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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