Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 5PM – Kimberly Kay Hoang Presents: Risky Investments: Varieties of Intimate and Distant Forms of Obfuscation Between Market Actors and State Elites in an Emerging Markets

We are pleased to invite you to join us at the first meeting in this academic year of the Money, Markets and Governance Workshop, on Tuesday, October 3, in the Social Science Research Building, room 302, at 5pm – 6:30pm.
We are excited to have for this meeting one of our own faculty sponsors, Kimberly Hoang.
The presentation will be followed by a pizza dinner, at 6:30-7:00 PM, with an informal discussion on your hopes for the workshop and our plans for the upcoming year.
Everyone is welcome to stay for the dinner!

Kimberly Kay Hoang

Assistant Professor, Sociology and the College, The University of Chicago

Risky Investments: Varieties of Intimate and Distant Forms of Obfuscation Between Market Actors and State Elites in an Emerging Markets

Discussant: Wan-Zi Lu
PhD Student, Sociology, The University of Chicago

Abstract: This article addresses the question: How do investors cultivate relationships with political elites that enable them to capitalize on emerging markets, where corruption is widespread? First, by looking at a diverse set of local, regional, and global investors, this article theorizes how market actors pursue different strategies of relational obfuscation based on their proximity to state officials. This article outlines three overlapping forms of proximity—legal, social, and cultural—which influence the how and why investors adopt different obfuscation strategies of gift-giving, bundling, and brokerage. The varying levels of proximity that investors have with government officials also shapes their relationship with the state as one of patronage (predatory), mutual destruction (mutual hostage), or transparency (developmental). Empirically, this paper uses the case of the Vietnamese real estate market to illustrate the conceptual framework above. Drawing on interview data with 97 local, regional, and global investors in Vietnam’s real estate market, my case study inspires a new model for understanding risky investments. I break this down into three different groups of investors: local Vietnamese, regional investors (Singapore, S. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China), global (Japan, the United States, Canada, and England). This article describes how foreign direct investment practices in emerging markets involve variable structures of exchange with state officials that coincide with variation with respect to how investors obfuscate disreputable ties.

For questions or accessibility concerns, please contact the coordinator at: yanivr {at} uchicago {dot} edu

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