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A ‘Freer’ Flow of Skilled Labour within ASEAN: Aspirations, Opportunities, and Challenges in 2015 and Beyond

December 19, 2014 Comments off

A ‘Freer’ Flow of Skilled Labour within ASEAN: Aspirations, Opportunities, and Challenges in 2015 and Beyond
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Countries’ competitiveness, productivity, and growth depend largely on their ability to acquire and use new knowledge and constantly upgrade the skills of their workforces. Many countries do not, however, have the educational systems necessary to cultivate the kind of workforces they need, and in developing countries it is common for the most highly skilled workers to emigrate for job opportunities abroad.

Over the past decade, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a political and economic organization of ten countries in Southeast Asia, began to tackle these issues directly. In 2007, ASEAN Member States agreed to fast-track the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, which is meant to transform the region into a single market and production base characterized by, among other things, a free flow of skilled labor. In response to the mounting evidence that migrants in the region lack the skills recognition required to put their knowledge and training to use in destination countries, ASEAN Member States are taking steps toward better qualifications recognition to prevent the resulting waste of human capital.

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Global Risk 2014-2015: Building the Transparent Bank

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Global Risk 2014-2015: Building the Transparent Bank
Source: Boston Consulting Group

  • The new era of bank transparency will require competitive, structural, and operational adjustments in order to succeed.
  • For the first time since 2007, global banking has regained overall profitability on a global scale, with sharp divergence among regions.
  • Increases in global profit were driven by the positive performance of banks in North America as well as the Middle East and Africa.
  • Banks must establish a comprehensive control framework, based on the three-lines-of-defense model, to reduce nonfinancial risks such as fraud, misconduct, and reputational damage.

EU — Acquisition of citizenship statistics

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Acquisition of citizenship statistics
Source: Eurostat

This article presents recent statistics on the acquisition of citizenship in the European Union (EU).

In 2012, 818 100 people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, an increase of 4.0 % compared with 2011; More people had acquired the citizenship of an EU Member State than in any other year during the period from 2002 to 2011. The main contribution to the increase at EU level came from United Kingdom (+16 300), followed by Ireland (+14 300) and Sweden (+13 500). The increase in Ireland, however, is a consequence of the efforts in the past two years to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications.

Most new citizenships in 2012 were granted by the United Kingdom (193 900 or 24 %), Germany (114 600 or 14 %), France (96 100 or 12 %), Spain (94 100 or 12 %) and Italy (65 400 or 8.0 %).

Of those acquiring citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, 87 % had previously been citizens of non-EU countries. Of these, citizens of Morocco and Turkey made up the highest numbers, followed by citizens of India, Ecuador and Iraq.

Finance and Social Responsibility in the Informal Economy: Institutional Voids, Globalization and Microfinance Institutions

December 12, 2014 Comments off

Finance and Social Responsibility in the Informal Economy: Institutional Voids, Globalization and Microfinance Institutions
Source: Social Science Research Network

We examine the heterogeneous effects of globalization on the interest rate setting by microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world. We consider MFIs as a mechanism to overcome the institutional void of credit for small entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies. Using a large global panel of MFIs from 119 countries, we find that social globalization that embraces egalitarian institutions on average reduces MFIs’ interest rates. In contrast, economic globalization that embraces neoliberal institutions on average increases MFIs’ interest rates. Moreover, the proportions of female borrowers and of poorer borrowers negatively moderate the relationship between social globalization and MFI interest rate, and positively moderate the relationship between economic globalization and MFI interest rate. This paper contributes to understanding how globalization processes can both ameliorate and exacerbate challenges of institutional voids in emerging and developing economies.

Gains from Offshoring? Evidence from U.S. Microdata

December 1, 2014 Comments off

Gains from Offshoring? Evidence from U.S. Microdata (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Board

We construct a new linked data set with over one thousand offshoring events by matching Trade Adjustment Assistance program petition data to confidential data on U.S. firm operations. We exploit these data to assess how offshoring affects domestic firm-level aggregate employment, output, wages and productivity. Consistent with heterogenous firm models where offshoring involves a fixed cost, we find that the average offshoring firm is larger and more productive than the average non-offshorer. After initiating offshoring, firms experience large declines in employment (46.2 per cent), output (38.5 per cent) and capital (28.8 per cent) relative to their industry peers. We find no significant change in average wages or in total factor productivity measures for offshoring firms. These results are consistent across two separate difference-in-differences (DID) approaches, an instrumental variables approach, and a number of robustness checks. Thus, we find offshoring to be a strong substitute for domestic activity in this large sample of offshoring events.

Apparel at a Crossroads: The End of Low-Cost-Country Sourcing

December 1, 2014 Comments off

Apparel at a Crossroads: The End of Low-Cost-Country Sourcing
Source: Boston Consulting Group

For decades, apparel makers have worked under the assumption that labor costs must be kept as low as possible in order for garments to be produced at competitive prices. This widely held belief has caused the industry to move from country to country as labor cost increases erode each local market’s temporary advantage.

One day, and possibly soon, this journey will come to an end. Cheap labor is becoming a rare commodity, and the number of low-cost countries is dwindling. Apparel makers need to get ahead of this trend by assessing what they can do in their existing facilities to generate sustainable efficiency gains, improve their speed to market, and take the pressure off labor cost management.

The challenge calls for apparel companies to view their production processes and partners through three strategic lenses: innovation, collaboration, and proliferation. By adopting production innovations that improve speed and efficiency, such as new bonding and gluing technologies, they can more readily locate their manufacturing centers closer to customers and increase their responsiveness to fashion cycles. By working together with suppliers to adopt a standard unit of measure, they can help bring cost transparency to the supply chain, providing their production partners with an incentive to improve productivity. And by improving coordination with tier one, tier two, and tier three suppliers, they can more actively manage their raw-material needs.

Management: The next 50 years

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Management: The next 50 years
Source: McKinsey & Company

Our 50th anniversary edition examines the future of management, including long-term capitalism, leadership in an era of machine learning, next frontiers for strategists, and global productivity.

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