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GW-CIBER Funded Projects: 2009-2010

How Does Democratization Affect Governance in Developing Countries?

PI: Alasdair Bowie, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, CCAS

Brief Description:
This project is aimed at better understanding the ramifications for business of the rapidly changing institutional landscape of government in countries where administrative and fiscal authority has been passed to sub-national governments whose leaders are now democratically elected. By comparing local level impacts of governance reform in Vietnam and Indonesia, this project can inform U.S. democratization initiatives that strengthen those political institutions which achieve political stability and representation. It will have implications for the design of U.S. development assistance programs and will enhance risk assessment of U.S. firms engaged in trade and/or investment in developing countries.

Agglomeration of Vertically Linked Multinational Firms

PI: Maggie Xiaoyang Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, CCAS

Brief Description:
Multinational corporations (MNCs), despite their usually different headquarter origins, often cluster in host countries. The goal of this project is to examine the interdependence of location choices by vertically linked multinational firms. The project uses a unique multinational subsidiary dataset and estimates how a multinational firm’s location decision in a foreign country depends on the location choices of its upstream and downstream companies and how the interdependence varies with the extent of input-output linkage, firm productivity and market structure.

How do Political Institutions Affect Post-Conflict Reconstruction

PI: Jai Kwan Jung, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, CCAS

Brief Description:
In the aftermath of civil wars, the most important task is to maintain the fragile peace. Managing post-war hostilities and reducing the risk of a return to conflict are, in turn, essential for successful reconstruction of war-torn economies, because political stability is necessary for attracting investment from multinational corporations and foreign capital. Economic development is, in turn, considered the prerequisite for democracy building. This supposedly reciprocal relationship of peace, development, and democracy promotion in post-conflict societies raises the core questions of this project: under what conditions can the promotion of sustainable peace and development be mutually reinforcing?; what political institutions are more conducive than others to contributing to the “democratic reconstruction” of civil-war-torn countries?; what role do various international actors play in shaping the long-term prospects for building democratic governance in post-civil war countries? The PI is collecting a large-N dataset to conduct quantitative analyses that investigate how different types of political institutions and varying degrees of international commitment affect the pace and outcome of post-conflict reconstruction.

Facing a Post-Multilateral Trade World: The Future of the WTO

PI: Michael Moore, Professor, Department of Economics, CCAS

Brief Description:
This project will consider the impact of the changing trade policy world on the World Trade Organization and what might me done to manage these changes, with a special focus on the U.S. and EU responses. Research will examine the following issues: what are the forces that are undercutting the WTO’s position as the principal anchor in the international trading system?; what are the implications for the WTO if it does not change its structure to deal with an alternative and emerging trade system?; can the U.S. and EU find a common approach to help guide a reformed international trade architecture and what features would it have?; and what are the implications of those changes for U.S. trade policy and U.S. businesses? The research will include interviews with U.S. trade policymakers in Washington, DC, EU trade policy officials in Brussels and WTO officials in Geneva.

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.

Voluntary Environmental Regulation in Central America: Assessment of Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Certification Program

PI: Jorge Rivera, Associate Professor, Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy, GWSB

Brief Description:
The broad objective of this project is to evaluate the performance of Costa Rica’s voluntary Blue Flag certification program, focusing on beach communities. More specifically, we seek to address two questions:

i. What factors drive participation of beach communities in the Blue Flag program?
ii. Has the program had a significant impact?

The Blue Flag Program is an international initiative that has been implemented in about 40 countries across the world. Originally created in France in 1987, it has independently certified the environmental quality or more 3000 tourist destinations. The program requires businesses operating in a specific tourist destination to apply jointly to receive certification. Since most, if not all, other voluntary regulatory programs require individual firm participation, the requirement for joint application and certification offers a rare opportunity to study voluntary business collective action to promote positive environmental externalities. In Costa Rica, the Blue Flag program was launched in 1996 and it includes more that 100 tourist destination communities that have received different levels of certification. We will focus on beaches communities. A total of 58 Costa Rican beaches have been certified.

Cross-border Mergers and Acquisitions in Time of Crises: New Evidence from Latin America

PI: Wenjie Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of International Business, GWSB

Brief Description:
This project aims to understand the impacts of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) during crisis periods. Combining M&A information and firm level data in seven Latin American countries that underwent financial crises between 1990-2008, this study evaluates the performance of firms that are bought during the crisis periods. The research explores the following questions: (i) what firms are being acquired during periods of crises; (ii) what happens to the firm after the acquisition; and (iii) what the welfare implications of these cross-border M&A transactions are.