School of Business and Economics

Research

Dr Huw Edwards

Dr Edwards and members of the FGE-RIG investigate how firms function in the global economy

Firms in the Global Economy Research Interest Group (FGE-RIG)

Leader: Huw Edwards, Lecturer in Economics

'International Trade Arrangements after Brexit: Establishing the Facts' one-day conference: Friday, 9th December 2016 Brexit 2016

In today’s world, where trade barriers are falling, firms face tough competition not only from their domestic counterparts but also from foreign rivals. The opportunities and challenges created by globalisation induce firms to adopt new business strategies, such as foreign direct investment, joint venture, technology licensing and international outsourcing, to name a few. Globalisation also has the potential to alter radically the policy landscape faced by national governments.

The purpose of the FGE-RIG is to undertake and disseminate high-quality research on firm strategy and government policy in a global economy, which will be useful to different stakeholders in the society, such as corporate managers, policy makers and consumers.

The RIG will create an interdisciplinary forum for state-of-the-art research on firm strategy and government policy in a global economy by bringing together perspectives from both microeconomics and international business. We expect the RIG to evolve as a leading player in this important academic niche – both nationally and internationally.

We are looking forward to collaborating with industries and policy makers.

Click here for our research-related posts in the School’s Research Blog.

You can also visit our discussion paper series on RePec. 

Internal members:

External members (Fellows):

Associate members:

  • Dr Paul Brenton (Trade Practice Leader, World Bank)
  • Dr Georgia Siora (Managing Director, Warwick Economics & Development)
  • Dr Jan Van Hove (University College Brussels (H.U.Brussel), Catholic University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven) and Chair of International Network for Economic Research (INFER)
  • Ms Samantha Macro (Head of Finance (Cambridge), Medimmune, Biologics arm of AstraZeneca)

PhD student members:

Research undertaken in the FGE-RIG falls under the following related research themes:

Foreign direct investment and cross-border alliances 

Many developing countries adopted liberalising policies to attract foreign technologies. Technology licensing, foreign direct investments, international joint ventures, cross-border mergers and acquisitions are some ways through which foreign technologies enter host countries. Research under this theme will analyse strategic behaviours of the multinational firms to consider the issues such as the optimal mode of foreign market entry, the implications of labour markets and intellectual property rights on different types of foreign direct investment (e.g., greenfield and cross-border mergers).

Research under this theme will address questions like:

  1. How labour market structure and intellectual property rights affect inward foreign direct investments in emerging markets?
  2. What are the causes and consequences of outward foreign direct investment?
  3. What are the consequences of compensation schemes in international joint ventures, innovation strategies and bargaining between different companies of the Triad regions and emerging markets (BRICs and Subsaharan African countries)?
  4. How the relations between multinationals and small and medium enterprises affect innovation and market-entry by the multinationals?
  5. What are the welfare implications of different types of foreign direct investments?

 

Government policies in global markets (co-ordinator, Dr Ben Ferrett)

The link between foreign market strategies and government policy does not need much introduction. Research on foreign market strategies cannot be completed by ignoring government policies. In a world where several countries are trying to attract multinational firms, policy competition between the countries and their implications on the multinationals’ plant location decisions are inevitable. In this respect, the policies of both home and host countries of the multinationals are important. Research under this theme will determine optimal policy regimes, highlighting the effects of policy competition on foreign market strategies. In this respect, research in this area will look at the implications of the factors such as the market structure and technological asymmetries between the firms.

Research under this theme will address questions like:

  1. Does the competition between national governments for inward investment tend to produce a “race to the bottom” in corporate taxes and regulations?
  2. How is the setting of corporate taxes affected by the characteristics of the firms (e.g., technologies, ownership distributions and size) and the countries (e.g., national market size and peripherality within the global economy) involved?
  3. What are the optimal policies towards domestic and cross-border corporate research collaborations?
  4. How labour markets affect policy competition for inward foreign direct investment?

 

Pricing in global markets (co-ordinator, Dr Chris Wilson)

This research theme will analyse the determinants of prices in oligopolistic markets, in which multinational firms tend to operate. Its particular focus is on the effects of policy, market structure and other market characteristics on firms’ pricing strategies. Research under this theme intends to analyse how and under which condition firms collude to raise prices, how mergers and other forms of entry affect market structure and firms’ pricing strategies, how advertising and the dissemination of information influences prices, and how transaction costs and imperfections in consumer behaviour determine market prices. Although the first theme (Foreign direct investment and cross-border alliances) focuses on cooperative behaviours, such as international joint ventures and cross-border mergers, which are based on binding contractual agreements, a key aspect of research under this theme is to consider non-binding (or tacit) cooperative agreements, those are more difficult to regulate. Hence, like the first theme, research under this theme will also look at cooperative behaviour of the multinationals, but cooperation here may be tacit in nature. Consequently, research under this theme will focus at the challenges faced by the regulators due to tacit collusion. Another key aspect of research under this theme is to analyse the effects of information dissemination (say, through advertising) on firms’ strategies and government policies, which affects consumer behaviour, influence market outcomes and policies.

Research under this theme will address following issues:

  1. The successfulness of collusive pricing agreements in markets with imperfect monitoring of agreements.
  2. Optimal consumer protection policy and advertising regulation.
  3. Promotional pricing, especially in relation to multi-product retailers.

Impact on corporate managers:

Research in the Centre is likely to improve understanding of corporate managers about the implications of the labour market structure (e.g., labour unionisation structure and formal-informal labour markets), contracting with suppliers, intellectual property rights and government industrial (tax/subsidy), development (health and migration) and trade (tariff and foreign investment) policies in determining their foreign market strategies.

Impact on policy makers:

International tax competition, and the ability of multinationals to manipulate, evade and distort tax regimes are absolutely central to the contemporary economic policy debate. The policy makers are likely to benefit from our research by knowing the effects of their and the competing countries policies on the multinational firm’s investment decisions. Our research will also help the policy makers to realise the consequences of the policies, such as Most Favoured Nation clause and multilateral and preferential trade agreements, on multinational firms’ production strategies.

Impact on consumers:

Our research will allow consumers to understand the causes and consequences of globalisation phenomena. For example, how trade liberalisation, foreign direct investments and international outsourcing affect new product development, entry and exit of firms, outputs and prices, which affect consumers' utilities.

Our strategic partners are: