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The Shocking Origins of Political Transitions: Evidence from Earthquakes

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M.H. Rahman, N. Anbarci, P. Bhattacharya and M. Ulubasoglu, Southern Economic Journal, forthcoming Do earthquakes trigger political transitions? Using a rich panel dataset of 160 countries observed over 1950 to 2007, we find that earthquake shocks, measured in terms of the effect of ground-motion amplitude on death toll, have two contradicting effects on political change. On the one hand, earthquakes …

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What Underlies Weak States? The Role of Terrain Ruggedness

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 P. Jimenez-Ayora and M.Ulubasoglu, European Journal of Political Economy, September 2015, v. 39, pp. 167-183. This article documents terrain ruggedness as an underlying cause of lack of state capacity. The paper contends that rugged topography poses significant costs to cooperation among the constituent groups within the state. This problem then translates into inability to commit to policies and under-provision of public …

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Non-farm Activity, Household Expenditure, and Poverty Reduction in Rural Vietnam

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T.X. Hoang, C.S. Pham and M.Ulubasoglu, World Development, December 2014, v. 64, pp. 554-568. Diversifying into non-farm activities has been suggested as an effective way out of poverty for rural households in developing countries. Using the Vietnamese Household Living Standards Surveys of 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008, we test this claim, and investigate the effect of non-farm sector involvement on poverty …

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Zipf`s Law Strikes Again: The Case of Tourism

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 (with B. Hazari), Journal of Economic Geography, August 2004, vol. 4, n.4. pp. 459-472. This paper examines the applicability of Zipf’s Law to tourism.  It is established that a variation of this law holds in this case – a rank-size rule with concavity.  Due to this non-linearity, it is shown that a spline regression provides an extremely convenient tool for predicting tourist …

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An Empirical Inquiry into the Role of Sectoral Diversification in Exchange Rate Regime Choice

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 M.T. Chowdhury, P. Bhattacharya, D.Mallick and M.Ulubasoglu, European Economic Review, April 2014, v. 67, pp. 210-227. Using Turkish industry-level data from 1983 to 1990, we find that politically organized industries receive both higher protection and promotion than unorganized ones. Tariff rates are decreasing (increasing) in the import-penetration ratio and the absolute value of the import-demand elasticity for organized (unorganized) industries. Subsidy …

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Democracy and Economic Growth: A Meta Analysis

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C. Doucouliagos and M.Ulubasoglu. American Journal of Political Science, January 2008, v. 52, pp. 60-82. Despite a sizeable theoretical and empirical literature, no firm conclusions have been drawn regarding the impact of political democracy on economic growth. This paper challenges the consensus of an inconclusive relationship through a quantitative assessment of the democracy-growth literature. We apply meta-regression analysis to the population of 483 estimates …

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International Comparisons of Rural-Urban Educational Attainment: Data and Determinants

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B. Cardak and M.Ulubasoglu, European Economic Review, October 2007, v. 51, n.7, pp. 1828-1857. We study cross-country differences in rural and urban educational attainment by using a data set comprising 56 countries. We focus on the determinants of rural-urban educational inequality, which is measured by the ratio of rural to urban average years of schooling within each country. We find that riskier …

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Zipf`s Law Strikes Again: The Case of Tourism

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(with B. Hazari), Journal of Economic Geography, August 2004, vol. 4, n.4. pp. 459-472. This paper examines the applicability of Zipf’s Law to tourism.  It is established that a variation of this law holds in this case – a rank-size rule with concavity.  Due to this non-linearity, it is shown that a spline regression provides an extremely convenient tool for predicting tourist …