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Recent work on the political economy of imperialism emphasizes how the imperial power can transform less-developed economies by setting up institutions that underpin modern financial markets, lower political risk, and benefit both the creditor and debtor nations. Kris Mitchener and Marc Weidenmier, for example, present the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (1904) as a natural experiment and demonstrate that Theodore Roosevelt's administration used the Corollary as a credible threat of military intervention that enforced sovereign debt contracts and suppressed political conflict in Central America and the Caribbean. But natural experiments can be misleading: can one generalize from such findings to say that imperial powers set up “rules of the game” that underpin secure property-rights for international capital markets? In reality, the imperial power may choose to enforce or to violate the rules of the game when it is in its interest to do so.
In contrast, there is an extensive literature that declares the evils of imperialism and its US variety to be a source of internal political corruption and economic demoralization. This is a central theme in the historiography of Central America and the Caribbean, but nowhere is it more salient or more symbolic than Cuba, where even those who are critical of the Castro regime often see the anti-imperialism of the Cuban Revolution as justified.
Upon gaining independence, most Spanish American countries had accumulated a substantial external debt, and by 1829 each defaulted. It took decades for these countries to settle their debts and even longer for them to access new loans. We argue that a major factor influencing the pattern of debt service was the incidence of war. War created incentives for governments to channel scarce resources to «emergency» spending and domestic debt service, rather than to the repayment of the foreign debt. Interestingly, we detect an asymmetry between countries long in good standing with creditors and those that had only recently settled. Countries that had established a longer record of continuous debt service were far less likely to default in times of war. We also find that international wars were responsible for the largest effects.
This article argues that one contributing factor to the Cuban Revolution of 1959 was the 1956 revision of U.S. sugar quotas. Its significance has been overlooked because its real economic impact was programmed to occur after 1959. Combining a statistical simulation and an event study of sugar companies' rates of return on equity, we show that the revision had adverse long-run consequences for sugar exports, and that forward-looking investors anticipated them and incorporated them into their valuation of sugar-company stocks after 1953. Further evidence shows that the Batista regime and prominent insurgents understood the vital nature of Cuba's sugar import quota.
Governments often respond to crisis situations with radical economic policies. The Shipping Act of 1916 created a government-owned shipping company. This significant departure from prior policy arose in the atmosphere of crisis surrounding the war in Europe. The Wilson Administration was able to use political institutions to its advantage and ensure that alternative, more moderate proposals would not be considered by the legislature. Initially thwarted by a filibuster, the administration was forced to compromise in order to maintain party loyalty and pass the bill in 1916.
Local cerebral uptake of glucose labelled with fluorine-18 was measured by positron emission tomography in 13 patients with schizophrenia and 37 right-handed volunteers. Patients received no medication for a minimum of 31 days and a mean of 30 weeks. The subjects were administered the labelled deoxyglucose just after the beginning of a 32-minute sequence of blurred numbers as visual stimuli for the Continuous Performance Test. In normal controls, task performance was associated with increases in glucose metabolic rate in the right frontal and right temporoparietal regions; occipital rates were unchanged. Patients with schizophrenia showed both absolutely and relatively reduced metabolic rates in the frontal cortex and in the temporoparietal regions compared with normal controls.
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