On March 21, ISET hosted Dr. In Kyung Kim, Assistant Professor of Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, who presented a recently-authored paper entitled 'Effects of chain affiliation in the movie theater industry'.

According to the paper, one of the most salient features in retail and service industries in the past few decades is the rapid spread of chain establishments. In the U.S., for example, the sales of chain firms ($1.3 trillion) were 9.2 percent of the total GDP in 2009 (Kosova and Lafontaine, 2012). As chain firms have been constantly replacing independent, stand-alone establishments, there is also a growing concern regarding the retail sector becoming more concentrated over time. For instance, the Korea Fair Trade Commission and the National Commission for Corporate Partnership imposed restrictions on the entry of new franchisees in the bakery industry in 2013. Despite its importance, however, there is little empirical evidence on the implication of chain affiliation.

One of ISET’s core values is to provide its students with an international academic environment. One of the key aspects of this mission is the academic seminars the institute periodically hosts; many outstanding scholars have visited ISET to present their research results and discuss issues in the focus of academic circles all over the world. This helps students with their studies, find their own interests, and remain up-to-date with the most recent academic trends worldwide.

It is, however, doubly special when an alumnus returns to meet his fellow ISETers. Dr. Lasha Chochua, who graduated from ISET’s MA program back in 2008, just recently defended his PhD thesis with the job market paper entitled ‘The Farsighted Stability of Global Trade Policy Arrangements’ in Bielefeld University, Germany.

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