The Institute is pleased to announce the funding results of IEMS Research Grants 2018. 6 grants were awarded for unique research conducted on a broad range of emerging market related issues.
We are also pleased to welcome 6 new Faculty Associates effective 1 June 2018: Melody Chao (Management), Yanzhen Chen (Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management), Kai Li (Finance), Wooyoung Lim (Economics), Yatang Lin (Economics), Kim-Pong Tam (Social Science).
HKUST IEMS Research Grants support high-quality research that provides valuable insights into the challenges facing businesses and governments in emerging markets. The Institute encouraged collaborative proposals among HKUST faculty and with researchers outside HKUST. Priority is given to collaborative research projects that are oriented around the Institute's focus research themes, as well as proposals that contribute to ongoing Institute’s research initiatives on the topics of Belt and Road and Digital Economy.
Sujata Visaria, Associate Professor, Department of Economics / Wooyoung Lim, Associate Professor, Department of Economics
This research will provide experimental evidence for the savings puzzle in emerging economies: the phenomenon where individuals forego cheaper dissaving in favour of more expensive borrowing. Through detailed surveys and an artefactual experiment with Filipino migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, the project will both examine whether the puzzle truly exists, and its determinants. Specifically, it will shed light on the relative importance of financial illiteracy, problems of self-control, and kin taxes. It will also examine whether market institutions can help resolve the savings puzzle. In particular, might high-interest savings products help individuals overcome their behavioural constraints to saving and asset accumulation? Research findings will inform both policy-makers and practitioners working to help the poor in emerging economies escape poverty. [More]
The One-belt, One-road initiative aspires to promote economic cooperation and market integration by connecting Asian, European, and African countries. It brings parties with potentially conflicting positions, interests, and priorities together. Conflict is not uncommon in interpersonal and business exchanges. Depending on how it is managed, conflict can become constructive or destructive. There are cross cultural differences in conflict management practices; however, existing studies tend to focus on East Asian (mainly Chinese and Japanese) and Western (mainly American) cultures. No known research has examined conflict management practices in most Belt and Road regions. Given the increasing interconnectedness among these countries, understanding how conflict is managed and unveiling cross cultural similarities and differences in conflict management practices is imperative. The current study aims to address this issue through conducting large scale survey studies in these unexplored regions in the literature. [More]
Guojun He, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science, Environment and Economics
The proposed research estimates the external costs of straw burning in China. We will investigate how farmers’ burning of agricultural residues affects local air pollution, people’s physical and mental health as well as defensive expenditures. We will construct a novel dataset that links satellite-detected straw burning to ground-level air quality, mortality, mental health, online search and sales at the county level between 2013 and 2015. By applying a set of fixed-effects and instrumental variable regression models, we can credibly estimate the impacts of straw burning (and air pollution) and quantify the external costs of straw burning. We will further explore the heterogeneous effects of straw burning for different sub populations. Notably, following the expansion of coverage of China’s environmental monitoring and disease surveillance networks in 2013, we will be able to provide the first estimates of air pollution effects separately for rural residents and urban residents. [More]
Yi-min Lin, Professor, Division of Social Science
This study develops and empirically tests the hypothesis that greater exposure to pre-college education produces more “malleable” factory workers in China’s manufacturing sector. The working notion of malleability is defined as comparatively weaker tendencies to use “exit”, “voice” and shirking strategies in the workplace. Ethnographic research and preliminary survey data analysis reveals a possible link between such tendencies and the length of schooling under China’s secondary education system. Further analysis of survey data will investigate the hypothesized causal relationship, with hometown availability of senior high vocational school as IV. Field experiments will be piloted to ascertain the causal channel by examining subjects’ schooling, workplace conduct, and behavioral traits including obedience to authority, rule compliance, boredom tolerance, concentration, and self-discipline. Results will shed new light on China’s robust manufacturing boom, FDI, and the role of schooling in emerging economies. They will also lay the ground for a more comprehensive GRF project. [More]
Kai Li, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance
Interest rate liberalization is a key element of China’s financial sector reform. As one of the largest and most liquid money market instruments in China, the repurchase agreement (repo) market provides the best information about the market-driven short-term interest rates. In this study, we document a salient turn of the month effect of China exchange-traded overnight repo rates, that is, temporary but significant increases in both the level and volatility of the overnight repo rates at the end of each month. We plan to further provide empirical evidence to attribute such an effect to the month-end institution liquidity needs. We also emphasize a better understanding of this effect contains important policy implications on central bank’s liquidity management and on measures toward an efficiently functioning money market. [More]
Yanzhen Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management / Yatang Lin, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Social Science
We assess the impact of bike-sharing on residential house prices, rental rates, and public transportation usage. Using a comprehensive dataset on a leading home estate agent in China, we regress zip code level house prices and rental rates on the usage of sharing bikes, instrumenting bike usage with geographical ruggedness in a difference-in-difference setting. We expect to find that in a range of 3 kilometers from subway stations, the residential houses and rental rates increases in general. Moreover, we will examine whether bike-sharing increased the usage of public transportation including bus and subway using a unique transportation transaction data. Our paper empirically investigated the social benefit of an on-demand transportation solution for emerging economies, in which the demand of transportation overwhelms the development of infrastructure and environmental protection is urgent due to the fast industrialization. [More]
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