Degree completed in 2017.

Mapping Chinese cross-border finance: actors, networks and institutional development

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Academic Profile

Laura-Marie Töpfer is a DPhil candidate at the School of Geography and the Environment and at Brasenose College, where she is a Senior Germaine Scholar. She holds a BSocSc (Hons) in International Relations from the University of Manchester and Sciences Po Paris and an MPhil in European Political Economy, University of Oxford. Her current doctoral research is funded by the Oxford Clarendon Fund and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Prior to joining the University of Oxford, Laura-Marie worked at various international organizations and research institutes including the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Corporate Management Division of the Fraunhofer Institute.

Current Research

Laura-Marie's research project investigates the role of institutional investors in China's equity market development and its implications for corporate governance. The project explores four unexplored dimensions of institutional investment in China. First, the study is the first to trace the spatial organisation of these investors and the way in which their economic-geographic characteristics have shaped current structures of China's equity markets. Second, by reconciling cross-disciplinary insights from political economy, economic geography and regional studies, the study presents a new theoretical framework that identifies the determinants of investor influence over conditions of market access. Third, it analyses investor behaviour in the context of the recent financial crisis. Fourth, the project evaluates the impact of institutional investors on the corporate governance of Chinese firms. The project highlights how crucial geography is in understanding the hybrid structures of equity markets and corporate governance in the Chinese transition economy.