The Structure of Economic Globalization: It’s a Small World After All


HKUST IEMS Academic Seminar
Joon Nak Choi (HKUST)
Monday 4 May 2015 at 12:00 - 1:00 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)
IAS2042, 2/F, Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST


Economic globalization is universally acknowledged as a key influence on the world today. Yet, there is surprisingly little agreement on its nature and its effects. While some observers suggest that the world has been integrated into a single, cohesive global economy, others emphasize that economic globalization has created a world of regions that remain largely distinct from one another. In this study, I reconcile these opposing views by proposing that the global economy has a “small world” structure composed of distinct regions held together by crucial hubs. On one hand, the global economy consists of regions that largely remain distinct from one another. On the other hand, these regions are nevertheless integrated into a cohesive whole by a small number of “global cities” such as New York and Hong Kong with a reach that spans across world regions. Social network analyses of headquarters-subsidiary ties among multinational enterprises support my proposition.

About the speaker

Joon Nak Choi is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Management. Prior to joining HKUST, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. His co-authored manuscript on transnational social networks and their potential benefits to corporations, Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea, was published by Stanford University Press. His ongoing research continues to focus upon the effects of social and political capital in emerging market contexts, especially Korea and China.

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