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Title: Essays in development economics
Author: Ammon, Kerstin Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 4690
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis is a collection of three essays studying firms in low income countries. The first chapter explores how relational contracts that substitute for formal contracts in the presence of weak institutions, are affected by changes to the outside option of one of the parties. I investigate this question by assessing how a change in the pay-off of cultivating an alternative crop by farmers affects the relationship with downstream buyers in the sugar industry in colonial Taiwan (1895-1945). Using novel historic sugar mill level data, I analyse effects on interlinked lending and the provision of inputs by mills to farmers following a reversal of the downward price trend of the main alternative crop, rice. In the second chapter, which is co-authored with Anna Baiardi, we empirically assess the importance of ethnic networks in facilitating international trade. In particular, we investigate the impact of ethnic Cantonese networks in the United States on the export performance of firms based in Southern China. In the third chapter, I investigate whether the dominance of small firms in developing countries can be explained by the production of customised goods, which allows smaller and less efficient firms to compete with larger and more efficient modern firms. I incorporate this hypothesis in a model, in which the key variables impacting the profitability of the customised technology and thus firm size are transport costs and income.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory