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In this chapter, I highlight the historical prevalence of sovereign default as a potentially devastating form of economic crisis. I also identify that, despite the decision to default being held by politicians or politically-appointed actors, our understanding of the political dynamics surrounding default is limited. I conclude by summarizing my regime-contingent argument on the political economy of default.
While earlier chapters have compared urban or rural biases across different countries, in this chapter I make use of a rare confluence of historical conditions in the Turkish case, in which an identical ruler---Turgut Ozal---presided over agricultural price policies under autocratic and democratic institutions. While serving as minister of finance under military rule, Ozal was a fierce critic of costly agricultural support programs that had developed under prior electoral competition between Turkish parties, and successfully removed many of these farm support programs. However, when competing for office following restoration of multiparty elections, Ozal discovered the necessity of winning rural support for electoral success, and subsequently reinstated costly farm subsidies. The Turkish case helps validate the broader expectations of urban or rural bias, within the same country, across differing institions of executive survival, and also demonstrates that the inability of elected leaders to remove costly subsidies was a key factor driving Turkey to default on its sovereign debt.
In concluding the book, while noting that the political salience of food prices may be lessened in the developed world, I also highlight the applicability of my theory of sovereign default to a wider set of issue areas than just food price policy, including politically-sensitive areas such as oil pricing policy as well as costly "entitlement" programs such as Social Security and Medicare. In addition,
This chapter develops my theory of regime-contingent sovereign default by focusing on two strategies of mass politics: voting and revolt. I argue that partitioning citizens into urban versus rural agents aligns closely with traditional accounts of groups with advantages in these two strategies: specifically, urban citizens are generally considered to enjoy advantages for protest activity, whereas rural citizens have frequently been identified as crucial swing voters. After noting that these groups differ in their preferences for food price policy, I link the pressure from urban revolt to sovereign default in autocracies, particularly those that import a great deal of food. Conversely, rural electoral pressure often leads to large farm price supports which can be difficult to remove during fiscal crisis, suggesting that more rural democracies (especially those that export a great deal of costly food) should be more likely to default. The chapter concludes by also considering variation within regimes: electoral autocracies are argued to dilute the sole focus of autocrats on urban areas, whereas contentious democracies should lead to reduced emphasis on rural voters.
This chapter begins with the case of Zambia under the rule of Kenneth Kaunda, a regime that became increasingly centered on urban consumers as a crucial base of support. As expected by my theory of urban bias in closed autocracies, the Zambian regime pursued a number of cheap food policies, particularly for maize, the staple crop. Yet, as the fiscal costs of these programs began to mount, the government repeatedly proved unwilling to remove such food subsidies, even under increasing pressure from the IMF, culminating in default on Zambia's debt after a major protest triggered by attempts to limit food subsidies. Yet, this over-riding concern for urban consumers is contrasted against the strong state support for rural agriculturalists in the Malaysian case, where the dominant UMNO regime relied on turnout of rural supermajorities to maintain rule in a system of electoral autocracy. While still sensitive to urban costs of living, at no point did Malaysian policy become overwhelmingly biased towards one geographic area; when faced with fiscal crisis in the 1980s, this also eased the ability of the government to reform a series of burdensome state programs and avoid default.
This chapter provides support for my main hypotheses that more urban and food-importing autocracies should be more likely to default, whereas more rural and food-exporting democracies should be more likely to renege on their international financial obligations. Drawing on approximately 50 years of cross-national data, I demonstrate robust evidence in favor of my main theoretical expectations, which remain even after introducing an extensive battery of controls for additional country- and systemic-level alternative explanations. In addition, I show that, for the subset of countries with relevant data on subsidy costs, it is precisely the most rural-biased democracies, and most urban-biased autocracies, that are most likely to default on their debt.
I begin this chapter with a case study of Costa Rica, a country almost universally admired for its peaceful and democratic political system. In such a consolidated democracy, I demonstrate that political attention to rural voters played a crucial role in the electoral success of the dominant PLN party; however, when faced with fiscal crisis in the 1980s, inability to reform agricultural pricing policies (as well as wage policies for electorally-crucial public sector unions) ultimately drove Costa Rica into default. The chapter concludes with discussion of contentious democratic politics in Jamaica, where political violence often organized by parties in urban centers unfortunately often plays a role. In such a system, the importance of limiting urban unrest through cheap food policies became a clear target under both PNP and JLP rule. Under severe fiscal crisis in the 1980s, Jamaican rulers proved unwilling to reform pricing policies beneficial to urban interests out of fear of societal unrest that would result, driving Jamaica to default not only to its external creditors, but also on its loans from the IMF itself.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that, in the coming years, more than fifty countries are at risk of default. Yet we understand little about the political determinants of this decision to renege on promises to international creditors. This book develops and tests a unified theory of how domestic politics explains sovereign default across dictatorships and democracies. Professor Ballard-Rosa argues that both democratic and autocratic governments will choose to default when it is necessary for political survival; however, regime type has a significant impact on what specific kinds of threats leaders face. While dictatorships are concerned with avoiding urban riots, democratic governments are concerned with losing elections, in particular the support of rural voting blocs. Using cross-national data and historical case studies, Ballard-Rosa shows that leaders under each regime type are more likely to default when doing so allows them to keep funding costly policies supporting critical bases of support.
Evidence indicates that Antarctic minke whales (AMWs) in the Ross Sea affect the foraging behaviour, especially diet, of sympatric Adélie penguins (ADPEs) by, we hypothesize, influencing the availability of prey they have in common, mainly crystal krill. To further investigate this interaction, we undertook a study in McMurdo Sound during 2012–2013 and 2014–2015 using telemetry and biologging of whales and penguins, shore-based observations and quantification of the preyscape. The 3D distribution and density of prey were assessed using a remotely operated vehicle deployed along and to the interior of the fast-ice edge where AMWs and ADPEs focused their foraging. Acoustic surveys of prey and foraging behaviour of predators indicate that prey remained abundant under the fast ice, becoming successively available to air-breathing predators only as the fast ice retreated. Over both seasons, the ADPE diet included less krill and more Antarctic silverfish once AMWs became abundant, but the penguins' foraging behaviour (i.e. time spent foraging, dive depth, distance from colony) did not change. In addition, over time, krill abundance decreased in the upper water column near the ice edge, consistent with the hypothesis (and previously gathered information) that AMW and ADPE foraging contributed to an alteration of prey availability.
To explore the inter-relationship between the core and suggestive symptoms of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and the cognitive profiles in persons with newly diagnosed mild dementia.
139 persons with mild dementia were recruited from dementia clinics in Western Norway. Symptoms were rated using standardized instruments. A two-step cluster analysis was applied to classify persons into groups according to scores on scales for hallucinations, parkinsonism, fluctuations and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD).
Four distinct clusters were revealed: A “Lewy Body Dementia” (LBD) cluster with high scores for both hallucinations, parkinsonism and fluctuation, and a “non-LBD” cluster with low scores on all DLB symptom scales were identified. In addition, two clusters with high scores on either RBD or cognitive fluctuation scales emerged. Persons in the LBD cluster had lower scores for visuospatial cognitive abilities as compared to the non-LBD group.(p=.002)
With a cluster analysis we provide empirical support for the existence of a distinct subgroup in mild dementia with high scores on scales for hallucinations, parkinsonism and cognitive fluctuations and a distinct cognitive profile, i.e. supporting the clinical diagnosis DLB.
Time until nursing home admission (NHA) in different types of dementia is not known. Few studies in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been reported previously and focused on demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral and psychiatric symptoms as predictors for NHA.
We use data from the Norwegian DEMVEST-cohort to calculate time until NHA applying Kaplan-Meier survival analysis comparing the Lewy body dementias (LBD) (Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD)) to non-LBD patients. Associated factors were studied with a Cox proportional hazard model.
190 cases with the same degree of mild dementia at baseline were followed for on average 880 ± 397 days 95% CI (823, 937), 56 (29.5%) individuals were placed in a nursing home during follow up and mean time until institutionalization was 1204 days 95% CI(1130, 1279) for all included, 987 days 95% CI (823, 1151) for LBD patients and 1263 days 95% CI (1184, 1342) for non-LBD patients. p=0.007 (Log-Rank test) Chi-square= 7.330 df=1. Mean time until NHA for DLB patients is 985days 95%CI (801, 1169) and for AD patients 1264days 95% CI (1180, 1347) p=0.013 (Log-Rank test) Chi square=6.194 df=1
After controlling for age and duration at baseline we find that having a LBD diagnosis (DLB or PDD) increases the risk for nursing home placement during follow-up, hazard ratio =1.9 95%CI (1.1, 3.4) p= 0.030.
We find that a LBD diagnosis significantly shortens time until NHP controlling for age and duration at baseline compared to non-LBD patients.