Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

Peter Wright

Committee Member

Robert Wiggins

Committee Member

Emin Babakus


Since the emerging markets title was first coined in 1981 as an alternative name for third world economies, it has become increasingly popular in both academic and practitioner circles. Despite the significant geopolitical changes that have occurred since the 1980s, the resulting definitional confusion around what constitutes "emerging," and the discrepancies of lists springing from varied definitions, the emerging markets concept has flourished in a global environment that often characterizes the Western world as one in decline. Special issues concerning emerging markets have been published in top journals, new outlets specific to research in emerging markets have arisen, and much work set outside of the United States and other well-developed countries is framed as important for the emerging market context for regular publication. However, while many researchers couch their findings in the emerging markets context, studies often examine only one country or perhaps a handful of economies titled "emerging." Given this practice, central to much theorizing in this area is a foundational, although nearly always implicit, assumption of similarity across countries carrying the "emerging markets" banner in the varied criteria used to define that phrase. Despite the importance of this foundational assumption for the generalizability of results to other emerging market country contexts, that assumption of similarity has not been adequately addressed. Thus, this study asks the question, "To what extent are emerging markets similar to each other but distinct from developed economies along the criteria often used to define emerging?" This question is addressed using panel macroeconomic data, as well as two different panel datasets that cover multiple dimensions of economic freedom. The iterative Kolmogorov-Smirnov procedure is used to stratify the performance of countries in these relevant areas, after which pattern analysis is used to assess the similarity assumption. The results indicate that there is significant heterogeneity across even the smallest and most common groupings of economies deemed "emerging." This finding calls into question the generalizability of much of the research in international management.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.