Les Fanatiques

This is an archived version of the PW Sources newsletter from Saturday, December 2. Sign up to receive PW Sources directly to your inbox here.


In September, Azerbaijan launched a military attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. The majority ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijani borders has been the site of territorial disputes since its creation within the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1923. But the latest conflagration resulted in a ceasefire whose terms included the disarming of Armenian separatist groups, the announcement of the dissolution of the enclave’s Armenian government, and almost all of the territory’s 120,000 ethnic Armenians fleeing west across Armenia’s borders. 

In a 2003 book, Thomas de Waal reconstructs the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

From the text:

“From 2004, President Ilham Aliev slowly established himself as leader of Azerbaijan. The main reason for his  success was the huge economic lift delivered by Azerbaijan’s new oil boom. In 2006, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline was inaugurated. At a length of 1100 miles or 1768 km, it was the second longest pipeline in the world, shipping oil from the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea via Georgia to Turkey and then on to Western markets. Azerbijan was now host to an oil-and-gas route that was beloved by Western oil companies and politicians for being under the operational control of BP and bypassing both Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan was the world’s fastest growing economy in the years 2005–2008 and in 2008 its GDP had risen to $35 billion, having been just $1.3 billion in 1991. Oil revenues completely dominated the economy, comprising more than 90 percent of the country’s exports. The new State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan was set up in 2000 to manage revenue flows and had accumulated assets worth more than $22 billion in early 2011. Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry expanded rapidlly. Azerbaijani military spending had topped $3 billion and exceeded the entire Armenian state budget—an explicit goal the Azerbaijan leadership had set itself.  Five years before, Baku had embarked on a new arms race, acquiring heavy artillery, MiG-25 fighter aircraft, tactical midrange and long-range missiles, and multiple launch rocket systems. Although they constituted a threat of war, the declared aim was to force Armenia into an arms race it could not afford and therefore into concessions at the negotiating table.”

+  “The EU also wants to keep Azerbaijan on side for energy reasons: its natural gas resources could make up for the embargo on Russian gas.” Constant Leon in Le Monde Diplomatique. Link. A SIPRI report on arms sourcing in the conflict. Link.

+  “The economic effect of a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on Armenia and Azerbaijan,” by David Saha, Ricardo Giucci, Matthias Lücke, Robert Kirchner, Veronika Movchan, and Georg Zachmann. Link.

“In the New Left Review, Georgi Derlugian explores the history of the conflict. Link. And a Times op-ed from October by Derlugian on the exodus. Link.


Pentecostal TV

MARCELA MELLO is a PhD candidate in economics at Brown University. Her job market paper examines media dispersion and the Pentecostal movement in Brazil.

From the paper:  

“We study the socioeconomic consequences of adherence to the Pentecostal movement in Brazil, using exposure to a church-affiliated TV channel as a source of quasi-random variation in religiosity. Our empirical strategy exploits the placement of transmitters prior to the channel becoming religiously affiliated. Results show that exposure to this TV channel increased the number of Pentecostals in Brazil (30% increase compared to baseline) ten years after change of ownership. Consistent with the church’s prescriptions, municipalities exposed to this TV channel had higher fertility rates, lower female labor force participation, lower schooling for young women, and more votes for Pentecostal candidates. We find no effects on schooling for boys. Results persist in following 20 years. In an event-study framework, we exploit the expansion of RecordTV over time to show that the number of Pentecostal churches increases following the introduction of channel in the municipality.”

+ + +

+  ” The proliferation of state-led industrial policy across the global South in recent decades holds a crucial lesson: there is not one path to economic transformation.” New on PW, Jojo Nem Singh offers a comparative study of industrial policy. Link

+  “Most of the countries in the Sahel are now under the control of military juntas.” Tamas Gerőcs on French colonial legacies and recent coups in in West and Central Africa. Link

+  Mariana Mazzucato and Laurie Macfarlane examine mission-oriented development banks. Link

+  “I demonstrate that the number of military operations significantly increased in the lead-up to elections, which strongly indicates the extent of instrumentalisation.” Huseyin Zengin on the Turkish army and Erdogan’s AKP party. Link

+  Francisco Javier Bonilla on extractivism and political clientelism Panama’s most recent anti-mining protests. Link.

+  Brad Setser on Argentina, Milei, and the dollarization question, on Odd Lots. Link.

+  “Building on the BJP’s increased organizational capacity is the mobilization of state welfare benefits by the party and the concerted effort to convert welfare recipients into supporters.” Shashank Chaturvedi, David Gellner, and Sanjay Kumar Pandey on the 2022 state elections in Uttar Pradesh, India. Link

+  “This paper empirically examines the role of gender diversity in inventive activity during the first and second industrial revolutions. The analysis of systematic data on patents and unpatentable innovations uniquely enables an evaluation of women’s creativity within both the market and nonmarket sectors. British women inventors were significantly more likely than men to focus on unpatentable innovations in consumer final goods and design-oriented products that spanned art and technology, and on uncommercialized improvements within the household. Conventional approaches that fail to account for nonmarket activity and for such incremental changes in consumer goods and design innovations therefore significantly underestimate women’s contributions to household welfare and overall economic progress.” By B. Zorina Khan. Link

Each week we highlight research from a graduate student, postdoc, or early-career professor. Send us recommendations: editorial@jainfamilyinstitute.org

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