Now that I’m finished with my research paper, I can say that I’m pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish over the summer. My project started off a bit broad, but I was able to narrow it down and get going on something that I find extremely interesting and didn’t know much about when I started up. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to continue working with this project in one way or another — maybe in a course or independent study, or even as a larger project if I ever get to grad school. From what I’ve seen, there is certainly a lot to still be investigated looking at south-south partnerships within a relationship marketing framework and cultural policy in developing countries, in general.
This summer I was able to do and see a ton of things that are new to me. I completed a large panel data analysis that yielded results that fell in line with my theory. I also made it to Brazil and was able to speak with people that helped move my project along in the right direction (and got blown off by others). Here are the conclusions I drew from the research project:
Through an econometric panel data analysis and a case study of the Brazil-China partnership, this paper has offered evidence to support the theory that cultural ties precede and foster growth in economic relations in developing country partnerships. Countries, like businesses, have realized the increasing costs of the old transaction model of marketing and have instead sought to construct mutually beneficial long-term relationships. In the framework of relationship marketing and commitment-trust theory, shared values, manifested in culture, act as a precursor to the development of relationship commitment and trust. Developing countries, lacking the cultural market share of the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, have used a variety of cultural policies to make up for the difference. In the burgeoning Brazil-China relationship, China has realized that its cultural distance has the potential to hinder future growth and has embarked on a number of missions to assuage Brazilian fears of neo-colonialism by sponsoring Confucius Institutes and other programs.
The econometric panel data analysis paired five emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa) with developing country partners and used a gravity model to test the relationship between bilateral exports of creative goods and bilateral merchandise exports. The analysis found a statistically and economically significant relationship, in which a 10% increase in creative exports related to a 1.09% increase in merchandise exports, or, using the sample averages, a $1 increase in creative exports related to a $3.56 increase in merchandise exports. While the analysis cannot prove a causal relationship, it offers evidence to support the theory that cultural ties precede and promote growth in economic ones in developing country partnerships. If data in FDI flows between developing countries becomes available, it could provide even more convincing support for the theory. The brief discussion of cultural policy instruments should also be further investigated as a legitimate tool for constructing long-term committed relationships and working toward the broader goal of development.