Eunbi Kim

Dissertation Title: 

"The Host Country Effects of Reverse FDI: A Case Study of South Korean Auto Industries in the United States."

Job Market Paper:
"Making Manufacturing Great Again: Right-to-Work Legislation and Foreign Investors' Manufacturing Employment"

Faculty Advisors: 

Mauro Guillen (Co-Chair), Emilio Parrado (Co-Chair), Janice Madden, and Ann Harrison

Research Interests: 

Globalization, international business, labor market, international migration.

Personal Website:


Eunbi Kim is a PhD candidate in Sociology. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from Korea University and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the impacts of globalization on labor markets at domestic and international levels using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Eunbi’s dissertation examines the host country effects of reverse FDI with primary emphasis on the changes in local labor market outcomes.

In her dissertation, she reports on the local labor market effects of automotive FDI in Alabama, USA, in the wake of the NAFTA. Specifically, she focuses on the effect of FDI originating from a nontraditional source country like South Korea in comparison to investments by European and Japanese firms, which tend to compete on the basis of quality as opposed to low cost. Her finding shows that Korean FDI has no effect on employment but results in a decrease in median weekly wages relative to FDI from traditional sources. This may be due to Korean firms’ corporate strategies based on price competitiveness as well as increased immigration. She concludes that foreign capital, as an important predictor that explains labor market inequalities in global contexts, has different implications for the local labor market depending on its sources.

Teaching experience: 

  • Corporations and Managers in American Society (undergraduate), Summer 2017
  • International Order-Making (graduate), Spring 2017
  • Introduction to Sociological Research (undergraduate), Spring 2014
  • Asian Americans in Contemporary Society (undergraduate), Fall 2013
  • Introduction to Sociology (undergraduate), Spring 2013
  • Race and Ethnic Relations (undergraduate), Fall 2012

Recent publications: