14 September 2018

Veni Grant for Andrea Ascani

Cherries for sale in Europe: the implications of Chinese acquisitions of European companies

Dr. Andrea Ascani has been awarded a Veni grant by NWO for his research proposal on the implications of the Chinese ownership of European firms in terms of knowledge transfer and performance of European regional economies.

Chinese enterprises are increasingly shopping for technology in advanced European countries. This causes major concerns for the authorities, as they fear to lose key know-how within strategic economic sectors and regions.

The main focus of Andrea’s research is whether this Chinese takeover of European companies benefits the technological performance of the Chinese acquirers, and to what extent these effects are transferred to other Chinese firms. Also, he will assess whether companies and regional economies in Europe are affected by Chinese investments.

Since China became a net outward investor for the first time in 2015, research about its behavior on the international market is necessary and still open to scholarly inquiry and political decision-making.

In order to obtain large-scale evidence on these issues, the research will implement a quantitative methodology by means of advanced econometric techniques. Subsequently, Andrea will validate the findings of the quantitative part with an in-depth case-study focused on a number of European firms acquired by Chinese companies.

Andrea Ascani is Assistant Professor of Economic Geography in the Department of Human Geography and Planning of Utrecht University. He received his PhD in Economic Geography in 2016 from the London School of Economics, where he is currently affiliated as Visiting Fellow of the Department of Geography and Environment. His research interests lie at the intersection of applied microeconomics, economic geography and international business studies.

Veni is part of the NWO Incentives Scheme. It allows researchers who have recently obtained their PhD to conduct independent research and develop their ideas for a period of three years. In total there were 22 scholars from Utrecht who were awarded this personal grant. They all received a maximum of 250.000 euros to fund their research.