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Organisational unit profile


The research in our programme deals with the firm in a globalizing world. Using the onion model to depict the topic, it consists of three layers. First, globalization affects the environment within which the firm is operating. Studying the effects can be done at various levels, ranging from the relations between countries to the level of the market for an individual good. The changing surroundings of the today’s multinational firms are studied in international economics (IE). Second, how the economic environment of the firm (and in particular the market in which it operates) affects the strategic choices and behavior of the firm is analyzed in international business (IB). Third, the changing surroundings of the firm also induce changes in the internal structure of the firm, which is at the heart of international management (IM). In a nutshell, the outside, the inside and their interaction.


Research in International Economics in our programme, distinguishes two major areas. The first, International Trade and Geography, deals with international relations between countries. Focusing on multinational firm behavior this covers the analysis of mergers and acquisitions. In imperfectly competitive markets, strategic interaction between firms might stimulate foreign investment if a competitive edge can be derived from a comparative advantage. Focusing on countries, multi- and intercountry input-output tables are used to study linkages between countries and, for example, the emission or water content of trade flows. Focusing on locations, it appears that economic activity is unevenly spread over the globe and highly clustered. Using the theory of economic geography helps to answer central questions, such as why do firms move and to what location?


The second major area within international economics deals with International Productivity and Growth. This body of research looks at comparative differences in sources of economic growth between countries, with an emphasis on the drivers of productivity performance and the role of technology and innovation. An important project within this group is EUKLEMS (financed by the European Commission in its 6th Framework Programme). The project creates a database on measures of economic growth, productivity, employment creation, capital formation and technological change at the industry level for all European Union member states from 1970 onwards. The input measures include various categories of capital, labor, energy, material and service inputs. Productivity measures are developed, in particular by applying growth accounting techniques. Also, several measures on knowledge creation are constructed.


The research in International Business focuses on studying the dynamics of multinational corporations preferably in a comparative perspective. It addresses the strategies of internationally operating firms (both large scale and medium sized) and the determinants of their performance. For example, using a huge database with information on mergers and acquisitions, the incidence and success of international ownership transfers are analyzed. Other important topics are headquarter-subsidiary ties, the choice of entry modes in new markets, and the effects of foreign direct investments.


The research in International Management deals with corporations (both profit and non-profit) that face a process of profound restructuring due to globalization. This process induces a greater flexibility in management approaches. Cross functional forms of cooperation, cross border activities and cross cultural issues characterize these new approaches. Decentralization and networking of firms, both internally and in their relationships to other firms, become common phenomena. The following three main directions in IM research may be distinguished. First, research that looks at the management of firms in the multinational context. Second, research that compares management practices of different cultures, nations (including their institutions) and functions (cross functional studies). Third, research that examines how organizational logics are changed, transformed, and translated under globalization. Specific topics include knowledge transfer and organizational learning within multinationals, international human resources management, international composition of boards of directors and institutional embeddedness.


It goes without saying that several of our research projects are characterized by co-operation, both within and across themes. On the one hand, a series of data collection efforts have been undertaken that aim at multi-disciplinary and multi-level research. These include the database on international mergers and acquisitions and the EUKLEMS database with macro-level growth and productivity statistics. The databases can be used for a wide variety of studies. On the other hand, several cross-border projects have been carried out. These include the relation between micro-level innovation management and macro-level productivity, the ecology of political parties in three countries, and foreign direct investment and trade.

  1. Offshoring, functional specialization and economic performance

    Jiang, A., 2020, [Groningen]: University of Groningen, SOM research school. 163 p.

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

  2. What makes work meaningful and why economists should care about it

    Nikolova, M. & Cnossen, F., Aug-2020, In : Labour Economics. 65, 101847.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  3. Private governance of human and labor rights in seafood supply chains: The case of the modern slavery crisis in Thailand

    Wilhelm, M., Kadfak, A., Bhakoo, V. & Skattang, K., May-2020, In : Marine Policy. 115, 8 p., 103833.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  4. De Stand van de Noord-Nederlandse Economie: Impact van de coronacrisis

    Doets, B., Nicolai, P., Edzes, A., Koster, S., Broekhuizen, T. & Los, B., 12-May-2020

    Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

  5. Factor Income Dynamics: An Exploration

    Freeman, D., 2020, [Groningen]: University of Groningen, SOM research school. 111 p.

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  1. Penn World Table 9.1

    Feenstra, R. C. (Creator), Inklaar, R. (Creator), Timmer, M. (Creator), University of Groningen, 11-Apr-2019


  2. Index of private financial openness

    Steiner, A. (Creator), University of Groningen, 2018


  3. Using Online Prices for Measuring Real Consumption Across Countries

    Cavallo, A. (Creator), Diewert, W. E. (Creator), Feenstra, R. C. (Creator), Inklaar, R. (Creator), Timmer, M. (Creator), Harvard University & MIT, 17-Apr-2018


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  1. Martin Beckmann Prize 2019

    Wen Chen (Recipient), Bart Los (Recipient), Philip McCann (Recipient), Raquel Ortega - Argiles (Recipient), Mark Thissen (Recipient) & Frank van Oort (Recipient), 2019


  2. Best Reviewer Award

    Rian Drogendijk (Recipient), Nov-2019


  3. Member Editorial Review Board

    Sathyajit Gubbi (Recipient), Apr-2017

    Prize: AppointmentAcademic

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  1. Expertmeeting en interview

    Gjalt Jong, de (Consultant)

    Activity: ConsultancyAcademic

  2. 2010 Red Tape Research Workshop

    Gjalt Jong, de (Invited speaker), Arjen Witteloostuijn ,van (Invited speaker)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conferenceAcademic

  3. Symposium on the vulnerability and resilience of small states

    Jakob Haan, de (Organiser), Bert Steenge (Organiser)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an eventAcademic

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Press / Media
  1. Coronacrisis milder voor het Noorden. Groningen-Assen minst getroffen, hardste klappen voor Eemsdelta

    Bas Doets, Peter Nicolai, Arjen Edzes, Sierdjan Koster, Bart Los & Thijs Broekhuizen


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: ResearchProfessional

  2. Intelligent Lockdown to Combat COVID-19: The Dutch Way

    Abdul Azeez Erumban


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesAcademic

  3. Niet dagdromen over de wereld, maar werken aan eigen weerbaarheid

    Janka Stoker & Harry Garretsen


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement ActivitiesProfessional

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