Recent use of least-cost diets as a measure of global food security revealed that over 3 billion people are unable to afford sufficient nutritious food for an active and healthy life, driving demand for policy changes to improve access and affordability. This study quantifies the role of imports in consumer prices, matching retail prices in 144 countries to imports by origin of the item or its main ingredient, resulting in a total of 13,846 pairs of a retail price and its import cost in 2017. We find that 55% of retail items had some active imports supplementing domestic production, and of those around 48% have nonzero tariffs whose average effective rate is around 6.7% of the imported commodity price. Over all countries for which data are available, the share of consumer prices for least-cost healthy diets that is attributable to tariffs and non-tariff measures averages 0.67% and 2.45% globally. The highest restrictions are on nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and animal-sourced foods. Access to bulk commodities from diverse origins is essential for food and nutrition security, providing a greater diversity of foods and food ingredients at lower and more stable prices than can be grown at any one location. On average over all food products that are imported, 83% of the retail price is domestic value added after arrival. We conclude that food imports are best understood as inputs to the domestic production and distribution of retail items, with consumer prices and growth of the food sector dependent on the cost levels, infrastructure and institutions underlying each product's entire value chain.
Copy CitationGilbert, R., Costlow, L., Matteson, J., Rauschendorfer, J., Krivonos, E., Block, S. A., & Masters, W. A. (2024). Trade policy reform, retail food prices and access to healthy diets worldwide. World Development, 177. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2024.106535Copied to clipboard.
<jats:p> East Asian democracies, long seen as the success stories of the Third Wave, have curiously co-existed with illiberal partisan competition. We argue that such patterns are symptoms of long-standing democratic stagnation, rather than democratic regress. We trace the entrenchment of illiberal competition to nationalist polarization in the early phase of democratization—a common phenomenon in Third Wave democracies where nation-building and democratization pressures coincided. Party polarization can take many forms, but when it centers on mutually exclusive nationalist visions from the outset, it redefines the end of democratic competition as state capture and justifies whatever means necessary, even those that violate democratic norms, to achieve it. Through a comparative analysis of Taiwan and South Korea, we show that when democratization tends to institutionalize, rather than alleviate, pre-existing nationalist conflicts, it can seed endemic barriers to the habituation of democratic norms, imposing a ceiling on democratic progress. </jats:p>
Copy CitationHur, A., & Yeo, A. (2024). Democratic Ceilings: The Long Shadow of Nationalist Polarization in East Asia. Comparative Political Studies, 57(4), 584-612. doi:10.1177/00104140231178724Copied to clipboard.
This paper defines a policy-relevant nationwide composite index to identify communities disproportionately impacted by environmental, energy, and climate injustices in the United States. We review existing vulnerability indicators and indices to assess the tradeoffs of different design parameters, including variable selection, geographic unit, dimensionality reduction, weighting, and aggregation methods. From this methodological review, we create the first nationwide, census tract-level index of cumulative burden that includes energy-relevant indicators alongside climate, social, environmental, and economic indicators, and is flexible to the inclusion of additional data sources. We provide a summary of the sources of inputs used to develop a definition for “disadvantaged communities” that can be used to prioritize energy investments. We discuss use-cases for this index including the implementation of the Justice40 Initiative, which calls for 40 % of certain federal clean energy benefits to flow to disadvantaged communities in the United States. We use our results to examine historic allocations of federal energy investments and show that communities that we identify as disadvantaged received about 37 % fewer funds per capita than non-disadvantaged communities.
Copy CitationPopovich, N., Figueroa, A. J., Sunter, D. A., & Shah, M. (2024). Identifying disadvantaged communities in the United States: An energy-oriented mapping tool that aggregates environmental and socioeconomic burdens. Energy Research and Social Science, 109. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2023.103391Copied to clipboard.
Governments in industrialized as well as emerging economies are racing to implement policies to accelerate clean energy innovation and capture the economic benefits of decarbonization. This paper explores which combination of technology-push and demand-pull policies best situates a country to lead in clean energy innovation, as new or dominant designs emerge and replace older technologies. A new analytical framework for green industrial policy is introduced regarding the alignment, misalignment, and deliberate misalignment of policies. This framework is applied to battery electric vehicle drivetrain technology to examine the use of policy alignment and misalignment by countries with big automakers as they pursue strategic green industrial policy. We find that countries that achieved early and sustained (not inconsistent) policy alignment gained a first-mover advantage compared with countries that deliberately or accidentally misaligned their policies. We also find that first-mover advantage can be lost due to deliberate misalignment of policies caused by an inability of governments to effectively incentivize their firms to develop and deploy cleaner and more efficient technologies. In situations where governments adopt misaligned or conflicting policies, incumbent industries tend to pursue their prior comparative advantage and maximize return from investments in prior technologies. We also find that deliberate misalignment of policies can be an effective catching-up strategy.
Copy CitationNarassimhan, E., Myslikova, Z., & Gallagher, K. S. (2024). Strategies for green industrial and innovation policy-an analysis of policy alignment, misalignment, and realignment around dominant designs in the EV sector. Environmental Research Letters, 19(1). doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ad101eCopied to clipboard.