Although corruption is ubiquitous, attitudes toward it differ among countries. Until the 1997 OECD Convention, the U.S. had been one of the only two countries with an explicit extraterritorial anti-bribery law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977. The FCPA employs a two-pronged approach to control the supply side of corruption: (1) anti-bribery provisions; and (2) accounting (books and record and internal controls) provisions. I offer evidence, albeit indirect, to show that the FCPA had limited success. The OECD Convention (...) adopts the same two-pronged approach, but, since it is a multilateral treaty, is likely to be more successful provided that enforcement is vigorous enough. The signatory nations effectively form a cartel to reduce the cost of doing business. As with any cartel, however, each multinational corporation has an incentive to deviate. Thus, the mutual enforcement of the agreement is crucial for its success. However, the two-pronged approach is not sufficient, since internal control does not adequately monitor decisions made at the top level. I argue that the two lessons drawn from the U.S. experience are: (1) law enforcement must be credible; and (2) internal controls alone are not sufficient. Stronger and more effective corporate governance within an appropriate regulatory framework is needed to ensure that multinational corporations conduct their business in an ethical manner. (shrink)
This paper focuses on how human complex imitation and its developmental processes are related to the abilities for action representation, acquisition of symbols, and language. After overviewing the characteristics of imitation in chimpanzees and humans, I propose a model of imitation emphasizing how these two species differ in the ways they process visual-motor information. These differences may in turn contribute to core interspecies differences in higher-order cognitive functions, not only for bodily imitation but for action understanding through complex referential information (...) from faces, sharing symbols, and language. This ‘developmental-comparative’ approach reveals the development of species-specific intelligences, and shows what is shared and not shared between humans and other primates. In doing so, we can obtain a more complete understanding of the emergence of the ‘language-ready brain’ in relation to its biological and evolutionary foundations. (shrink)
Determining the nature of binding in grapheme-color synaesthesia has consequences for understanding the neural basis of synaesthesia and visual awareness in general. We evaluated type- and token-based letter-color binding using a synaesthetic version of the object-reviewing paradigm. Although mean response times failed to reveal any significant differences between synaesthetes and control participants, RT analyses with ex-Gaussian distributions revealed that the response facilitation in the synaesthesia group reflected type representations exclusively, while response facilitation in the control group, who learned letter-color associations, (...) was dominated by token representations. Thus, letter-color associations in associator synaesthetes are type-based, and do not involve binding to object tokens, consistent with their subjective reports. Contrary to recent studies that failed to find differences between synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes with behavioral measures, response time distribution analyses indicate that color sensations in synaesthetes are not simply the extreme form of normal letter-color associations, and cannot be attributed to demand characteristics. (shrink)
This article investigates differences in structural tendencies between Japanese newspaper editorials and front-page columns. Although intuitively recognized by Japanese people, such differences have tended to be empirically overlooked in discourse or rhetoric research. This study compares the two text types, specifically focusing on the location of the main topic in the text item rather than the main thesis, the former of which has received less empirical attention than the latter in Japanese discourse research. The study analyzed 30 editorials and 30 (...) front-page columns from three major Japanese newspapers. The results show that the editorials have an early placement pattern, whereas the columns tend to have delayed introductions. These differences were statistically significant, empirically demonstrating how the intuitively recognized structural tendencies between the two text types crucially differ. The finding that there is a systematic early placement of the main topic in Japanese editorials is indicative of a basic common feature among languages in the editorial genre. From a methodological perspective, the study demonstrates the validity of the index of the main topic location as an analytical tool to distinguish different textual structures. (shrink)
We study how changes in unemployment risk affect firms’ productivity and whether firm-initiated policies can mitigate the moral hazard problem created by increases in unemployment insurance benefits that might decrease workers’ incentives to work hard. We focus on state-specific changes in UIB levels as a quasi-natural experiment. While a large body of research has examined UIBs, including their effect on unemployed workers, few studies investigate whether UIBs have any impact on a firm’s overall productivity. Using data on firm-level total factor (...) productivity and state-level UIBs, we find a negative association between productivity and UIBs. We also find that the negative association is weaker for firms with higher employee-welfare indices than for firms with lower indices, suggesting that the adverse effect of higher UIBs on productivity is mitigated by policies that benefit workers’ welfare. More specifically, we find that among policies that are under the umbrella of corporate social responsibility, a subset of employee-welfare policies are more effective in managing moral hazard problems than other policies. (shrink)
In searching for an appropriate utility function in the expected utility framework, we formulate four properties that we want the utility function to satisfy. We conduct a search for such a function, and we identify Pareto utility as a function satisfying all four desired properties. Pareto utility is a flexible yet simple and parsimonious two-parameter family. It exhibits decreasing absolute risk aversion and increasing but bounded relative risk aversion. It is applicable irrespective of the probability distribution relevant to the prospect (...) to be evaluated. Pareto utility is therefore particularly suited for catastrophic risk analysis. A new and related class of generalized exponential (gexpo) utility functions is also studied. This class is particularly relevant in situations where absolute risk tolerance is thought to be concave rather than linear. (shrink)
In Kagaku no Sekai to Kokoro no Tetsugaku, Mr.Michio Kobayashi features on Descartes' theory of minds as "subjecitive-active consciousness", and defends it against the materialist movement. I show that Kobayashi's method has a difficulty for defending existence of our minds because Descartes didn't allow the scientific investigation of our mental experience from outside,and so cannot appropriately grasp the significance of other minds.
In this review, we discuss the implications of placing an infant in the supine position with respect to human cognitive development and evolution. When human infants are born, they are relatively large and immature in terms of postural and locomotor ability as compared with their closest relatives, the great apes. Hence, human mothers seemingly adopt a novel pattern of caring for their large and heavy infants, i.e., placing their infants in the supine position; this promotes face-to-face communication with their infants. (...) Moreover, infants in the supine position can interact with other nearby individuals in the same manner from an early age. In addition, the infants can also explore their own body parts and/or objects with their hands since the hands are not required to support the body and are therefore, free to move. These activities are considered to be fundamental to the early development of human social and nonsocial cognition, including knowledge of self, in the first six months after birth. Further, developmental continuity in the voluntary exploratory movements in the prenatal period to the early postnatal period is also discussed. (shrink)