Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Robert J. Pauly, Jr.

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Joseph J. St. Marie

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Edward Sayre

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Tom Lansford

Committee Member 4 School

Social Science and Global Studies


The overall research questions addressed in this dissertation are twofold. First, what are the largest, under-evaluated (or unorthodox) factors that cause growth volatility in both the short and long terms? Second, how can one best determine how much risk is being taken across both of these periods, and how can states increase and/or diversify their risks? The principle hypotheses are that finicky consumerism and structural economic changes, undiversified trade, and under-financed investment contribute significantly to growth volatility. Above all, risk taking actions and policies in countries cause economies to fluctuate. Further, the dissertation suggests that the short-term risk characteristics of an economy can be best measured by breaking an economy down, and then aggregating it, using a Keynesian national income accounting equation, in which GDP (Gross Domestic Product)= C (Consumption) + I/S (Investment/Saving), + G (Gov't spending) + Net Trade. Each one of the articles presented employs an institutional analysis for long-term implications, in the time periods of when trade first started after the Napoleonic Wars (late-1700s), after World War II, the period during which the global institutional framework that exists in the 21st Century was shaped, since the 1970’s stagflation, and following the global crisis of 2007-2009. Therefore, the dissertation attempts to generally link the short-term with the long-term; although different epochs have policies aimed at either, the principal emphasis here will be the short-term since this is the time frame easier to foresee. Methodologically, the entire dissertation uses both qualitative and quantitative metrics, with an emphasis on conceptuality. In total, the focus is on the United States, Japan, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) states, Europe, and developing ones accordingly, with policy suggestions towards the end of each article and at the end of the entire dissertation.