My dissertation research focuses broadly on questions of regulatory compliance and how to do business in contexts where property rights, rule of law, and good governance are weak. I examine two puzzles regarding firm behavior when property rights are weak in emerging markets:

  1. What explains variation in firm strategies vis-à-vis rival firms?
  2. What explains variation in firm strategies vis-à-vis government
    authorities?
hops and malt

Hops and Malt. Photo credit: Jennifer Noveck.

To answer these questions, I take a within country industry case study approach and focus on the beer industry in China from 1978 – present, with particular emphasis on small, privately owned breweries and brewpubs. The beer industry offers a unique window from which we can generalize about small business behavior in emerging markets. Food safety problems and the resulting hyper regulation are a major issue in China and other developing countries and little is known about the effect of these new regulations on small businesses, which some believe to be key to restarting China’s slowed economy.

A portion of my fieldwork research was generously funded by a 2013-2014 Fritz/Boeing Scholarship and the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington.