Doctoral thesis

Move people or move the plant? : Business travel and relocation choices of firms


100 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2018

English This dissertation proposes three empirical essays on firms’ location-related behaviour, focusing on two strategic issues: business travel plans and relocation choices. The first chapter studies the potential impact on business travel of the future high-speed railway line project, called AlpTransit, which in the meantime links Lugano, the small economic hub of the southern part of Switzerland, with Zurich, one of the major Swiss economic centres, situated north of the Alps. More specifically, the analysis focuses on the propensity to travel of employees with different functions in various types of firms located in Ticino. The second and the third chapters investigate two aspects of the relocation behaviour of firms, using different types of data. The second chapter seeks to disentangle the influence of company and territory characteristics on firms’ propensity to leave their current location in Ticino in the near future. The main purpose is to study whether and how this probability changes if some hypothetical external shocks occur. Two hypothetical scenarios are taken into account: an appreciation of the Swiss Franc and changes in the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the European Union, introducing considerable restrictions to the free movement of people and goods. Finally, the last chapter of the thesis investigates the influence of different driving factors on destination choice for relocating firms within Polish metropolitan areas by studying the preferences of firms having different characteristics, using revealed preference data. The analysis focuses on 2008, when the behaviour of companies and entrepreneurs was unaffected by the crisis in the global financial markets and Poland was characterised by a very dynamic business climate.
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