Pascaline Dupas and co-authors Agness, Baseler, Chassang, and Snowberg leverage individual choice data they generate on farmers in western Kenya to solve a general problem: do behavioral phenomena drive individual choices when trading off cash for time, or cash and time for goods?
In a new paper for the Journal of Historical Political Economy, Alberto Diaz-Cayeros and Saumitra Jha examine the conditions under which indigenous communities in Mexico were able to overcome the onslaught of disease and violence that they faced.
In his final essay as co-editor of the Journal of Democracy, Larry Diamond calls this moment the darkest for freedom in a half-century. Whether democracy regains its footing will depend on how democratic leaders and citizens respond to emboldened authoritarians and divisions within their own societies.
Is it possible to reduce crime without exacerbating adversarial relationships between police and citizens? Community policing is a celebrated reform with that aim, which is now adopted on six continents. However, the evidence base is limited, studying reform components in isolation in a limited set of countries, and remaining largely silent on citizen-police trust. We designed six field experiments with Global South police agencies to study locally designed models of community policing using coordinated measures of crime and the attitudes and behaviors of citizens and police. In a preregistered meta-analysis, we found that these interventions led to mixed implementation, largely failed to improve citizen-police relations, and did not reduce crime. Societies may need to implement structural changes first for incremental police reforms such as community policing to succeed.
Can differences in beliefs about politics, particularly the benefits of war and peace, move markets? During the Siege of Paris by the Prussian army (1870-71) and its aftermath, we document that the price of the French 3% sovereign bond (rente) differed persistently between the Bourse in Paris and elsewhere, despite being one of the most widely held and actively traded financial assets in continental Europe. Further, these differences were large, reaching the equivalent of almost 1% of French GDP in overall value. We show these differences manifested themselves during the period of limited arbitrage induced by the Siege and persisted until the terms of peace were revealed. As long as French military resistance continued, the rente price was higher in Paris than the outside markets, but when the parties ceased fire and started negotiating peace terms this pattern was reversed. Further, while the price responded more to war events in Paris, the price responded more to peace events elsewhere. These specific patterns are difficult to reconcile with other potential mechanisms, including differential information sets, need for liquidity, or relative market thickness. Instead, we argue, these results are consistent with prices reflecting the updating of different prevailing political beliefs that existed in Paris and elsewhere about the benefits of war and peace.
This Article reframes transitional justice as communication. It argues that the impact of truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) and international criminal tribunals (ICTs) on countries where human rights violations occurred depends largely on these institutions changing what those countries’ citizens and elites know and believe. More precisely: most of the ways TRCs and ICTs could advance their goals—such as reconciliation and deterrence—require informing these domestic audiences about the institutions’ activities, methods, and findings, and persuading them to accept the institutions’ conclusions. Communication-specific activities, such as public outreach and media relations, are essential. Yet shaping elite and popular knowledge and opinion are not mere add-ons to what some see as TRCs’ and ICTs’ “core” work: investigating human rights violations, holding hearings, writing reports, and indicting and trying perpetrators. Rather, the imperative of influencing local people must shape how these institutions conduct those activities and sometimes even what conclusions they reach. Unfortunately, TRC commissioners, ICT judges and prosecutors, and their staff, along with transitional justice scholars, have underestimated the importance of influencing domestic audiences for advancing TRCs’ and ICTs’ goals. As a result, the institutions have devoted too little attention and resources to communication.
The Article also provides a typology of the activities and occasions through which TRCs and ICTs can influence domestic audiences. It offers examples of effective and ineffective practice from five international criminal tribunals, such as the International Criminal Court and Special Court for Sierra Leone, and over a dozen truth commissions, such as South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Where evidence permits, it assesses individual institutions’ performance. Finally, the Article analyzes the most important challenges that TRCs and ICTs encounter in communicating with domestic audiences.
This paper stands at the intersection of two literatures—on partisan polarization and on democratic deliberation—that have not had much connection with one another. If readers find some of the results surprising, the authors have had the same reaction. In this paper we describe these results and our approach to explaining them.