Celebrating Faculty Research on International Topics 2023-24 Part II: Economics & Environment

by Tasmiah Akter

Wesleyan faculty’s collective expertise spans the globe, and the Office for Intercultural Learning at the Fries Center for Global Studies is pleased to celebrate their international and often multilingual work here in the Wes and the World newsletter. This is the second of a four part series to be highlighted in the coming weeks under these broad categories: World Literature, Economics & Environment, Identity: Cultural & Religious, and STEM & Health. Please enjoy these summaries and be sure to check out any works that pique your interest!

John Bonin

Economics and College of Social Studies

Region of Study – Canada and the U.S. 

Work Title(s): “Craft Beer Industry and Employee Ownership”

I am studying the craft beer industry in the U.S. and Quebec (Canada); several U.S. craft beer firms implement Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). I want to analyze why some of these firms remain ESOPs while others become acquired by larger breweries.  I also want to compare the structure of the craft beer industry in Quebec with that in the U.S. to analyze the impact of different institutional considerations on these trajectories. Canada is implementing a new law on employee ownership (EOT) that is different to U.S. ESOP legislation. My aim is to investigate how different institutional arrangements impact the development trajectories of craft beer firms. 

Masami Imai

Economics and College of East Asian Studies (CEAS)

Region of Study – Japan

Work Title(s): “Local Economic Impacts of Legislative Malapportionment”

Malapportionment is a common and persistent feature of electoral systems in many countries. In Japan, an electoral reform largely equalized the geographical distribution of representation for the 1996 Lower House election, weakening the bargaining position of delegates from historically over-represented regions. We document that central government transfers declined more in over-represented municipalities after the reapportionment, relative to under-represented municipalities, but interestingly, we do not detect significant job losses in over-represented municipalities. The results from the disaggregated industry-level data show that over-represented municipalities lost jobs in the construction sector, which is dependent on public infrastructure projects, while experiencing an offsetting gain in employment in the wholesale and retail sector and, to a smaller extent, the manufacturing sector, which exhibited relatively high productivity growth at the time.

Link to article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2022.103475

Mary Alice Haddad

Government/CEAS/ENVS/Urban Studies/Global Studies/ IDEAS

Region of Study – East Asia and Global

Work Title(s): “City Diplomacy: Solving the World’s Biggest Problems”

Cities are home to more than half of the world’s population, generate more than 80% of world GDP, and are responsible for 75% of global CO2 emissions. Once viewed as minor political players with parochial concerns, they are now—individually and collectively—major players on the global stage.  My city diplomacy book project explores how city diplomacy–city collaborations with other cities across national boundaries–is working to address the world’s biggest problems from economic development, to climate change, to public health.  The book and related article/chapter publications rely on a combination of both quantitative and qualitative evidence.

Faculty research page: https://mahaddad.faculty.wesleyan.edu/ 

María Ospina

Romance Languages & Literatures, Latin American Studies

Region of Study – South America, the Americas

Work Title(s): “Solo un poco aqui”

My novel (April 2023) is about animal migrations and movements throughout the Americas. It explores how animals move across the landscapes that humans transform. Through the stories of these non-human beings, including a migratory tanager who is flying from Connecticut to a cloud forest in the Colombian Andes, surviving disorienting lights, razed forests, and other human-made disasters, this novel invites readers to meet each animal’s gaze and asks us to be curious about how they might feel and what they might think.

Link to book: https://www.penguinlibros.com/co/literatura-contemporanea/325512-libro-solo-un-poco-aqui-9786289548082 

Excerpt: https://adimagazine.com/articles/detour-in-the-canopy/ 

Gary Yohe

Economics and College of the Environment

Region of Study – USA, Germany, Global

Work Title(s): “Responding to the Climate Threat – Essays on Humanity’s Greatest Challenge”

On this project, I work with Richard Richels retired from the Electric Power Research Institute, Henry Jacoby retired from the Sloan School at MIT, and Benjamin Santer currently associated with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.  Our joint objective since 2019 has been to write accessible essays to inform the public about the threat of climate change and how to respond without watering down fundamental complexities inherent in either the underlying science or the relevant policy domains.  Among us, we have collected 120+ years of experience in teaching, assessing, and conducting research.  We have agreed that we will take on any climate-related topic that is relevant to the current public dialogue with only one condition: we have committed ourselves always to being careful not to overstep the boundaries of our specific expertise and experience because we knew that we are a playing different game than our denying critics.  While the skeptics can make things up to argue an unfounded position, we cannot.  Making even one honest mistakes would profoundly and permanently undermine the credibility of our efforts.  

We published, through Springer Nature, Responding to the Climate Threat – Essays on Humanity’s Greatest Challenge in March of 2023 – an annotated collection of 36 essays that we had previously placed in venues like Yale Climate Connection, The Hill, The Messenger, The Conversation, Scientific American, The Science News, The Guardian, etc.  Since then, as of September or the same year, we have published another 26 essays and counting in places like Project Syndicate. 

Faculty research page: https://gyohe.faculty.wesleyan.edu/ Link to book: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-96372-9