Research Spotlight

Our Research Spotlight celebrates recent research on emerging markets by our Faculty Fellows. For a full illustration of our Faculty Fellows' research, check out Books and Articles.

Faculty Feature: Improving Socio-Economic Outcomes in India

Nishith Prakash, is a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Northeastern University and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Emerging Markets. His research is contributing valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities for improving public service delivery and human capital development in emerging markets.

Some of his current research projects examine the link between evidence-based research and policy implementation through the lens of policing in India, and human capacity building through alternate pedagogies including theatre of the oppressed techniques.

Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India

Muralidharan, K., & Prakash, N. (2017). Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 9(3), 321-350.

Wheels of Change: Transforming Girls' Lives with Bicycles

Fiala, N., Garcia-Hernandez, A., Narula, K., & Prakash, N. (2022). Wheels of Change: Transforming Girls' Lives with Bicycles.

Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces and Police Patrolling: Experimental Evidence from Urban India

Amaral, S., Borker, G., Fiala, N., Kumar, A., Prakash, N., & Sviatschi, M. M. (2022). Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces and Police Patrolling: Experimental Evidence from Urban India.

Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India

Prakash, N., Rockmore, M., & Uppal, Y. (2019). Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India. Journal of Development Economics, 141.

Featured Works

Regulatory Protection and Opportunistic Bankruptcy

Radhakrishnan Gopalan, R., Martin, X., & Srinivasan, K. (2022). Regulatory Protection and Opportunistic Bankruptcy. Contemporary Accounting Research.

Abstract: We document controlling shareholder (insider) opportunism in an insolvency regime that uses an accounting rule to determine bankruptcy eligibility. Using unique data on bankrupt firms from an emerging market, we show insiders intentionally manage earnings downward to understate firm net worth so as to be able to file for bankruptcy. Downward pre-bankruptcy earnings management is associated with more payments to insiders and weaker performance, post-filing. A battery of tests suggests our results cannot be fully explained as an artifact of financial distress. Rather, they are consistent with insiders exploiting weak investor protection to extract private benefits at the expense of lenders and outside shareholders. Our study serves as a cautionary tale for all insolvency regimes that use a balance sheet test in an environment with weak creditor protection. Read more.

What Happened When India Mandated Gender Diversity on Boards

Aguilera, R. V., Kuppuswamy, V. & Anand, R. (2021). What Happened When India Mandated Gender Diversity on BoardsHarvard Business Review.

Abstract: In recent research on diversity quotas in India, one of the first instances of an emerging market adopting gender quotas, the authors found that firms' gender quotas represented a step in the right direction but did not go far enough. For gender quotas to achieve their purpose as an internal corporate governance mechanism, corporate boards must embrace the appointment of well-qualified women who bring a valuable perspective to the board. Read More.

Podcast: Professors Aguilera and Kuppuswamy discussed their research on diversity in Indian boards in a podcast produced by the National Association of Corporate Directors on May 6, 2021.

Innovating for the Middle of the Pyramid in Emerging Countries

Cuervo-Cazurra, A., & Montoya, M. (Eds.). (2021). Innovating for the Middle of the Pyramid in Emerging Countries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book description: The transformation of emerging markets in recent decades has generated a new, growing, and very large middle-class market, also known as the middle of the pyramid. This market segment, which is middle by the standards of emerging markets yet low by the standards of advanced economies, is extremely attractive for firms, but still understood and underserved. This volume presents detailed analyses of exemplary firms that have innovated products, services, and business models to fulfill the needs and desires of these new middle classes. It provides useful insights for managers, consultants, researchers, and students interested in emerging economies, and actionable lessons on how to innovate for a new and expanding market segment. Read more.

Building Strategic Capabilities in Emerging Markets

Cuervo-Cazurra, A., Newburry, W., & Park, S. (Eds.). (2020). Building Strategic Capabilities in Emerging Markets. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108565240

Book description: Firms in emerging markets are becoming leading global players despite operating in challenging home country environments, but little is known about how they build their capabilities. By analyzing multiple companies operating across over a dozen emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, the authors identify the specific challenges faced by emerging market firms to become internationally competitive. Furthermore, they provide actionable solutions to upgrading capabilities, sustaining competitive advantage, and achieving multinational status, all whilst operating in emerging economies. Featuring contributions from eminent business scholars from across the globe, this timely volume provides a valuable tool for academics and practitioners, managers and consultants, especially those involved with emerging market firms working to grow and succeed globally. Read more.

Global Crowdsourcing Can Help the U.S. Beat the Pandemic

Ramamurti, R. (2020). Global Crowdsourcing Can Help the U.S. Beat the Pandemic. Harvard Business Review.

Abstract: To fight COVID-19 the U.S. must be open to ideas from everywhere, including developing countries. Sometimes, less-wealthy countries can offer simple, low-tech solutions that are highly effective at containing infectious diseases.  A team at Northeastern University spent two months scouring the Internet for other ideas that less wealthy countries have used to address the pandemic in areas including prevention, testing, isolation, quarantining, treatment, and reopening and have organized more than 50 ideas across these categories on a website, Reverse Innovation to Fight COVID-19. Read more.

Using Reverse Innovation to Fight COVID-19

Ramamurti, R. (2020). Using Reverse Innovation to Fight COVID-19. Harvard Business Review.

Abstract: Reverse innovation describes the process in which highly developed countries in North America, Western Europe, and Japan borrow innovations from relatively less developed or less wealthy countries outside the bloc. In the fight against COVID-19, the U.S. may be able to borrow relatively simple innovations from Asia and Africa in areas such as testing, contact tracing, or quarantining. Learning from other counties, including developing nations, should be an important part of the U.S. strategy. Read more.