Deep dives into challenging questions within economics, policy, and geoplitics.

We show under what conditions a special economic zone will succeed at spurring development and at sparking broader liberalization.

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This article explores the benefits and downsides of special economic zones, and analyzes their economic and political impact on the United States. It argues that, though widely implemented in the country, the zones have likely done more harm than good for the United States.

This paper presents export processing zones (EPZs) as a rent-seeking tool with the appearance of a development policy. My model indicates that EPZs do not benefit an economy via backward linkages but through marginal improvements to a country’s trade regime.

The purpose of this paper is to show how special economic zones (SEZs) can be applied to refugee camps. Zones are powerful tools for investors to act like institutional entrepreneurs, who promote institutional reform by pursuing exemptions from government constraints and taxes or by advocating for reform. Refugee SEZs (R-SEZs) would similarly allow for institutional entrepreneurs to promote broader immigration reform.

Despite decades of international experience, there remains no blueprint for successful special economic zone policies. We propose a ‘robust political economy’ framework that divides political economy problems into those of inadequate knowledge and distorted incentives.

This paper is a first attempt to apply a robust political economy framework to explain when Special Economic Zones can contribute to economic development. The framework can be applied to judge their potential efficacy, something that orthodox studies of country features such as natural resources, infrastructure, and zone location fail to do.

A broad look t export competitiveness of the Dominican Republic, where I contribute with a perspective on special economic zones.

Despite good intentions, policymakers often overlook the unseen and unintended negative consequences of targeted-benefit policies. We argue that these costs, which are often longer-term and not readily observable at the time the targeted benefits are granted, may very well outweigh any possible short-term economic benefits.

This paper analyzes the concept of municipal bankruptcy in a comparative framework with commercial bankruptcy. Because of significant institutional differences between the two forms of corporation, we argue that it is impossible to construct a bridge between them.

In Swedish. We perform a literature review of the research on how some counties have pursued efficiency enhancing welfare reforms. We find several clear findings of the political, bureacratic, and economic prerequisites for successful reforms.

While previously addressing issues of double taxation, the OECD shifted to restricting tax competition and increasing automatic exchanges of tax information. We analyze the reasons for this shift in policy focus.