Publications

    Fung, Archon, Mary Graham, and David Weil. 2009. “Suggestions for Improving Transparency Policies”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Archon Fung, Mary Graham, and David Weil; March 2009

    The authors offer several suggestions for ways that the federal government can improve transparency. The first section describes several general policies to create better disclosure systems; the second section offers some prototype and experimental initiatives that might begin in short order.

    Dwight Perkins and Vu Thanh Tu Anh, March 2009

    Vietnam has made a remarkable transition since 1989 from a centrally planned industrial sector dominated by administrative allocation of inputs and outputs to an industrial sector governed mainly by market forces. Furthermore, Vietnam accomplished this transition while avoiding the sharp fall in GDP and industrial output that occurred in so many other centrally planned economies. In the 1980s, Vietnamese exports covered less than half of the country's relatively small import requirements and virtually no Vietnamese industries were capable of selling their products in the demanding markets of Europe and North America. Twenty years later Vietnamese exports are twenty fold what they were in the 1980s and industrial products sold around the world are the largest contributors to these export sales.

    Dapice, David, and Nguyen Xuan Thanh. 2009. “Vietnam’s Infrastructure Constraints”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    David Dapice and Nguyen Xuan Thanh, February 2009

    Successful countries provide economy and society with infrastructure needed to maintain growth. Development experience suggests that investing 7 percent of GDP in infrastructure is the right order of magnitude for high and sustained growth. Over the last twelve years, the government of Vietnam was able to sustain infrastructure investment at 10 percent of GDP. This remarkably high level of investment has resulted in a rapid expansion of infrastructure stocks and improved access. Despite this achievement, Vietnam is experiencing more and more infrastructure weaknesses that negatively affect its ability to sustain high economic growth in the long term. Transport and electricity – the two most essential infrastructure activities – appear to be the weakest infrastructure sectors in Vietnam with blackouts and traffic jams occurring more and more frequently.

    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan, and David Dapice. 2009. “Vietnam’s Infrastructure Constraints”. Read the full report Abstract

    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, David Dapice, February 2009

    Successful countries provide economy and society with infrastructure needed to maintain growth. Development experience suggests that investing 7 percent of GDP in infrastructure is the right order of magnitude for high and sustained growth. Over the last twelve years, the government of Vietnam was able to sustain infrastructure investment at 10 percent of GDP. This remarkably high level of investment has resulted in a rapid expansion of infrastructure stocks and improved access. Despite this achievement, Vietnam is experiencing more and more infrastructure weaknesses that negatively affect its ability to sustain high economic growth in the long term. Transport and electricity – the two most essential infrastructure activities – appear to be the weakest infrastructure sectors in Vietnam with blackouts and traffic jams occurring more and more frequently.

    The Public Innovator's Playbook: Nurturing Bold Ideas in Government
    Eggers, William D., and Shalabh Kumar Singh. 2009. The Public Innovator's Playbook: Nurturing Bold Ideas in Government. Deloitte Research. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    William D. Eggers & Shalabh Kumar Singh, Deloitte Research, 2009

    The Public Innovator’s Playbook, published by Deloitte Research in the U.S. with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center, describes how governments have the opportunity to help improve the economic environment, create jobs, and more efficiently manage costs. According to the book, governments currently innovate. Moreover, some creative approaches in the private sector come from the public sector. However, few governments take an integrated view of the process or treat it as a discipline – which includes methodical processes, reward systems, and a mission linked to the process and organizational structure.

    China Rules
    lan Alon,, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2009. China Rules. Palgrave Macmillan. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Ilan Alon, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, editors, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

    The development of the Chinese multinational is a new feature of globalization. This book deals in the first section with the political economy and governance of China. The contemporary discourse of the internationalization of Chinese enterprises is discussed from different theoretical perspectives and shows how it will reshape global competition, and how the new corporate governance structures impact the long-term performance of state-owned enterprises in China. The second section assesses international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) by Chinese firms and their impact on developed countries. The effects of China's policy and regulatory change on outward FDI are outlined and a Sino-EU Intra-Industry Trade and FDI analysis explores the nature of the challenge facing the EU. Section three describes the developments in certain Chinese industries, such as telecommunications, electronics and automotives, and explains companies and government strategies to gain access to global natural resources.

    Jay Rosengard and Huynh The Du, January 2009

    Given the importance of financial sector development for sustained economic growth, especially in the context of Vietnam’s own performance since embarking the Đổi Mới economic reforms twenty years ago, the objective of this study is to analyze the financial sector development in Vietnam and China within the framework of financial sector reforms introduced in the two countries. The study assesses the progress to date and future challenges for each country; compares and contrasts financial sector reform strategies and performance; and formulates policy recommendations for further financial sector reform in Vietnam.

    Thanh, Nguyen Xuan, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson. 2009. “Structural Change: The Only Effective Stimulus”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Vu Thanh Tu Anh, David Dapice, Jonathan Pincus, and Ben Wilkinson, January 2009

    This paper responds to a request from the Vietnamese government for an analysis of the impact of the global economic crisis on Vietnam, and policy recommendations to help the government stimulate growth and reduce the risk of financial crisis. The government has proposed an economic stimulus valued at six billion U.S. dollars, although details of this plan are still being worked out as this document is prepared. The roots of macroeconomic instability in Vietnam are domestic, and that the appropriate policy response is structural change. This paper argues that the deepening of the international economic downturn strengthens the case for structural reforms. Further, the paper suggests that the fiscal and monetary stimulus proposed by the government will not have the desired impact but will instead accelerate inflation and increase systemic financial risks. The authors recommend an alternative set of policies including gradual depreciation of the VND and adjustments to the public investment program to delay capital and import intensive projects in favor of labor intensive projects that do not rely heavily on imports.

    Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies
    Howitt, Arnold M., Herman B. Leonard, and David W. Giles, ed. 2009. Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies. CQ Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Arnold M. Howitt, Herman B. Leonard, and David W. Giles, editors, CQ Press, 2009

    From floods to fires, tornadoes to terrorist attacks, governments must respond to a variety of crises and meet reasonable standards of performance. What accounts for governments’ effective responses to unfolding disasters? How should they organize and plan for significant emergencies? With twelve adapted Kennedy School cases, readers experience first-hand a series of large-scale emergencies and come away with a clear sense of the different types of disaster situations governments confront, with each type requiring different planning, resourcing, skill-building, leadership, and execution.

    de Jong, Jorrit, and Gowher Rizvi, ed. 2009. The State of Access: Success and Failure of Democracies to Create Equal Opportunities. Brookings Institution Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Jorrit de Jong and Gowher Rizvi, editors, Brookings Institution Press, 2009

    The State of Access documents a worrisome gap between principles and practice in democratic governance. This book is a comparative, cross-disciplinary exploration of the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create the equal opportunities that they have promised to deliver to the people they serve. In theory, rules and regulations may formally guarantee access to democratic processes, public services, and justice. But reality routinely disappoints, for a number of reasons – exclusionary policymaking, insufficient attention to minorities, underfunded institutions, inflexible bureaucracies. The State of Access helps close the gap between the potential and performance in democratic governance.

    Unlocking the Power of Networks: Keys to High Performance Government
    Goldsmith, Stephen, and Donald Kettl, ed. 2009. Unlocking the Power of Networks: Keys to High Performance Government. Brookings Institution Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Stephen Goldsmith and Donald Kettl, editors, Brookings Institution Press, 2009

    The era of textbook top-down, stovepiped public management in America is over, and the traditional dichotomy between public ownership and privatization is an outdated notion. Public executives have shifted their focus from managing workers and directly providing services to orchestrating networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations to deliver those services. In this new book, Stephen Goldsmith and Donald Kettl head a stellar cast of policy practitioners and scholars exploring the potential, strategies, and best practices of high-performance networks while identifying next-generation issues in public sector network management. Unlocking the Power of Networks employs sector-specific analyses to reveal how networked governance achieves previously unthinkable policy goals.

    Power and Restraint: A Shared Vision for the U.S.-China Relationship
    Rosecrance, Richard, and Gu Guoliang, ed. 2009. Power and Restraint: A Shared Vision for the U.S.-China Relationship. PublicAffairs. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Richard Rosecrance and Gu Guoliang, editors, PublicAffairs, 2009

    Over several years, some of the most distinguished Chinese and American scholars have engaged in a major research project, sponsored by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (USEF), to address the big bilateral and global issues the two countries face. Historically, the ascension of a great power has resulted in armed conflict. This group of scholars – experts in politics, economics, international security, and environmental studies – set out to establish consensus on potentially contentious issues and elaborate areas where the two nations can work together to achieve common goals. Featuring essays on global warming, trade relations, Taiwan, democratization, WMDs, and bilateral humanitarian intervention, Power and Restraint finds that China and the United States can exist side by side and establish mutual understanding to better cope with the common challenges they face. HKS Professors Graham Allison, Joseph Nye, and Anthony Saich contribute chapters. Editor Richard Rosecrance elaborates on the book's findings.

    The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

    Alexander Keyssar, Basic Books, 2009

    Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not. But the history of suffrage in the U.S. is, in fact, the story of a struggle to achieve this right by our society's marginalized groups. In The Right to Vote, HKS historian Alexander Keyssar explores the evolution of suffrage over the course of the nation's history. Examining the many features of the history of the right to vote in the U.S. – class, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and age – the book explores the conditions under which American democracy has expanded and contracted over the years. Keyssar presents convincing evidence that the history of the right to vote has not been one of a steady history of expansion and increasing inclusion, noting that voting rights contracted substantially in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920. Keyssar also presents a controversial thesis: that the primary factor promoting the expansion of the suffrage has been war and the primary factors promoting contraction or delaying expansion have been class tension and class conflict. The June 2009 edition includes a new chapter on voting rights since 2000.

    Eggers, William, and John O'Leary. 2009. If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government. Harvard Business School Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    William Eggers and John O'Leary, Harvard Business School Press, 2009

    The American people are frustrated with their government — dismayed by a series of high-profile failures (Iraq, Katrina, the financial meltdown). Yet our nation has a proud history of great achievements: victory in World War II, our national highway system, welfare reform, the moon landing. The truth is, we need more successes like these to reclaim government's legacy of competence. In the book If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, William Eggers and John O'Leary explain how to do it. The key? Understand — and avoid — the common pitfalls that trip up public-sector leaders during the journey from idea to results.

    Why David Sometimes Wins: Leadership, Organization, and Strategy in the California Farm Worker Movement

    Marshall Ganz, Oxford University Press, 2009

    Why David Sometimes Wins tells the story of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers' groundbreaking victory, drawing important lessons from this dramatic tale. Since the 1900s, large-scale agricultural enterprises relied on migrant labor – a cheap, unorganized, and powerless workforce. In 1965, when some 800 Filipino grape workers began to strike under the aegis of the AFL-CIO, the UFW soon joined the action with 2,000 Mexican workers and turned the strike into a civil rights struggle. They engaged in civil disobedience, mobilized support from churches and students, boycotted growers, and transformed their struggle into La Causa, a farm workers' movement that eventually triumphed over the grape industry's Goliath. Why did they succeed? How can the powerless challenge the powerful successfully? Offering insight from a longtime movement organizer and scholar, Ganz illustrates how they had the ability and resourcefulness to devise good strategy and turn short-term advantages into long-term gains. Authoritative in scholarship and magisterial in scope, this book constitutes a seminal contribution to learning from the movement's struggles, setbacks, and successes.

    New York Acquisition Fund: New York, NY – 2008 Innovations Winner

    This 9-minute video is a companion to “Buying Property in a Hot Market: NYC Creates a Fund to Keep Affordable Housing Developers in Play“ (case number 1907.0). In it, Shaun Donovan, the former New York City Housing Commissioner, explains the genesis of the New York City Acquisition Fund, created in 2006 with the goal of delivering timely loans to small and nonprofit affordable housing developers so as to allow them to compete with market-rate developers at a time of rampant speculation, rapidly rising prices, and fierce competition in the New York real estate market. The Fund represented a groundbreaking effort to use public sector funds and authority, together with foundation capital, to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in loan capital from banks and private lenders.

    In this video, Donovan stresses the importance of correctly assessing the scope of a problem, and designing a solution that is “to scale.” He also notes that the creation of the NYC Acquisition Fund relied in part on a critical philanthropic contribution that funded the research and development stage of the initiative.

    The State of Access: Success and Failure of Democracies to Create Equal Opportunities
    de Jong, Jorrit, and Gowher Rizvi, ed. 2009. The State of Access: Success and Failure of Democracies to Create Equal Opportunities. Brookings Institution Press. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Jorrit de Jong and Gowher Rizvi, editors, Brookings Institution Press, 2009

    The State of Access documents a worrisome gap between principles and practice in democratic governance. This book is a comparative, cross-disciplinary exploration of the ways in which democratic institutions fail or succeed to create the equal opportunities that they have promised to deliver to the people they serve. In theory, rules and regulations may formally guarantee access to democratic processes, public services, and justice. But reality routinely disappoints, for a number of reasons—exclusionary policymaking, insufficient attention to minorities, underfunded institutions, inflexible bureaucracies. The State of Access helps close the gap between the potential and performance in democratic governance.

    China Rules: Globalization and Political Transformation
    Alon, Ilan, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, ed. 2009. China Rules: Globalization and Political Transformation. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Ilan Alon, Julian Chang, Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Latteman, and John R. McIntyre, editors, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009

    The development of the Chinese multinational is a new feature of globalization. This book deals in the first section with the political economy and governance of China. The contemporary discourse of the internationalization of Chinese enterprises is discussed from different theoretical perspectives and shows how it will reshape global competition, and how the new corporate governance structures impact the long-term performance of state-owned enterprises in China. The second section assesses international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) by Chinese firms and their impact on developed countries. The effects of China's policy and regulatory change on outward FDI are outlined and a Sino-EU Intra-Industry Trade and FDI analysis explores the nature of the challenge facing the EU. Section three describes the developments in certain Chinese industries, such as telecommunications, electronics and automotives, and explains companies and government strategies to gain access to global natural resources.

    The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

    Alexander Keyssar, Basic Books, 2009

    Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not. But the history of suffrage in the U.S. is, in fact, the story of a struggle to achieve this right by our society's marginalized groups. In The Right to Vote, HKS historian Alexander Keyssar explores the evolution of suffrage over the course of the nation's history. Examining the many features of the history of the right to vote in the U.S.—class, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and age—the book explores the conditions under which American democracy has expanded and contracted over the years. Keyssar presents convincing evidence that the history of the right to vote has not been one of a steady history of expansion and increasing inclusion, noting that voting rights contracted substantially in the U.S. between 1850 and 1920. Keyssar also presents a controversial thesis: that the primary factor promoting the expansion of the suffrage has been war and the primary factors promoting contraction or delaying expansion have been class tension and class conflict. The June 2009 edition includes a new chapter on voting rights since 2000.

    “For Vietnam, success is a choice.“ This sums up the verdict delivered by the Center’s Vietnam Program to the government of Vietnam in early 2008. In a country accustomed to outpourings of praise from multilateral donors for its economic performance, the sobering assessment was headline news. On January 15, 2008, a Vietnam Program delegation headed by Director Tom Vallely met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi, and presented him with this report. The paper was written in response to a request from Prime Minister Dung that the Vietnam Program conduct a critical analysis of Vietnam’s socioeconomic development strategy for the period through 2020.

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