Research Opportunities Abroad
The Deans’ Undergraduate Research Program was established in support of the Moore School’s goal to expand and enlarge the scope of undergraduate research and inquiry. The ability to integrate research with professional education has provided a distinct opportunity for students to learn. Individual students and student teams engaged in international or domestic business or economic research under the supervision of a faculty mentor are eligible for awards to offset the costs of reasonable expenses associated with research projects.
Opportunities for undergraduate research abroad have been available in countries including Azerbaijan and South Africa to name a few. Students have also participated in research projects on countries including the United Arab Emirates and Spain.
Undergraduate Research Examples
Sustainability of the Emerging Middle Class in Johannesburg, South Africa and the Investment Opportunities Created
Erin Turner, International Business, Junior
Duggan MacDonald, Finance, Junior
Dr. Edward Carr, Geography
World media over the past three years has reported on an emerging and expanding Black African middle class in Johannesburg, South Africa. The recent success of the group has resulted in economic stimulation of both consumerism and the housing market around Johannesburg. Increases in income and access to credit have allowed members of the class for the first time to purchase items like cars, homes, and cell phones. We began by studying factors related to the emergence. This included consumption patterns, spending habits, skilled trade opportunities, housing development and construction, transportation infrastructure, public water and sewer systems, and suburban sprawl. We also focused heavily on current affirmative action legislation, as well as white color job availability to the class. We then spent three weeks in Johannesburg collecting additional data and interviewing numerous South Africans. The data was complied with the goal of being used by international companies considering expansion or growth in and around the Johannesburg area. We found, among other things, that in order for class growth to be sustainable, more focus must be placed on strategies for funding education and healthcare throughout the area. Reform in these two areas coupled with enforcement of post-apartheid affirmative action legislation would allow greater numbers of educated Black Africans the opportunity to advance in the work place. Reform would allow sustainable growth to exist for years to come, and in turn stimulate the entire South African economy.
How do Transnational Integration Regimes Shape Financial Regulatory Institutions in Latin America?
Brian Blasser, International Business, Senior
Dr. Gerald McDermott, International Business
Starting in the early 1990’s Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico shared similar progressive economic and political changes. All three were also subject to IMF structural adjustment criteria and were aggressive in liberalizing their capital accounts and attracting foreign investors in banking in the 1990s. During this time each country entered “Transnational Integration Regimes” (TIRs) with Mexico joining NAFTA while Argentina and Brazil helped form Mercosur. TIRs are more than trade pacts, aid projects, or harmonization systems, as they increasingly offer developing countries normative models, resources, and enforcement mechanisms to engage in institutional change. In acting as development programs, TIRs differ not simply in terms of their incentives and largess but particularly in terms of their emphasis on institutional capacities, their empowerment of diverse stakeholder groups, and their ability to merge monitoring and learning at both the national and supra-national levels. Through identifying domestic and international factors, we will see how resources and capabilities of governments and influence of nongovernmental groups shape this evolution. However, this evolutionary process will differ between the members of the different TIRs. This difference occurs because two-thirds of NAFTA (Canada and the United States of America) already has mature capital markets while Mercosur’s organization is more complex with a greater political function and comprises only emerging economies.
Dubai`s Academic Cluster
Ryan Burke, International Business, Junior
Dr. Douglas Woodward, Economics
The United Arab Emirates recognized that the finite supply of oil and natural resources that existed within their country would leave their now booming economy vulnerable to a serious downturn over the long run. Realizing the shortsightedness of an unbalanced export economy dependent on raw materials, UAE business and government leaders have sought to foment new economic activities, or clusters. One of these clusters is academia—higher education institutions that could support the development of human capital, reducing UAE’s need to lean on its oil sector for continued development. Specifically, the emirate of Dubai is attempting and has imported an array of degree-granting, world-renowned universities, clustering them in its Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City, hoping to mimic the success of Boston’s academic cluster. Ideally, this locus of location around Dubai’s other clusters, enclaves, and free zones will forge university-industry linkages, berthing and supporting Dubai’s nascent innovation driven economy. The purpose of the Magellan scholarship was to test Dubai’s academic cluster; Cluster strengths and weaknesses can be evaluated through Porter’s “diamond” model, which consists of four elements: demand conditions, supplier networks, the context for competition, and factor conditions. The diamond model, then, provides a framework for investigating clusters as a competitive strategy for Dubai. By interviewing members associated with the academic clusters and members from other supporting industries (higher education, government policy, technology), this report has arrived at specific recommendations, rather than this conclusion—the necessary physical conditions inherent to clusters are not alone sufficient to encourage competition and innovation.