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Since trade must cross borders, to what extent do border walls affect trade flows? We argue that border walls can reduce trade flows. Even if the objective is to only stem illicit flows, border walls heighten “border effects” that can also inhibit legal cross-border flows. Using a gravity model of trade that reflects recent developments in both economic theory and econometrics, we find that the creation of a wall is associated with a reduction in legal trade flows between neighboring countries. ...
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Canonical models of costly signaling in international relations (IR) tend to assume costly signals speak for themselves: a signal's costliness is typically understood to be a function of the signal, not the perceptions of the recipient. Integrating the study of signaling in IR with research on motivated skepticism and asymmetric updating from political psychology, we show that individuals’ tendencies to embrace information consistent with their overarching belief systems (and dismiss information...
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#1Michael TomzH-Index: 18
Last.Keren Yarhi-MiloH-Index: 8
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Many theories of international relations assume that public opinion exerts a powerful effect on foreign policy in democracies. Previous research, based on observational data, has reached conflicting conclusions about this foundational assumption. We use experiments to examine two mechanisms—responsiveness and selection—through which opinion could shape decisions about the use of military force. We tested responsiveness by asking members of the Israeli parliament to consider a crisis in which we ...
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Managing foreign affairs is in no small measure about anticipating the actions (and non-actions) of others, and about taking steps to limit the unexpected—and the undesired. Law has long been recognized as important to these tasks. Nevertheless, standard IR treatments often overlook important properties of law, even when trying to account for international law's effects on behavior. Chief among these overlooked properties is the fact that legal rules are formulated for general use, which means t...
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IMF loans during times of financial crisis often occur in conjunction with bilateral financial rescues. These bilateral bailouts are substantial in size and a central component of international cooperation during financial crises. We analyze the political economy of bilateral bailouts and study the trade-offs that potential creditor governments experience when other countries find themselves in financial distress. Creditor governments want to stabilize crisis countries by providing additional li...
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IR theorizing about international order has been profoundly, perhaps exclusively, shaped by the Western experiences of the Westphalian order and often assumes that the Western experience can be generalized to all orders. Recent scholarship on historical East Asian orders challenges these notions. The fundamental organizing principle in historical East Asia was hierarchy, not sovereign equality. The region was characterized by hegemony, not balance of power. This emerging research program has dir...
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Under conditions of guerrilla conflict, mass indiscriminate violence has been shown to effectively starve a guerrilla of its support. Consequently, counter-guerrilla mass violence is concentrated within territories where a guerrilla is dominant. However, in roughly 40% of mass violence episodes (e.g., Rwanda and Cambodia), the violence was aimed at populations within areas of secure territorial control. These episodes have therefore been explained by attributing high-risk ideological preferences...
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