Middlebury

MiddLab

The Global Market

In a January 2011 Winter Term Class, “Twenty-First Century Global Challenges,”  21 Middlebury students studied great challenges of our time – including wide-scale poverty, climate change, and the struggle for human rights. They then analyzed how social entrepreneurs – individuals and groups who are developing new ways to attack systematic problems – are taking on these challenges.  For example, Nina Cameron ’12 studied how the Global Network is trying to reduce the prevalence of neglected tropical diseases; Erin Kelly ’13 studied how the University of the Peopleis providing tuition-free higher-education throughout the developing world.  The students also spend much of the course developing a vision for a new center for social entrepreneurship based at Middlebury College.  On this MiddLab, we report the ongoing results of this work.

People

Jonathan Isham, Jr.
Professor of Economics

Wahid Ahmed
Catherine Brown
Nina Cameron
Brian Clow
Thomas Crocker
Matthew Engel
Stuart Fram
Allison Grant
Mark Hannah
Paul Hildebrand
Aaron Kelly
Claire McIlvennie
Olivia Noble
Bradley Osborn
Devin Perkins
Hilary Platt
Jeronimo Riefkohl
Martin Sweeney
Rhidaya Trivedi
Kenneth Williams
Nicole Williams

The Ripple Effect in India

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Chinese household registration policy classifies each citizen as either an urban or rural dweller. As China’s coastal urban economies began to rapidly develop in the late 19070s and 1980s, many rural dwellers migrated to cities in search of higher wages. These migrant laborers were not able to receive the services provided to urban dwellers by local city governments. Preliminary results show that employers are more likely to offer these types of increased compensation when they are located in more mature job markets where the supply of jobs exceeds demand.

People

Doug Shultz
Researcher

Anne Knowles
Associate Professor of Geography and Advisor

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This research explores these markets from  cultural, geographic, political, and economic angles, concentrating on an aspect peculiar to each city. Thanks in part to its strategic crossroads location, the Antwerp market developed earliest, nurturing a dynamic, cosmopolitan scene. In Amsterdam, we shall also discuss financial difficulties that artists, notably Rembrandt, may have faced. Lastly, we shall leave the continent, venturing across the English Channel to roost in London, which itself came to showcase a glittering auction and art market, dominated by the royalty and aristocracy.

People

Sophia Wang
Researcher

Pieter Broucke
Professor of History of Art and Architecture; Associate Curator of Ancient Art

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Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, has grown and thrived primarily through commerce. Often the most important kind of commerce in the city is informal buying and selling at unfixed prices in unfixed or temporary locations. Important aspects of Tapatían (Guadalajaran) culture are represented in the day-to-day activity of street vendors and tianguis (open-air markets). This presentation is adapted from a long-form essay (in Spanish), written during a semster on Middlebury’s program in Guadalajara.

People

J.P. Allen
Researcher

Nicole Chance
Coordinator of International Programs & Sponsor

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The business model of the food industry, as it stands today, is unsustainable.  To counter these negative trends, organizations like Slow Food International have begun to champion the importance of “quality” for health, the environment, and the art of gastronomy. But what does quality mean and what will be its impact on the global food industry? An analysis of wines produced in France and labeled with the government-sponsored quality certification system, Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée, reveals that an emphasis on quality and geography, rather than brand, makes the food market more monopolistically competitive, more inclusive yet hierarchical.

People

Emily Gullickson
Researcher

Thierry Warin
Sponsor and Associate Professor of Economics

Lynn Owens
Sponsor and Assistant Professor of Sociology

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