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The Olympics: Culture vs. Institutions. READING ASSIGNMENT: Bernard, Andrew B. and Meghan R. Busse. 2004. Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals. The Review of Economics and Statistics 86 (1):413-417. Plan. Making domestic institutions personal

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The olympics culture vs institutions l.jpg

The Olympics:Culture vs. Institutions

READING ASSIGNMENT:

Bernard, Andrew B. and Meghan R. Busse. 2004. Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals. The Review of Economics and Statistics 86 (1):413-417.


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Plan

  • Making domestic institutions personal

  • Institutions vs. culture

  • Who wins international competitions?



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Culture

  • My languages : Spanish, French, (Haitian Creole)

  • Places I’ve gone for work (chronological order):

    http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jrv24/friends.html


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Intercultural Center

  • If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail

  • We often rely on cultural lenses

    • Attribute differences in levels of economic development, political regime, crime rates, gender inequality to…

    • “culture”

  • This class offers a non-cultural lens

    • Explain differences across countries & regions with…

    • individual incentives and constraints

    • shaped by institutions (domestic & international)


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Culturalist explanations?

  • Does culture explain?

  • “They are different because of culture” =

  • “They are different because they are different”

  • WHY ARE THEY DIFFERENT?


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Goal: Replace proper nouns and dates with the names of variables


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What does it mean“to explain”?



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Law-like statements:

  • A particle to which no force is applied will move with constant velocity in a straight line.

  • Every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force that is directly proportional to the product of the masses of the particles and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

  • E=mc2


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Descriptive statements:

  • Guatemala, 1993: The OAS restored democracy after President Serrano staged a self-coup.

  • After WWII, the new French government supported a strong enforcement mechanism for the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

  • In the late 1990s, tariffs in Argentina fell for trading partners both inside of Mercosur and outside as well.


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We can easily apply law-like statements to particular cases…

  • A particle to which no force was applied in Guatemala during 1993 moved in a straight line with constant velocity.

  • Particles of matter in Argentina during the 1990s attracted other particles in Mercosur and the rest of the world with forces directly proportional to the product of the masses of the particles and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

  • In France, E equaled mc2after WWII.

    True - but redundant - statements.


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But some would judge the following “improper” because people don’t behave in a universal fashion the way “particles” do.

  • Membership in democratic regional organizations preserves democracy.

  • Insecure democracies seek to “lock-in” human rights using international organizations.

  • The “trade diversion” associated with regional trade agreements can cause overall tariffs to decline by weakening the political strength of the “losers” from free trade.


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We have taken a law-like approach to what international institutions do:

  • Cooperation

  • Commitment

  • Laundering / Dirty work


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Alternative ( institutions do:also valuable) approach:

  • History of international organizations

  • Descriptive

  • Less risky

  • Can lead to the view that every outcome is UNIQUE


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Nomothetic (law-like) institutions do:vs. Idiographic (descriptive) approaches

  • Law-like statement:

    • Whenever & wherever X occurs, X is in a certain relation to Y.

  • Descriptive statement:

    • Specifies spatio-temporal locations and makes all subsequent propositions relative to these parameters.


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Culturalist “explanations”? institutions do:

  • General theories of culture?

  • Ad-hoc?...

  • Consider this anecdote:

    • Culture vs. Material incentives under institutions


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Germany, the United States & bankruptcy institutions do:

  • Why is bankruptcy tolerated in the USA but not in Germany?

  • Different cultures?

  • What is the #1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA?

  • MEDICAL BILLS

  • Here the USA is failing to properly invest in the health of its population, and the price is great uncertainty in credit markets!


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Fahey argues there are 6 conditions for peace: institutions do:

  • athletic competition

  • intellectual discourse

  • artistic celebrations

  • trade agreements

  • diplomatic recognition

  • international alliances

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_1_43/ai_n17154089/?tag=content;col1


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Prof. Cha (2008) institutions do:Beyond the Final Score: The Politics of Sport in Asia (Contemporary Asia in the World)

  • Sport matters in world politics because it can create (unanticipated) diplomatic breakthroughs/breakdowns

  • Sport is a prism through which countries project their image to the world & to their own people

  • Sport can facilitate domestic change (e.g., building up Beijing for 2008)


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The Olympics institutions do:: an international institution dedicated to peace

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) founded in 1894

  • The Olympic flag (1914) includes 5 interlaced rings, representing the union of the 5 continents & the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games

  • Olympic Charter Article 1 Section 1:

  • The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values


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Do some Olympic games privilege certain countries because of a cultural preference for different sports?

  • The Olympic Games program consists of 33 sports, 52 disciplines and nearly 400 events

  • Does culture determine who wins which games?

  • Does culture determine who wins the most gold medals?


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What predicts Olympic medal count? a cultural preference for different sports?

  • population

  • income

  • Communist dictatorship

  • host country

  • latitude

  • http://www.theamericanmind.com/2008/07/02/economic-model-accurately-predicts-olympic-medal-count/

  • http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRM/ENG/INF/GL/95A/GL0000000.shtml


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But specific sports? a cultural preference for different sports?

  • United States, China and Gold Medals in soccer???

  • Not part of our cultures so we’re not good at it?


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USA has, arguably, the most successful soccer program in the world

  • 2008: gold

  • 2004: gold

  • 2000: silver

  • 1996: gold

  • World Cup: Germany & US 2 each

  • Really???...

  • WOMEN’S SOCCER!

  • Why? Culture?…

  • or Title IX?

  • 1972: A federal law granting girls and women in high schools and colleges the right to equal opportunity in sports


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  • The USA does not value soccer world

  • The USA does value women’s/girl’s athletics

  • Institutional explanation for American dominance of women’s soccer

  • Scholarships*** (health, fun, self-esteem)



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Presumably, using public funds to promote sports is intended to produce a healthier, happier, and more psychologically balanced population

How can you achieve these goals if you only invest in the athletics of half of your population?

(you can’t)

The USA has an institutional solution (Title IX) which is upheld by other institutions (independent judiciary)


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Puzzles to produce a healthier, happier, and more psychologically balanced population

  • Which countries do the best in athletics?

  • Which countries do the best in women’s athletics?

  • Which countries have the best health care?

  • Is the answer to these questions “culture”?


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Culture is to produce a healthier, happier, and more psychologically balanced populationmalleable

Study the incentives and constraints of actors


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Research project to produce a healthier, happier, and more psychologically balanced population

  • What predicts WOMEN’s Olympic medal count?...

  • Check back here in a few years:

  • http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jrv24/cv.html


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The approach of this course: to produce a healthier, happier, and more psychologically balanced populationUnderstand international cooperation

  • Interests & Incentives

  • Shaped by Institutions

    • International

      • WTO

      • IMF

      • World Bank

      • United Nations

    • Domestic

      • democracy

      • dictatorship


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Thank you to produce a healthier, happier, and more psychologically balanced populationWE ARE GLOBAL GEORGETOWN!