Professor Gerald A. McDermott
Associate Professor
Sonoco Department of International Business
Moore School of Business
University of South Carolina
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
Tel: (803) 777-1035

Current C.V.

       Book Cover: Leveling the Playing Field
                        (See my new book)


My research focuses on the intersection between international business and public policy in emerging market countries, mainly in East-Central Europe and Latin America. My main interest is on the emergence and co-evolution of inter-firm networks and economic institutions by studying how a variety of sectors, from manufacturing to agriculture to banking, reconstruct themselves under conditions of high uncertainty. While this work speaks to ongoing debates in a variety of fields, such as management, economic sociology, and political economy, it aims to reveal fundamental lessons that can aid policy makers, managers, and civic leaders rebuild their communities. My earlier work focused on the impact of industrial networks on the creation of economic governance institutions in post-communist countries. Related articles and my book can be found below. In particular, the articles in Comparative Political Studies and the Review of International Political Economy analyze how different political approaches to institution-building can lead to significant variation in network restructuring, firm creation, bank restructuring, and financial regulatory capabilities.

I am currently finishing up an extensive project analyzing how societies with long histories of backwardness can reconstruct their innovative capacities to become internationally competitive. This project focuses on the ways in which societies construct public-private institutions that can both produce new types of upgrading resources and recombine existing networks to facilitate knowledge creation and diffusion. The project empirically analyzes the reconstruction of the Argentine wine and grape sectors as well as the Argentine autoparts sector. In both cases, I track industry and public policy innovations over a 20 year period across different provinces. I also implemented extensive firm-level surveys that offer quantitative evidence about the ways a firm’s “public-private network” can facilitate learning and upgrading.

  • "Los racimos de la innovacion: Cuyo a la vanguardia vitivinicola."  This is a report in Spanish for industry and policy leaders about the sources of innovation in the wine and grape regions of Mendoza and San Juan Argentina. The report shows how our approach to network and institutional analysis can assist both firms and regions.
  • For more papers about the impact of public-private networks on upgrading in South America, especially unique survey data on the wine and auto industries and our Award Winning paper from the 2007 Academy of Management Annual Meetings, please send an email to:

I am also in the midst of a large project with Professor Laszlo Bruszt of the European University Institute that analyzes the role of “transnational integration regimes” on the development of domestic or local institutions in emerging democratic countries. This work compares the impact of the EU Accession Process, NAFTA, and the Mercosur in, respectively, post-communist countries, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. To do so, we analyze how these different regimes promote or inhibit institution building in such policy domains as food safety, capital markets, labor, and regional development. Our initial framework paper and new book can be found here:

Books Published by University Press (refereed)

Other Articles Published in Refereed Journals

Working and Policy Papers

Current Courses


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