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Session 10A-10B 16:30-18:00 // day one

10A University of Warwick and University of Washington

Two of the most urgent political economic issues right now are the secular stagnation lived in affluent democracies and the problem of sustainable public finances. The two problems afflict contemporary Europe in particular, where a sovereign debt crisis has enforced brutal austerity, and where growth is yet elusive. The premise of this paper is that we live in a market-supporting state in contemporary Europe. This 'market-supporting state' provides an account of state-market relations as they are, co-constitutive and emerging through the interaction of agents, institutions, power and ideas. I will demonstrate this account and contrast it with other accounts of contemporary state-market relations. The ‘market-supporting state’ operates through two dynamics – the 'socialisation of risk' and 'privatization of reward'. As I will show, these fit into existing literature of state practice. Using the case studies of financialisation and private provision of state activities, the paper will illustrate the market-supporting state (and its two dynamics) in action in contemporary Europe, and provide insights to corroborate what I will argue are 3 main effects of the market-supporting state: the growth of inequality, to the detriment of economic growth; the paradox of market-support, which crowds out unsupported activity and so becomes self-defeating and self-reinforcing; and to pay for it all, the diversion of public finances into private hands.
Hegemony refers to the idea of a state having the ability to dominate the political and economic agenda on an international front. Is the United Nations considered the international agency in which today's hegemon, the United States, exercises its dominance? Using survey data from Pew Research Center, I investigate the attitudes of the public towards the United States and the United Nations. Current research from Pew indicates that younger, more educated, and higher income individuals are more supportive of the United Nations. Additionally, Pew recognizes regional patterns of support towards the United Nations. However, Pew does not attempt to explain the formation of these differences in attitudes. I hypothesize that the United Nations support is correlated to support for the United States government, because the United Nations is seen as a primary vehicle through which the United States exercises its hegemony. I test this hypothesis statistically by asking whether respondents' attitudes towards the role of the United States in the world predict their support for the United Nations in the Pew survey.
This study investigates the effects of the increased labor costs to businesses resulting from increases to the minimum wage, specifically whether these costs are passed onto the consumer in the form of price increases. Using data from Seattle in March through May of 2015, this paper will ask if the minimum wage is successful at alleviating material and financial hardship for people living in poverty. To answer this, I looked at prices of goods that make up the largest percentage of a low income person's budget over the month before and after this wage hike went into effect and analyzed them using an Ordinary Least Squares regression model. It found no evidence that the minimum wage caused relative price increases in its first month of implementation.
As the topic of immigration policy gets ever more heated, this study aims to find to find out whether immigration into the UK has had a positive or negative effect on growth. Previous theoretical papers have outlined channels through which immigration could affect growth, but so far no one has attempted an empirical study on the UK alone. This paper constructs an augmented Cobb Douglas panel regression, using a dataset which covers 27 years, over 29 industries in the UK. It also measures the effect of EU migration compared to Non-EU migration, and the effect of being high-skilled and low-skilled. Initially it finds a negative effect of immigration on productivity, with EU migrants having a worse effect than Non-EU migrants (suggesting the need to vet EU migrants) and highly skilled migrants affecting output positively. However, the study then outlines reasons to doubt the model, such as the simplistic Cobb-Douglass assumption and lack of dynamic effects. As an answer to these restrictions, two alternative models are offered; a Translog, and General Method of Moments estimation (although these come with their own limitations). These both find positive but insignificant results on growth. These mixed results suggest that much more work is necessary in this under-researched field, to determine which model is the most accurate, before we can add economic weight to the immigration debate.

10B University of Warwick and Baruch College, City University of New York

Since the last recession a debate concerning the nature of economic inequality has been reintroduced to economic literature. This academic debate has been triggered by the drastic changes in both wealth and income inequality. Obama is not the first president of the United States to address this issue and argue for a new social contract. Decades ago, Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society were attempts to ameliorate the economic disparity many Americans faced. In doing so, they combined American values such as opportunity, responsibility and meritocracy with progressive adaptations including social security and taxation on the rich.

The political debate and the reinstated academic interest in the topic regularly refer back to the Roaring Twenties’ inequality levels that the West and the US, in particular, have been arguably reached again. Since, in the words of Roosevelt, “new conditions impose new requirements upon government"", it is important to examine how society in general reflected on these pressing issues and called for change.

Hence, this research project aims to juxtapose today’s debate concerning inequality with the debate in the twenties. For this purpose, tabloid newspapers of the late twenties will be consulted, in order to contrast how working and middle class publications politicised the issue in the past compared to the present. In particular, it will examine in what ways different arguments were used to legitimise one or another vision of society. In conclusion, the project attempts to bridge the two eras in highlighting similarities and contrasting receptions of economic inequality.

(This research project has not been started as of now. A revised abstract will be provided by July.)

This research paper looks at the culture of the Cold War inside and out of the United States of America. The goal of this paper is to show how people in America lived during the Atomic Era and how communism established a new society at home and internationally. The first part of this paper will shed light on the dangerous effects of the atomic bomb, deriving examples from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Looking at primary sources produced in the 1950's, one will notice the propaganda that was used to comfort U.S. citizens by concealing them from the truth. The primary sources will consist of short clips such as safety drills and broadcasting of atomic shelters. These safety drills were produced by the U.S. government and were widely screened at schools throughout the country. Though they aimed to teach “bomb safety,� the videos downplayed the devastating effects of the atomic bomb, and effectively shielded the younger generations from the true horrors and ruination of war. The second part of the paper will focus on the effects communism had both in the U.S. and abroad. The Communist Era brought along clashing ideologies and established a new sense of nationality. In order to support my claim I will use secondary sources such as books and peer-reviewed articles recently published. Countries in Europe such as Czechoslovakia and Soviet Union will be two examples, which show the effects of communism and the newly developed ideologies. After having read this paper, the reader will hopefully have a clear perception of what it meant to be a citizen both in America and Europe, living during these two eras.
What this paper does is analyze the impact that the car has had on American society and culture. Starting from the 1890's with the establishment of the first automobile manufacturing company in America, the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, I will detail the broad social and cultural impact that the automobile has had on America all the way until the the early 1980's when the automotive industry was plunged into turmoil by the oil and energy crises. As many other people in America can relate to, I was exposed to cars from all facets of society. Whether they be fictional or real, cars were apart of my life since early childhood. From watching Michael Keaton as Batman chase down criminals in the Batmobile to spending countless hours helping my father repair his Honda minivan, cars have left a very profound imprint on my life. What I wanted to do with this paper was to try to explore why these machines mean so much to us as American's and how they have become such an essential part of our daily lives. I wanted to find out how the things once decried as "horseless carriages" became status symbols, things to be cherished and revered, things that instill a national pride in us. This alone was enough to motivate me in my research and writing.

Phyllis Schlafly cried ‘Why should we lower ourselves to equal rights when we already have the status of special privilege? …We are the beneficiaries of a tradition of special respect for women.’ I examine how this minority view ended up hindering wider change across America.

I explore the foundations needed for successful legal propositions that hold similar goals in the future. My twenty-first century British prospective differs from existing historiography since it is predominately American and mainly aimed to persuade you of their biased opinion. Examining the wider picture with a more balanced view is vital as it allows us to see how such research can be helpful to society today.

Although solely exploring the United States, this example can be useful for other countries too. In many places the masses are calling for reform – whether it be introducing or expanding gay rights, or female equality - change is on the horizon. However, what we can learn from the ERA is that all possible avenues for change need to be explored – from lobbying, to state convention for example. Secondly, the role of organised groups is important since it helps galvanise grassroots support. Finally, and what this assessment seeks to argue, is that despite the mutual dependency of these factors, the most significant reason for failure is the timing of such propositions and lack of clarity on what the act would achieve. Overall it is clear that having majority support is not enough, desire for change needs to be widespread and there needs to be a sound knowledge of the implications of said proposition. As David Kyvig puts it, ‘consulting historians, they are likely to discover, is not merely prudent, it is indeed very wise’.