit has carried out studies on electoral campaign financing, the effects of electoral reforms, and immigrant voters. Furthermore, on behalf of MISTRA and the National Science Council, Duit has written a report on political science and the sustainable society. He is currently a STINT-sponsored Visiting Scholar at the Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University.  


Paper in PDF


Monday, April 5, 2004




Presented by Dr. Claudia Keser, Research Staff Member, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York [Coauthor: Claude Montmarquette, CIRANO (Centre Interuniversitaire de Rechereche en Analyse des Organisations), Montreal]


Abstract: In a series of experimental effort games, each of two players may choose between remuneration based on either private or team effort. Although at least one of the players has the subgame perfect equilibrium strategy to choose remuneration based on private effort, we frequently observe team remuneration chosen by both players. This allows for high cooperation payoffs to each player but at the same time provides individual incentives to take a free ride on the other player's effort. The game is designed such that both solutions lie in the interior of the strategy space. In the case of symmetric effort costs, we observe team effort levels that are significantly higher than those in similar games where team remuneration is enforced. However, this does not significantly increase team efficiency. In the case of asymmetric effort costs, we observe no significant effort differences, neither between high and low cost players nor between voluntary and enforced teaming. However, the high cost players’ profit and, thus, team efficiency are significantly higher in voluntary than in enforced teaming.


BIO: Claudia Keser works as a Research Staff Member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY. She is Associate Fellow of CIRANO (Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en Analyse des Organisations) in Montreal, and Privatdozentin at the Technical University of Karlsruhe. She received her Doctoral degree in Economics in 1992 at the Rheinische Friedrich-Willhelms University of Bonn, working with Nobel Laureate Reinhard Selten on experimental duopolies with demand inertia. Her research in experimental game theory has been focused on issues of incentives, trust and cooperation.


Paper in PDF


A revised version of the paper will be available on our website at a later date.


Monday, April 12, 2004




Presented by Professor Jeffrey A. Hart, Department of Political Science, Indiana University, Bloomington


Chapter 9 of Professor Hart’s book Television, Technology, and Competition: HDTV and Digital TV in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan


Summary: Global standards have arisen for the IBM PC Platform, TCP/IP for the Internet, HTML and XML for the World Wide Web, and the Linux operating system. These global standards are in contrast with the regional standards that emerged for HDTV and digital television.  Why do global standards emerge in some areas but not in others?  The answer put forth in this chapter focuses on the timing of the politicization of the standards creation.  If scientists and engineers are able to resolve standardization issues within their own epistemic communities before they become a matter of concern to government officials, they are more likely to be able to insulate standards discussions from national and international political interference.  Occasionally, however, global standards emerge out of the fear of a wide coalition of actors that in the absence of global standards a dominant market player will impose proprietary standards in a way that prevents or preempts competition.


BIO: Jeffrey Hart is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he has taught international politics and international political economy since 1981.  His first teaching position was at Princeton University from 1973 to 1980.  He was a professional staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties from 1980 to 1981.  Hart worked at the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress in 1985-86 and helped to write their report, International Competition in Services (1987).  He was visiting scholar at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, 1987-89.  His major publications include The New International Economic Order (1983), Interdependence in the Post Multilateral Era (1985), Rival Capitalists (1992), (edited with Aseem Prakash) Globalization and Governance (1999), Coping with Globalization (2000), and Responding to Globalization (2000), (with Joan Edelmann Spero) The Politics of International Economic Relations 6th edition (2002), Technology, Television and Competition (2004), and scholarly articles in World Politics, International Organization, the British Journal of Political Science, New Political Economy, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution.


Chapter 9 in PDF

Table of Contents for Television, Technology, and Competition in PDF


Monday, April 19, 2004




Presented by Professor David Schmidtz, Professor of Philosophy, joint Professor of Economics, University of Arizona, Tucson, and Visiting Scholar at Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, Indiana


Abstract: In parts of Africa, subsistence farmers face a dilemma: if they cannot commodify elephants (by selling ivory, hunting licenses, or photo safaris), then they will have to push elephants out of the way to make room for livestock or crops.


In the abstract, exploiting elephants is obviously wrong to environmentalists, but it stops being obvious after spending time in rural Africa, and seeing that when rural people cannot exploit elephants in some fashion, their only alternative is to convert elephant habitat into farmland. Whether we like it or not, elephants will not survive except by sharing the land with people, which means their long-term survival depends on whether people can afford to share. Realistically, at least in parts of Africa where this kind of conflict is extreme, threatened species will have to contribute to the local economy if they are to have any hope of survival. Treating them as a priceless world heritage doesn’t work.


BIO: David Schmidtz <> is Professor of Philosophy and joint Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona. He is author of Rational Choice and Moral Agency (Princeton). He co-edited Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters, What Really Works (Oxford) with Elizabeth Willott, and co-authored Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility (Cambridge) with Robert Goodin. His current projects are a book on The Elements of Justice (forthcoming from Cambridge) and another on The Purpose of Moral Theory. His essay on "How To Deserve" in Political Theory (2002) is part of the book on justice. He currently is enjoying a year as a Visiting Senior Scholar at Liberty Fund in Indianapolis.


There will not be a formal paper for this session. However, two background papers are available:


When Preservationism Doesn’t Preserve” (posted here with the kind permission of White Horse Press, Cambridge, U.K.) Paper in PDF

“Natural Enemies: An Anatomy of Environmental Conflict” (Copyright David Schmidtz. First published in Environmental Ethics 22 (2000) 397-408).


These papers are an introduction to the subject of Professor Schmidtz’s presentation.


Monday, April 26, 2004




Presented by Professor Gerhard Glomm, Department of Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington (Coauthors: Paul Corrigan, Michigan State University, and Fabio Mendez, University of Arkansas)


Abstract: We investigate an OLG economy where an AIDS epidemic influences human capital accumulation and growth through the creation of large numbers of orphans.  We study how intra-family allocations regarding school and work time of children are adjusted in the face of AIDS within a family, and how, in turn, these adjustments influence accumulation of physical and human capital.  We compute the aggregate effects of an AIDS epidemic on human and physical capital accumulation and growth.  We find that growth effects of an AIDS epidemic are large.  Some policies such as subsidization of AIDS medication have relatively small effects.


BIO: Born in southern Germany in 1957, Dr. Glomm attended the University of Kansas from 1978 to 1981, majoring in Economics. He completed graduate school at the University of Minnesota with a Ph.D. in Economics in 1988. Dr. Glomm has previously held faculty positions at the University of Virginia and most recently at Michigan State University. Research and teaching interests include macroeconomics, economic growth, income distribution and political economy. Recent papers include, "On the Political Economy of Means Tested Education Vouchers" (with P. Bearse and B. Ravikumas), European Economic Review, 2000 and "Distributional Effects of Public Education in an Economy with Public Pensions" (with M. Kaganovich), forthcoming in International Economic Review.

Paper in PDF

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Last updated: October 21, 2004