Announcing IEMS Grants 2022


We are pleased to announce the funding results of IEMS Research Grants 2022. 

Out of a total of 14 applications, 6 grants valued at HKD955,000 were awarded for unique research conducted on a broad range of emerging market-related issues, across a diverse range of disciplines.  


Language learning by ageing populations from emerging markets: an empirical study in China

Principal Investigator(s):  Zhen Qin, Assistant Professor,  Division of Humanities

Emerging markets, China, for instance, is facing one of the great demographic challenges brought about by rapidly ageing populations and a prevalence of dementia. Learning new languages, for instance, novel words helps keep the elderly cognitively active and possibly delays the incidence of dementia. Adopting empirical approaches, we propose a set of behavioral experiments to investigate whether novel words contrasting in lexical tones are learned successfully through nap-mediated memory consolidation by older (versus younger) Mandarin-speaking adults in China. We expect that age-related changes in naps would account for the older adults’ performance of novel tone-word learning. Echoing the new five-year plan for elderly care services in China, the findings will potentially lead to a better public understanding of the relationship between Chinese language learning and memory decline and may have further impacts on ageing populations from the Greater Bay Area as well as other emerging markets.

Growth and development of children living in subdivided units in Hong Kong

Principal Investigator(s):  Yaeeun Han, Postdoctoral Fellow, IEMS

This study will investigate the growth (weight and height) and development (motor and cognitive development) of children living in subdivided units (SDUs) in Hong Kong. SDU environment can give rise to a range of problems that are detrimental to early child outcomes that can persist to adulthood, but research on children living in SDUs is scarce. We will use a mixed-method approach. In collaboration with Caritas, we will collect 250 quantitative surveys and 30 qualitative interviews. The study objectives are 1) Assess physical growth, and cognitive and motor development of children living in SDUs. 2) What are the mediators and moderators in the relationship between home environment child outcomes? Do neighborhood quality and maternal factors partially offset some of the negative effects of poor housing quality on children (moderation)? Or is it in the causal pathway between home environment and child outcomes (mediation)? 3) What is the policy implication for policymakers?

Age discrimination in China’s workforce: Whether and how it impacts young job incumbents

Principal Investigator(s):  Jing Jing Ma, Assistant Professor, Department of Management

Workplace age discrimination is pervasive in China. Research attention has been placed to investigate how workplace age discrimination adversely influences the older Chinese employees, but less is known about whether and how younger job incumbents, who are not the direct victim of age discrimination, would react to it. The current project aims to unpack the impact of observed workplace age discrimination on younger employees. A series of qualitative and quantitative studies are designed to test a model that links observed age discrimination with young job incumbents’ ineffective work functioning (decreased work engagement and creativity) via injustice perceptions and feelings of uncertainty. Contributions that this project aims to make to understand the challenges faced by the Chinese labor market and Chinese firms’ human resource management are discussed.

The Smart City as a Field of Innovation: Effects of Public-Private Data Collaboration on Innovation in the Guangdong Province and Implications for the Greater Bay Area

Principal Investigator(s):  Masaru Yarime, Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy

Data is increasingly considered to be a key component in stimulating innovation, as promising possibilities have been opened up by emerging data-intensive technologies, including the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. Little empirical research, however, has been done to analyze the availability of and accessibility of data to enterprises in facilitating innovation in smart cities. In this project, we examine what kinds of data are available in smart cities, how these data are managed through collaboration between government and companies, and how the mode of data collaboration influences firms’ performance on innovation in SMEs in the Guangdong province in China. A panel data is analyzed with key firm characteristics, software and patents outputs, and government procurement contracts. This research explores policy implications for how the government and enterprises collaborate on data to facilitate innovation while addressing concerns about data security and privacy in the Greater Bay Area.

Manufacturing Powerhouse or Technology Playground? Unpacking the Varieties of Industrial Parks in ASEAN

Principal Investigator(s):  Angela Tritto, Post-doctoral Fellow at IEMS; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Division of Public Policy

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) stands as one of the most economically vibrant regions in the world. Most of this vibrancy is due to the developmental strategy of governments in the region. Yet current research has yet to unpack and carefully examine how these developmental strategies translate into projects that shape the region both politically and economically. Data on this topic is often incomplete, and research using proper frameworks is lacking. This research seeks to address these gaps by providing a comprehensive examination of industrial parks and their importance to channel greenfield foreign direct investments (GFDI) to ASEAN countries by leveraging three main sources of data. First is a novel database of industrial parks in ASEAN, created by the PI, which helps unpack how GFDIs are channelled through the establishment of such zones. Second is a database of GFDI at the project level that will allow us to understand sectors, origins, and volume of investments from different countries to ASEAN. The third is our solid base of interviews (over 200) with government officials, managers of international and Chinese companies, and leaders of chambers of commerce, banks, and business organizations, which we hope to expand through this research project.

Co-investigators: Yujia He, Assistant Professor, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky; Alvin Camba, Assistant Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

Influence of and Interplay Between Culture and Chinese Outward FDI into Southeast Asia

Principal Investigator(s):  Naubahar Sharif, Acting Head and Professor, Division of Public Policy

Voluminous research has been conducted to explain the development of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) into Southeast Asia. However, not much attention has been paid to the determinant factors that contribute to an uneven distribution of Chinese investment in this region. The objective of this research is to examine the cultural characteristics of four different cities in Thailand and Laos to determine how culture is reshaping urban development at the city level. Simultaneously, to determine how cultural characteristics impact Chinese OFDI inflow to different cities (the four cities). Applying a multi-method approach, this research aims to create a new theoretical model to illustrate the impact of culture on urban development and Chinese investors’ decision-making. In connecting research conducted on (a) culture, (b) urban development, and (c) Chinese investment, this research will contribute to a critical understanding of a new paradigm for policymaking by linking the three aforementioned foci.   

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