Kai A. Konrad

Kai A. Konrad is Professor of Economics at Free University of Berlin and Director at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

  • Institutions and Norms in Economic Development

    Institutions and Norms in Economic Development

    Mark Gradstein and Kai A. Konrad

    Experts address “the development puzzle”—unprecedented growth coupled with unequal distribution of that growth across different countries—and focus on the importance of institutional arrangements and norms and culture.

    Recent decades have seen almost unprecedented economic growth in income per capita around the world. Yet this extraordinary overall performance masks a wide variation in growth rates across different countries, with persistent underdevelopment in some parts of the world. This disparity constitutes “the development puzzle,” and it is exemplified by growth spurts in China and India that contrast markedly with disturbingly low growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa. In this volume, economists address issues of inequality and growth, going beyond narrowly defined “economic” factors to consider the effect on growth of the structure of governance, the quality of a country's governing bodies, and the social norms that govern collective decision-making. The contributors use both formal modeling and empirical analyses to examine how the “soft factors” of institutions and norms interact with growth performance, natural resource endowments, and economic performance. They consider such topics as the effects of decentralization in Africa, fiscal discipline in Indian states, natural resource wealth as a cause of corruption, social violence during the Indonesian financial crisis of 1997 and 1998, and the effect of strong national identity on redistributive politics. Some of their findings suggest that not only do institutions and norms affect economic performance, economic performance itself is a key factor in explaining such governance failures as corruption and the frequency and intensity of economic conflict.

    • Hardcover $32.00
    • Paperback $20.00

Contributor

  • The Economics of Conflict

    The Economics of Conflict

    Theory and Empirical Evidence

    Karl Wärneryd

    Economists offer a rational-choice perspective on conflict, using approaches that range from the game theoretic to the experimental.

    Modern economics has largely ignored the issue of outright conflict as an alternative way of allocating goods, assuming instead the existence of well-defined property rights enforced by an undefined third party. And yet even in ostensibly peaceful market transactions, conflict exists as an outside option, sometimes constraining the outcomes reached through voluntary agreement. In this volume, economists offer a crucial rational-choice perspective on conflict, using methodological approaches that range from the game theoretic to the experimental.

    Several chapters use the recently developed contest success function to model conflict, examining such topics as alliance formation, regional conflicts under fiscal federalism, coups d'etat in developing countries, and the correlation between conflict and economic growth in Bolivia. Other chapters consider subjects that include the link between occupational choices and antigovernment activity in Afghanistan, social unrest and the IMF's Structural Adjustment Program, and the effect of Tajikistan's civil war on ex-combatants' capacity for trust and cooperation.

    Taken together, these contributions show that economics needs a theory of conflict to understand both outright conflict and transactions in the shadow of conflict. But beyond this, they show that the study of conflict also needs the rigorous, methodology-based perspectives of economics.

    ContributorsVincenzo Bove, Raul Caruso, Alessandra Cassar, Jacopo Costa, Maria Cubel, Leandro Elia, Jose Luis Evia, Davide Fiaschi, Pauline Grosjean, Ruixue Jia, Kai A. Konrad, Roberto Laserna, Pinghan Liang, Roberto Ricciuti, Stergios Skaperdas, Caleb Stroup, Karl Wärneryd, Sam Whitt, Ben Zissimos

    • Hardcover $45.00
  • The Continuing Evolution of Europe

    The Continuing Evolution of Europe

    Thiess Buettner and Wolfgang Ochel

    Economists address key challenges facing the EU, including financial instability, welfare state reform, inadequate institutional framework, and global economic integration.

    The European Union began with efforts in the Cold War era to foster economic integration among a few Western European countries. Today's EU constitutes an upper tier of government that affects almost every level of policymaking in each of its twenty-seven member states. The recent financial and economic crises have tested this still-evolving institutional framework, and this book surveys key economic challenges faced by the EU.

    Prominent European economists examine such topics as the stability of the financial markets and possible policy options to reduce future vulnerability to crises, including Glass-Steagull-style narrow banking; the effect of emerging economies such as China and India on Europe's economic position; the protection of national interests in industrial policy; reforming and preserving the welfare state in the face of unemployment, population aging, and worker mobility within the EU; and improving the EU's institutional framework by reassigning responsibilities among supranational, national, and local governments.

    Among the conclusions that emerge from these analyses are the necessity for banking regulation as well as budgetary discipline; the need to consider global as well as European integration; and the idea that an environment that fosters internal competition will increase Europe's competitiveness internationally.

    • Hardcover $7.75
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Guns and Butter

    Guns and Butter

    The Economic Causes and Consequences of Conflict

    Gregory D. Hess

    Insights into war and domestic insecurity, terrorism, and the costs of war and peace from new research that takes the political economy perspective on conflict.

    Guns and Butter examines the causes and consequences of war from a political economy perspective, taking as its premise that a consideration of the incentives and constraints faced by individuals and groups is paramount in understanding conflict decision making. The chapter authors—leading economists and political scientists—believe that this perspective offers deeper insights into war and peace choices than the standard state-centric approach. Their contributions offer both theoretical and empirical support for the political economy perspective on conflict. Several broad themes cut across the chapters: war as an equilibrium phenomenon rather than an exogenous process; the interaction of politics, economics, and institutions and its effect on the frequency and severity of conflicts; the cost of fighting; and the often innovative character of conflict. Topics addressed include theoretical aspects of the ways in which domestic politics affects the decision to go to war; globalization and its effect on the net supply of terrorism; open markets and the likelihood of war and domestic insecurity; the costs of going to war in Iraq as compared to the costs of containment; the economic effects of the Rwandan genocide at a household level; and the evolving industrial organization of terrorist groups.

    ContributorsBrock Blomberg, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Steven J. Davis, Michelle R. Garfinkel Edward Glaeser, Gregory D. Hess, Kai Konrad, Kevin M. Murphy, Peter Rosendorff, Stephen Sheppard, Stergios Skaperdas, Constantinos Syropoulos, Robert H. Topel, Marijke Verpoorten

    • Hardcover $8.75
    • Paperback $25.00