Business Line, New Delhi, June 17
Dr Easterly's paper is posted on the Web site of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a premier research institution in the US ( http://www.nber.org/papers/w15981).
The paper, called ‘Commercial Imperialism: Political Influence and Trade during the Cold War' has three co-authors.
Dr Easterly has used recently de-classified information to arrive at this conclusion.
“We provide evidence that the increase in US exports arose through direct purchases of US products by foreign governments. Our analysis has provided evidence that increased political influence, arising from CIA interventions during the Cold War, was used by the US to create a larger foreign market for its products. We show that following CIA interventions, foreign-country imports from the US increased dramatically.”
This is the first time any such analysis has been done and it confirms what has so far been a widely-held suspicion, especially regarding the vulnerability of politicians in many countries.
The paper also refers to another research work (by Daniel Berger, Alejandro Corvalan, William Easterly, and Shankar Satyanath) which found that CIA and the Russian intelligence agency KGB interventions had
CIA intervention was the most in Latin America. But the agency also did its bit in Italy and Greece as well as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
As the chart shows, “interventions” by the CIA increased from 10 in 1950 to around 32 in the mid-1970s before gradually coming down to less than 20 in 1990.
The methodology of the paper is technically robust, say the authors. It contains a large amount of detailed information in the form of tables, charts and maps.
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