As an economist trained at the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I focus my attention on how local, national, and international economies interact and operate, paying particular attention to how midsize and large multinational organizations locate their activities and entities—factories, distribution centers, retail outlets, and financial and marketing operations. Among the management thinkers who most influenced my thinking about the activities of multinationals are Peter Drucker, Michael Porter, Gary Hamel, Jim Collins, and Vijay Govindarajan.
For many years I have also been researching how cities choose which industries and companies to attract. I formed a research project with professors Irving Rein and Donald Haider of Northwestern University to study this question. We published our findings in 1993 in Marketing Places: Attracting Investment, Industry, and Tourism to Cities, States, and Nations. Our book describes the theory and techniques of how cities position, differentiate, and market themselves to an array of interest groups, including companies, employees, citizens, and government organizations. Later we invited different co-authors to join us in researching and publishing how foreign cities operate abroad. I want to acknowledge the distinct contributions of Christer Asplund (Europe, 1999), Michael Hamlin (Asia, 2001), and David Gertner (Latin America, 2006).
As Asia's role grew more prominent in the ...