Kuus huvitavat uurimust – institutsioonide rollist kilekottide ja kuivatuspaberini

Aeg-ajalt satub huviorbiiti mõni uurimus, mis võib käsitletud teemade tõttu ka teistele huvi pakkuda, sest teemad on sageli universaalsed ja haakuvad hästi ka Eestiga. Kuna uurimused on aga nagunii inglise keelsed, siis ei hakka neid ümber jutustama vaid toon välja autori(te) enda kokkuvõtte. Lõplikud järeldused jäägu lugejatele.

Contracting Institutions (Claudia R. Williamson)  – This paper attempts to provide a theoretical framework and empirical analysis to unpack the black box of property rights. The framework entails distinguishing between private and public protection and subsequent enforcement mechanisms. Previous findings suggest that informal, cultural rules underlie constraints on government predation. Following this logic, this study asks how contract enforcement is achieved – through formal or informal mechanisms? After controlling for reverse causality, the empirical results suggest that informal cultural mechanisms protect against private predation and support contracting institutions while the formal institutions are insignificant.

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Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness (Jonathan Klick, Joshua D. Wright) – San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria. We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase.

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Patents and Innovation: Evidence from Economic History (Petra Moser) – The weight of the existing historical evidence suggests that patent policies, which grant strong intellectual property rights to early generations of inventors, may discourage innovation. On the contrary, policies that encourage the diffusion of ideas and modify patent laws to facilitate entry and encourage competition may be an effective mechanism to encourage innovation. Carefully executed historical analyses can help to shed further light on these pressing issues of patent policy.

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Riding in Cars with Boys: Elinor Ostrom's Adventures with the Police (Peter J. Boettke, Jayme S. Lemke, Liya Palagashvili) – In order to combat the conventional view that “bigger means better,” Ostrom pioneered a field work-based framework for measuring police services that utilized consumer surveys and thereby created a community-centered model of analysis for public services. In this paper, we contend that although Ostrom’s career demonstrated the importance of employing multiple methods, her most enduring contributions and legacy came from on-the-ground research. Her case studies and field work proved to be necessary for examining complex systems beyond the state-market dichotomy, and these methods of analysis should be defended as critical for inquiry into the variety of institutional arrangements.

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The Hygienic Efficacy of Different Hand-Drying Methods: A Review of the Evidence (Cunrui Huang, Wenjun Ma, Susan Stack) – This review found little agreement regarding the relative effectiveness of electric air dryers. However, most studies suggest that paper towels can dry hands efficiently, remove bacteria effectively, and cause less contamination of the washroom environment. From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers. Paper towels should be recommended in locations where hygiene is paramount, such as hospitals and clinics.

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Soviet power plus electrification: What is the long-run legacy of communism? (Wendy Carlin, Mark Schaffer, Paul Seabright) – Two decades after the end of central planning, we investigate the extent to which the advantages bequeathed by planning in terms of high investment in physical infrastructure and human capital compensated for the costs in allocative inefficiency and weak incentives for innovation. We assemble and analyse three separate types of evidence. First, we find that countries that were initially relatively poor prior to planning benefited more, as measured by long-run GDP per capita levels, from infrastructure and human capital than they suffered from weak market incentives. For initially relatively rich countries the opposite is true. Second, using various measures of physical stocks of infrastructure and human capital we show that at the end of planning, formerly planned countries had substantially different endowments from their contemporaneous market economy counterparts. However, these differences were much more important for poor than for rich countries. Finally, we use firm-level data to measure the cost of a wide range of constraints on firm performance, and we show that after more than a decade of transition in 2002–05, poor ex-planned economies differ much more from their market counterparts, in respect to both good and bad aspects of the planning legacy, than do relatively rich ones. However, the persistent beneficial legacy effects disappeared under the pressure of strong growth in the formerly planned economies in the run-up to the global financial crisis.

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