Louise Guillouet, Amit Khandelwal, Rocco Macchiavello, Matthieu Teachout, 07 January 2022

Developing countries regularly use financial incentives to attract multinational companies in the hope of stimulating knowledge transfers and positive spillovers. This column analyses the role of language frictions in impeding transfers of management knowledge within multinationals using survey and experimental evidence from Myanmar. It finds that potential employers value higher English efficiency and prior multinational experience, and an English language course treatment is shown to improve the English ability of domestic managers, increase their interactions with foreign managers, and increase their involvement in the management of company personnel. 

Matthieu Crozet, Julian Hinz, Amrei Stammann, Joschka Wanner, 05 March 2021

Sanctions are imposed on a target country to exert political and economic pressure. But there is little evidence on how exporting firms regard trade with the sanctioned country. This column uses detailed monthly customs data from French firms to investigate the extensive margin of trade in episodes of sanctions-use against Iran, Russia, Cuba, and Myanmar. It finds the impact of sanctions is heterogeneous along firm dimensions and advises caution in the use of a policy tool with imprecise and unpredictable results.

Esther Duflo, 25 May 2008

The Burmese victims of Cyclone Nargis are tragically neglected by their terrible government and also suffering from insufficient international attention. We might help them by aiding private organisations already on the ground in Myanmar.

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