Benedict Clements, Sanjeev Gupta, Saida Khamidova, 06 October 2019

Worldwide military spending as a percentage of GDP in the years since the Global Crisis has been at nearly half its level during the Cold War. This column identifies three groups into which spending has been converging. It also shows that external threat levels are a factor in determining military spending, but only in developing economies. The results suggest a significant peace dividend from reducing internal conflicts, with a country that moves from the bottom 25% to the top 25% of developing countries on political stability and the absence of violence/terrorism likely to reduce military spending by about half a percentage point of GDP. 

Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, 06 November 2014

A quarter of a century ago, the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall were demolished. This was one of the most visible consequences of the fall of communism. In the decades before 1989 political conflict had shaped the world trade pattern. Against the background of political tensions in the Ukraine, this column investigates the vulnerability of the world trade system.

Nancy Qian, 15 December 2008

Respect for human rights is gaining in importance in international agreements, but who is to judge human rights performance? This column discusses new evidence that suggests national governments are not good judges. It draws on evidence from the US, which has long tied trade preferences to human rights performance, which shows the US government systematically under-reported human rights violations by Cold War allies.

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