College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics

UMD, AREC hosts Firms in Development Workshop

Assistant Professor Jing Cai of the AREC department helped organize the “Firms in Development Workshop,” which aims to stimulate discussion between economists of various fields who are interested in firm behavior. The event was co-sponsored by the Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) and the University of Maryland.

The workshop will be held from Friday, November 17 and on Saturday, November 18 at the College Park Marriott Hotel and conference center.

“I am really excited, it’s a very good workshop with lots of famous people” said second year graduate student Tianqi Gan, the research assistant for Cai. “She did a lot of work. It’s really amazing for us to have these famous people here and hear about their latest research.”

Nine speakers are confirmed to be attending the event.

The first speaker is Professor Nicholas Bloom, of Stanford University. His research focuses on the persistence of management practices after a firm has received a consulting-support intervention.

Another speaker is David McKenzie, a lead economist in the Development Research Group of the Finance and Private Sector Development Unit. His presentation will focus on why small firms in developing countries may not succeed and the reasons behind their failure.

Economics Professor John Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland also is a part of the workshop. He will be speaking about the life-cycle growth of plants in Colombia and his research on fundamentals versus distortions.

From Duke University, Economics Professor Daniel Xi Yu will be giving a presentation on notching research and development investments with corporate income tax cuts made in China. Notching refers to jumps of firm values when sharp incentives are offered within a program, according to his paper “Notching R&D Investment with Corporate Income Tax Cuts in China.”

Another presenter is economics Assistant Professor Supreet Kaur, from University of California Berkeley. She will be speaking on informal contracting that occurs in developing countries and potential barriers.

On Saturday, the first speaker is economics Professor Samuel Kortum of Yale University. He will be presenting on trading between firms, and the intermediate inputs in production and international transactions. He will also discuss imports, exports and the labor market.

Economics Professor David Donaldson will also be a part of the event, discussing his research on external economies of scale and industry policy from the perspective of trade.

The final speaker will be Meredith Startz, an International Economics Section(IES) fellow at Princeton University. She will be speaking about her research on the value of face to face contracting for buyers and sellers, specifically with her research from Nigeria.

The event was sponsored with PEDL, which is a joint research initiative of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the Department For International Development (DFID). The organization offers competitive grants for research focusing on the behaviour of firms in low income countries that aim to understand what determines the strengths of market forces driving efficiency in these areas.

The AREC department is pleased to have this opportunity to interact with such a variety of institutions and looks forward to future collaborative research.

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