HKUST IEMS Research Grants support high-quality research that provides valuable insights into the challenges facing businesses and governments in emerging markets. In 2016, the Institute encouraged collaborative proposals among HKUST faculty and with researchers outside HKUST, and awarded 8 grants for unique research conducted on a broad range of emerging market related issues.

Research Grants Awarded in 2017

HE, Guojun
HE, Guojun, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science, Environment and Economics
Career Incentives for Civil Servant: A RCT Design.
Abstract
The proposed research investigates career incentives in the governance system in a randomized control trial. We partner with a provincial government in China to test how alternative performance evaluation schemes affect the performances of College Graduates Village Officials (CGVOs). Proposed schemes range from the status quo of delegation to local officials with total discretion, to a transparent performance score based on easily observable high signal-to-noise ratio indicators. We also test two intermediate evaluation schemes, a transparent scoring formula including a larger set but of lower signal-to-noise ratio indicators, and giving discretion to the local officials to decide on the weighting scheme but not the components of the performance score. The objective is to understand whether the levels of precision, transparency, and delegation in assigning performance scores improve the power of incentives, and to detect potential trade-offs in performance along non-incentivized dimensions.

 

CHEN, Wei-Fan, Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute for Emerging Market Studies
Effortless Elegance: Upwardly Mobile Consumers in the Emerging Markets.
Abstract
This project aims to examine the consumer behavior in emerging markets through the lens of consumers’ upwardly mobile experiences in the macro-societal economic reform. Using multiple research methods, we collect qualitative data in field trips and in-depth interviews to understand how consumers’ upward mobility trajectory affects their status-signaling and discount-seeking behavior, and conduct behavioral experiments to compare these consumers with others in downward mobility. This project is a departure from dominant social class and consumption studies by addressing consumers’ transitional identities in dynamic economic conditions. The focus on consumers’ social mobility experiences rather than on certain social class background may be especially useful to understand the consumer culture in China, where urban consumers enjoy an upgraded lifestyle while their social class consciousness remains ambiguous due to political discourses and socio-ideological sensibilities. We expect the research findings to illuminate intra-class variations, underlying mechanisms, and the co-constitutive consumer culture shaped by consumers, marketers, booming economies, and the socio-historical transformations in emerging markets.

 

HAN, Li
HAN, Li, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Science
Export expansions and skill acquisition: Evidence from Rural China.
Abstract
As in many other countries in emerging markets, trade has been one of the most important engines for China’s growth miracle since the late 1970s. Yet how the export-led growth strategy affects the long-run growth trajetories depends on how it affects human capital formation, which is far from clear. We plan to examine how export expansions of products with different skill levels affect rural residents’ schooling choice by combining data drawn from the National Rural Fixed-point Survey (NRFS) and the product-level export data from the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC). To address the endogeneity issue, we will construct the instrumental variables (IVs) by exploiting exogenous changes in tariffs and exchange rates of export destination countries. Particularly, we differentiate export goods by skill intensity and construct IVs for export expansions of different skill intensity based on the skill intensity of the export products.

 

WANG, Pengfei
WANG, Pengfei, Assistant Professor, Department of Economic / LIU, Xuewen, Assistant Professor, Division of Finance
The Information Channel of Financial Development on Economy Growth.
Abstract
The financial sector plays a critical role in affecting the aggregate economy. In the medium and long run, underdevelopment of financial markets can be an important reason for poor performance in economic growth. What is less well understood are the channels through which the financial sector impacts the aggregate economy. Substantial progress in our understanding has been made by studying the financing channel (see, e.g., Holmstrom and Tirole (1997)). However, there are puzzles that cannot be explained by this channel. Our proposed project attempts to explain the effect of financial underdevelopment on economic growth by studying a different channel — the information channel. We propose a theory of information amplification and spillover that explains the propagation effect of the financial sector. Our theory shows that financial underdevelopment results in high information frictions, which cause resource
misallocation.

 

HUNG, Mingyi
HUNG, Mingyi, Professor, Department of Accounting / CHEN, Tai-Yuen
Regulatory Arbitrage and Bank Financial Reporting Quality Abroad.
Abstract
We plan to examine the effect of regulatory arbitrage on the quality of bank financial reporting in a cross-boarding banking setting. Our sample will consists of subsidiary banks in various host countries (owned by their parent banks in home countries). We will example weather that regulations of parent banks’ home countries affect the disclosure concerning loan loss provisions and non-performing loans by their subsidiary banks in foreign countries. We will also consider whether regulations in home countries also increase the likelihood that a banks’ foreign subsidiaries receive qualified audit opinions. In addition, we expect that the effect of home-country regulatory forbearance of subsidiaries’ locating countries. Overall, our study will contribute to the literature by documenting an additional cost of regulatory arbitrage, namely that more restrictive home-country regulations tend to increase a bank’s financial reporting opacity abroad.

 

HUANG, Sunny, Associate Professor, Department of Economics / ZHAO, Xiaojian, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Fighting Financial Frauds by Eye-opening Education Program.
Abstract
Financial fraud is a prevailing issue in developing countries. We study how investors are exploited by too-high-to-be-true financial products using a model in which a fraction of investors is unaware of the possibility of financial fraud. Unaware investors purchase financial products that are inconsistent with their risk attitudes, and their behaviors, in turn, provide an incentive for firms to conduct financial fraud. Reducing the fraction of unaware investor induces firms to behave honestly, and financial fraud disappears if this fraction drops below a certain threshold. With this insight, we experimentally measure investor’s risk attitude, the level of financial literacy, and the effect of an eye-opening financial education program. We also survey subjects’ demographic characteristics. Compared to assigning the education program randomly, targeted education will be more effective. Using the data from our experiments and surveys, we conduct a counterfactual analysis to quantify this effect.

 

DALTON, Amy N.
DALTON, Amy N., Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing / Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Associate Professor, Department of Marketing
Signaling happiness on social media: cross-cultural comparison.
Abstract
People across countries vary significantly in their reported happiness levels. However, experienced happiness can sometimes be inconsistent with signaled happiness, thus making the drivers of signaled happiness an important issue to investigate. We explore when and why people signal happiness, how they signal happiness, and the impact of these signals of happiness on subsequent happiness. We suggest the answers to these questions depend on cultural and societal factors such as the collectivism-individual orientations, materialistic levels, and vertical/horizontal power structure of a country. Research on happiness signaling provides insights on what people mean when they say they are happy. It also provides practical implications for marketers on how happiness is represented in consumers’ minds. In addition, understanding the influence of signal exchanges in the context of signaling happiness sheds lights on the impacts of modern technology on people’s wellbeing. Thus, we propose to investigate signaled happiness more thoroughly, and understand how they vary across emerging markets.

 

Related Content

Call for proposals 2016-17

Research Grants Awarded in 2016

SHARIF, Naubahar
SHARIF, Naubahar, Associate Professor, Division of Social Science

The Pearl River Delta: An Emerging Silicon Valley. [Abstract]
ADAVAL, Rashmi, Professor, Department of Marketing
Morality in the Emerging Marketplace: How Cultural Mindsets Affect Consumer Responses to Firm Transgressions. [Abstract]
MUKHOPADHYAY, Anirban, Professor and Associate Dean, Department of Marketing
Generically Modified: Effects of Consumer Beliefs about Food Constituents on Health. [Abstract]
WANG, Wenbo
WANG, Wenbo, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing

The Effect of User-Generated Social Media on Product Demand. [Abstract]
HUH, Young Eun
HUH, Young Eun, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing

Understanding Food Consumption in Developing Countries. [Abstract]
NIELSEN, Kasper Meisner
NIELSEN, Kasper Meisner, Associate Professor, Department of Finance

Does Accountability Deter Individuals from Serving as Independent Directors? Evidence from a Corporate Governance Reform in India. [Abstract]
SULLIVAN, Bilian N.
SULLIVAN, Bilian N. , Associate Professor, Department of Management

Overcome the Legitimacy Effect: the Role of Agency in Firm Innovation in China. [Abstract]

Related Content

Call for proposals 2015-16

Research Grants Awarded in 2015

CHO, Hye Jee
CHO, Hye Jee, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science

Suppression or Diffusion? Effects of Foreign Direct Investment on Labor Rights Protection in Emerging Market Countries [Abstract]
GARG, Sam
GARG, Sam, Assistant Professor, Department of Management
/
TSAI, Kellee Sing
TSAI, Kellee Sing, Professor of Social Science

Equity Crowdfunding in China: An Exploratory Study [Abstract]
HE, Guojun
HE, Guojun, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science / Division of Environment / Department of Economics

National Expressway Expansion, Trade integration and Pollution: Micro-Evidence from 60,000 Industrial Plants in China [Abstract]
LI, Yao Amber
LI, Yao Amber, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Agglomeration, Competition, and Firm Capability: Evidence from China and India [Abstract]
LI, Xi
LI, Xi, Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting

A Model of China’s Shadow Banks and Market Determined Interest Rate Reform [Abstract]
SHARIF, Naubahar
SHARIF, Naubahar, Associate Professor, Division of Social Science

Value of Chinese Patents: Evidence from the Chinese Patent Inventor Survey [Abstract]
VISARIA, Sujata
VISARIA, Sujata, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Evaluating Spillover Effects of the Trader Agent Intermediated Lending Scheme on Non-borrowers [Abstract]
WANG, Yong
WANG, Yong , Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Industrial Upgrading, Structural Change, and Middle-Income Trap [Abstract]
WANG, Jin
WANG, Jin, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science

Place-based Policies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from China’s Economic Zones [Abstract]
ZALDOKAS, Alminas
ZALDOKAS, Alminas, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance /
MUKHERJEE, Abhiroop
MUKHERJEE, Abhiroop, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance

Product Market Response to Corporate Governance Shocks: Evidence from India [Abstract]
PUBLICATIONS
Gopalan, Radhakrishnan, Abhiroop Mukherjee, and Manpreet Singh. “Do Debt Contract Enforcement Costs Affect Financing and Asset Structure?” Review of Financial Studies 29.10 (2016): 2774-813. Web.

Research Grants Awarded in 2014

BAARK, Erik
BAARK, Erik, Professor, Division of Social Science / Division of Environment

University-Industry Linkages in Indonesia and Vietnam: A Comparative Perspective [Abstract]
CHOI, Joon Nak
CHOI, Joon Nak, Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Social Networks and the Geographic Pattern of EMNC Expansion Overseas [Abstract]
GARG, Sam, Assistant Professor, Department of Management
Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies: Unpacking the CEO-Board Relationship in New Ventures [Abstract]
GOYAL, Vidhan K.
GOYAL, Vidhan K., Professor, Department of Finance

Market Access and Capital Structure: Evidence from China [Abstract]
LEE, James Z
LEE, James Z, Chair Professor, Division of Social Science

College Majors and Career Trajectories during China’s Economic Transformation [Abstract]
VISARIA, Sujata, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Can the Poor be Incentivised to Save? A Study of Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong [Abstract]
WANG, Jin, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science
Understanding Firms in Emerging Transitional Economies: China and Central-Eastern Europe Compared [Abstract]
WU, Xiaogang
WU, Xiaogang, Professor, Division of Social Science

Self-employment and Entrepreneurship in Post-Socialist Transition Economies: A Comparative Study of China, Russia, and Vietnam since the 1990s [Abstract]
XU, Juanyi Jenny
XU, Juanyi Jenny, Associate Professor, Department of Economics

China’s International and Intranational Risk-sharing [Abstract]

Research Grants Awarded in 2013

CHO, Hye Jee
CHO, Hye Jee, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science

Income Distribution and Sovereign Credibility in Emerging Market Countries [Abstract]
DALTON, Amy N.
DALTON, Amy N., Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing

Understanding Demand for Counterfeit Products in Developing Nations [Abstract]
KWOK, James S.H.
KWOK, James S.H., Associate Professor of Business Education, Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics, and Operations Management /
HUI, Kai-Lung
HUI, Kai-Lung, Professor, Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics, and Operations Management

A Study of User Behavior in using Search Engine for Locating Infringing Digital Media in Emerging Markets [Abstract]
LI, Yao Amber, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Relatedness Between Industries and Industrial Relocation: Evidence from Chinese Firms [Abstract]
MACKAY, Peter
MACKAY, Peter , Associate Professor, Department of Finance

Corporate Risk Management in Emerging Markets: Challenges and Opportunities [Abstract]
(selected as key project by SKOLKOVO-E&Y IEMS)
MUKHERJEE, Abhiroop, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance
Private Sector Financial Contract Design to Overcome Public Sector Inefficiencies in Emerging Markets [Abstract]
SHARIF Naubahar, Associate Professor, Division of Social Science
Preemption and Defense: Strategy of International Patenting in Emerging Economies [Abstract]
ZHAO, Jimin
ZHAO, Jimin, Associate Professor, Division of Social Science

Workshop on Pathways to Sustainable Urbanization in Emerging Economies [Abstract]
ZWEIG, David
ZWEIG, David, Professor, Division of Social Science

Reverse Migration and Technology Transfer in Emerging Market Societies [Abstract]
(selected as key project by SKOLKOVO-E&Y IEMS)

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