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Essays in international economics and development

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This dissertation consists of three essays that broadly deal with the international economics and development. The first chapter provides empirical evidence of the prevalence and importance of intangible capital transfer

This dissertation consists of three essays that broadly deal with the international economics and development. The first chapter provides empirical evidence of the prevalence and importance of intangible capital transfer within multinational corporations (MNCs). Using a unique data set of Korean multinational foreign affiliates, I find that most of the foreign affiliates have managers transferred from their parent, while almost half are isolated from the parent in terms of physical trade. Furthermore, the transferred managers are positively associated with labor productivity, while physical trade from the parent is less so. I consider two possibilities for this productivity effect: (1) the managers transferred from the parent are simply more efficient than native managers; and (2) they provide knowledge that increases the productivity of all inputs. I find that the latter is consistent with the data. My findings provide evidence that transferring managers from the parent is a main source of benefit from foreign direct investment (FDI) to foreign affiliates because the managers transfer firm-specific knowledge. The second chapter analyzes importance role of service or other sectors for economic growth of manufacturing. Productivity in agriculture or services has long been understood as playing an important role in the growth of manufacturing. In this paper we provide an endogenous growth model in which manufacturing growth is stimulated by the non-manufacturing sector that provides goods used for both research and final consumption. The model permits to evaluatation of two policy options for stimulating manufacturing growth: (1) a country imports more non-manufacturing goods from a foreign country with a higher productivity; or (2) the country increases productivity of domestic non-manufacturing. We find that both policies increase welfare of the economy, but depending on the policy the manufacturing sector responses differently. Specifically, employment and value added in manufacturing rise with policy (1), but contract with policy (2). Therefore, specialization through importing non-manufacturing goods explains how some Asian economies experience fast growth in the manufacturing sector without progress in the other sectors. The third chapter tests for the importance of composition effects in affecting levels and changes of education wage premiums. In this paper I revisit composition effects in the context of Korea. Korea's large and rapid expansion of education makes it an ideal place to look for composition effects. A large, policy-induced increase in attainment in the 1980s offers additional scope for identifying composition effects. I find strong evidence that the policy-induced expansion of education lowered education wage premiums for the affected cohorts, but only weak evidence that the trend expansion of education lowered education wage premiums.

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  • 2014

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Replicating hybrid solutions for business customers: a proposed framework for service infusion success

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Identifying factors associated with service infusion success has become an important issue in theory and practice, as manufacturers turn to services to advance performance. The goals of this dissertation are

Identifying factors associated with service infusion success has become an important issue in theory and practice, as manufacturers turn to services to advance performance. The goals of this dissertation are to identify the key factors associated with service infusion success and develop an integrative framework and associated research propositions to isolate the underlying determinants of successful hybrid solution strategies for business customers. This dissertation is comprised of two phases. The first phase taps into the experience and learning gained by executives from Fortune-100 manufacturing firms who are managing the transition from goods to hybrid offerings for their customers. A discovery-oriented, theory-in-use approach is adopted to glean insights concerning the factors that facilitate and hinder those service transition strategies. Twenty-eight interviews were conducted with key executives, transcripts were analyzed and key themes were identified with special attention directed to the particular capabilities that managers consider crucial for successful service-growth strategies. One such capability centers on the ability of a firm to successfully transfer newly-developed hybrid solutions from one customer engagement to another. Building on this foundation, phase two involves a case study that provides an in-depth examination of the hybrid offering replication process in a business-to-business firm attempting to replicate four strategic hybrid offerings. Emergent themes, based on 13 manager interviews, reveal factors that promote or impede successful hybrid offering transfer. Among the factors that underlie successful hybrid offering transfers across customer engagements are close customer relationships, a clear value proposition embraced by organizational numbers, an accurate forecast of market potential, and collaborative working relationships across units. The findings from the field studies provided a catalyst for a deeper examination of existing literature and formed the building blocks for the conceptual model and several key research propositions related to the successful transfer of hybrid offerings. The model isolates five sets of factors that influence the hybrid offering transfer process, including the characteristics of (1) the source project team, (2) the seeking project team, (3) the hybrid offering, (4) the relationship exchange, and (5) the customer. The conceptualization isolates the critical role that the customer assumes in service infusion strategy implementation.

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  • 2013