Thursday, August 15, 2013

For this is the end...

It’s been quite a while since my last blog and many things happened in the mean time. I finished my thesis and therefore officially graduated from the Utrecht School of Economics for my masters International Economics & Business, track Globalisation and Development. Before I will shortly summarize the main findings of my thesis, I will discuss the last few weeks of the writing process. In contrast to the early weeks, the contact with my supervisor was very limited because he wanted me to deal with the process and its problems on my own to be able to critically evaluate my research skills. I felt quite comfortable with this situation as we already discussed the main issues in detail before. In the meantime, I was still enrolled in the application procedure for an traineeship at the Dutch government, for which I was selected in the last round, the interview. This effectively meant I had to buy my first ever suit, which didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped. With my limited student budget I had to shop around for a good bargain. I found some pretty cheap suits in the renowned department stores, but none in accordance with my taste. At last, I found a tailor shop where I bought a very decent suit for a good price. They even adjusted the suit slightly for it to fit perfectly to my build. After watching a YouTube-tutorial to tie my tie I was ready for the interview. Although they considered me an adequate candidate, the stiff competition for the available trainee positions unfortunately meant I did not pass the final round for the Infrastructure & Environment department. One week after my rejection I received another invitation for an interview at the department of Foreign Affairs. Again, the interview went smoothly but they picked another candidate. As mentioned before, I was still writing on my thesis in the mean time. I will now shortly discuss the main findings. In my thesis I examined the relation between foreign ownership structures and productivity for a selection of 31 countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Central America. As I had some difficulties finding proper firm level productivity data I used the number of skilled workers, or the skill intensity, as a proxy. I found that firms with a higher share of foreign ownership hire relatively more skilled workers compared to firms with lower shares of foreign ownership. This is in line with expectations from the literature and indicates that foreign owned firms are relatively more productive than domestic owned firms. The second part of the thesis focused on two subgroups of foreign owned firms, joint ventures (partially owned) and wholly owned subsidiaries. It examined the differences between the two groups in three respects. First, contrary to the expectations, the thesis finds no difference in terms of the number of skilled workers, or productivity. Second, wholly owned subsidiaries export relatively more than joint ventures, which could be the result of the vertically integrated firms in the data. Last, the key result of the thesis, joint ventures are more innovative than wholly owned subsidiaries. As I officially graduate the end of the month, this effectively will be my last post on the blog. I tried to give a true reflection of the Master year at the Utrecht University School of Economics.


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful job for finishing the most difficult writing task and for graduating. It was also great sharing the stages you've been through while working on your study. Maybe some other time you could share some good insights that would be a thesis help for a lot of striving students who are pressure in completing their thesis paper.