Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Aseema Sinha

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This thesis will explore the puzzles of economic growth in Costa Rica and China. These are countries who ensured their manufacturing success in spite of their connection to global markets that oftentimes sought to take advantage of their position as developing countries. I will present two pathways that I believe these countries took to spur economic growth despite their lack of comparative advantages. The first pathway involves entering the global supply chain, attempting to facilitate technology transfers with TNCs in exchange for manufacturing. This is the approach that Costa Rica takes. The second pathway involves triggering global and local diaspora networks to initiate foreign direct investment (FDI) into domestic projects, specifically industrial and manufacturing capabilities. This is the case of China. In the end I argue that the presence of diaspora networks in and around China helped ensure long term FDI driven economic growth. In Costa Rica, where there was less of a diasporic network, economic reforms, such as those stemming from the period of FDI liberalization, were successful only if there was an alignment of the goals of the elite class with the international trends of development. Furthermore, it was the presence of diaspora networks in China that connected the domestic markets to global markets, shaping globalization in the country. From these findings I am looking to extract lessons from China’s effective use of entrepreneurial diaspora networks that could be universally applicable.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.