GW-CIBER Projects


Projects by Focal Areas:
Trade, Investment, and Labor Policy
Firm-State-Society Relations
Property Rights and Global Innovation
Natural Resource Scarcity, Security, and Sustainability
Economic, Financial, and Political Crisis
Diaspora Investment and Entrepreneurship
International Business & Economic Development Research
     sponsored by rkl3d llc


Projects by Year:
     2013-2014
     2011-2012
     2010-2011
     2009-2010
     2008-2009
     2007-2008
     2006-2007


Projects by Researcher:


A - D
E - H
I  - M
N - R
S - V
W - Z



Projects by Focal Areas: Diaspora Investment & Entrepreneurship



African Diaspora Marketplace Longitudinal Study

PI: Liesl Riddle, Associate Professor, Department of International Business, GWSB

Brief Description:
Most research on diaspora investment is based on singular case studies and cross-sectional surveys. What is lacking is a multi-method, empirical examination of the diaspora investment process through time so that diaspora investors' investigation, business launch, and early start-up experiences can be better understood. The proposed three-year longitudinal study of the participants in the African Diaspora Marketplace will illuminate the unique challenges and opportunities faced by diaspora entrepreneurs in the early phases of their business development. The study will consist of quantitative tracking surveys as well as qualitative in-depth case studies of a subsample of participants. It will explore if and the degree to which investor motivations (pecuniary and non-pecuniary) change as the investor becomes more involved in business activity in the country of origin. It will investigate whether and to what extent investor perceptions of business environment obstacles change as the investor gains greater hands-on experience in the country-of-origin economy. It also will examine how investors utilize their social networks to gain access to the financial, human, and social capital needed to launch their investments.

Publications:
African Diaspora Marketplace: Investment Interest Survey Report
African Diaspora Marketplace: Investment Interest Survey Factsheet

The Complex Dynamics of Diaspora Investment Motivation: A Comparative Analysis

PI: Tjai M. Nielsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, GWSB
Leisl Riddle, Associate Professor, Department of International Business, GWSB

Brief Description:
This project plans to study the mobilized diaspora communities of Ethiopia and Nigeria in the northeastern part of the US. Through interviews and surveys of diaspora organizations and key stakeholders within the Ethiopian and Nigerian embassies, will enable examination of: which diaspora organizations are most involved in promoting diaspora investment, specific investment-facilitation roles played by these organizations and degree of perceived efficacy, levels of interest of diasporans in various types of investment, level of actual investment activity and the financial, social and emotional motivations potentially driving diaspora investment. Field experiences and lessons learned during this research will be incorporated into MGT 358, Research Methods and Design, and interview data and survey findings will be used to enhance an existing teaching module on diaspora investment used in IBUS 269/190, Managing in Developing Countries.

Capitalizing on Spillovers: The Case of Immigration Indian Inventors

PI: Anupama Phene, Associate Professor, Department of International Business, GWSB

Brief Description:
Research points to a growing immigrant contribution to U.S. technological development particularly by Indian scientists with concentrations in high technology industries like computers and pharmaceuticals. This study tracks the development and innovation patterns of the immigrant inventor community and the process of their integration into the mainstream technological community in the U.S. The PI explores the effects of knowledge spillovers from four social networks based on geography, profession, organization and ethnicity on the quality of innovation that an immigrant, Indian inventor can produce. The PI further evaluates how immigrant inventors can overcome the lack of legitimacy in a foreign context by utilizing the mechanism of knowledge spillovers to improve the quality of their innovation.

Diaspora Investment Motivation in Post-Conflict Economies

PI: Tjai Nielsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, GWSB

Brief Description:
Diaspora investment can be a critical source of foreign investment for countries experiencing post-conflict economic recovery. Gillespie, Riddle, Sayre, and Sturges (1999) argued that diaspora homeland investment is particularly useful for countries that are deemed less attractive by non-diaspora investors because of weak structural characteristics, inadequate infrastructure, and/or small domestic market size. In fact, politically and economically risky states are seeking creative ways of promoting diaspora homeland investment (Riddle, Brinkerhoff, & Nielsen, 2007). While diasporas constitute an important subset of global foreign investment, we know relatively little about what motivates individuals in the diaspora to invest in their home countries. As part of the GW Diaspora Capital Investment Project (GW-DCIP), our team will survey U.S. Afghans, Lebanese, and Liberians and conduct in-depth interviews with leaders of major diaspora organizations associated with each community. This approach will enable us to empirically examine: (1) the specific investment-facilitation roles that diaspora organizations play and their degree of efficacy; (2) the ways in which diaspora organizations impact these individual-investment motivations; and (3) the individual investment motivations among three different post-conflict diasporas.

Transnational Washington: Immigrant Entrepreneurship and Development Linkages in a Global City

PI: Elizabeth Chacko, Associate Professor, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Geography, CCAS
Associate Professor, Columbian College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Geography, CCAS

Brief Description:
The study examines business strategies and trade linkages of Ethiopian, Bolivian and Indian immigrant entrepreneurs in the Washington metropolitan area with their respective countries, and sheds light on how they use their social networks and cultural connections to start new business ventures, build business relationships, and gain market share. Through a web survey of immigrant entrepreneurs from the above country groups, the project documents the entrepreneurial histories and strategies of the members, identifying obstacles as well as opportunities for business growth and development. This project also enhances our understanding of how immigrants’ investments in their home countries are linked to U.S. enterprises and the extent to which such connections have contributed to the firms’ success.

Remittances and the Real Exchange Rate

PI: Brett Rayner, Doctoral Student, Department of Economics, CCAS

Brief Description:
The goal of this study is to determine the effects that remittances may have on the equilibrium real exchange rate and therefore the competitiveness of the export sector in the receiving country. The PI investigates the extent to which the marginal propensity to consume non-tradables is different from that of tradables in remittance receiving households. The relevant question is how expenditures stemming from remittance receipts affect the relative demand and therefore relative price of non-tradables. There exists a lack of study in this area due to the fact that there is a conventional wisdom which suggests that households or individuals will spend their income without regard to the source of that income. However, the PI contends that, compared to other income, remittances are used in different way by the receiving households. This study uses household-level micro data in order to determine how remittances are used.

Transnational Washington: Leveraging Diasporic Entrepreneurship in a Global City

PI: Marie Price, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, CCAS

Brief Description:
This project seeks to contribute to the literature on the role of diasporas in homeland foreign direct investment by: (i) empirically testing a multi-level model of diaspora homeland investment; (ii) exploring the process of interested diaspora homeland investors becoming actual investors; (iii) investigating how diaspora business incubators might play a vital role in encouraging diaspora homeland investment; and (iv) bringing together leading scholars to discuss the relationship between participation in transnational cultures and managerial attitudes, values, and performance.

Diaspora Homeland Investment

PI: Tjai Nielsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, GWSB

Brief Description:
This project seeks to contribute to the literature on the role of diasporas in homeland foreign direct investment by: (i) empirically testing a multi-level model of diaspora homeland investment; (ii) exploring the process of interested diaspora homeland investors becoming actual investors; (iii) investigating how diaspora business incubators might play a vital role in encouraging diaspora homeland investment; and (iv) bringing together leading scholars to discuss the relationship between participation in transnational cultures and managerial attitudes, values, and performance.

Publications:
Nielsen, Tjai M. and Riddle, Liesl
, Why Diasporas Invest in the Homeland: A Conceptual Model of Motivation
Abstract: Little is known about why diaspora members invest in their homelands or why investment intensity varies among diaspora communities. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, we generate a multi-level, conceptual model of diaspora homeland investment. Our model examines the effects of inter-diaspora cultural differences, support from diaspora organizations, and three types of investment expectations—financial, social, and emotional—to better understand this phenomenon.

Transnational Washington: Diasporic Institutions

PI: Marie Price, Professor, Department of Geography, CCAS
Elizabeth Chacko, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, CCAS
Robert Albro, Associate Professonal Lecture, Department of Anthropology, CCAS

Brief Description:
The research project traces the transnational linkages and institutions that tie Washington, D.C. to numerous sending communities and their impacts on development. The project’s focus is on seven of the largest country-of-origin diaspora groups in the region (Afghans, Bolivians, Ethiopians, Indians, Koreans, Salvadorans, and Vietnamese), and it elaborates on the diversity of transnational actors which have converged upon a relatively new urban immigrant destination. The study’s objective is to demonstrate the complementary and competing strategies of diverse immigrant streams and organizations while providing the unifying context of one urban space – Greater Washington. Another potential of the project is to theoretically advance our understanding of how immigrant transnational networks in global cities create new institutions that promote development.

Diasporas and Institution-Building in War-torn Societies: International Collaboration in Assessing the Methodological State of the Art

PI: Stephen Lubkemann, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, CCAS

Brief Description:
This project aims at convening a symposium of 15-20 leading researchers in order to share key methodological insights about displacement diaspora research. This group will: 1) be inter-disciplinary; and 2) have established records of fieldwork in/with displacement diasporas. In partnership with Oxford University and Tufts University, this conference will: 1) produce a landmark methodological volume to be published as a book or as a special peer-review journal edition; 2) consolidate GWU’s emerging international profile in contemporary diaspora research; 3) develop GWU’s working relationship with three key international centers in this field (COMPAS-Oxford, Danish Institute for International Studies, Tufts); 4) take steps to create an international network of diaspora research centers based on research collaboration and annual workshops; 5) enhance GWU’s standing with major donors interested in supporting “diasporas in war-torn societies” research; and 6) establish a stronger US institutional presence in an important domain of development and international security policy research.

Enduring Industries-Foster Economics Development by Safeguarding Human Capital

PI: Tenagne Haile-Mariam, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine and Health Services

Brief Description:
This project, undertaken in the form of a conference, addresses the problem of brain drain of health care professionals coming from emerging and developing countries, and the impact that this loss of human capital has on the economic development of these nations. Focusing on Ethiopia, the venue examines strategies developed by businesses that have successfully recruited and retained local talent, and seeks ways to apply these strategies to the healthcare sector. Invited business leaders and healthcare policy makers collaborate on building healthcare models that can sustain economic growth. Healthcare models created by other countries are analyzed for possible application to Ethiopia.

Motivating Diaspora Homeland Investment

PI: Tjai M. Nielsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, GWSB
Associate Professor, Department of International Business, GWSB

Brief Description:
This research project examines the role of diasporas in homeland Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by: (i) identifying diaspora-oriented trade and investment promotion programs and services offered by homeland governments; and (2) exploring diaspora-related psychological motivations for homeland investment interest and action. Some of the specific questions addressed here concern the extent to which diasporas are viewed as important in their country's economic development, and how cultural similarities and business environment knowledge affect diaspora investment interest.

Publications:
Tjai Nielsen and Liesl Riddle. Bridging Cultural Distance: A Multi-level Model of Diaspora Homeland Investment

Abstract: Little is known about why diaspora members invest in their homelands or why investment intensity varies among diaspora communities. Employing an interdisciplinary approach, we generate a multi-level, conceptual model of diaspora homeland investment. Our model examines the effects of inter-diaspora cultural differences, support from diaspora organizations, and three types of investment expectations-financial, social, and emotional-to better understand this phenomenon.

Tjai Nielsen and Liesl Riddle. (In Press) "Partnering to Beckon Them Home: Public-Sector Innovation for Diaspora Homeland Investment Promotion" Public Administration and Development Journal.
Abstract :This paper examines a little-studied component of public administration existing in most countries around the world and particularly important for developing countries: national investment promotion agencies (IPAs). Diasporas are an increasingly important and relatively untapped resource for development and many homeland governments view diaspora foreign investment as key to their economic development. In addition to being generally under-resourced, many IPAs struggle to identify ways to effectively target, cultivate, and facilitate diaspora homeland investment (DHI). To accomplish these goals, these public-sector entities are beginning to identify and leverage key partnerships in the NGO sector. This paper describes the services IPAs offer and enumerates the challenges they face associated with DHI. Drawing on three illustrations of IPA-NGO partnerships, the paper develops preliminary tools for identifying and designing partnerships for the purpose of promoting DHI based on their scope, function, and degree of formality.