IBS Newsletter

April 1998


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


Program Activities

Political and Economic Change Program

Keith E. Maskus attended a meeting of the World Bank in Washington, DC on March 5 in which he presented the invited paper "Price and Competition Effects of Stronger Intellectual Property Rights in Developing Countries." This is a background paper for the 1998 World Development Report that the World Bank will publish later this year. In the paper, Maskus analyzes evidence on how patents and copyrights affect pricing decisions in pharmaceuticals, plant varieties, and software in developing countries. Maskus also discusses the need for a coordinated competition policy as countries implement new property rights.

On March 10, Maskus delivered a speech to the Boulder Valley Teacher's Association entitled "Economic and Social Consequences of NAFTA." On March 11, he gave video testimony before the Australian Senate Legislative Affairs Committee on proposed legislation to deregulate imports of copyrighted compact disks and software.

Maskus also attended a conference on "New Issues in International Trade: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence," at University of Kobe, Japan on March 22-24. His invited paper "Is Small Beautiful? Trade Shares Trade Creation with Differentiated Products" was co-authored with Denise Konan. They develop theoretical expressions for trade creation, trade diversion, and welfare impacts of a preferential trade area between a small open economy and an arbitrary import partner in a three-country world, where products are differentiated. The model is simulated with a computable general equilibrium model of an Egyptian-EU free trade agreement, which shows that welfare gains rise as the initial trade share Egypt has with the EU rises. Edward S. Greenberg delivered a lecture on March 25 called "Recent Developments in American Politics, Society, and Economy and Their Effects on Mexico" at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. He focused on issues of globalization, the changing relations of labor and management, the decline of civility in public life, and the impact of immigration.

Political and Economic Change Program in Print

Keith Maskus, et al, (eds.). 1997. Quiet Pioneering: Robert M. Stern and His International Economic Legacy, edited volume. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Population Processes Program in Print

Pampel, Fred C. 1998. Aging, Social Inequality, and Public Policy. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press. By attending to social inequality between and within age groups, the author tries to steer between the two extremes of individualism and social determinism. Structured inequality between age groups shapes the personal experiences of individuals, but, at the same time, inequality within age groups counters simple generalizations that apply to all people of similar ages. Accordingly, aging has different meanings and consequences for people from different classes, genders, races, ethnic groups, nations and generations. Likewise, membership in classes, genders races, ethnic groups, nations and generations shapes the meaning and consequences of aging. The combined study of age with other sources of inequality creates complex and diverse experiences of individuals and groups as they grow old. The use of this theme of diversity differentiates this book from many others.

Problem Behavior Program

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

On February 21, Delbert S. Elliott took part in the University of Colorado's Law Review Symposium "Crime Is Not the Answer: Lethal Violence in America" at the Law School on the Boulder campus. Elliott also participated in the National Conference of State Legislatures video-conference on "Comprehensive Juvenile Justice" on February 24. He traveled to Eastern Kentucky University, where the video-conference was recorded, and discussed the prevention and intervention aspects of juvenile justice.

Jennifer K. Grotpeter presented the CSPV "Blueprints for Replication" at the National Resiliency in Action Conference in San Diego, California on February 21. She focused on the Center's search for programs that show long-term effects in reducing violence, delinquency, and/or drug abuse, using strict evaluation criteria.

A Blueprints conference was held at the Center on February 27. Delbert Elliott and Sharon Mihalic facilitated the discussion regarding the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies ) program and its Blueprint. Guests included PATHS designers Mark Greenberg of Penn State University and Carol Kusche of Seattle, Washington.

Jane Grady spoke to CU graduate students of the Sociology Forum class on March 19. She presented an overview of the Center's many functions, including information on the Center's current projects.

Environment and Behavior Program

Robert K. Davis has been in Harare, Ethiopia for a month as a member of a team evaluating the USAID support for CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources). The program has been successful in directing returns from wildlife utilization into the communities that live with the wildlife and whose crops are destroyed, livestock killed, and whose household members are occasionally lost to dangerous wildlife. The USAID program is building capacity at local levels to manage the resources but as always, it is a challenge to get results down to the community levels.

Gilbert F. White has been working as a member of the Board of the Association of State Floodplain Managers Foundation to prepare and raise funds for a national appeal that would support a variety of efforts at both national and local scales to improve the quality of floodplain management.

Environment and Behavior Program In Print

White, Gilbert F. 1998. "Looking Toward the Horizon: Prospects for Floodplain Managers," Floodplain Management in a Multi-faceted World: Proceedings of 21st Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, pp. 21-28. A review of the rising level of national flood losses and of ten notable events affecting public policy in recent years. Four prospective developments relate to: post-audit of the national flood insurance program; new approaches to watershed planning; emphasis on disaster-resilient communities; and improvements in communication technology.

Natural Hazards Center

Mary Fran Myers, as a guest of Emergency Management Australia (EMA), participated in a three-day workshop on "Innovations in Emergency Management" held March 17-19 in Mt. Macedon, Victoria, Australia. The aim of the meeting was to review current examples of innovation and develop strategies for encouraging innovation in emergency management within and between organizations. Myers brought the US perspective on these topics to the meeting. While in Australia, Myers also spent a day at EMA's headquarters in Canberra. On March 30, Myers was an invited speaker at the National Conference of the National Disaster Medical System in Denver. Her topic was "Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice."


In Focus: The Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center

The Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center is a national clearinghouse for research data and other information on hazard mitigation and the economic loss, human suffering, and social disruption caused by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, other natural disasters, and related technological events. The Center strives to improve society's ability to reduce hazard losses by strengthening communication among researchers and between researchers and individuals, organizations, and agencies working to implement hazard mitigation policy at the local, state, and national levels. The Center's main objective is to bridge the gap between, and facilitate the integration of, those who produce and those who use knowledge for hazards management and mitigation.

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The Center was founded in 1976 by Gilbert White, as part of IBS' Environment and Behavior Program, and it has been the nation's driving force for the integration of research and practice to reduce societal vulnerability to damage from natural hazards for more than two decades. The Center is fully funded by a consortium of nine federal agencies and the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Information Dissemination Program

The information dissemination program has three distinct parts. The bimonthly newsletter, the Natural Hazards Observer, carries current information on hazards research and policy to more the 14,000 subscribers in the U.S. and abroad, and it provides readers with briefings on current research, new publications, congressional activities, agency programs, and upcoming conferences.

The Center's other publications range from full-length research studies (monographs), to research-in-progress or article-length discussions of a specific problem (working papers), quick response research reports, and other special publications. The working papers and quick response reports are published in full text on the Center's home page on the World Wide Web.

The Center's Internet activities include an electronic newsletter known as Disaster Research, which is mailed electronically every two weeks. It serves as an informal communication tool among persons interested in hazards research and disaster management. The Center also maintains the Natural Hazards Center Home Page on the World Wide Web from which people can access a wealth of information on hazards and disaster management. It has been cited as the nation's best all-hazards WWW source of information. The URL is: www.colorado.edu/hazards.

Annual Workshop

To strengthen the link between the research and applications communities, the Natural Hazards Center convenes a national workshop each summer in Colorado to bring these groups together to establish contacts and share hazard-related problems as well as ideas for their solutions. In 1998, plenary workshop sessions will focus on such issues as the impact of El Niño on the nation's emergency management community and the link between hazard management and sustainable development.

Library Research Services Program

The Natural Hazards Library is a resource estimated at more than 17,000 books, articles, reports, journals, and other documents, and it forms the core of the Center's clearinghouse activities. The holdings are included in a computerized, bibliographic data base (about one-third of which are annotated) which is searchable by author, title, key word, or full text. New additions are made to the database at a rate of about 250 items per year.

In 1997, the Center (with a generous cash gift from Gilbert White) was successful in converting the data base to a format that could be uploaded on the Center's home page on the WWW. Now, interested persons from around the globe can search the data base themselves.

Research Program

The Center's research program is twofold. It includes an in-house research effort which currently is focusing on completing an assessment of the status of hazards research and applications in the U.S. The project is identifying a set of research priorities for the hazards field in the future that will place natural hazards in a broader environmental context. The Center's Quick Response grant program provides a mechanism to support social scientists from across the country who wish to travel to disaster sites to analyze the post-impact period. Valuable data that might otherwise be lost are gathered and later developed into reports offering policy options.

Summary

The Center is active in a wide range of projects that serve to link the hazards research and applications communities. The focus is on providing hazards managers the information they need from the research community in order to do their jobs better. The significance of achieving the above-mentioned objective cannot be understated, and the Center is a major resource for hazards researchers and practitioners--both within the U.S. and globally. Its continued development, maintenance, and professional performance over the years has been fundamental to the interdisciplinary, interorganizational advance of hazards research and informed public practice. The Center has not only nurtured a national community of hazards scholars to support informed public policy making, but has also actively engaged in the training and recruitment of young scholars and practicing managers interested in the field. Further, the Center's less tangible function as a networking node has been of utmost importance to the interdisciplinary field of hazards, which is often misunderstood in traditional academic disciplines and regarded as dispensable by practicing agencies. In this day and age of increasing losses due to disaster, increasing criticisms of conventional disaster relief programs, and increasing awareness that humans--more than nature--might be responsible for disaster losses, the work performed by the Center is critical to ensure that necessary linkages are maintained among the many groups that comprise emergency and hazard management, and that new linkages are formed between the hazards community and others who manage the environmental and economic resources of our society.


Research Proposals Funded

Problem Behavior Program

D.S. Elliott
Blueprints for violence prevention: marketing and dissemination
Met Life Fdn; 01/01/98 - 12/31/98; $210,000


Research Proposals Submitted

Environment and Behavior Program

A.J. Bebbington and D.H. Bebbington
Between market and civil society: business non-profits and the redefinition of philanthropy in Peru
Aspen Inst 11/01/98 - 04/30/00 $45,723 new


Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.


Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director


1998 IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks and Christine Weeber, Newsletter Editors


Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147

IBS@Colorado.EDU