nep-cse New Economics Papers
on Economics of Strategic Management
Issue of 2009‒03‒14
ten papers chosen by
Joao Jose de Matos Ferreira
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Cost Competitiveness of Chinese and Finnish Paper and Paper Product Manufacturing By Harri Ahveninen; Paavo Suni; Yanyun Zhao; Yilin Wu
  2. Differentiated bank strategies across the territory: an exploratory analysis By Marco Crocco; Ana Tereza Lanna Figueiredo
  3. Technological diffusion and dynamic gains from trade By Cavallaro, Eleonora; Mulino, Marcella
  4. Improving competition in the non-tradable goods and labour markets: the Portuguese case By Mourinho Félix, Ricardo; Almeida, Vanda; Castro, Gabriela
  5. The Internationalization of Chinese and Indian Firms: Trends, Motivations and Strategy By Suma Athreye; Sandeep Kapur
  6. Employment generation by small firms in Spain By Paloma López-García; Sergio Puente; Ángel Luis Gómez
  7. Social capital, local institutions, and cooperation between firms By M. Raimondi; A. Arrighetti
  8. Strategic Group Formation in the Mekong Delta - The Development of a Modern Hydraulic Society By Evers, Hans-Dieter; Benedikter, Simon
  9. Entrepreneurial dimensions of the growth of small companies By Colombelli Alessandra
  10. Competitive conditions in the Central and Eastern European banking systems By Delis, Manthos D

  1. By: Harri Ahveninen; Paavo Suni; Yanyun Zhao; Yilin Wu
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : This study focuses on the labour cost competitiveness of the paper and pulp industry in China and Finland in particular, using the corresponding German, the US and Estonian industries as a point of comparison in the early 2000s. This study deepens the analysis of the earlier study of the cost competitiveness of the manufacturing industries in the same group of countries. Separate studies focusing on the labour cost competitiveness are carried out in a parallel manner on the chemical industries and metal industries. The results of these three sector studies deepen the knowledge about the change of competitiveness and its level. Large unit labour cost differences in a common currency were obviously a key factor behind exceptionally rapidly changing international production and trade structures in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Chinese paper and pulp industry grew by about a quarter per year in 2000-2007 as the average annual growth of the value added of world manufacturing volume was only 3 per cent in 2000-2006. Nominal wages as such do not imply good international competitiveness. Chinese wages are, however, low even if their low labour productivity is taken into account and costs per unit of production are compared in a common currency. The relative levels of the Chinese unit labour costs vis-à-vis Germany, using the unit value ratios (UVR) to make the production volumes comparable, were estimated to be about 9 per cent in the paper and pulp industry. The ratio has even declined in the early 2000s and has stayed relatively stable after that until 2007. Improving labour productivity in China had compensated for the effects of rapidly rising wages and an appreciating Renminbi. The outlook of the paper and pulp industry, like the economy in general, is clouded by the difficult global financial crisis, which strongly restricts export possibilities and dampens also the domestic markets of industry. On the other hand, the stimulus packages of the government support the demand for paper and pulp products.
    Date: 2008–12–31
  2. By: Marco Crocco (Cedeplar-UFMG); Ana Tereza Lanna Figueiredo (Cedeplar-UFMG e PUC-MG)
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate to what extent there is a differentiated regional bank strategy in the Brazilian economy. Based on the Post Keynesian theory of regional liquidity preference (Dow, 1993), the paper analyses consolidate balance sheets of banks’ branches from several Brazilian regions. Through the analysis of some indicators that were built using the data, the article finds evidence for the thesis that the Brazilian Bank System’s strategy is heterogeneous across space. Furthermore, we conclude that this behaviour reinforces existing uneven regional patterns of development of the economy.
    Keywords: bank strategy, regional liquidity preference, regional economics, development.
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Cavallaro, Eleonora; Mulino, Marcella
    Abstract: We consider a technologically backward country and analyse the implications on competitiveness and long-run growth of the quality content of traded goods. We build an endogenous growth model where quality improvements stem from research activity taking place in the R&D sector, and where the relative quality content of goods matter for export and import demand functions. We show that the possibility of an optimal growth with a balanced current account and no adverse terms-of-trade effects is closely related to the evolution of the country’s technological distance with respect to the trade partner: with an unfavourable quality-dynamics the country cannot engage successfully in “non-price” competition. Thus, long-run growth is coupled with an adverse export to import ratio, and a balanced trade requires a continuous offsetting fall in relative prices, either through devaluations or wage deflations. We then allow for international knowledge spillovers that increase the productivity of labour resources devoted to research in a way which is proportional to the technological distance between the countries. We show that the greater the country’s ability to absorb foreign knowledge and improve upon foreign technologies, the greater the gains in competitiveness, and the benefits to long-run growth. A numerical simulation confirms our findings.
    Keywords: Vertical innovation; Technological change and catching up; Economic growth of open economies
    JEL: O33 F43
    Date: 2008–12
  4. By: Mourinho Félix, Ricardo; Almeida, Vanda; Castro, Gabriela
    Abstract: This study assesses the macroeconomic impacts of increasing competition in the non-tradable goods and labour markets in Portugal. We lean on evidence that the maintenance of low competition in these markets may have contributed to the recent poor performance of the Portuguese economy. The analysis is performed using PESSOA, a dynamic general equilibrium model for a small-open economy integrated in a monetary union, featuring Blanchard-Yaari households, a multi-sectoral production structure and a number of nominal and real rigidities. We conclude that measures aimed at increasing competition in the Portuguese non-tradable goods and labour markets could induce important international competitiveness gains and be valuable instruments in promoting necessary adjustments within the monetary union framework. However, in the short run, real interest rates are likely to increase temporarily, driving consumption and output temporarily downwards.
    Keywords: competition; competitiveness; DSGE; small-open economy; Portugal
    JEL: F16 E2 E6 F41
    Date: 2008–09–25
  5. By: Suma Athreye; Sandeep Kapur (School of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck)
    Abstract: The last two decades have seen significant internationalization of firms from developing economies, in terms of their greater participation in international trade, growing outflows of foreign direct investment (FDI), and a recent surge in their cross-border mergers and acquisition activity. Outward investment from developing countries is not a new phenomenon but in recent years there has been a marked increase in the magnitude of flows and a qualitative transformation in their pattern. Within this broad trend, the growing internationalization of firms from two fastgrowing developing countries, China and India, is particularly notable. Exports have been a central feature of the growth of the Chinese economy over the last three decades and, more recently, they have made a visible contribution to Indian growth too. Outward FDI from China and India has grown rapidly in recent years, and firms from these two countries are increasingly involved in overseas mergers and acquisitions.
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: Paloma López-García (Banco de España); Sergio Puente (Banco de España); Ángel Luis Gómez (Banco de España)
    Abstract: Despite the relevance in terms of policy, we still know little in Spain about where and by whom jobs are created, and how that is affecting the size distribution of firms. The main innovation of this paper is to use a rich database that overcomes the problems encountered by other firm-level studies to shed some light on the employment generation of small firms in Spain. We find that small firms contribute to employment disproportionately across all sectors of the economy although the difference between their employment and job creation share is largest in the manufacturing sector. The job creators in that sector are both new and established firms whereas only new small firms outperform their larger counterparts in the service sector. The large annual job creation of the small firm size class is shifting the firm size distribution towards the very small production units, although not uniformly across industries of different technology intensity.
    Keywords: Firm-level data, employment creation and destruction, and firm size distribution
    JEL: L11 L53 J21
    Date: 2009–03
  7. By: M. Raimondi; A. Arrighetti
    Abstract: There are many different reasons behind cooperation between firms and many possible interpretations are assumed to be based on an assessment of endogenous benefits of collective action directly generated by taking part in a joint project. This paper attempts at verifying the interpretative capacity of models analysing the cooperation between firms using not only technological or organisational factors and rivalry between firms, but also some proxy variables of social capital, of experience accumulation in collective action and of institutional capacity for initiative. The specific aim of our work is hence that of providing an interpretation of Italian inter-province differentials in the propensity of inter-firm cooperation.
    Keywords: 35
    JEL: C21 D23 L14
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Evers, Hans-Dieter; Benedikter, Simon
    Abstract: The lower Mekong Delta, one of the largest river deltas in Asia, is a landscape shaped by the waters of the Mekong River that flows, as last part of its long way from the Tibetan Plateau to the South Chinese Sea, through a dense river and canal network in the Southwest of Vietnam. People in this area are, traditionally, exposed to a water-shaped environment and have lived for generations in adaptation to their natural surrounding without much human interference into the complex natural hydraulic system of the delta. However, this has changed dramatically during recent decades when hydraulic management started to become a key issue for the development of the lower Mekong Delta constantly, in particular with respect to the agricultural sector, which is the backbone of the delta’s economy. After the Second Indochinese War ended in 1975 the delta started to shift from human adaption to human control, transforming itself into what Wittfogel has described as a hydraulic society. This was mainly due to the new socialist government’s policy of rapid agricultural extension and growing endeavours in hydraulic management for fostering irrigated rice production. By now, in many places of the delta hydraulic works such as additional canals, dykes and sluices have been set up, constructed for regulating water flows. Technical innovations in hydraulic management and agricultural production have not only had significant impact on the delta’s environment and ecology, but also have triggered social transformation, in particular the appearance of new social groups struggling for access to resources and power. This paper intends to analyzes recent trends of social development and water management in the Mekong Delta from a scientific approach that is based on two social theories, firstly “strategic group analysis”, and secondly selected core aspects of Wittfogel’s social theory of “hydraulic society”. By presenting recently collected data, it is illustrated how the Mekong Delta has been transformed into a modern hydraulic society, in which certain strategic groups emerged as a consequence of growing activities in hydraulic management and agricultural-based economic growth. More specifically, the paper aims to give an overview of strategic group development in the delta by putting a strong focus on the process of forming a state bureaucracy of hydraulic management and the appearance of hydraulic construction companies as its clients. The paper shows how the strategic alliance between both groups has increased the chances for mutually appropriating government funds spent on hydraulic works and how this has caused ecologically and socially far-reaching impacts for the Mekong Delta.
    Keywords: Vietnam; Mekong Delta; strategic groups; hydraulic society; social transformation and power; water management; hydraulic bureaucracy
    JEL: D73 Q25 A14
    Date: 2009–02–10
  9. By: Colombelli Alessandra
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to highlight the main features of entrepreneurial businesses and to shed light on the determinants of the growth of small firms undertaking an IPO. For this purpose, we centre our attention on companies going public on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a market dedicated to young and growing companies. In the paper we investigate the post-IPO performance of 665 listed firms that have gone public during the period from 1995 to 2006. In the work the factors influencing business performance are inferred from a broad range of variables (e.g. accounting information, CEO and board age, educational background and past experience). Our findings confirm that small companies listed on the AIM grow at a faster rate after the IPO. It seems that intangible assets are important determinants of their fast growth. The results of this work underline the relevance of secondary markets, such as the AIM, as a valuable alternative to traditional financial institutions in providing capital to small and entrepreneurial companies.
    Date: 2009–02
  10. By: Delis, Manthos D
    Abstract: The aim of this study is to conduct a large-scale empirical analysis of the competitive conditions in the banking systems of Central and Eastern European countries. The well-known model of Panzar and Rosse (1987) is implemented on bank-level data over the period 1999-2006. The estimates based on the separate country panels suggest a wide variation in the competitive conditions of the banking systems examined, with some being characterized as (monopolistically) competitive and other as non-competitive. Finally, the results from the full sample indicate that bank revenue is substantially influenced by structural and macroeconomic conditions.
    Keywords: Market power; Central and Eastern European banks; Panzar-Rosse model
    JEL: D20 C33 G21
    Date: 2008–12–31

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