31 May 2014

Talks/Seminars/Conferences around Cambridge in May 2014

This month was rich in contents. Yet I pick up the most inspiring one as 'The Ageing Brain', which emphasised so much that our brain and mind cannot be separately treated; something good for the body is likely to be good to the brain.
'The Ageing Brain' at A Pint of Science 2014, Cambridge

Also I really enjoyed 'Climate Change and Conspiracy Theory', where the confronting situation is similar to that in the controversial public discourse on nuclear generation in Japan. Also, 'Undoing Ageing with Regenerative Medicine', through avoiding or reducing damages to cells and after all replacing cells, surprisingly sounded rational approach, at least to me.

I counted #96, the target of one hundred talks is almost there!!

Full list (sub bullet points suggest they are less than 45 minutes)
  • #79: Strategic interaction and networks ++++
  • #80: Which club should I attend, dad? A model of inculturation, socialization and human capital acquisition ++
  • #81: Gossip and the identification of central individuals in networks ++++
  • #82: Estimation of Social Interaction Models with Multiple Equilibria ++
  • #83: Networks of military alliances, wars, and international trade +++
  • #84: R&D Networks: Theory, empirics and policy implications +++
Note that #79-#84 are parts of one-day workshop on Microeconomic Applications of Social Networks Analysis. This helped me understand how networks analysis can be applied in analysis of microeconomic issues. 
  • #85: The Innovation Economy: What it is/Where it is +++++
  • #86: (MBA) From high tech medicine to high impact health care by Dr. Lisa Drakeman (the former CEO of Genmab) ++++
  • #87: Accelerate Cambridge - Pitch with Impact +++
  • #88: A day at the races: some common 'illusions' in gambling behaviour ++++
  • #89: TEDxOxbridge - Leaps and Boundaries +++ (mention worthwhile talks only)
    • Confessions of a Passionate Introvert ++++
    • The Economics of Enough ++++
    • Undoing Ageing with Regenerative Medicine +++++
  • #90: CERF (Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance) Cavalcade ++++
    • The mystery of the printing press +++
    • Early Critique of Inflation-Targeting ++
    • Closed End Funds and Limits to Arbitrage in Emerging Markets ++++
    • Endowment Investing Over the Very Long Run ++++
    • How does local bias evolve? ++++
  • #91: Keynes Fund for Applied Economics 1st Research Day +++
    • Trading in Networks: theory and experiments ++
    • Social network structure and economic outcomes: An investigation using online experiments
    •  ++++
    • Banking Crises and Economic Recoveries +++
    • Circuit Breakers on the London Stock Exchange: Do they improve subsequent market quality? ++++
    • On the Formulation of ARCH in Mean Models ++
    • Winning the Oil Lottery: The Impact of Natural Resource Extraction on Growth +++
    • Walk the Line: Conflict, State Capacity and the Political Dynamics of Reform ++++
  • #92: Climate Change and Conspiracy Theory +++++
  • #93: A Pint of Science - the Ageing Brain +++++
    • The Ageing Brain +++++
    • Repairing Ageing Brains +++++
    •  Gut-brain interaction in normal ageing and neurodegeneration ++++
  • #94: A Pint of Science - Modifying Memories ++++
  • #95: Implementing Lean Start Up +++
  • #96: Climate KIC Introduction Event +++

    11 May 2014

    The hypothetical variables in forming practices of corporate governance

    There is no right or wrong answer on corporate governance, obviously. Yet, there should be, in a specific condition, appropriate answers, which are hypothetically subject to following factors that are largely interlinked and thus work in a complementary manner:

    • Firm and industry level
      • Volatility of future cash flows (not NPV), which should be affected by
        • Product/service market volatility and uncertainty both in customer acceptance and technological proof
        • Maturity of enterprise organisation and management (e.g. startup v.s. multinationals)
      • Capital intensiveness of business (e.g. Internet v.s. infrastructure)
      • Existing capital structure and 'average' industry standard of D/E ratio
    • Industry and country level:
      • Legal and normative institutions related to corporate architecture
      • Market orientation of human capital resources specific to industries (in-house training v.s. market price mechanism)
      • Culture of social groups and associations
    The lower items in the list might be less addressable in the short term, but changeable in the long run. I presume that practices of corporate governance should evolve through firm's adaptation to those conditions.

    2 May 2014

    Questions on Corporate Governance: for more innovative Japan

    I developed a few key questions for my research purpose. I should address one of these for my dissertation in the Summer term.

    • Firm-level question: how should top management (both executive officers and non-executive board members) of a Japanese company be governed by which stakeholder(s), if the Japanese corporate governance, either by debt, equity, or labour individually, cannot put right pressure on them? 
      • What behavioural practices, or inertia of cultures, do inhibit the management from making timely and necessary decisions, going beyond the agency problem? Especially do the requirements to fiduciary duties of the board can be deflated and more aligned with the notion of limited liabilities of equity, even in Japan?
      • As one possible solution, does the practice of introducing outside / independent directors, which is becoming increasingly common among the listed companies in Tokyo Stock Exchange, actually produce better performance in comparison to those who have not introduced them? 
      • How should the corporate governance institutes and norms vary in terms of paths of monitoring managerial decisions and activities in different corporate phases, namely start-up, established private companies, established public companies, and those in distress? 
    • Industry-level question: would it also be possible for plausible reforms to the Japanese corporate governance to facilitate innovations that are fundamentally necessary to be competitive in the world of global competition? 
      • Does the corporate governance facilitate reallocation of resources from low-growth industries to high growth ones? Is it sufficient and responsive enough to explore innovations in new industries? If not, what would be the obstacles that prevent such shift? 
      • To accelerate resource allocations among not only industries but also individual companies, what incentive is effective to facilitator scrap-and-build cycles in the economy, especially for consolidation and divesture?