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Dr Frederick Guy

  • Overview



    • BS, Political Economy of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley
    • PhD, Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    • Senior Fellow, Advance HE
  • Research


    Research overview

    Here’s a walk through of some of my academic publications, with a few words of explanation. For a complete listing, including bibliographic details and links, see Publications.

    In keeping with the philistine practice in UK business schools of assessing a paper’s research contribution on the basis of the Chartered Association of Business Schools’ ranking (1,2,3,4,4*) of the journal in which it appeared, I provide CABS journal rankings (in brackets).

    Digital technology and the divide between rich and poor places

    Our argument: agglomeration economies (the factors which make it worthwhile to live or locate a business in an expensive city) are created not only by productivity, but by monopoly rents; monopoly practices of rich tech clusters hold other places back; asset stripping from more competitive – hence, less profitable – sectors to finance growing monopoly sectors, further bleeds left-behind places. Feldman, Guy & Iammarino, Regional Income Disparities, Monopoly and Finance, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society (3) 2020

    One claim of that first paper is the market for the acquisition of start-ups contributes to the agglomeration economies of tech clusters. We provide evidence in Feldman, Guy, Iammarino & Ioramashvili "Gathering round Big Tech: how the market for acquisitions reinforces regional inequalities in the US", currently a working paper from the London School of Economics, and under review at the Journal of Economic Geography (4).

    The unending growth of big cities is often celebrated – especially so for the major control centres sometimes called “world cities”. In this short paper, I ask why: "Who Wants Their City to Become a World City?" Journal of International Business Policy (2) 2020

    Knowledge and skill in clusters

    "Knowledge in the air and cooperation among firms: Traditions of secrecy and the reluctant emergence of specialization in the ceramic manufacturing district of Lampang, Thailand" Kamnungwut & Guy Environment and Planning A (4) 2012. The Thai government and international development agencies have made efforts to upgrade the Lampang ceramics cluster. The program was hindered by the supply of skilled labour, which comes mostly from a few large ceramics manufacturers using mass production methods and training workers narrowly. To thrive on a high value-added path, such a cluster needs a different approach to training and education.

    Local knowledge spillovers can occur between firms, and they can occur between firms and universities. D’Este, Iammarino and I wondered whether the importance of proximity for industry-university research partnerships was greater in clusters of technologically sophisticated firms (often famous for their fertile relationships with nearby universities), or for firms remote from such clusters. We found the latter – evidence that a broad geographical distribution of university research is an important factor in any economic “leveling up” between rich and poor places. "Shaping the formation of university-industry research collaborations: what type of proximity does really matter?" Journal of Economic Geography (4) 2013.

    Filippetti, Guy & Iammarino "Regional disparities in the effect of training on employment" Regional Studies (3) 2018. We investigate the effect of training (while employed) on subsequent employment in different regions of Italy. We found the effect – a positive one – much stronger in the poorer South.

    Unemployment insurance, diversity, and innovation

    Filippetti and I studied how unemployment insurance and job security affect innovation. Our story is that if you know that there is good unemployment insurance, you will be more willing to take chances in what your study and learn; as a result, good unemployment insurance leads to more diversity of knowledge in the workforce, and this leads to more innovation.

    "Labor Market Regulation, the Diversity of Knowledge and Skill, and National Innovation Performance" Research Policy (4*) 2020

    "Skills and social insurance: evidence from the relative persistence of innovation during the financial crisis in Europe" Science and Public (2) 2015

    How do technologies of surveillance affect wages?

    The answer is, better/cheaper surveillance depresses wages. Skott and I have written several papers on this - “power-biased technological change”, as we call it. The best known is "A model of power-biased technological change" Economics Letters (3) 2006. It's an efficiency wage model.

    Conflict between high-performance work practices and profitability

    High-performance work practices (HPWPs) encourage employee involvement in problem solving, customer relations, and quality management. They are often seen as a win-win solution for employers and employees, but less often adopted.

    A problem for employers is that HPWPs can enhance employee bargaining power, and thus raise labour costs. In "High Involvement Work Practices and Employee Bargaining Power" Employee Relations (2) 2003, I show how such practices at a supermarket chain created a bond between employees and customers, and that this contributed to the bargaining power of workers when they went on strike (Miller & Watson use this insight in their 2013 Econometrica paper.) In "Contested resources: unions, employers, and the adoption of new work practices in US and UK telecommunications" British Journal of Industrial Relations (4) 2007, Ramirez, Beale & I develop the theory further, and apply it to cases of technology and work methods choices in telecommunications.

    Globalization or regionalization?

    Economic reforms and infrastructure development within both China and India should be seen as cases of regional economic integration, much like that between countries in the European Union. The creation of such vast regional markets is politically fraught, and takes much longer than the institutionally minimalist WTO global liberalization of the 1990s. Global integration is the hare, regional integration is the tortoise. See "Globalization, Regionalization, and Technological Change" in The Handbook of Global Science, Technology, and Innovation 2015. Threads of this argument can also be found in "Strategic bundling: information products, market power, and the future of globalization" Review of International Political Economy (3) 2007.

    How superstores drive up prices in small shops

    Low prices in superstores turns small shops into high priced convenience stores; conversely. We all subsidize superstores by putting up with the traffic and pollution they generate, so if we ended that subsidy (e.g. by taxing customer parking), their costs would go up while smaller walking-accessible shops would lower their prices. It’s a spatial monopolistic competition model. "Small, local and cheap? Walkable and car-oriented retail in competition" Spatial Economic Analysis (2) 2013

    And the book. The Global Environment of Business Oxford University Press 2009 offers a unique synthetic treatment of political economy, organization theory, innovation theory, and economic history.

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14

  • Publications




    Book Section