Cornell on Emerging Markets

Cornell on Emerging Markets is an interactive platform for the stakeholders of the Emerging Markets Institute community. Its purpose is to facilitate collective reflection and debate on the most pressing issues on Emerging Markets and their broader entanglements in the shifting global landscape of the day. The platform promotes a diversity of perspectives and the sharing of in depth analysis and opinions on topical issues.

Editor-in-Chief: Lourdes Casanova (lourdes.casanova@corneledu) Managing Editor: Eudes Lopes (

Informality, socioeconomic development, and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and opportunities in Emerging Market Economies

Introduction Informal Employment (IE) is a deep structural socioeconomic issue embedded in all economies and countries worldwide. IE nurtures the informal economy, also known as the informal sector, encompassing all labor and business activities hidden from regulatory authorities. According to the World Bank (2019), the informal sector accounts for about one third of global GDP […]

The challenges and opportunities in innovation for the new Brazilian government

Issue NO. 26 By Heloisa Menezes*Three months out from the Brazilian presidential inauguration, the explicit priorities, made evident by the proposals sent to the Congress in the first forty days, are security and fiscal adjustment. As investors warned, the brutal fiscal crisis is expected to prompt massive cuts in public expenditures and a deepening of […]

MNC-SME Linkages: Insights from Latin America

Issue NO. 25 By Jerry Haar* Multinational corporations (MNCs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play distinct roles in the global economy. The past three decades have seen an acceleration of globalization, as measured by international capital, trade, and human capital flows. International collaboration and trade deals have also significantly benefited Asian and Latin American […]

The State’s Role in Emerging Economy Outward Investments: A comparison between Brazil, China and Korea

Issue NO. 24 By Anne Miroux* Lourdes Casanova** While most emerging economies have long developed clear policies to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), few have adopted proactive policies to support outward FDI (OFDI). In what follows, we examine the various phases of OFDI comparing China, Korea and Brazil and how this OFDI became one of […]

Gender Equality Is Smart Development Economics

Issue NO. 23 By Otaviano Canuto* Brazilian “conditional cash transfers” are small amounts of money distributed by the government directly to very poor households on condition that their children attend school and are vaccinated. Do you know why they go to the household women? Researches undertaken in the 1990s in the country – and later […]

Zen Business: an East-Asian-Based Systemic Model on Holistic Management and Sustainability for a Fast-Changing World

Issue NO. 22 By Josep M. Coll* Emerging markets are not only opening new doors of business and economic opportunities, but redefining our understanding of the world and its globalization dynamics. Any economic empire is fueled by the culture and soft power that underlie it. This was the case for the West, more broadly, with […]

Bridging Finance and Infrastructure

Issue NO. 21 By Otaviano Canuto and Aleksandra Liaplina* The world economy – and emerging market and developing economies in particular – display a gap between infrastructure needs and its finance. On the one hand, infrastructure investment has fallen far short of what would be necessary to support potential growth. On the other hand, abundant […]

The role of the private sector in consolidating peace in Colombia

ISSUE NO. 20 by Juana García and Juan David Martínez, Universidad de los Andes The implementation of the Havana Agreement, between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas in 2016, opens a new possibility for peacebuilding and consolidation in the country. The perceived benefits in the economy and Colombian society with the implementation of the […]

Emerging Heavyweights: The Surge of the E20

At the Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University, we identify 20 Emerging Markets, which we call E20, which we consider the new “heavyweights” of the world economy—those economies that have and are expected to have an increasing influence in the rest of the world for the years to come. The characteristic used to define these […]

Motivations for the Internationalization of Brazilian firms

ISSUE NO. 18 by Fernanda Ribeiro Cahen* and Moacir de Miranda Oliveira Jr.** Brazil was one of the world’s fastest-growing economies from 2000 to 2010, but the boom has appeared to slow down since 2011, during which it hosted two of the world’s largest sporting events, including the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics […]

The Belt and Road Initiative: Connecting the Chinese Dream with the World Dream

ISSUE NO. 17 by Jayne Jin, MBA ’13 The 1st Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) was held in Beijing, China on 14-15 May 2017, with 29 heads of state, three heads of international institutions, and approximately 1,500 guests from over 130 countries attending the event. The main goal of the BRF is […]

Unfolding Energy Efficiency in Eastern Partnership Countries

ISSUE NO. 16 by Oliver Kovacs, Ph.D.* Fostering energy efficiency is a prerequisite of sustainable development. A recently published Synthesis Report examines the innovation ecosystem in member countries of the Eastern Partnership Countries of the European Union and its role in promoting energy efficiency. A more systemic understanding is to stimulate the necessary paradigm shift […]

Regional Integration Amid Growing Protectionism

ISSUE NO. 15 by Iwan J. Azis* Over the last 30 years or so, openness and technological progress have fostered economic integration around the world. Regional integration, defined as cross-border flows among neighboring countries, has also become more intense in some areas. But recent development puts the trend in question. Income inequality is growing, populism […]

The Brazilian Productivity Anemia

ISSUE NO. 14 by Otaviano Canuto Brazil has been suffering from “anemic productivity growth”. This is a major challenge because in the long run, sustained productivity increases are necessary to underpin inclusive economic growth. Without them, increases in real labor earnings tend to conflict with global competitiveness; collecting taxes in order to fund government expenditures […]

The Impact of Political Capital on Firm Internationalization: Evidence from Russian FDI and Exports

Issue No. 13 by Lilac Nachum*, Andrei Yu. Panibratov** and Rajeev J. Sawant*** Is a firm’s political capital in the home country of value internationally? As a form of firm-specific capital that originates in firms’ relationships with home country politicians, the value of this asset outside the home country is dubious, calling to question the […]

Perceptions of China’s Outbound M&A

by Kaiwen Zhong, BA ’15 Chinese companies’ acquisitive streak in the US is often called a buying “spree” and is frequently compared to Japan’s heightened real estate purchase activities in the United States in the 1980s. As the number of large deals from China to the US increased consistently over the last five years, media attention […]

Money Matters in Modi’s India

by Abhiram Muddu and Vince Wong   Abstract Money matters in India are complicated. As Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has set forth bold policy objectives towards reining in sovereign liquidity, which has suffered in recent years due to declining money inflows and rampant tax evasion. In this article, we investigate India’s liquidity imbalances and explore the implications for […]

Developing Cities in Turkey and the Challenges for the Turkish Economy in the Next Decade

Utku Balaban, Associate Professor of Sociology at Labor Economics and Industrial Relations, Ankara University and European Commission Marie Curie Grant Fellow Turkey is the most industrialized country in the Muslim Middle East. In 2014, the Turkish economy produced almost three times as much industrial value added as Egypt and Iran did, both of which have roughly […]

Is Globalization in Danger?

Deven Sharma, Founder of Inflexon ( , Fellow at Connection Science @ Media Lab, and former President of Standard & Poor Globalization is under assault. Disruptive Influences  Beyond the political and pundit slogans, there are ample signs that point to the peril of globalization: protectionism, immigration backlash, nationally centered regulations, and constraints on capital mobility […]

Globalization Reset

Deven Sharma, Founder of Inflexon ( , Fellow at Connection Science @ Media Lab, and former President of Standard & Poor Globalization is under assault. What should a reset look like? Globalization pullback is here. However, the promise of global markets also remains very much intact. The pace of globalization has slowed, and its nature […]

The world is not flat… and that creates many opportunities!

Roberto dos Reis Alvarez is the Executive Director of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC – In his famous book “The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century”, Thomas Friedman highlights ten forces that are shaping a ‘flat world’. Later in 2005, Richard Florida wrote an article in The Atlantic […]

Emerging and Connected: Insights on Broadband from Brazil

We are always online. We pay our rent, buy furniture, take language lessons and schedule our next appointment to the doctor, let alone the time spent on social media. The Internet is part of our lives and we take it for granted. In fact, we barely remember how life was before we could wake up […]

The Impact of Entrepreneurship and Interorganizational Networks on Global Innovations Development: The Evidence of Foreign Subsidiaries Operating in the Country

Throughout the last decade, the focus of international business studies guided by the theory of networks has highlighted the role of integration of subsidiaries in the host country business networks as a key factor in explaining the generation of knowledge and innovation in subsidiaries (ANDERSSON, 2003; ANDERSSON; BJÖRKMAN; FORSGREN, 2005; ANDERSSON; FORSGREN; HOLM, 2002; CIABUSCHI; […]

Social Impact Bond in Emerging Markets: Funding Chinese Migrant Workers’ Children Digital Education

With budgets tightening worldwide, there is a need to channel limited government and international organization funding towards high-quality developmental projects. A new type of investment vehicle, social impact bond, carries the promise of bringing private capital to achieve important social objectives. Social impact bond is a contractual agreement where government (or international organization) promises to […]

Rethinking Emerging Markets: Unwinding the Western Lens

While the last five years has been a difficult period for the emerging economies, there is no denying the seismic shift in the global economy of the 21st century, moving the center of growth from developed to emerging economies. Even a cursory overview of the statistics- home to 80% of the world’s population, over half of […]