Student-mentor team examines businesses in Romania

April 21, 2008

Crunching numbers is a skill Chris Martin ’08 has fine-tuned over the last year. The Economics major co-wrote, with Associate Professor of Economics and Business Kevin McIntyre, a paper about how Romanian firms compare to those in other post-communist countries.

Martin compiled data on 4,500 firms in Eastern Europe, and, by examining their marketplace size, profit margin and payroll, determined that Romania has fallen behind countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic.

“Incentives to innovate aren’t there in Romania the way that they are in other countries,” says Martin.

He and McIntyre earned a warm reception after presenting their paper, “Estimates and Determinants of Firm Efficiency in Eastern Europe: Evidence from Romanian Microdata,” at the Eastern Economics Association meeting. The two plan to publish the work in a European journal.

The report is timely, as Romania joined the European Union in 2007, which will require the country to institute policy changes that should improve its stance. McIntyre and Martin’s work, using 2005 data, will serve as a baseline measure for charting improvement.

McIntyre says the idea for the research came during his time teaching at McDaniel’s Budapest campus in January 2007.

“I had just come back from Jan Term in Hungary and got to see Romania and really liked it, so I decided to do some work with the country,” McIntyre says. “Chris was interested in doing a project with me and had actually been to Eastern Europe before.”

It was a natural fit for the student-mentor team.

“I enjoy working with Dr. McIntyre as a peer,” says Martin. “It is something I’ll keep doing, since I’m going on to get my Ph.D. in Economics from Johns Hopkins.”