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Close Send. Why some mayors did not adhere to federal policies and created new social programs? Why did certain emulated policies spread quickly and others not? These are key questions that the literature on social policy diffusion, well recognized by national and international comparative studies, should investigate to better understand the puzzle of local policy-making process. The current body of work has been based on three rival theoretical notions to identify the factors that engender policy diffusion: political incentives , ideology , and social network. The approach that considers political incentives to be the most relevant is based on rational choice theories.

The strategy adopted aims at minimizing costs and maximizing their own benefits, taking into account the selection of policies among all other existing alternatives. The seminal study by Downs explains the strategic behavior of political actors in competitive electoral environments. The author considers that individuals' rational behavior essentially meets their own interests. According to Palloni , "the vast majority of the applications of diffusion models in the field of demographic and sociological studies neglects a basic principle: adopters and non-adopters are rational decision makers and the adoption is the result of a rational decision making process".

The work of Keefer and Khemani a, b , analyzing the competition for innovative policies, demonstrates that the stronger the electoral competition between parties is, the more likely the parties will attempt to propose new social programs. In this scenario, the parties' goal would be to distinguish themselves from others, seeking to be identified as reformers. Therefore, municipalities, states or countries with high levels of electoral alternation tend to create or adopt new policies.

From this perspective, it is expected that BEP and PGRM will be emulated more often in cities with highly competitive mayoral election races.

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In short, the hypothesis is that the increased provision of welfare to vulnerable groups of the population increases the chances of political reelection. According to the theoretical approach focusing on the question of ideology , political actors would be more interested in making decisions based on their trust in social change, with no concern about particular gains. Mullins considers that the ideological division between right and left does matter, and guides the evaluation of the implementation of certain social policies. From this point of view, left-wing politicians are guided by personal and moral values, being able to make decisions against their own interests.

Analyzing the policy diffusion dynamics in America, Boushey suggests that more liberal progressive states will be more receptive to policy innovation, and conservative traditionalist states will remain entrenched and resistant to policy change. From this theoretical perspective, since the BEP and the PGRM represent an institutional innovation both in terms of policies to combat poverty and in terms of extending social rights, it is likely that political actors from left and center-left parties will become more active in emulating these programs, in connection with their ideological beliefs.

In recent elections, parties located on this side of the ideological spectrum vindicated that the State must reconfigure the welfare network through minimum-income programs.

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As the literature points out, the ideological positioning of Brazilian parties does not present strong variations over time. For social network theory, actors and institutions under similar social structures tend to adopt the same professional rules and to reproduce their partner's acts. For Abrahamson , , adopting policies is related to the existence of trends among the members of a certain social network. By studying the regional effects of the diffusion of state policies, Mooney reaffirmed the findings of Walker and validated the importance of informal networks, understood as arrangements that bring political and social actors closer, geographically speaking.

In the studies of diffusion, this type of analysis is denominated as "spatial proximity". A classical consensus of researches on diffusion is that the spatial proximity among actors can result in a stronger political influence in connection to personal or cultural links. Following such a perspective, and based on a spatial diffusion-model, this study tests the influence of informal mechanisms such as facilitated communication and the frequency of interactions among political actors that are geographically close to each other.

The study conducted by Sugiyama was the first to critically discuss the three rival theoretical approaches in order to identify the factors that engender policy diffusion. The main goal of the research was to investigate the factors that caused the recent diffusion of policy innovation among Brazil's geographic regions. To accomplish this, the three rival theoretical models were tested in order to identify the individual motivation that led political actors to emulate the programs. The latter two approaches, ideology and social network, are connected to sociological theories.

They consider the actors' ideology 8 and their participation in networks as factors that are likely to stimulate the reproduction of programs. The results of the statistical model and the qualitative analysis demonstrated that the variable "political competition" did not explain the diffusion. The study concluded that the actors' participation in networks, as well as their ideological position, are factors that influence the dissemination of innovative programs.

However, from the conceptual and methodological point of view, the study failed when it dealt with both BEP and PGRM as the only phenomenon that needed to be explained. The justification was based on the comparability of two dimensions: institutional design and programmatic objectives. It is not possible to estimate precisely, in the same statistical model, the effect of political competition on the creation of local programs and adherence to federal ones, as actors' political incentives differ and are directly connected to financial and political costs.

In sum, the study provided a relevant contribution to the literature on policy diffusion, and opened a new research field in Brazil. To conclude, these theoretical approaches differ from each other both in conceptual terms and in the definition of the factors that motivate politicians to emulate policies. However, although this divergence is valuable for theoretical analysis, a common factor should be considered in the study of policy diffusion: the costs of reproducing a program from another jurisdiction.

These costs, for instance, the enforcement of law and administrative procedures, personnel training, and program functioning, result in political unease for political actors and cannot be disregarded in comparative and case studies. Therefore, the present study takes the rational calculus of actions' costs versus benefits that can be obtained as the central variable to be tested in order to investigate the reasons that lead a political actor to emulate social sector innovation. From this perspective, the ideological formation of an actor, or the social network in which they belong are important but do not matter as much as political incentives to explain the implementation of a social policy.

Based on this theoretical understanding, this study encompasses an analysis based on an empirical investigation of the political incentives that motivate politicians to emulate cash transfers policies.

In this article, political incentives are considered in two different dimensions due to the features of the programs analyzed, as well as their specific diffusion patterns. In the case of horizontal diffusion among municipalities, political incentives are analyzed according to the level of electoral competition. The more intense the local competition, the stronger a mayor's incentive to create policies that will increase their reelection chances.

For vertical diffusion between central and municipal levels of government, the political incentives are analyzed based on the competition for federal budget resources, so mayors politically aligned to the president's party will have more incentives to adopt national policies, regardless of existing adherence rules. EHA is used by many authors interested in understanding the conditions that determine the continuity of a certain phenomenon over time. Researches that make use of EHA can work with either quantitative or qualitative data, or even with the two combined. In order to have a reasonable explanation of the factors that led mayors to create BEP and to adhere to PGRM, this study employs a mix of approaches.

The analysis of the determinants of these motivations required, in addition to qualitative research, the use of probability-statistical models. These were models of survival or risk analysis and the logit model. In the international literature, survival models can appear under different names: survival analysis, duration models, survival models, reliability models and failure-time models Box-Steffensmeier and Jones a. The application of statistical models in EHA methodologies is used in order to estimate the probability that a specific event will occur over time. Traditionally, EHA was applied to case studies with small unities of analysis small-N.

More recently, studies with large N started to be covered by the literature. King et al. Box-Steffensmeier and Jones , b corroborate this by affirming that the employment of statistical analysis across a large number of cases can generate improved confidence in the results. Berry and Berry , , , and Collier and Messick emphasize that the model allows a more robust analysis of the internal and external aspects of diffusion, which in turn makes the entire research project more consistent.

The EHA model allows testing both the internal and regional effects by using time-series cross-sectional data. The main advantage of using EHA to study the diffusion of policies is that the model captures the temporal characteristics of changes by using data such as the time, the quantity of cases, the sequence and the duration of events Box-Steffensmeier and Jones Researches that use EHA have a focus, therefore, on the processes of change over a course of time with temporal longitudinal data, with a strong emphasis on the dynamic of temporal structure in clear substitution to researches focused on traditional cross-sectional methods.

Compared to other models, the methodological advantage of EHA is that the method allows to estimate more precisely the influence of factors that determine the political change over time. A crucial difference is that EHA identifies the timing of the political change by demarcating the periods in which the events took place. Thus, the model properly controls the study of dynamic processes through a technique that is also dynamic.

As its theoretical-methodological proposal, the article presents how EHA can be used to investigate recent diffusion-phenomena in Brazil based on a design of empirical research that incorporates both the internal and regional determinants influencing the diffusion of BEP. In sum, the application of EHA makes it possible to measure the effect of internal political competition, ideology, economic development, etc. The emergence and the emulation of social programs led by local governments is a rare event in the Brazilian political system.

The literature does not stipulate a minimum number of cases for categorizing a diffusion-phenomenon. Instead, it establishes a few points of consensus, such as: a similar adoption of aims, instruments and implementation styles. Another characteristic is that the emulation of the program is expected to take place in a relatively short period of time. The decision of emulating BEP was interconnected with previous decisions of other governments, marked by informal interaction among the pioneers and the copiers.

In other regions of the country, the launching of the program was also an independent decision of each jurisdiction. In all regions of the country, the model was also emulated by municipalities administered by different political parties. These municipalities vary significantly in terms of population size and in economic and social indicators, so it is intriguing that the objectives and the style of implementation of the policy were quite similar.

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The following data illustrate the dynamism and the specificity of the Brazilian case. Table 1 shows the distribution of municipal proposals for the creation of Bolsa Escola by political parties across Brazil. The survey shows that 61 per cent of the 90 proposals had a PT authorship while PSDB originated approximately 13 per cent of the proposals.

The result shows that PT had a leading role in initiating proposals, along with its attempt to dominate politics. Table 2 shows the distribution of municipal proposals for Bolsa Escola. In terms of region, 80 per cent of the cases are concentrated in the south and southeast, and the other regions comprise 20 per cent. In Figure 1 , it is possible to notice that the pattern of diffusion is not stable over the years, oscillating up and down , including years of no program creation , Authors like Lowi and Walker , argue that the first years of a program are more likely to witness the creation of new programs, either because the motivations to innovate are stronger or because political campaign promises begin to be carried out.

In the specific case of BEP, the years of and witnessed the approval of, respectively, six and two programs. Considering that in the first year, five municipalities created the program and in ten extra municipalities did the same, it would be expected that in this number would increase. In , when PGRM had already been in execution since and BEP since April, it would be reasonable to expect municipalities to adopt the federal program. Moreover, the fact that was the year in which the largest number of municipalities copied the program and, at the same time, in there were no new cases registered, suggest that these last years did not provide sufficient incentives for the creation of new policies.

In Figure 2 , it can be observed the cumulative evolution of BEP over the last three cycles of municipal government. In the first period, the first 15 cases appear. In the second, 12 extra cases are registered and in the last one, two other cases are observed. The cumulative adoption over time is often interpreted in the literature as an S-shaped curve that follows a frequency distribution showing a slow pace at the first stage, followed by faster growth and then a decrease at the last moment Rogers ; Stocking ; Mohr The cumulative distribution, which demonstrates BEP's path between and , can be interpreted in two ways.

In the first case, the adoption rates reflect one of the types of S-shaped distribution.

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In the second case, the emulation of the programs is similar to the classic form of S-shaped distribution. The results of the distribution, shown in figures 1 and 2 , define two important dimensions of the diffusion process: the path of the program and the rate of the program adoption over time as well as the profile of actors who tend to copy innovative policies.

In order to estimate, the statistical methodology of EHA, which assess the risk that a specific event will occur in a given period, is used. In the particular context of BEP's diffusion, the model of Survival Analysis is applied with the purpose of measuring the probability that a given municipality would take the initiative of adopting a program from another municipality from to Survival models differ from other kind of regressions due to two characteristics.

The second difference is that the independent variable can have its value changed during the observation period, which makes the analysis more reliable. The model relates the dependent variable to covariables hazard factors that are likely to be associated with the failure or occurrence of an event.

In this study, the model will test what factors increased or decreased the probability of a given mayor to create BEP in the periods of and - respectively: the starting point of the program being Campinas and the first year that no program was created. Cox's proportional hazard model attributes a hazard function h 0 t to all individuals. The model's equation is specified as follow:. In order to estimate the effect of covariables on BEP's diffusion, the data reveals the year when the program was copied and by which municipality.

The dependent variable is coded dichotomically, with "0" attributed to municipalities that did not create a BEP and "1" to those that have. When an event occurs, that is, when a municipality creates a BEP, the year of creation is registered and the municipality is not reported for the subsequent years.

The statistical model used in this study will test the effect of a set of independent variables that are associated with internal and structural factors of the phenomenon analyzed. The covariables nature according to the determinant and control factors is specified as follows:.

The main independent variable of the model is municipal political competition. The literature identifies political competition as a robust determinant of policy diffusion. One of the findings of Walker's seminal work on policy diffusion among American states in the s was that competitive electoral systems are more likely to emulate a policy in comparison to less competitive or noncompetitive electoral systems.


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Following this argument, the municipalities that have greater electoral competition are expected to be more likely to emulate Bolsa Escola than those municipalities with less competition. The second group of determinants to be tested were those associated with the role of political parties on policy diffusion.

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Political parties create new social programs aiming to obtain credibility from certain electoral groups and also from the society as a whole Keefer Aligned with this perspective, this paper tests whether or not BEP emulation is associated with the administration of the two parties. The fourth variable in the model refers to the neighborhood effect or geographical proximity among municipalities. As observed by Walker geographical proximity can have an impact on the policy diffusion process.

This phenomenon is due to the dissemination of ideas that occur in events related to public policies, like conferences, seminars, political party meetings, or in the media. With this approach, the circulation of information on policy innovation would first reach closer territories. Therefore, municipalities located close to a municipality that has created a new program would tend to reproduce their neighbor's experience more often than municipalities from more distant regions. The fifth variable in the model also estimates the effect of geographical proximity.

However, there are two important features that distinguish it from the last variable presented here. The first is the location of municipalities in innovative regions, that is, areas that innovate more in terms of offering public policies in contrast to less creative areas. The second feature relates to the importance of what could be called "model cities" of metropolitan areas, seen as a reference and example to be followed. The literature that deals with this question argues that there is a link between the "pioneers" and the "emulators", where the element of spatial proximity is an essential element for program emulation Walker ; Elazar In their comparative investigation about the implementation of policies in the North American federalism, these authors noticed that the most similar states in economic and social terms tended to emulate their nearest neighbors through the identification of common problems and the possibility of achieving positive effects.

Even though the emulation-requirements are the position as a neighbor and the similarity among the federative units, the theory of social networks on policy diffusion has conceived two contending views in regard to the communication channels. The fixed-region view presupposes that potentially all units adopting a program in a region have the same information and are formally and informally influenced by networks.

In contrast to it, the neighborhood-effect view affirms that each unit is influenced by a specific group of neighboring territorial units, which are not necessarily of the same region. Even though in this particular case the fiscal incentives are not directly targeted at BEP, I assume that the higher is the level of welfare dependence of poor families, more likely mayors will use federal resources to adopt new programs to confront poverty. With the variable GDPperCapita , I seek to control the possible effect of a municipality's economic development level on its choice to adopt the program.

Population size is a factor that potentially affects the diffusion of Bolsa Escola and is used in the model as a control variable. Due to the great diversity of population size of the municipalities studied, 22 and considering this variable is not linear, the units were grouped in three categories according to the size of their population: small, medium and large. The classification by population size was defined according to IPEA, which uses the following criteria: small municipalities have up to These last two categories have greater institutional and fiscal capacities and, as a consequence, are more likely to create or copy new policies.

However, the selection of variables in statistical models is a complex task due to two main complementary reasons. The first is that the choice of variables must be made through the use of analytically relevant criteria. The second relates to the exclusion of omitted-variables that could provide a statistical result that is more robust and accurate. Like any other academic work, the present study, when using a statistical model to define the causal relationship between variables, can be omitting an important covariable.

Nevertheless, the applied strategy implies a methodological choice that aims to adjust the statistical model, and to avoid the inappropriate use of variables.

The first four regressions showed in the table include a mix of variables of the study. In the last regression, the covariables PT and PSDB were removed from the model in order to estimate the effect of political competition without controlling by the effect of political parties. The analysis considers the basic models and aggregates sequentially the covariables, which allows the definition, in a progressive way, of the variation of the effect of political competition on the diffusion of BEP.

In contrast, the coefficient of GDPperCapita did not prove to be significant. This result suggests that the municipalities' economic level does not alter the decision to copy or not Bolsa Escola. In the same way, the result demonstrates that the creation of the program is highly associated with PT and PSDB administrations. This statistic shows that the decision to copy the program is not directly associated with structural variables and also strengthens the notion that it is not associated with the municipalities' economic situation.

The fourth model includes all variables. This figure indicates that the socioeconomic condition of the population has partially influenced the decision of emulating BEP. The goal is to estimate the influence of the other covariables on the dependent variable, emphasizing the variation level of the political competition effect, which in the other models was always significant and positive.

This result suggests that municipalities with a high level of political competition and not governed by PT or PSDB made the decision of emulating BEP influenced by other municipalities of the neighboring region. In sum, it can be concluded that the combination of the covariables, as well as the control variables, does not reduce the relevant effect of MPC on Bolsa Escola creation, which confirms the statistical and theoretical importance of this variable on all regressions of the model. The result is obtained through the use of a logit statistical model, which, in the context of this analysis, captures the probability that a given municipality will adopt the federal program in the years of and , according to a set of political, economic and structural factors.

Two models are used to estimate the magnitude of covariables' effect on mayors' decisions. The first model covers internal and structural determinants, and the second takes into account the external factor " municipality selected by the federal government ". After the political decision to implement the PGRM, in , the federal government requested a study from IPEA, in order to indicate the poorest municipalities of the country where the resident population needed cash transfers as a complement to the family income.

IPEA pointed to approximately 3, municipalities in this situation. Due to the high volume of investments that the policy would demand to assist all municipalities in the first year of execution, an arbitrary criterion of selection was used. Thus, the program was created to assist on a priority-basis the municipalities with a tax collection per capita and income per capita below the state average.

However, as explained by Ana Lobato, 24 coordinator of the IPEA-study that mapped the situation of the municipalities, there was a strong interference by mayors and governors, who were dissatisfied with the list after it was presented. According to governmental managers, 25 mayors went to the point of presenting their own calculations based on consultancy works and on data gathered by IBGE, in their attempt to delegitimize the technical study of IPEA. Thus, this variable works as a control variable due to its direct influence on mayors' decisions. The main goal here is to analyze, based on qualitative data and statistical results, whether or not the rules of adherence to PGRM altered the process of policy diffusion, once municipalities that were not selected were actually prevented from adhering to the program.

As expected, PSDB, as the party with the largest number of municipalities meeting the rules of selection for the program, had the highest rate of adherence. Of the 69 city halls governed by the party, 66 signed agreements with the federal government. PT was only in office in two municipalities among the eligible to adopt the policy, and one of them adhered to the program.

Due to the fact that the PGRM was implemented in only two years, it is unnecessary and pointless to draw a graph to describe the yearly trajectory of the program. The appropriate illustration in this case is outlined in Figure 3 , where it is possible to visualize how diffusion took place in a decentralized way throughout the regions. The adherence of municipalities to PGRM and the political strategies of formulation and implementation allow us to categorize the phenomenon of policy diffusion as coordinated and interconnected.

The concept, developed by Levi-Faur , defines this type of political process as an action coordinated by certain institutions or party with the power to redesign the provision of public policies. However, due to its rules of selection, which are not stable from the political standpoint, the diffusion-process of PGRM is also characterized as a competitive process, because in practical terms, the chances that a municipality had of adhering to the program affected the chances of adherence by other municipalities.

The following section presents a description of the statistical model that was used to analyze the hypothesis testing of the study. Describing the Logit Model, Variables and Hypotheses. The logit model allows an estimation of the chances odds that a specific event will occur under a group of factors that affects the dependent variable.

At the same time, it is prudent to be aware of the fact that the model might not be estimating the most appropriate result concerning the causal relationship between the covariables and the dependent variable. The statistical result, however, will certainly shed light on the problem studied in this paper, which will provide important inferences. The model's equation is described as follows:. The dependent variable of the model, Adherence to PGRM Ad PGRM , is a dummy with values "0" and "1", corresponding respectively to municipalities that did not adhere to the program and to those that did so in the years of and Out of this total, only could adhere to the program in the first two years of program execution due to the rules imposed by the federal government, which selected municipalities according to the criteria of family per capita income in and per capita self-generated revenues own tax income in , both below the state's average.

For municipalities that adhered to the program, regardless of whether they were selected or not, "1" was considered as the answer. The statistical model used in this study tests the effect of a set of independent variables associated with the internal, structural and external factors of the phenomenon being analyzed. The main independent variable to be tested in the model is the political alignment between the federal and municipal governments. The literature that deals with this question in all its complexities shows that party alignment between different spheres of government influences the distribution of financial resources in favor of the aligned parties Cox and McCubbins, The other parties are classified as aligned.

Although there are situations in which aligned parties do not effectively support the actions of the federal government, they do not have a direct strategy of confronting the president's party. If the result of the model does not prove the covariable to be significant, it will be concluded that adherence to the program was guided by rigid rules. On the contrary, if the coefficient is statistically significant and positive signed, it indicates that the rules were circumvented by municipalities.

Considering the political dispute over BEP between PSDB, the party of the federal government, and PT, it is reasonable to assume that municipalities governed by the former will adhere more to PGRM than municipalities governed by other parties, regardless of the adherence rules. The main goal here is to verify whether municipalities administered by PSDB and not able to adhere to the program were privileged by the federal government. If the statistical coefficient is significant and positively signed, it is evidenced that PGRM diffusion was not guided by existing rules.

If the contrary is found, this suggests that diffusion was guided by technical criteria and rules. Although PGRM showed a distinct configuration in relation to BEP, especially due to the fact that the federal government requires the fulfillment of some criteria and was responsible for funding part of the program's costs, its implementation certainly brought political dividends to local politicians that sought their political survival. At the same time, policymakers claim credit for policy innovations in the territory they govern, aiming to increase their chances of political survival Keefer Furthermore, even considering that PGRM configuration comprises a relationship from the federal government to municipality government, the decision to participate in the game is the exclusive responsibility of the local executive and it implies a rational calculus that takes into account the municipality's electoral competition.

Therefore, it is expected that the most competitive units will be more likely to adhere to PGRM than less competitive municipalities. Due to the rule that focused the program in less economically developed municipalities, it is expected that this covariable will not show any statistical significance.

If this result is confirmed, it will be possible to conclude that the program was guided by non biased rules. On the contrary, if it is statistically proven that municipalities that adhered to PGRM were those with higher GDPs, there will be an important sign that the rules were disregarded. This covariable is included in the model because it represents the percentage of children from families that have a per capita income below half the minimum wage at the time the program was implemented.

By analyzing the rules and criteria of PGRM, it can be concluded that the program is oriented to benefit municipalities with the largest number of families with poor children. As a consequence, the indicator adopted in the model makes it possible to know whether municipalities with those characteristics were in fact the ones that most adhered to the program.

Therefore, it is likely that a statistically significant and positive signed coefficient for this covariable will be found. This variable is important because significantly increased the chances that a specific municipality adhered to PGRM. Once selected, the mayor just had to accept some requirements of the agreement with the federal government in order to formally adhere to the program. The category of non-selected or selected for the following years implies a situation in which mayors were forced to negotiate the inclusion of their municipalities in the program.